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Gaius Sallustius Crispus (Sallust), The Works of Sallust (Gordon’s Discourses, Cicero’s Orations against Catiline) [1744]

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Gaius Sallustius Crispus (Sallust), 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). http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2357

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Thomas Gordon’s translation of Sallust’s histories with Gordon’s lengthy commentaries and his translation of Cicero’s Four Orations against Catiline, and other speeches. This copy was owned by John Adams and has his name on the title page and some annotations by him.

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The text is in the public domain. It was scanned and originally put online by one of the collaborators in the Internet Archive project [archive.org] for scholarship and research purposes. We have added tables of contents, pagination, and other educational aids where appropriate.

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Table of Contents:

Edition: current; Page: [[i]]
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.
By THOMAS GORDON, Esq;
LONDON:
Printed for R. Ware, at the Bible and Sun, on Ludgate-Hill.
Edition: current; Page: [[ii]] Edition: current; Page: [[iii]]

TO His ROYAL HIGHNESS THE Duke of CUMBERLAND.

SIR,

OBSERVATIONS upon Government, if they be just, cannot be unacceptable to a Great Subject so nearly related to Sovereignty. Whether the following be so, I humbly leave to Your Discernment; as I do to Your Good-nature, to forgive what was honestly designed, though it should be found weakly executed. All Minds truly Great are truly Humane: I am therefore sure, that though I cannot instruct Your Royal Highness, I shall not offend You.

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As it is incumbent upon all Men, especially the Greatest, to support the best Government, Your Royal Highness has convinced all Men how well qualified You are to support Ours. That Ours is the best, I not only sincerely believe, but think demonstrable: Not that it is free from Faults; none ever was: Faults, I doubt, imply Decay, as Decay does a Tendency to perish. Bad Governments are scarce ever to be mended: Good Government, once overthrown, is generally overthrown for ever. What can be a greater Call to prevent such Overthrow, and whatever tends to produce it?

Your Royal Highness has acquired from many Languages, Antient and Modern, whatever becomes a Prince to have acquired: Such exact Care hath been taken of Your Education, such Your own Capacity, and such the Ability of those who were honoured with that important Trust. You can therefore readily perceive, whether my Reasoning, upon the following important Subjects, be useful and solid.

You have always become the high Rank in which You were born; You have adorned it, and shewn how eminently You are like to be, what all Men of Edition: current; Page: [v] distinguished Figure in a great State ought to be, but what too few are, an Ornament to it, and a Champion for it. Few, Sir, of Your high Rank have found at Your Years, fewer have embraced, fewer still have improved, an Opportunity of displaying military Talents, and earned such military Renown.

It hath been the Character of Your illustrious Ancestors, to be warlike: It hath been their Glory to engage young in War, and to defend Right against Violence. The King Your Father distinguished himself at Your Years, as You have done. The King Your Grandfather, in his Fifteenth Year, fought by the Side of the Prince his Father, at the Battle of Treves, where that brave Prince commanded the Confederate Cavalry, animated as well as commanded them, rallied them in Person, vanquished at their Head a Marshal of France, and routed a French Army. In that War that Prince lost many of his Family, and several Brothers, all brave Patriots like himself, exposing their Lives to rescue their common. Country from Usurpation.

That War was like This War. As Your Progenitors behaved, You have behaved; and the same Spirit which fired Them, fired You. Yet, whatever Courage Edition: current; Page: [vi] then inspired You, I appeal, Sir, to Your own Heart, whether the chearful Persuasion of a righteous Cause, of relieving the Oppressed, and humbling insolent Oppressors, did not heighten as well as justify Your Ardour in the Day of Battle? This is the genuine Character, This the glorious Employment, of military Virtue: What Pity that it should ever be otherwise employed?

I congratulate You, Sir, upon Your engaging so young, in so just, so interesting a Cause. In Your first Battle You defended Justice, set invaded Nations free, crushed wanton Usurpers, and gained Glory without one Check from Your own Breast, without one Stain upon Your Fame. This was a Pursuit truly Heroic, and suitably crowned with Victory. It was a Cause of final Concernment to all Europe, a Cause worthy of Your princely Zeal, worthy of the Magnanimity of Your Royal Father, worthy of the Spirit with which He, with which You, animated by His Example, espoused it, and made it triumph. If ever Lives so important are to be exposed, it should be upon such an animating, such an alarming Occasion; To assert national Independence, to scatter Intruders, and break general Bondage.

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The inglorious Cause of the War on one Side blazoned the Glory of the other, and consequently Your Glory; when all the Outrages of War were committed under Professions of Friendship; a War in Defiance of all the awful Appeals to God and Man, of private Conscience, and public Infamy; a War renewed just after Peace had been purchased at a great Price; a War pushed on, yet the Price of Peace still retained.

I question whether History ever recorded, or the World ever saw, such a daring Insult upon all public Faith and Shame; unless, perhaps, from the same Quarter, where the most solemn Engagements were never binding, Negotiations ever turned into Snares, and Treaties into Mockery.

From the same Quarter it is no Wonder to see Insincerity, and the most pernicious Morals, spread, with melancholy Success, over all Countries who sottishly derive their Modes and Maxims from thence. What can be a greater Source of ill Morals in all Shapes, than an open Contempt of all the Bonds that restrain, of all the Principles that awe, the human Soul? Surely, a People famous for Vanity and want Edition: current; Page: [viii] of Truth, afford but a scandalous Pattern for Imitation: Their meanest Actions are Marvels; every Officer a Hero, every Prince more than Man, and their Monarchs Deities. Some of them, who never won a Laurel with their own Sword, have, by the inimitable Flattery of their Subjects, been crowned with more than ever graced the Head of Cæsar, or any of the antient Heroes. When, by Surprize, they had beaten their weaker Neighbours, and made some guilty Acquisitions, more by great Want of Faith, than even by great Armies; all their Depredations have been extolled and hallowed by a hireling Army of Panegyrists, as the Conquests of a Hero, nay, of a Deity.

A Hero without Heroism can only be created by Flatterers without Shame: A King void of Faith can pass for a Hero with none, but Sycophants void of Conscience. Praise not merited, but bought, rarely lives so long as the Buyer, even though he be constantly buying: If it be ingenious Praise, it will rather be the Portion of the Seller: At all Events, it will be for ever stained with the Reproach of being Sold.

I have heard of a Prince represented as sufficient upon Earth to do all that even the Divine Being could Edition: current; Page: [ix] do there. The Monks and Poets scarce left Almighty God the Possession of his own Throne, with Ability to rule the Skies. They prophesied, or rather threatened, that their Grand Idol would, one Day, be at least his Coadjutor even Above.

After this, (and this was but One, of a Thousand such Excesses) no Strain of Flattery can be surprising, not even that of Divine Worship publicly paid to his Statue, erected with all the Pomp of Idolatry and holy Ceremonies, Genuflexion, and even devout Prostrations; the Courtiers, the Citizens, the Soldiers, solemnly attending, and awfully adoring this perishable Divinity. This Mockery of Omnipotence was so far from shocking Him whom it most ought to have shocked, that the foremost Idolater in the impious Worship paid to human Frailty was rewarded with a Profusion of Bounty and Honours. Such is the Intoxication of Flattery, when it is most incredible, and even blasphemous! The Title of Immortal was but a moderate Compliment, in Comparison with the rest, and very aukwardly claimed by such who always kept far from Danger.

Such Princes seem to have been insensible, that they were formed of the same Mould with other Edition: current; Page: [x] Men; that their Blood was of the same Colour; themselves liable to the same Infirmities; that with all their Power, however boasted and boundless, they could not prolong Life, much less vanquish Death; that it was their Duty, and best Glory, to shew Tenderness and Benignity to those, who, in the Grave, and beyond it, would be upon a Level with Them; that Flattery is not Fame; that a Throne is only so far glorious, as he who possesseth it acts with general Beneficence; that the most exalted Thrones have been often filled with such as were a Bane and Disgrace to human Nature; that Folly is contemptible, Iniquity detestable, even under the Blaze of a Crown.

Does not Your Royal Highness still find something very instructive, even from these offensive Characters, of Princes swoln to an enormous Size in their own Conceit, by the Poison of Flattery? Such Instances shew, what immoderate Pride may attend moderate Parts; how confidently a human Creature may claim Attributes more than human; that a vehement Appetite for Praise, is no Proof that Praise is due; that a warlike Spirit is not always necessary to do warlike Mischief; and that the World may be greatly disturbed by the meanest Characters in it; a melancholy Consideration, Edition: current; Page: [xi] too apparent at most Times, never more than at this Time!

By what You have been doing, and by what You are going to do, Your Royal Highness has convinced the World, that You esteem Royal Birth, without a Display of Royal Qualities, no genuine Warrant for Fame. You know, that Virtue first made Men noble; that it is with Royalty as with Nobility (Royalty being only the most exalted Nobility); when it renounces its Foundress, it debases itself: That the Distinctions of High and Low are not produced from human Nature, but from the Nature of Society; and that the Protection and Defence of Society are the most amiable Grounds of Title and Elevation: That none but a useful and benevolent Character, can be a moral Character; that none but a moral Character, can be truly a great one: That even Courage, without Benevolence and Justice, is as great a Solecism, as Religion without Virtue.

To be brave, is a praise-worthy Character in a Prince; nor is a Prince without Resolution, fit for a princely Place: To be just and brave, is a glorious Character; glorious in a King, glorious in the Son of a King. This Island can boast such Characters, and Edition: current; Page: [xii] from them the pleasing Hopes of what may be expected from the rest of the same Stock. Their greatest Danger, and consequently ours, is their being too brave.

It is no Pedantry to quote Latin to one who so well understands it. Non te fortem esse dicimus, sed querimur, was a just Complaint and Caution offered to our glorious King William. I hope his present Majesty, I hope Your Royal Highness, will not disregard the same Caution. That fine Genius, Dr. Thomas Burnet, thought it no Compliment to that great Hero, that he was brave; but complains of him as too brave, by exposing that precious Life, which endangered or secured the Lives of all, as it was itself secure, or in Danger.

Dr. Burnet knew the Value of that Heroic Prince; though All did not. The Malevolence of Party, which distressed his Reign, clouded his living Glory, but hath not been able to contaminate his Fame. Is not this, Sir, a pleasing Reflection, that Justice and Praise, if they do not meet, will, first or last, overtake, solid Merit; and false Merit, however exalted, will, sooner or later, be despised? The Memory of King William fares, as that of great and good Edition: current; Page: [xiii] Princes ought to fare: It lives in the Voice of Fame; whilst the Memory of despicable Men, great only in Rank and Vanity, however flattered, and even worshiped, in their Life-time, will be despicable, or lost.

I could mention another Instance of the Justice of Time to great and good Characters, but that it might too nearly affect Your Royal Highness: It is that of a great Princess deceased, whose Fame hath grown with Time, and still grows: The sure Sign of high Merit! They who spoke not well of her some Years ago, do it now: They who speak with Indifference of her now, will praise her some Years hence.

The worthless Dead, as they could not expect, neither can they bear Remembrance. True Worth gains by the Grave. The Good which they did, is remembred: The little and great Falsities, raised about them, are forgotten; personal Envy ceases; the Clamour of Party is heard no more: Justice is restored, Truth prevails, and that Virtue, which stands in no Man’s Way, is by all Men applauded.

After Death, Characters are better known. The Good stand the Test of Posterity. The Great and Virtuous continue to be loved and praised. The Edition: current; Page: [xiv] Great and Bad are hated and blasted. Nero and Messalina are Names of Reproach and Horror, at the End of Seventeen hundred Years: Scipio and Portia are Names still celebrated, at a greater Distance of Time. They themselves indeed feel neither Obloquy, nor Praise: But they will ever live in Record, and reap eternal Renown, or eternal Infamy. It cannot but be a Pleasure to the Public, to see what laudable Claims Your Royal Highness already has to the Favour of Posterity.

Great Heroes, when they prove just Rulers, are a matchless Blessing. Such were Aristides, Epaminondas, the two Scipio’s, with many other Antients. Such was Henry IV. of France: Such was our Edward III. Such our King William. Such Blessing is the more valuable, as it is exceeding rare. Few Heroes prove just Magistrates, and therefore are imperfect Heroes, whatever Custom and Flattery may call them: They generally as little regard the Rights as the Lives of Men. A late celebrated Prince in the North, as warlike a Spirit as ever alarmed or wasted the World, had small Tenderness for Magistracy and Laws, and as little Feeling for human Calamities. Cromwell had great Talents for Government: So had Cæsar. But they were Usurpers; and as the Laws were against Edition: current; Page: [xv] Them, They were against the Laws. Demetrius Poliorcetes was a Hero, at least a complete Warrior; but had utter Contempt for the civil Tribunal, and regular Administration of Justice: He knew no Decision of Property, but by the Sword, and was a Soldier in the Seat of Judgment.

Your Royal Highness will own, that the most comprehensive, the most amiable Qualities of a Prince are Justice and Fortitude. Aristotle, I think, places the latter foremost in the Rank of moral Virtues; probably because it implies a Defence of the rest. People, therefore, under a King thus qualified, have reason to think themselves happy: It is a dangerous Symptom where they do not. The best Rulers do not escape popular Censure, however poorly founded. The Athenians reproached the virtuous Cymon for having bad Wine; as the Romans did the great Scipio Africanus for sleeping, having no other Fault to find with him: The Enemies of Pompey upbraided him, for using but one Finger in scratching his Head. Plutarch, who observes this, adds, that the People, growing tired with their old Rulers, often incline to worse, out of pure Wantonness, and from a Taste utterly depraved.

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For myself, Sir, I sincerely believe, that as no Prince ever oppressed or wronged his Subjects, without suffering bitter Retribution in some Shape; I am equally persuaded, that no People ever proved ungrateful to a good Prince, without paying dear for it, and punishing themselves. I hope Your Royal Highness will never see Either Case tried; I am satisfied You will contribute to Neither, but (were there Occasion) always delight to prevent Both.

I have great Pleasure in subscribing myself, as I do, with very zealous and very profound Respect,

SIR,
Your most Dutiful,
Most Obedient, and
Most Humble Servant,
T. Gordon.
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INTRODUCTION.

THE following Translation of Sallust was not the earliest Part of the following Work. Most of the Discourses were begun, several of them finished, before the Translation was attempted. They consist of such Observations as occurred to me from reading Sallust, and from the signal Pravity of those Times, of that People and Government; a licentious People, a crazy Government, and therefore terrible Times; a Government generally enfeebled by a loose Administration; sometimes severely attacked, when best administred; always labouring under some dangerous Disorder and Defect; for the most part hurt by Attempts to reform it; frequently oppressed by such who professed to support it; at last, overthrown by insidious Reformers: The boldest and most pernicious Schemes often best received, and the best Men least heard, in most Peril, generally undone, for opposing the worst. The virtuous Cato dragged, like a Criminal, from the Forum, for thwarting the pestilent Projects of Cæsar; Cicero, the Saviour of the State, banished, for punishing Criminals combined to destroy the State.

In discoursing upon Tacitus, I had affecting Subjects, the Rage, the Madness, the sanguinary Politics of the first Cæsars, with all the Horrors of Imperial Jealousy, and unbounded Will; one weak, or wicked Man, grinding, exhausting, and butchering the Roman World; himself, at last, naturally butchered, to make Way for a Rival; who, unwarned by his Fate, follows his Example, perishes like him, and leaves a Successor not wiser nor happier, living a Tyrant, and dying a Victim to Tyranny; the best Princes murdered for being so; Liberty extinct, Virtue persecuted, all Attempts to retrieve either, unpardonable and fatal.

The Subjects furnished by Sallust are equally interesting, and near as affecting; the mutual Rage and Iniquity of embittered Factions; the furious Struggles between the Nobles and Commons; both oppressing, both oppressed, in their turns, with equal Edition: current; Page: [ii] Wantonness and Injustice; and the Consequences equally destructive to both: Prevailing Corruption in the State; shocking Venality in the Courts of Justice, Rapine in the Provinces, barefaced Iniquity in the Senate; Parricides prospering, Patriots perishing, Liberty prostituted and expiring; Conspiracies, Usurpation, and Wars, both Civil and Foreign.

The only two intire Pieces which remain of the Works of Sallust, are Catiline’s Conspiracy, and the Jugurthine War; the latter much earlier in Time, but the former first composed; both written with Spirit, and fine Style; but the Jugurthine War the most regular, the most connected, and the most masterly Performance.

Sallust had great Talents for History, and where he adheres to it, and pursues the Thread of it, does it with great Clearness and Ability; engages, leads, and pleases his Readers; but is apt to balk them by starting from his Subject; and his Digressions, however ingenious, are too declamatory; and much good Sense is blended with much Self-sufficiency. His Prefaces have remarkably this Turn: They are more eloquent than pertinent, full indeed of curious Speculations, of high Panegyrics upon Virtue, of keen Invectives against Folly and Vice, but replete with Compliments to himself, and the Importance of his own Character and Studies, to which these Prefaces seem Introductions, rather than to his History. In them he takes care to keep the Attention of his Readers as much upon himself as upon the Subject; and, in arraigning ill Rule, and ill Rulers, his public Zeal seems heightened by private Pique. He publishes his own Picture, and Discontents, before his Works; hurts himself with his Readers, by displaying not only the Vanity, but the Sourness and Resentment of the Writer; impairs Truth by Strokes of Ostentation and Satire, the Dignity of History by Invective, and the Impartiality of an Historian by personal Disgusts.

Whatever Faults the Government had, (and great ones they were, God knows!) it is likely that he would not have railed at it, had he been in it. He flatters the Usurper Cæsar as copiously, as he inveighs against the former free Administration; and, in accepting the Rule of a Province from that Usurper, made it appear; by his insatiable and infamous Administration in it, how Edition: current; Page: [iii] much he had wanted such Preferment, how unfit he was for it, how unworthy of it. He plundered Numidia without Bowels; nor amongst all the corrupt, all the rapacious provincial Rulers ever sent from Rome, did the worst of them prove more rapacious and corrupt, than this Declaimer against corrupt Rulers. His Conduct in Numidia was so flagitious and black, that even his partial Patron Cæsar, the Promoter and Defender of guilty Magistrates, and of all guilty Men, could not support him: He was forced to retire, and lived in Voluptuousness and Disgrace, upon the infinite Spoils of his inhuman Magistracy. This makes the other public Charge probable, that he had formerly dishonoured the Quæstorship by the like unbounded Corruption and Venality, had been thence doomed to public Punishment, and seems never to have forgiven the State for inflicting it.

There are other Charges against him; but, as they were not of so public a Nature, I omit them. His Affectation of old Words and Phrases is but a small Charge, and he seldom incurs it. Language is always flowing, never sixes. Yet every Generation believe their own to be just then in its Perfection; nor, when it is fallen ever so low, will they perceive it, much less suffer it to be reduced to a better Standard. The Modes of Speaking, like other prevailing Modes, seem always best, and are always most pleasing to the Many. The Ear is no more infallible than the Eye. Whoever deviates from the Phrases and Pronunciation in Fashion, is thought as absurd as if he crossed the Fashion in his Dress. The English Language seems to me, to have come to Perfection in Queen Elizabeth’s Time: It hath since received some Improvements, as well as suffered some Decay; and is still in Danger of decaying further, chiefly by following the French Language, which is itself fallen, and its Spirit greatly sunk. The learned and judicious Monsieur Pasquier, in his Recherches de la France, complains of this Decay in his Time, One hundred and Fifty Years ago; not only that many good Words were difused, and worse introduced, but the same Words were altered for the worse, and lost their Force for Glibness. He makes the same Observations of the Italian Tongue. Monsieur Passerat, Professor of Rhetoric at Paris, an able Critic, acquits Sallust from the Imputation Edition: current; Page: [iv] of reviving old Words, or rather commends him for it, upon the same Principles.

His Language, upon the Whole, is pleasing and pathetic, his Narration natural, his Speeches strong and persuasive, his Descriptions exact and beautiful, the Reflections curious and poignant, the Characters striking and just; his own, that of a noble and instructive Historian, a great Writer, not without great Faults in his Writings; I do not mean only his Flattery and Partiality to Cæsar; his Prejudices to Cicero are apparent and unpardonable. He speaks very sparingly of that great Man, by Right the Hero of his History: He treats him with the Contempt of a few civil Epithets, and says of him just what he must say, in order to explain the Progress and Issue of the Conspiracy. Though he is apt to go out of his Way, in order to display his own lively Talents in drawing Characters, he exercises none of them upon that of Cicero, where there was such a loud Call for it, so much Scope for the most brilliant Colours, and such a Crime in omitting them.

This is not only a Defect, but a Stain, in his History of the Conspiracy. He gives us an accurate Portraiture of Catiline, is copious in the Display of his Abilities, as well as of his Crimes; and, not content with declaring him a great Master of Eloquence, presents us two large Specimens of his great Power in Speaking. He gives us an artful and able Speech of Cæsar’s to save the Conspirators, without owning that Cæsar meant to save them, much less that he was one of them; nay, takes Pains to justify him, and afterwards draws a pompous and amiable Character of that dangerous and guilty Man. He makes no Attempt to draw that of Cicero, who, though well known to the Romans, was not better known than Cæsar. He illustrates the Character of Memmius, by an admirable Speech of Memmius, which yet he might have spared without laming the Story. But in recounting the Defeat of a most dreadful Conspiracy, by the Vigilance and divine Abilities of Cicero, he makes Cicero do nothing but what any plain sensible Magistrate, of common Integrity and Spirit, might have done. The Consul indeed encourages the Confederates of Catiline to betray Catiline: He takes the ordinary Precautions, is Edition: current; Page: [v] pressed with Difficulties, calls the Senate, and makes them a Speech, which Sallust owns to have been a vigorous and a seasonable one, but produces not a Sentence of it. It is true, he adds, that Cicero afterwards published it: And may we not suppose, that those of Cæsar and Cato were likewise published? The Argument and Substance of both were kept, as usual, in the Journals of the Senate.

This dry and narrow Treatment of Cicero is a Notable Failing in his History, and, considering the Talents of the Historian, a Malicious Failing.

It is the Part of an Historian, and his Duty, as to cover Traitors with Detestation, and Treason with Horror, so to throw all Lustre upon public Merit, and to brighten the Character of a public Saviour. Sallust sets Catiline in a fuller Light, than he does the illustrious and immortal Consul, who conquered Catiline, and all his formidable Train. Suppose Cæsar had been in Cicero’s Place, and done what Cicero did; how differently and splendidly would he have shone in the warm and brilliant Strains of his Friend and Admirer, the Historian! Sallust should at least have given us a Summary of Cicero’s first Speech to the Senate, where the Consul encounters Catiline with such Spirit. He ought to have made an Extract of the Consul’s other Speeches, where the Consul recounts the dark Doings of him and his Accomplices, with as much Clearness as Sallust does, and adds some material Circumstances, not found in Sallust.

Cicero’s Account of the Examination of the Conspirators before the Senate, in his third Oration, is as pertinent as any thing in Sallust, and more curious. So is his Detail of the several Characters and Ranks of Men engaged with the Conspirators, in his second Oration. So is his Summary of the Civil Disorders past, compared with the present Conspiracy: So is his Relation of the Proceedings of the Senate, with the high and unparallelled Honours there decreed to himself, but not once mentioned by Sallust: So is his Character of Catiline. Indeed these Orations against Catiline furnish such essential Lights to that tremendous Conspiracy, that, as soon as I had translated Sallust, I translated Them, on purpose to supply the Defects of Sallust.

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The Historian should have told us, with what masterly Address the wise Consul managed both People and Senate, and with what different Strains he addressed to each. The Historian should have exhibited at large the fourth Oration, where the Orator so artfully sooths Cæsar, and so dexterously turns to his own Purpose the artful Reasoning of Cæsar. Not a Word of all this in Sallust; an Author so fond of repeating long Speeches, even some that suspend his Narration, and hinder historical Connection.

As the Mind of Man, engaged in an interesting Story, and earnestly pressing towards the Issue, is never to be diverted but by such Incidents and Characters as tend to produce it: Equal too is the Impatience of the Readers, when they find the Historian defective, or dry, in his Display of the principal Actors, and of the Parts which they act; when they perceive him loth to represent, or malevolent in representing, or omitting to represent, such Persons and Parts. Such a Discovery provokes the Reader, and depreciates the Writer.

In Sallust you see Catiline, you see Jugurtha, at full Length, their untameable Spirit, their superior Genius, their many Qualifications, their infinite Resources, their unwearied Application, their prevailing Address: You see the dreadful Probability of their Success, and the Proximity of Ruin to the State; you rejoice in its Escape, and in their just Doom. To other great Names he does the same copious Justice. Metellus, Marius, Sylla, are all represented in sine and full Light, and their Characters and Praise minutely and impartially set before the Reader. The Story and Sufferings of the unhappy Atherbal are affectingly told, particularly from his own Mouth, in that most moving Speech of his to the Senate, one of the sinest and most interesting in History.

But the glorious Conduct of Cicero, his high Courage, his Penetration, his wise Schemes, his Address and Temporizing, his various and prevailing Eloquence, are so far from being set in a glorious Light by Sallust, that all which Cicero does and says there, is no more than what might have been done and said by a very inferior Senator. He gives you Cicero for a Man of Sense, Experience, and Credit. But in him you behold not Cicero, the consummate Statesman, the inimitable Orator, the Edition: current; Page: [vii] determined Patriot, nor any Traces of a sublime and superlative Genius.

So many unnatural Omissions, and the Prejudices of the Historian against the Orator, are probably the chief Cause why the History of Catiline’s Conspiracy is so loose and defective a Performance. There are many complete Things in it, Speeches, Characters, Recitals; but the History itself is not complete. Nor was it possible he could have composed it as he ought, without giving such a Brilliancy to the great Name, and unparallelled Services, of Cicero, as a prejudiced Pen could not give. It is a Performance certainly far inferior to the History of Jugurtha.

A fine Genius doubtless he had: It is by the Strength of this, that he hides, recommends, and even dignifies his Faults; and generally rouses and delights his Readers by the Sprightliness of his Thoughts and Phrases, even when he carries his Readers out of the Way.

I found it very difficult to translate him, though not so difficult as to translate Tacitus. Neither do I think him an Author equal to Tacitus, nor to possess the same Majesty and Depth. Besides, in Tacitus you find no Traces of Conceit, no Self-praise. All his Pomp is natural, the Effect of the Subject upon his Spirit, and of his Spirit upon his Pen. Sallust studies to be eloquent: He flourishes to please himself, and to make his Reader pleased with him, and seems to enjoy his own Performance. He was a fine Genius; Tacitus a great one.

Sallust, I own, is more in the general Taste, and has more Readers, than Tacitus, because he is more easily understood, and therefore in more Hands. He is a School-Book: Boys learn him together with the Latin Tongue; and, valuing themselves for understanding Him, they value Him as the first and best Historian. Tacitus is understood by very few; it is incredible by how few: Yet all pretend to judge of his Character, and, taking his Faults upon Trust, hand the trite Exceptions against him, with notable Confidence, from one to another. There is nothing more absurd than most of these Exceptions; as I have at large shewn in my Apology for him and his Writings(a): The greatest is, that he Edition: current; Page: [viii] dives malignantly into the Hearts of Princes for malignant Strokes of Policy there. But the Instances which they give, confute the Charge; not only as such Instances are natural and probable, but mentioned by other Historians no-wise suspected of Refining, or want of Veracity.

The other Exceptions against him are equally ill-grounded, perhaps started by some sage Pedant, who did not understand him, then believed, and handed down by such as could not read him. All the Objections against him are new: He was highly admired by the great and learned Men, his Cotemporaries, who found great Excellencies in his Works, without any Flaws. Nor do I find, that he had any Censurers, as a Writer, for near Fifteen hundred Years. Are modern Critics likely to judge better of his Character or Language? Yet many such Critics there are, most of them superficial and misled. Even a false Critic, of any Reputation, is usually followed by Numbers, who deserve none.

In the Translation of Sallust, I have, throughout, used my usual Style, and hope it will not be found altogether unsuitable to the Style of Sallust. In that of Tacitus, I went into some Variations: And I believe there are few that understand Tacitus, but will own they were necessary: It is no Wonder, that such as understood him not, found fault with them. Though such Variations occur but here and there, chiefly in his Speeches and Reflections, and are nowise obscure to any intelligent Reader; they were by some confidently said to run through the Whole, and the English to be as obscure as the Latin. Such is the Truth and Candour to be found in vulgar Critics, of all Ranks, even when they can be confuted in every Bookseller’s Shop. To comply with the common Taste, I made many Alterations in the second Edition; and cased several Sentences, which were reckoned stiff. And this I did directly against the Opinion of the late Duke of Argyll, a most accomplished Judge, and of some other great Persons still amongst us, of equal Taste and Abilities, and, from their Knowlege of Men and Business, best qualified for understanding Tacitus: But the public Cry is sometimes to be humoured, even when it is ill-grounded.

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In the present Translation, I have fully avoided all such Cause of Complaint. In conveying the Sense of Sallust, I do not pretend to tell all my Readers, learned or unlearned, that I have not sometimes mistaken it. I took all possible care to find it; and were I to take theirs, where they differ from me, I probably should find others, besides myself, to differ from them.

I doubt not but it is possible to find Ten Persons, all tolerable Judges, who would translate so many Sentences of Sallust, or any other Antient, Ten different Ways. Every Judge, good or bad, is apt to take himself for a competent Judge. I shall be nowise piqued against any Man for differing from me: I hope for the same reasonable Allowance and Treatment from all Men. As we are all liable to be mistaken, it is both indecent and unfair to insult over the Mistakes of one another; especially to insult falsly, when there may, perhaps, be no real Mistake, but only one raised by our own Self-sufficiency and Heat.

A Friend of mine, some Years ago, brought me a Weekly Paper, where I was treated with great Outrage, by an angry Man, for mistaking so egregiously (as He thought I did) a Passage in Tacitus. It is where Germanicus tells his mutinous Legions, that Cæsar had once reclaimed his seditious Army by a single Word, Quirites vocando: I translate it, by calling them Townsmen. ‘No, says the well-bred Fault-finder, This is not the Sense, and a School-Boy would have been whipped for so turning it. I, says he, would have translated it thus; He called them Romans, and all was quiet.’ Observe how confidently this blind Observer perverts Cæsar’s Words! It was not a Compliment, but a Rebuke: Quirites vocando; They were no longer Soldiers; he disowned them for such, declared them discharged, and called them what they now were, so many of the Populace, Townsmen, a Multitude.

The Fact and the Consent of Historians about it, of Dio, Plutarch, Suetonius, confirm this to be the Meaning of the Words; Quirites vocando, in other Words, solutos Militia, dismissed from the Service.—In Lucan’s Paraphrase it tuns

  • ———Discedite Castris:
  • Tradite nostra viris, ignavi, signa, Quirites.
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From these Words, and the whole Speech, may be seen, that, instead of soothing them, he treats them with sovereign Scorn and Indignation. Rowe translates these Lines thus:

  • For you, ye vulgar Herd, in Peace return:
  • My Ensigns shall by manly Hands be borne.

Lampridius, in the Life of Alexander Severus, explains the Word just as I have done. Severitatis autem tantæ fuit in milites, ut sæpe legiones integras exauctoravit, ex militibus Quirites appellans. ‘Such was his Severity in Discipline, that he often dismissed whole Legions; calling them (instead of Soldiers) Townsmen; Quirites appellans.’ The same choleric Writer asks, What Discoveries I had made about Tacitus? My Answer is, That I have discovered the Meaning of Tacitus; a Discovery which, it is plain, He had not made.

I should have taken no Notice of such vain Censure; but some of my Friends told me, that they heard it quoted in a Coffee-House (perhaps by the Author) with Approbation. It will serve too as an Example, what Confidence attends Ignorance; how prone People, especially coarse People, are to censure; what ridiculous and scurrilous Attacks an Author is liable to, for being in the Right; and with this View only I mention it.

I shall quote another Censure upon my Translation of Tacitus, a very general Censure. Tacitus says, in the Reign of Augustus, Tranquillæ res Romæ. I translate these Words, ‘In profound Tranquillity were Things at Rome.’ Is not that the Sense of the Words? Yes, say the Critics; but the Sentence is forced and transposed: It should have been, Things at Rome were in Tranquillity. The Truth is, either Way does; but the first Way is at least as common as the other amongst all our best Writers, and, in my Taste, is the best Way.

A Person of a learned Profession, who ought to be learned, for he lives by it, roundly asserted in Company, That I did not understand Tacitus. A Gentleman present, provoked at such an ungenerous Assertion, asked the Assertor, Whether he was sure, that he himself understood Tacitus? He added, That he had read both the Original and the Translation, and found such a Charge Edition: current; Page: [xi] to be utterly unjust: Therefore, Sir, says he, I will send the Boy of the Coffee-House for a Tacitus, that you may convince us, that you do, or do not, understand him. The candid Critic left the Room, for fear it should come; but so Crest-fallen as to own, that he did not understand every Part of Tacitus. He did not stay to convince the Company, that he understood any Part of him.

I have carefully examined, and re-examined, every Sentence of Sallust, frequently revised the Whole, always compared it with the Original, and have had it under my Eye for many Years. There is surely great Difficulty in any such Undertaking. The Languages, the Times, and the Taste, are all so remote and different from ours, that it is next to impossible to convert antient Terms and Transactions into any modern Language, at least so to convert them, as to make them please equally with the Original; especially Works of Genius, where the Translator has not only the hard Task of conceiving and forming the same Images, of seeing them in the same Light, of animating them with the same Spirit, as his Author (a Tacitus, or a Horace) saw, formed, and conceived and animated them: He has another Task still as hard, that of finding equivalent Phrases to clothe, convey, and recommend them, in a Language of very different Idioms and Contexture, a patched Gothic Language, full of Particles and Monosyllables, so inconsistent with Harmony and Sound; and hobbling with auxiliary Verbs, so repugnant to Brevity and Force. It is small Wonder, that many Men should differ one with another about the Meaning of Words in a dead Language, when so few agree in the precise Ideas to be annexed to many Words in their own?

It is a bold Undertaking to translate any Author of Genius into any other Tongue, even a modern Author into a modern Tongue; though so many of the modern Tongues resemble and depend upon each other; and such Authors are generally mangled and cut, rather sunk and perverted, than translated. It must therefore be a very bold Attempt to undertake one of the great Antients, who are rarely to be known in a new Dress, in which their Spirit is generally degraded into Pertness, their Dignity evaporated in Bombast, their Ease lost in Flatness, and their Fluency in Chitchat. Edition: current; Page: [xii] It is an Attempt I never intended to have made, and was indeed drawn into it. My first View was to write Discourses upon Tacitus, as an Author of wonderful Wisdom and Parts, who had long delighted me, and filled me with a Thousand Reflections, which I had a mind to connect and publish.

I had no Thoughts of translating him, till I was told by a Gentleman in the City(a), how ill he was translated; and he persuaded me to translate him, as well as comment upon him. Upon Examination, I found the English Translations of him to be such as I have represented them in the first Discourse prefixed to him.

I should have been extremely glad to have found a good Translation of Sallust. But that which we have of him is dry and tasteless, cold and heavy, full of Mistakes and vulgar Phrases, nothing of the Vivacity, or Fire, or Elevation, of Sallust; the Style knotty, harsh, and perplexed, so opposite to the round, perspicuous, and slowing Periods of Sallust. The Translator, far from warmed, much less inspired, by his Author, does not seem to feel him.

I therefore thought it necessary to make a new Translation, and no hard Task to make a better, however short of the Original. I thought mine the fittest to accompany the Discourses written upon him.

The great Point in translating, is to pursue, or, if possible, rather to assume and possess, the Spirit and Character of the Author. To render him Word for Word, will be insipid: Though it may be exact, it can never be just, unless the Sensation of the Author be conveyed, as well as his Words, and grammatical Meaning.

An able Writer not only gives, but enforces, his own Meaning: His Manner is as significant as his Words, and therefore becomes Part of his Sentiments. It is thus in Speaking as well as Writing: The liveliest Speech in the World, rehearsed by a heavy Man, will sound heavily. What moved, and sired, and charmed the Audience, out of one Mouth, would put them to Sleep out of Edition: current; Page: [xiii] another. An Oration of Demosthenes, repeated like a Lease by a Clerk; or one of Cicero’s, pronounced by a Pedant; instead of Rage and Terror, would rouse Laughter and Impatience.

Who can discover the Ardour and Vivacity of Horace, in the Version of Monsieur D’Acier? Yet D’Acier knew, as well as any Man, the Meaning of every Word in Horace, with all his Figures, Allusions, and References.

Plutarch, the entertaining judicious Plutarch, is a dry Writer, as translated by the same D’Acier, though accurately translated: Plutarch, translated by Amyot, is an entertaining, a pleasing Author: Yet, in Amyot’s Translation, there are numberless Mistakes: A French Critic, and a very learned Man, Monsieur Meziriac, reckons them at Two thousand, all very gross ones. D’Acier’s is an exact Translation of Plutarch’s Words: Amyot is a Copy of Plutarch himself; resembles his Author, and writes as well. Amyot is a Genius: D’Acier is a learned Man.

I am much concerned to see so learned and useful a Writer as Plutarch, make so ill a Figure in English: Most of his Lives are poorly Englished; nor is bad Language the worst Fault: They are full of egregious Blunders. Several of them are ill translated from Amyot, by such as understood not French. Many of the instructive Pieces, called his Morals, have fared as ill. A good Translation of all his Works would be a valuable Performance.

Who would not rather read a Discourse of Archbishop Tillotson’s upon any ordinary Subject, though ever so full of Inaccuracies, than a learned Dissertation of the correct Mr. Thomas Hearn upon the best Subject?

I doubt no Work of Genius can be well translated, but by an Author of Genius; and therefore, there can never be many tolerable Translations in the World. Cicero, in translating the noblest Greek Writers, has excelled them all: Cicero was a good Translator, because he was a great Genius.

Terence is only a Translator; but he had fine Taste, Politeness, and Parts, and a Genius for Comedy and genteel Conversation. This was his great Qualification: His Knowledge of the two Languages only helped him to shew it. He might have had great Skill in both, without Success, or Fame, as a Comic Poet. Terence Edition: current; Page: [xiv] translated Comedy with Applause, because he had a fine Genius for Comedy. He himself is shamefully travestied by Sir Roger L’Estrange, and Dr. Echard, and much gross Ribaldry fathered upon so pure and polite a Writer.

Mr. Hobbes has translated the Historian Thucydides well; for Mr. Hobbes had equal Talents for History: But he has ill translated Homer, though he well understood Homer; for he had not equal Talents for Poetry. Mr. Dryden, with all his Faults, and many unwarrantable Freedoms, has made a fine Translation of Virgil, because he was as great a Poet as Virgil; indeed, a great and various Poet: We have Poems of his, such as, I think, Virgil could not write; one Ode particularly, equal, if not superior, to any in Antiquity.

Many of the Speeches and brightest Passages in Lucan, are rendered by Mr. Row with equal Force, in a Language so unequal, because he had a Genius as warm and poetical as Lucan; though Lucan, with infinite Sinkings, has infinite Elevation, and many glorious Lines.

I have often wished, that such a fine Genius as Dr. Burnet of the Charter-house, had translated Livy. He had grave and grand Conceptions, with harmonious flowing Periods, equal to those of the great Roman Historian. Sir Walter Raleigh would have still done it better, as he was a wonderful Master of such Subjects, and wonderfully qualified to represent them. Many Parts of his History of the World are hardly to be matched, never to be exceeded; particularly his Relation of the second Punic War; where he recounts the Conduct of the Roman and Carthaginian Commonwealths, and of their several Commanders, especially of Hannibal, with surprising Capacity, Clearness, and Force.

There occurs to me one Passage out of the English Livy, which will shew what Justice we have done that noble and elegant Writer. A great Officer says to a Roman General in the Field, (I think he calls him Sir, too) ‘Whilst you stand Shilly-shally here, as a Man may say, the Enemy will tread upon your Toes.’ Could a Groom of that General have used meaner Language to a Fellow Groom? I give the Passage upon Memory—The Words Edition: current; Page: [xv] are either Shilly-shally, or with your Hands in your Pockets, or both.

A Writer of Genius, translated by one who has none, or a mean one, will appear meanly. Even the Meaning of every Word may be conveyed, yet the Meaning of the Writer missed or mangled. It is in Translating, as in Painting: Where the Air, the Spirit, and Dignity of the Original are wanting, Resemblance is wanting. To be able to translate, a Man must be able to do something like what he translates.

What can be more unlike, what more unworthy of Virgil than Hannibal Caro’s Translation of Virgil’s Æneis into Italian? Dryden justly calls it scandalously mean, and adds, that he is a Foot-Poet, ‘and lacquies by the Side of Virgil at best, but never mounts behind him.’ Yet Hannibal Caro was far from being unacquainted with Virgil’s Meaning. He saw plainly what Virgil had done, but could not do like him, though he thought that he could: Ogilby too knew the Words and Grammar in Virgil; and only wanted Capacity to write like Virgil.

Sir Samuel Garth coming one Morning to visit the late Duke of Argyll, with a Book in his Hand, the Duke asked him what it was. The Knight told him, that it was a Philosophical Work of Tully’s, translated by a very Reverend Divine, and named Mr. Collyer. The Duke asked him, How Mr. Collyer had done it? ‘Gad, my Lord Duke, replied the Knight, he makes the Orator chatter very smartly.

I have not examined, whether Sir Samuel’s Joke was as true as it was bitter: But surely, if Mr. Collyer’s Cicero chattered, he was no longer Marcus Tullius Cicero.

It hath been generally believed, upon the Credit, I suppose, of Grammarians and Commentators, Lipsius, I think, is one of them, that Tacitus imitates Sallust: A Discovery which I could never make; unless all Authors of Spirit and masterly Expression imitate one another. There is such Painting in Tacitus, as comes from no Pencil but his own. I cannot find that he imitates any Writer. I do not know any Writer that can be said to imitate Him; nor can any Writer, who has a Manner of his own, be properly said to imitate any other. Whom does Horace imitate? It cannot be Edition: current; Page: [xvi] Pindar; for, in my Opinion, he exceeds Pindar; though he compliments Pindar with being inimitable. Whom does Lucretius imitate? He had his Subject and System from Epicurus: His Style and Conceptions were his own. I know one who has written like Sallust, and equalled him both in Expression and Spirit; I mean Paterculus: It is true, he is much less read; for he wrote only an Abridgment of the History of the Romans; a Sort of Work never so taking as a History at Length, equally executed. Besides, he destroyed his moral Character, by his boundless Flattery to Tiberius, and his Minister Sejanus, and has been ever since discredited by the concurring Testimony of other Historians.

The Characters of Princes are, in a great measure, in the Power of Authors. Julius Cæsar and Augustus have derived fine Characters from fine, but flattering Writers, particularly from the Poets. Tiberius bears a terrible one from the Historians; though the Evil he did was but minute and contemptible, in Comparison with what Julius and Augustus did. He dispatched particular Romans: They slaughtered the Romans by Myriads.

For myself, I am far from pretending to write like Sallust, or to be so fit, as I ought, to translate him. I think I am not vain in saying, that I have done him more Justice, than hath been yet done him in English, I hope as much as is done him in any other Language. Nor am I afraid of Criticism. Where it is just and decent, (and, without Decency, it cannot be just) I shall chearfully submit to it, and be thankful for it. Where it is gross, or false, or angry, I shall not answer what I cannot retaliate. Criticism is never to be feared, merely from the Ill-will of the Critic. Detestable is that Criticism which Ill-will dictates. It is the more harmless, by its evident Bent to do Harm.

Spire and Outrage are Signs of a bad Cause, as well as Disqualifications for managing a good. No able Man wants the Aid of Scurrility; no good Man can use such Aid. Were Grossness and Abuse to be admitted into Criticism and Controversy, the foolishest Man would have the greatest Advantage, and be victorious over the Wisest. No wise Man (a Character always implying Temper and Manners) can excel in what he never can Edition: current; Page: [xvii] learn: No wise Man, no good-tempered Man, can therefore vye with Champions in Railing and Contumely. Foolish Men, (a Character which takes in even tolerable Parts, governed by violent Passions; I say, foolish Men) are ever the greatest Masters in this Sort of Style and Behaviour. The basest People are best qualified to give the basest Language.

It yields us some Consolation, that bitter and malevolent Tempers punish themselves: They are not always gratified; never so thoroughly as they wish, and therefore become Fuel to their own Malice. A spiteful Man is an unhappy Man, as well as an odious Character: If he would preserve Esteem, or hope for it, he must hide his Heart. He preys upon himself as much as he would upon others, and suffers under the Agnoies he would make others suffer, often under stronger Agonies. His bitter Wishes bring him more Anguish than he can inflict elsewhere; and, as he delights to hurt others, it must delight them to see him revenge them upon himself. At best, he is a wretched Being; the most he can hope for is Pity; and he is the more wretched, as he deserves none.

It is the Wisdom, it is the Goodness and Justice of Providence, to make malevolent Hearts their own Tormentors, and bad Men actually hurt themselves by wishing hurt to others. They earn and pre-occupy the Pain and Misery, which they study to inflict, and make Retribution to the Innocent and Deserving, for hating and reviling them. Envy is blasted by its own Breath; and injurious Censure turns to Praise. Who would chuse to possess the Bane of a rancorous Spirit? Who would seed the Torture of Envy? Who would burn with raging Rancour? Whoever hates any Man, pays dear for his Hate: Whoever is cursed with a revengeful Heart, needs no other Curse.

Whatever comes Abroad tolerably written, and gains Attention and Esteem, is sure to be attacked by the common Herd of Writers, who are generally foolish, malignant Men, and mad with Vanity. Amongst them there is no such Thing as a common Writer. They are all Men of Genius: A middling Poet, and a middling Painter, is not to be found; much less a bad Poet, or a bad Painter, or any bad Writer, in their own Opinion. Edition: current; Page: [xviii] Such as have the least Parts, boast the highest. Yet whilst they claim every Sufficiency to themselves, they will allow none elsewhere. They who want the most Indulgence, grant none. They who most try the Patience of others, exercise no Patience. Or if they have good Parts, with ill Nature, they have little to boast of: A good natured Fool is a better Character.

I have had great Experience of the Gentlemen of this Cast. I have had above an Hundred Antagonists, as great a Secret as the World would make of their Labours; to use the Words of a witty Man, very unjustly applied to a very great Man; I mean by Dr. Swift to Mr. Dryden. I found their Civility such as I could not return, and their Arguments such as needed no Answer. I have been abused most by such of them as I had most served; and thence found, that there are some Tempers so black as to be provoked with kind Usage. I have found some so vain, that no good Treatment could reach their Merit; some so craving, as only to be beholden for Favours to come; others, who having praised me too copiously, without any Court or Temptation from me, have abused me as plentifully, without being once offended by me: Others, so little scrupulous as to revile me for Writings which I never wrote: Others, who, after the highest Advantages received by my Means and Recommendation, chose me out for the chief Object of their Hate and Slander: Others, whom I have saved, with great Difficulty and Pains, from Disgrace and Ruin, have taken equal Pains to injure and asperse me. I can produce as high a Panegyric as ever was made upon Man, and as vile a Libel, both in Print, and both from the same Author; the former, without my ever having seen him, the latter, without ever having wronged him; nay, after I had done him a Thousand good Offices: And all his infinite and virulent Abuse was founded upon a crazy Mistake of his own. I have supported an Author for a whole Winter, and have had his Thanks next Summer in a furious printed Invective, whilst he was still writing me Letters full of Acknowledgement and high Professions.

The common Fraternity of Writers (a most unbrotherly Fraternity) furnish a Swarm of Critics. For, almost all Writers are Critics, in the rigorous but wrong Sense of the Word; and are Edition: current; Page: [xix] therefore ready to damn and run down all superior Productions, and to shew the least Mercy to the most Merit. If any Work merit Praise, this is to them sufficient Provocation to decry it. I have known some of them appear fond of a Book, till they saw it succeed, then grow mad at its Success, and wonder at the foolish Taste of the Town. As I have received many Proofs of their Good-will, I know their Candour. I hope my Readers will judge for themselves. I have made my Thoughts clear to every understanding Reader: Foolish Readers will never understand, yet are sometimes the readiest to find Fault.

The smallest Writer has it in his Power, one Way, to imitate the greatest, with Success, by being modest and civil: If he cannot banish Spite, he may conceal it; if he shew none, he will have the Credit of having none: Whenever it appears, it brings Reproach; and he must needs be a very miserable and low Author, who produces nothing but his own Disgrace and Condemnation. To produce nothing Good, may be pardoned, if the Intention appear to be Good: To produce nothing but what deserves Reproach, is utterly unpardonable.

Ill-nature, or coarse Language, from Men of Parts, always impairs, sometimes ruins, their Character. Dr. Bentley was a most learned Man; a most sagacious and discerning Critic, though too bold a Guesser in Criticism. Had it not been for his rough Behaviour, his apparent Scorn and Contempt for all Men, particularly for those who differed from him, he would have been the most formidable Critic of his Time. His Self-sufficiency and coarse Manners sunk him, and disgraced a very extraordinary Character. This smothered his many Excellencies, and made all his Faults so glaring. Those who conquered him in Politeness, had the Applause; whilst he who conquered them in Argument, had none; as was manifestly the Case in the famous Dispute about the Epistles of Phalaris. His Name is vulgarly become a Name of Derision and Mirth, instead of Praise and Esteem. He who behaved like a Savage to all Men, was treated by all Men as a Savage. Thus he behaved, thus he wrote, and thus he fared. Though he was still formidable to those who knew his Strength; yet, many witty Men severely rallied him, and every Witling laughed at him; nay, Edition: current; Page: [xx] they laughed with the World on their Side, even in Instances where he could have crushed all the Witlings in it. So much did he gain by defying all Men, and so little will every Man gain who does it. A stern dictating Pedant, whatever Learning he may have, has no Friends: Weak Men may fear him, and so may some very able Men, who care not to be exposed to Dirt and Invective; but no Man loves him.

What can smaller Writers, Men of inferior Genius, with equal Insolence and Brutality, expect, but to be as low in Contempt as they are high in Arrogance. All Authors of great and unmixed Fame, have been signal for Civility, for Candour, and Humanity, Mr. Locke, Dr. Tillotson, with another eminent Prelate now living, and Mr. Bayle: All great Names, all furiously attacked, but never returning the most furious Attacks with Fury; all engaged in Controversy, yet all exempt from controversial Sourness and Pedantry.

Mr. Bayle had more able Antagonists than ever Man had, with many who were very bitter and hot; yet, with all their Bitterness and Heat, he was never provoked to lose his Temper: He still preserved the Coolness and Dignity of a great Genius, perhaps, one of the most surprising that ever was in the World, joining so much Temper to so much Vivacity, such infinite Learning to such infinite Parts, such strong Reasoning to such delicate Raillery. As no Writings so bulky as his ever spread more, hardly so much, none will be more lasting, or deserve to be. I have always considered him and one of his snappish Antagonists, as two Animals of one Species, but as different in Temper as in Dignity and Size: With what Rage and Clamour does the Small one fly at the Great one? With what Unconcern, and Marks of Scorn, does the Great one treat the Small?

So much concerning Writers, and the Folly of Malice and Scurrility in Writings; how detrimental they are to themselves, how offensive to Readers; and how amiable and advantageous the contrary Conduct.

The Fragments of Sallust, containing some curious Tracts and Pieces of Eloquence, were translated by a Clergyman of my Acquaintance, Edition: current; Page: [xxi] at my Request: I knew him to be a Gentleman of polite Taste and Style, and a perfect Judge of both Languages; as his Performance will easily convince his Reader.

I have already mentioned, and shall hereafter mention, the Orations of Cicero against Catiline, translated in the following Work. I must here acquaint the Reader, that he is beholden, in a great measure, for the Translation of one of them, to one of the first Men of the Age, for Eloquence, Knowledge, and the Conduct of Affairs, and suitably distinguished in one of the first Stations in the Government.

Before I finish, I must inform my Readers, that I have more Service to offer them. I have been some Years engaged in the History of England, and intend to pursue it. They have hitherto used me well, and will, I hope, continue to do so, if I do not use them worse. So much Favour from my Readers in general, was what, I doubt, chiefly foured and disturbed some particular Readers, such especially, as, being themselves Writers, had not what they thought they deserved, equal kind Usage. It is the Lot of Writers: Whoever pleases many, is sure to offend many; and the more Approbation, the more Censure. All who can write themselves, though ever so ill, or fancy that they can, are Judges of Writing, often the severest Judges. Every peevish and conceited Reader, nay, such as cannot read, claim the same Privilege, and are ready to find many Faults, without a Capacity to discover any.

My first Intention was to write the Life of Cromwell only: But as I found, that in order to describe his Times, it was necessary to describe the Times which preceded and introduced his, and that I could not begin even at the Reformation, without recounting many public Incidents before the Reformation; I have begun at the Conquest, and gone through several Reigns, some of them seen and approved by the ablest Judges; such Judges as would animate the slowest Ambition. Half of it will probably appear a few Years hence: The Whole will conclude with the History of Cromwell.

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POSTSCRIPT.

THOUGH I have, in general, blamed the Translation of Plutarch, I own there are some of his Lives translated very well.

The ill-natured and unjust Sneer I have quoted, as thrown at Mr. Dryden in the Tale of a Tub, I find, upon looking into the Book, to be applied to Mr. Tate, the Poet Laureat: But there presently follows something as bitter, said without Truth, of Mr. Dryden.

The Inscription of the last Discourse to a most noble Person, may create Inquiry, why nothing more is said to him, or of him, though there was Room for so much. I will only add, Something further would have been said, but for his express Commands to the contrary.

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Political Discourses UPON SALLUST.

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THE CONTENTS Of the Political DISCOURSES.

  • 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 preferred; Liberty oppressed and expiring.
    • Sect. III. Party infers public Weakness: Its devilish Spirit, and strange 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 Incroachments 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 by 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.Edition: current; Page: [xxvi]
    • 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, ingrossed, 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 exercised 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.Edition: current; Page: [xxvii]
    • 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 those who rail at it; in some Instances by good Men, who hate it.
    • 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 Indemnity. 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 War.
    • Sect. I. Who the first Authors of Civil War: What inflames it most, and why it is so hard to be checked.Edition: current; Page: [xxviii]
    • 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. 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 Impostures, 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 contrary 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.
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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.

SALLUST observes, ‘That whoever raised Civil Dissentions in the Commonwealth, used plausible Pretences; some seeming to vindicate the Rights of the People; others to exalt the Authority of the Senate; Both Sorts to pursue the public Good; yet all only striving severally to procure Weight and Power to themselves. Neither, in these their Civil Contests, did any of them observe Moderation or Bounds: Whatever Party conquered, still used their Victory with Violence and Inhumanity.’ This, I doubt, is true of all Parties in their Pursuits and Success: I have, therefore, thought it pertinent to discourse here at large upon Faction and Parties.

The People are so apt to be drawn into Faction, and blindly to pursue the Steps of their Leaders, generally to their own special Prejudice, Loss, and Disquiet, if not to their utter Ruin, that he who would sincerely serve them, cannot do it more effectually, than by warning them against such ready and implicit Attachment to Names and Notions, however popular and plausible. From this evil Root have sprung many of the sore Calamities that, almost every-where, afflict Mankind. Without it the World had been happily ignorant of Tyranny and Slavery, the Two mighty Plagues that now haunt and devour the most and best Parts of it; together with the subordinate and introductory Miseries, of national Discord, Devastation, and Civil War.

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People, as well as Princes, have been often undone by their Favourites. A great Man amongst them, perhaps, happened to be cried up for his fine Actions, or fine Qualities, both often overrated; and became presently their Idol, and they trusted him without Reserve: For their Love, like their Hate, is generally immoderate; nor from a Man who has done them, or can do them, much Good, have they any Apprehension of Evil; till some Rival for their Affection appear superior to their first Favourite in Art or Fortune; one who persuades them, that the other has abused them, and seeks their Ruin. Then, it is like, they make a sudden Turn, set up the latter against the former; and, having conceived an immoderate Opinion of Him, too, put immoderate Confidence in him; not that they are sure that the other had wronged them, or abused his Trust, but take it for granted, and punish him upon Presumption; trusting to the Arts and Accusations of their new Leader, who probably had deceived and inflamed them.

Thus Themistocles supplants Aristides, and is himself forced to yield to the superior Popularity of Cimon. Not that the People always want Judgment; for they sometimes judge truly, according to the Information which they have; but they are apt to credit Information too suddenly. Sometimes their Favourite preserves himself in their Esteem, in spight of all Rivals and Efforts; and pays them his Thanks for supporting him, by enslaving them. Thus acted Cæsar, Pisistratus, and Agathocles: Thus Alcibiades aimed at acting; and Pericles, in a good Degree, succeeded in his Aim; being a Tyrant without Arms, as one of the antient Writers calls him.

And as the People sometimes think themselves to have erred in their Choice, when they really have not, but are only seduced by false Insinuations; as in the Case of Aristides, who was certainly an upright Man: So when they have been mistaken, they often come to know it when it is too late; as in the Case of Cæsar; who, to fortify himself, had entered into a Confederacy with Pompey and Crassus, and thence formed the first Triumvirate. Upon this Occasion he suffered many popular Insults; and had the Mortification to see the Tide of popular Affection and Applause follow his warmest Edition: current; Page: [3] Opponents. But what availed it? He had carried his Point; and they came to their Senses too late(a).

They may possibly commit themselves to the Guidance of a Man, who certainly means them well, and seeks no base Advantage to himself: But such Instances are so rare, that the Experiment is never to be tried. Men, especially Men of Ambition, who are the forwardest to grasp at such an Office, do, chiefly, and in the first Place, consider Themselves; and, whilst guided by Partiality for themselves, cannot judge indifferently. Such a Man, measureing Reason and Justice by his Interest, may think, that it is right, that the People should always be deceived, should always be kept low, and under a severe Yoke, to hinder them from judging for Themselves, and throwing off Him, and to prevent their growing wanton and ungovernable. In short, the Fact is, (almost eternally) That their Leader only finds his Account in leading them, and They never, in being led. They make him considerable; that is, throw him into the Way of Power and Profit: This is his Point and End; and, in Consideration of all this, what does do he do for them? At best, he generally leaves them where he found them. Yet this is tolerable, nay, kind, in comparison of what oftener happens: Probably he has raised Feuds and Animosities amongst them, not to end in an Hundred Years; Fuel for intestine Wars; a Spirit of Licentiousness and Rebellion, or of Folly and Slavery.

In the midst of the Heats, and Zeal, and Divisions, into which they are drawn, for This Man against That, are they ever thoroughly apprised of the Merits and Source of the Dispute? Are they Masters of the real Facts, sufficient for accusing one, or for applauding another? Scarce ever. What Information they have, they have generally from interested Men, at best, quite partial and disguised, often utterly false and forged. But the Truth is, they have generally no Information at all; but only a few Cant Words, such as will always serve to animate a Mob; ‘I am for John: He is our Friend, and very honest. I am against Thomas: He is our worst Enemy, and very wicked, and deserves Edition: current; Page: [4] to be punished.’ And so say They who have taken a Fancy to Thomas, and are prejudiced against John. When it is likely, that neither John nor Thomas have done them much Harm, or much Good; or, perhaps, both John and Thomas study to delude and enthral them. But, when Passion prevails, Reason is not heard.

There is a sort of Witchcraft in Party, and in Party Cries, strangely wild and irresistible. One Name charms and composes; another Name, not better nor worse, fires and alarms. I remember when one Party could not hear, with Decency or Temper, the Name of the late Lord Oxford: I likewise remember, when that of the late Lord Godolphin was equally disgustful to another Party. I have lived to see both these Noble Persons mentioned with Applause, at least without Rancour, by many of all Parties indifferently. If one had then told any of those Party-Men, that the Time would come, when they would certainly change their Note, and give these two Ministers very different and favourable Characters, he would not have been believed: For angry Men fansy, that they shall always retain the same angry Ideas; and probably resolve it. They do not consider, that their Blood will not always boil, nor the same Object continue always to inflame them. They would do well, therefore, to reflect, that their present Passion, be it Rancour or Fondness, will certainly, some time or other, subside; and therefore should restrain it, lest it betray them into Inconsistency, and make them say now, what they will, perhaps, contradict hereafter; for then they must allow, that they acted from Warmth and Mistake. Such a Consideration would make Men wary of running headlong into Partialities, and of condemning, or adoring, merely because it is the Cry, and the Fashion; for nothing is so deceitful, and even fleering, as these Cries and Fashions are. It is common to see a Man idolized one Winter, and forgot before the next.

I am far from intending, by what I say, to dissuade People from inquiring into the Condition they are in, or how it fares with the Public. This is a just and necessary Inquiry, and deserves all Encouragement. But let them be sure to inquire conscientiously, and upon solid Grounds, and be thoroughly informed, Edition: current; Page: [5] before they judge, or censure, or applaud. What I blame, is, their swallowing current Lyes, believing Misrepresentations, and false Characters, and thence bearing Ill-will to some, who deserve it not; or entertaining extravagant Fondness for others, who deserve it as little. There is no Reliance upon what Parties say of one another, to the Praise of their Friends, or in Detraction from their Rivals; it is all Satire, or all Praise. This is enough to shew, that it deserves no Credit; since no Party was ever composed of Men altogether good, or altogether bad; all Bodies of Men are mixt, as are the Qualities of particular Men.

It is a special Comfort to us in this Island, that we may be happy, if we will. Convulsions abroad, and restless Spirits amongst our Neighbours, may ruffle our Quiet, and put us to Expence; but, I think, can never bring Ruin, nor even Danger; and none but ourselves can destroy us. Our greatest Hazard seems to arise from the Spite and Folly of our contending Factions, which always gather Strength, by a constant Endeavour to distress and weaken one another. One Party, for Example, has recourse to more Power, to preserve itself from the other, and thence becomes unpopular and suspected, as grasping at too much; whilst the other gathers Popularity, and consequently Strength, by having opposed that invidious Increase of Power, and by being considered as under Persecution and Scorn. Hence they are encouraged, indeed enabled, to make fresh Efforts; and such Efforts furnish their Rivals with a Pretence for seeking further Strength and Security, though by it they often lose Credit, which is the best Strength. Nor does either Side usually refuse any Aid, however unjust, or any Falshood, however glaring, to mortify and vanquish their Opponents. The warm Gracchus, to carry his Point, by dint of Power and Voices, calls in Numbers from all Parts of Italy. The Consul Opimius, a zealous Chief, on the other Side, to ballance and encounter the Strength of Gracchus, went attended with a Body of Candiot Troops. Thus Violence begot and warranted Violence.

In the late Queen’s time, (to go no further back) one Party, in order to get Possession of Power, and to keep it, charged the other with encouraging Looseness, Profaneness, Blasphemy, and Edition: current; Page: [6] with all wicked and all impious Principles, and even with Designs to destroy the Monarchy and Church. A terrible Charge, but notoriously false, yet swallowed by the Vulgar, and by many who, in Condition, were above the Vulgar. From hence arose a furious Ferment, a Spirit of Division, of Hate and Hostility, such as threatened to blow up that very Government, which was pretended to be thus brought out of Danger. And upon this Occasion was revived the monstrous Impiety of Passive Obedience to Oppressors, confidently dressed up in the Style of a Christian Doctrine; a Doctrine, which makes no Difference between the eternal Rights of Englishmen, and the beastly Servitude of Turks: Together with this, became fashionable the other mighty Lye of indefeasible hereditary Right. This Falshood too, unknown to Pagans, a Disgrace to Christians, was fathered upon God and Scripture, and styled Divine. It is but Charity, and, I think, reasonable, to believe, that there were some who laughed at, or rather abhorred such popular Madness, and execrable Tenets; and yet were not so scrupulous, as not to take Advantage from them, to establish themselves, and to remove others; though I fansy, some of them found, that they had raised a Spirit, which they afterwards, when they desired to lay it, could not well lay; like Cromwell, and his Agitators.

They who were then displaced, were many of them as able Men as ever this Nation produced, many of them as honest, as disinterested Men. But, with all the Glory and Triumphs of their Administration, it was attended with an enormous Expence to support a War, which, many then believed, might have been ended much sooner. Such an Opinion, true or false, the Moment it spread, was enough to make any Ministry unpopular, if not odious; nor do I think it possible for Popularity to attend any Minister long, for Reasons which I have not room here to offer.

The Ministry that succeeded those, were, in their Turn, attacked with violent Spirit, and charged with devilish Designs; that, particularly, of bringing in the Pretender; that is to say, Popery and Slavery. For, I think, we cannot expect to have him upon other or better Terms. What some amongst them might design, I know not; perhaps no Good: It is certain there were Edition: current; Page: [7] several, even then, in the highest Stations, utterly remote from any such Views, utterly irreconcilable to such, and even zealous against such.

All Parties have their Follies, and weak Places: But the Character of one Party is rarely to be learned from the other. They make odious Pictures of each other, in their Anger (for Parties imply mutual Wrath); and both Sides are Monsters, in the Opinion of each. How little reciprocal Justice they are apt to practise, is manifest from their caressing and applauding Men, not for their moral Principles, or Integrity of Life, but for their Zeal and Attachment to the Cause. He who is a good Party-Man, is a good Man, let his Conduct be ever so vile, his Actions ever so wicked. On the contrary, let a Man be ever so unblameable, his Behaviour ever so righteous and worthy; all this Merit shall not avail him; nay, with all this Merit, it is odds but he is reviled, ridiculed, and scorned.

How many Dunces, how many Drunkards, Fellows of dirty Morals, and no Understanding, without Address, or common Breeding, or one good Quality, but with a Thousand ill ones, are to be seen of notable Weight and Esteem, for no earthly Consideration, but that of their Bigotry to their Party, and of their Party to them; whilst Men of the most amiable Turn, of the greatest Accomplishments, and finest Talents, are, perhaps, slandered and hunted down; at best, shunned and cursed; only for not being infatuated with the epidemical Madness of Party! Nay, perhaps, for humanely studying to save the Whole, to advance public Happiness in general, and to remove public Mischiefs, Oppression, and Delusion, a Man shall be condemned and undone by one Party, without being defended by the other; whilst the Authors of public Mischiefs, the Oppressors, the Deluders, shall be safe and popular: Wretches shall be adored; the Patriot, the virtuous and benevolent Man, shall be despised, perhaps persecuted.

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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 preferred; Liberty oppressed and expiring.

IN most Countries, they who blind and enslave the People, are popular, and reverenced; they who would enlighten and free them, hated and persecuted. For an Attempt to relieve the Spaniards from the horrid Dungeons, Flames, and Tortures of the Inquisition, the Spaniards would, with Zeal and Indignation, surrender you to those very Dungeons, Flames, and Tortures. Is this Encouragement for serving, or striving to save Societies? It must be confessed, that the People, were they otherwise instructed, would act otherwise. They should thereforehear with Patience such as would shew them the Truth, and their own Interest, and never be afraid to enquire and examine, and not run after Names and Notions, which serve only to inflame and divide them, and therefore first mislead and deceive them.

It is with Measures as with Men; they are praised, or condemned, not because they are Right or Wrong, Beneficial or Hurtful, but because they come from this Party, or the other. Evil is turned into Good, and Good into Evil: Truth passes for Falshood; Falshood is dressed up in the Guise of Truth: The best Actions are decried as the worst, if they arise from one Quarter; the worst Actions adored as the best, if from the other. The Resisting of lawless Tyrants, is, at one time, Rebellion and Damnation: To rebel against the most lawful Authority, is, at another time, Duty and Glory. One Year, a Prince, who openly defies Oaths and Law, and violates every Obligation, Sacred and Civil, is still the Lord’s Anointed, still not to be opposed; a wanton Usurper has a Right to all things, the Subject, the most unoffending Subject, a Security for nothing; nor is Law and Right any Defence against Violence and Plunder. Another Year, and for a Course of Years Edition: current; Page: [9] the most solemn Oaths taken to a Government, which, in all things, acts by the Measure of Right, are not binding; and that Government is called Usurpation, though it usurp nothing, but is founded wholly upon Law, and from the Laws only derives its whole Force.

To support such Extremes, to reconcile such wild Contradictions, the Divine Word is boldly called in and misapplied, the Divine Aid promised and invoked. One Scripture is made to justify one extravagant Proposition to Day: To-morrow the same Scripture, or another Scripture, is forced to defend an opposite Proposition, and to destroy the former; and the Supreme Being is always supposed angry or pleased, just as Factions are, adopting the foolish Passions and Partialities of Parties, and shifting his Passions, as Parties shift theirs.

Party, as I have already said, always implies Anger, which is never a fair Reasoner, nor a sure Guide. When Fierceness and Ill-will possess a Man, or Body of Men, Reason has little Power left over them; Complaints grow into Invectives, Representations become Aggravations; and I doubt it is too true, that as under such a Spirit we are very ready to spy Faults, so we are glad to find them; at least prone to aggravate them, and, I fear, even to make them. When we think Men our Enemies, it is too natural to wish them every Quality proper to hate, and to find their Actions as bad as our own Resentment is severe. If, for a Shew of Impartiality, we at any time praise them, it is often either Affectation, or to make them the more guilty and inexcusable.

When we have taken a Fancy to a Man, and chuse or consider him as our Chief and Leader, we are disposed to see all Excellency and no Fault in him, to think him every way able to serve and support us, and quite uncapable of betraying or hurting us, or of ill serving us. We represent him to ourselves, just like ourselves, full of warm Zeal for Us and our Cause, without any Views to himself, or any Motives that are personal; though it is possible, that from such Motives only he became very zealous for us, and very angry at others. Thus we court, thus paint, and trust, and admire the Man who joins with us, and who espouses our Resentments and Disgusts, or seems to espouse them.

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To the Man, on the contrary, who is not of our Party, but of the opposite Party, we hardly allow one good Quality, but are ready to impute every ill one. Every thing that he does, is bad and malicious, and all his Intentions are wicked; and though he be charged with doing a World of Mischief, it is odds but he is reckoned void of Parts, and a very silly Fellow. For those who follow, or are supposed to follow him, we have just the same want of common Charity and Complaisance. As all our own Friends and Champions are virtuous, and able, and amiable; all on the other Side are guilty, weak, and hateful. And, just in the same Style, those of the other Side speak and judge of us, from the same Prejudices.

Now, where are the Hopes of Union or Reconciliation, when the Rent is thus wide, and the Rancour thus implacable? Each Party think themselves innocent as Angels, and the other Party as black as Devils. Will Angels ever condescend to treat with Devils, or confederate cordially with them even for a Day? The Breach therefore, instead of healing, widens; mutual Fury and Fierceness are increased by mutual Lyes and Invectives; Reason is lost in Rage; Justice is swallowed up in Revenge, a High-way is raised to Blood and Massacre; and, neither Side expecting from the other fair Usage or Humanity, both betake themselves to Frauds and Cruelty: Both pretend the public Good, both obstruct it, and rend the Public between them. Nay, one Party will risque all, sacrifice the State, and themselves with it, rather than miss Revenge upon the other; and, to this bloody End, call in the inveterate Enemies of their common Country, Savages and Barbarians. This has often happened; and We, even We of this Generation, had like to have seen it happen.

Men, therefore, had need beware of their own Hearts, and to watch over them, as in all Pursuits, so particularly in those of Party; I speak of all Parties: For, in none yet did I ever see Justice and Candour practised between the Individuals of opposite Parties. One is charged as insatiable in his Ambition, another in his Revenge; when, perhaps, better Passions animate both, or at least the former Passions, if they have them, are not near so intense. But, on these Occasions, Men extol or condemn by the Edition: current; Page: [11] Lump, and when they are resolved to hate, must find no Reasons to extenuate their Hatred; no more than their Admiration, when bent upon admiring.

Thus I have seen Wretches the most abject, vicious and silly, idolized; and Men of the most elevated Capacity, virtuous and accomplished, exposed to the Detestation and Reproach of Fools; seen a Fellow, hardly rational, canonized by the Populace for being their Enemy, and an Incendiary; seen one of the grearest Lights of the Age, venerable for his Piety, admired for his Knowledge and Charity, threatened with the Justice of a mad Mob, or with Fire and Faggot; seen a Friend and an Ornament to human Kind, unpopular, in Disgrace and Danger; and a common Disturber, whose Zeal was Lunacy, caressed and adored. Was Mr. Locke, that great Master of Reason, that Light shining amongst Men, that Friend to Conscience and civil Liberty, ever half so popular as many little dirty Dabblers in Party, who had no other Merit than that of promoting Ignorance, Strife, and Disorder? Or, would the ablest and worthiest Man in England carry an Election, by the Strength of his Character, against a popular Fool?

This is terrible and discouraging, a huge Obstruction to all Virtue, to Truth, and Morality. Party Zeal acquires Reputation, even where common Honesty, and common Sense, are wanting; and Attachment to Party is Honesty, and all things. Strange Perversion of Order and Truth, that Men should be deemed Honest without Morality! To be Honest is, with Party, to be of it; and nothing more is required. Thus, very contemptible and very wicked Men make a Figure in Party, and are esteemed by it; since Sense and Honesty are not required, nor any thing else but Zeal; and such Zeal being generally blind, the less Sense, the more Zeal; and Zeal is an Atonement for the want of Morality, and every good Quality.

Party Principles are therefore substituted for moral Principles; the sure way to destroy all Morality, and to confound the Characters of Men, and even those of Good and Evil. In truth, Morality, with Sense, is the only true Standard of Popularity, and the only just Recommendation to it. A virtuous Man can never endanger Liberty, nor hurt Society; nor is a wicked Man ever to Edition: current; Page: [12] be trusted with the Support of either. Yet from this Spirit, this baneful and pestilent Spirit of Party, the ablest and best Men are often precluded from the Service of their Country; the weakest, the worst, and most contemptible, employed in its Service; and the best Men often forced from that Service, to make room for the worst.

Lucullus, one of the greatest Men in Rome, a Man of approved Ability and Honour, was berest of public Employments, though he had sustained them with great Dignity and Worth, greatly to his own Honour, greatly to the Glory and Emolument of Rome; whilst Gabinius, an Upstart, of vile Manners, venal, corrupt, and abandoned, was raised to high Dignities, and all public Lustre: But he was a Creature of Cæsar’s, who then led the People by bribing and flattering them, and thence raised and depressed whom he would. The People were then his Tools, and he afterwards made them his Slaves: They might thank themselves, and could expect no better; though this excuses not him. They believed that all his Views, all his Measures, were for their Honour and Advantage; and for him deserted all their best Friends, who failed not to warn them against the Fate, to which they were hurrying full speed and blindfold; a Race which quickly and naturally ended in Servitude.

Whilst, under this Infatuation, they were hoisting up Cæsar, and his Followers, to all public Honours and Commands, that is, sortifying Him against Themselves; so great a Patriot as Cato, so sincerely attached to their Interest, striving only for the Preservation and Stability of their State, and opposing terrible Innovations, and general Ruin, was never suffered to arrive at the Consulship: Even in gaining subordinate Offices, he met with great Difficulty and Opposition, from the same Spirit of Party and Seduction.

Cicero would not have arrived so soon (if ever) at the supreme Magistracy, had it not been for the terrible Danger then threatening Rome from the Conspiracy of Catiline; a Conjuncture when the great Abilities and Virtue of Cicero were so necessary to save it. In that Conspiracy, which aimed at a general Revolution, and, in order to it, meant to proceed by Conflagration, Massacre, Edition: current; Page: [13] and universal Desolation, some of the great Idols and Leaders of the People were engaged; though Cicero and the Senate thought it not safe to mention them, lest such potent Criminals, once rendered desperate, might have proved an Over-match for their Judges, and public Justice. Yet such Criminals continued afterwards the Idols of the People, who are too apt to credit none but such as they have ever most Reason to suspect, their own Favourites and Demagogues; nor to open their Eyes, till they open them in Chains and Torments.

The Romans, when corrupted from their original Simplicity and Innocence, split into Factions; and, being incensed and governed by ambitious Leaders, generally preferred the most furious and abandoned Candidates to the most innocent and virtuous. Thus they chose, for one of their Tribunes, the wild and bloody Saturninus, in Opposition to Aulus Numius, a Man eminent for Virtue and Integrity; nay, drove the latter first from the Assembly to his own House; then pulled him out, and butchered him(a). Such was their Complaisance, and mad Zeal for that execrable Incendiary, the Author of such Outrages and Bloodshed.

It was a sad Presage of the Fall of Rome, when all Regard for Integrity and Virtue was gone; when wicked Men swayed all Things, and conferred all Offices; when the Worthy and Accomplished were rejected, only for being worthy and accomplished; when the Worthless and Abandoned were preferred, merely because they were worthless and abandoned; when such an excellent Person as Lucius Lentulus the Priest of Mars, was disappointed of the Consulship by such a worthless Competitor as Afranius; and when such a Wretch as Gabinius, above-mentioned, vicious and infamous as he was, obtained that important Trust. The Reason was, that Lentulus loved his Country: Afranius and Gabinius were the Tools, the abandoned Agents, of Cæsar and Pompey. Gabinius was afterwards condemned as a public Thief, in spight of all the Power and Interposition of his Masters, and banished; till Cæsar, having usurped the Power of Rome, recalled him, as Edition: current; Page: [14] one fit to be employed in his Service and Cause. Cicero reckons Lentulus happy, to have been snatched away, by Death, from being a Witness of the Destruction of his Country, which he dearly loved.

Even the pestilent Catiline had the Confidence to stand for the Consulship, and no small Hopes of carrying it. For he was exceeding popular at Rome, even whilst he was exerting all his Might and Malice to destroy the Roman State, and all the best Men in it.

There is another Consideration, which shews the Spirit of Party to be a most pernicious and lamentable Thing; namely, how much it shakes and lessens the Integrity of Men, otherwise virtuous and honest. Caius Gracchus, so remarkable for the Severity of his Manners, fond of being called the Defender of the Laws, and an avowed Enemy to all who attempted to hurt public Liberty, observed a scandalous Neutrality and Silence, upon an Inquiry into the Death of Scipio his Brother-in-law, and the most illustrious Roman of his Time, found murdered in his Bed; a Fate which Gracchus was supposed to have procured him, as an Enemy to his Schemes and Innovations.

The Athenians, animated by their Orators, who were eternally raising in that City Flames and Ferments, doomed to Execution Six of their own Commanders, even after the Merit of a noble Victory won by them; because a sudden Tempest had made it impossible for them to bury the Bodies of their Slain. This was a copious Topic for these hot Haranguers; a fine Theme for inflaming the People!—‘How! the brave Soldiers, who generously ventured their Lives, and sacrificed them for their Country; they who died conquering; by their Lives had gained Victory; by Victory had secured the State, and honoured it; to be deprived of the Rites of Funeral, the last and common Office of Humanity, often granted even by Enemies; to be denied it by their own Commanders, who, by the Blood of those public Martyrs, had purchased their own Laurels; yet suffered their Coarses, stiff and cold, to lie naked and neglected, exposed to Air, and Beasts of Prey!’—This, probably, was the Style in which they declaimed; and this was enough for the Populace, who Edition: current; Page: [15] were too much heared to hear more than one Side, with Patience; and, therefore, condemned the Innocent, as it were, unheard. For their Plea, though the best in the World, and the truest, was not regarded. They, indeed, were afterwards convinced of their Error and Injustice, and punished some of these prating Demagogues; but it was impotent Justice, and done to the Injured when they were dead. How the same People treated many of their best Citizens, particularly Socrates, the Ornament of their State, with many of their Philosophers and Heroes, all at the Instigation of their Declaimers and Factionists; how they abused the Ostracism, a good Institution in itself, intended for a Remedy against over-powerful and dangerous Subjects, but serving often as a Snare to the best; would be too tedious here to relate.

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.

WHATEVER tends to break Union, and to create Divisions in Society, calls for early Prevention or Removal: Since Unity is Strength; Weakness attends Discord; Desolation often follows both. Indeed, where Parties prevail, the Good of the Whole is little regarded, often postponed and sacrificed; and, whilst each Side pretends to be the only Friends to the Public, both Sides are Enemies to it. Nor Pompey, nor Cæsar, nor the Followers of the Fortune of either, were Friends to Rome; for both had Aims destructive to the Liberty of Rome. The only true Friends to Rome were They who opposed the Power and ambitious Pursuits of both Pompey and Cæsar, and were for preserving their State in its original Freedom, and Independence upon particular Men.

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All who follow the Leaders of Parties, are generally lost to the Whole: So that, where the Following on each Side is great, as in the Contention between Marius and Sylla, Cæsar and Pompey, the Leader whose Party prevails is Master of All: For one Party, in order to depress and vanquish the other, for the most part, raise their Chief so high, and invest him with so much Power, that he is Master of them, before they (or rather he) can master the other. They sell themselves to Slavery, that the others may be Slaves: The lower he lays his Enemies, the more Power he has over his Friends; and for having well revenged their Quarrel, founded too often on mere Chimera, or Folly, naturally becomes their Tyrant. Thus Cæsar enslaved his own Party, as well as that of Pompey; just what Pompey would have done, with equal Power and Success. Under the Reigns of the following Cæsars, did there any Distinction continue between the Party of Cæsar and that of Pompey? No: All were Slaves; and Slavery had soon put an End to the Parties themselves, even to that which had chiefly introduced Slavery. Nor could such as were obnoxious to these Tyrants, save themselves by any Merit of their Forefathers, in espousing and advancing the Interest of the first Tyrant.

So much do Parties gain, by adhering implicitly to ambitious Leaders, (as, in truth, all such Leading implies Ambition) and by pursuing Revenge towards each other. One Party cannot ruin the other, without ruining themselves. This terrible Event their own Obstinacy and Passion keeps them from seeing; or, if they see it, they venture it, and generally bring it about.

There is something devilish and horrible in the Spirit and Rage of Party; even universal Distress at home, even inevitable Destruction from abroad, cannot always cure or allay it. The Jews, during the Siege of Jerusalem by Titus Vespasian, instead of taking Warning, and uniting upon so terrible an Emergency, continued their furious Divisions to the last. They were butchering one another, when the Enemy was entering to butcher them all. They were contending, forsooth, about Priority, what Faction should be uppermost, what Leader should prevail, with the Romans at their Gates, prepared to make them all Victims or Captives. When the Turk invested Constantinople, Factions were Edition: current; Page: [17] raging in it, and raged to the last, till the grand Enemy mastered the City, and all its Factions. It is exceeding likely, that these Factions hated one another more heartily than they did the Turk, till the heavy Rod of his Tyranny taught them how foolish, how wicked, they had been, thus to hate and persecute and distress one another, and thence accelerate that Tyranny. They could then see clearly, what they could not, or rather would not, see before, that by seeking to destroy their Opponents, and exalt themselves, they invited and hastened their Own Destruction, and Universal Destruction.

It is extremely strange, and a great Reflection upon rational Beings, that the Majority in Parties seldom know the Reason why they thus hate and mortify one another. By-words, and Sounds, Names, Persons, Modes, and Colours, controul and incense them. They love John: Why? Because he hates Thomas; and they do not love Thomas, because he does not love John. Ask them, Why they thus love and hate these Men, more than other Men? the Answer is, That they are very good, or very bad Men. Ask them, How do they know? They will tell you, That they have been told so. Who told them? Their Leader, or his Creatures; that is, such who study to deceive them. Thus both Sides reason, and seldom can reason better.

Thus a Country comes to be rent into Factions; thus Factions hate one another implicitly, and shun one another like Plagues; find Nick-names for one another, then love or detest these Nick-names, and all that bear them; herd in Cabals, there chiefly to extol their own Side, and abuse the other; to adore their own Chiess as Demigods, to revile the opposite as Demons: They consider the different Party as determined Enemies, then abhor and curse them as such. For it is natural to grow Enemies to our Enemies; and, against an Enemy, every thing is lawful, all sorts of Falshood, Calumny, and Violence. The famous French League, when they had agreed, in a Consultation, to seize the King, to murder the Ministers, and to massacre all who, without regard to Parties, adhered to the public Weal, further agreed to charge the Hugonots with all this Wickedness and Butchery, and Edition: current; Page: [18] thence take Occasion to butcher them too. For whatever the Leaders and Priests gave out, the Populace greedily believed.

When Parties are thus formed, the Spirit of Strife is easily kept up, or rather hard to be extinguished: Accidents fall in to heighten it; Competition for Place and Power, Lyes and Misrepresentations all readily believed, Ignorance never to be cured, Mistakes not to be removed, with the wild Power of Carousals and strong Liquor, or of Superstition, stronger than either. Thenceforward, any mischievous and senseless Cant passes for Argument and Reason; Positions, the most wicked and absurd, for wise and wholsome Conclusions; and the grossest Stupidity, for profound Policy. Faction grows their Delight, the Burden and Subject of Conversation; and they form regular Meetings, and Clubs, to improve themselves in Faction, which becomes their grand Pursuit and Pleasure, to the Bane of Society, of Peace, and Charity.

All Men pretend to love their Country: Surely this is a preposterous Proof of it, this blowing up the Fires of Party, this animating and perpetuating Divisions, which are certainly mischievous to every Country, oftentimes fatal and destructive. They who truly love their Country, will naturally cultivate Concord, and labour to promote its Strength, by procuring its Peace. A Country divided against itself, cannot stand; nor a Country well united, fall. Has a Domestic Enemy an Ambition to usurp the Government? His surest means will be to create Strife, to raise Divisions and Animosities, daily to widen them, and to keep them from healing. These are the Measures which he will take to succeed: Thus Cæsar acted, and thus he succeeded. Does a Foreign Enemy study to invade and inslave a Nation? He will pursue the same Steps. Thus Philip of Macedon was continually embroiling, and consequently weakening, the State of Greece, in order to enthral them: He too succeeded.

How came the Romans to invade the antient Britons? Doubtless, encouraged by their many Parties continually jarring and attacking one another. Probably some of the weaker Factions amongst them, to be revenged on the stronger, invited over the Edition: current; Page: [19] common Enemy. How happened the Romans to subdue, so totally, a People so warlike and brave? Certainly by the same Means, their endless Animosities and Parties.(a) Being eternally at Variance, they never exerted the national Strength, and thus were conquered Piece-meal. In like manner the Gauls were subdued by the same Invaders; in like manner were the Germans; and in like manner will all Nations be liable to be subdued, as many (perhaps, the most) have been.

One would think it an easy Matter to persuade the People to Union and Reconciliation, from Motives of common Security and Interest. They cannot enjoy Place nor Preferment; their only reasonable Aim therefore is Liberty and Protection, with the Advantages and Blessings naturally flowing from these. It becomes them, too, to be jealous of these, and, upon Occasion, bravely to defend them. And Spirit, thus far shewn and exerted, is Zeal, not Faction. But the Misehief is, that by the Artifices and Influence of their Leaders, they are often brought into Measures pernicious to themselves, and baneful to their Liberties; as in the Instances of Cæsar, Pisistratus, and the Duke of Guise. Have we not here in England seen them adoring wretched Demagogues, who were professedly leading them into Chains, and openly haranguing in Behalf of public Bondage? Was not this infamous Blindness and Phrensy? Was it not a Renouncing of their Reason and their Eyes? A little Attention to their own Condition and Interest, a short Examination of the fashionable Opinions, would have discovered these Darlings, these revered Guides of theirs, to have been their mortal Enemies, Impostors worthier of a Gibbet than of Incense.

But the People seldom go to the Bottom and Reason of things, seldom deeper than Shell and Sound. They want Patience and Attention; yet a very Little would serve them, if they would but exercise that Little. If Men of different Parties would but meet and confer cooly, they would hardly fail to agree. But, full of Heat and Prepossession, they hate to meet; or, when they do, instead Edition: current; Page: [20] of reasoning, scold and rail; perhaps, fight. Each Partizan is sure, that he is in the right; and so remains Proof against all new Light and Information. Each protests he means well, and aims at Truth. Perhaps too he does, but misses it by concluding, that he has got it; and, each believing the other a great Knave, (for so Parties almost universally treat one another) they never can come to a candid Conference, nor compare their Thoughts and Aims, which would be found reconcilable enough, were they but mutually known, and candidly construed.

How sternly have I seen two Men, of opposite Parties, stare at one another as Monsters, when, upon the Whole, they differed very little otherwise than in Sounds and Jargon, and in mistaking one another! But the Fewd was to be kept up for the Ends of their Leaders, and they were still destined to live at a Distance, and in mutual Hate: For, were they to have met, they might have explained; and had they explained, they might have agreed. An Event terrible to Demagogues, and therefore to be avoided with Care! else the poor People might be silly enough to grow Wise and Charitable, and to want no Leaders.

Important Facts, and essential Principles, are commonly urged as the Cause of public Divisions. This is generally Grimace, and seldom true. It is certain, that these are always pretended, and thrown out as Baits. But the genuine Strife, amongst the many, is, for the most part, about Names and Men, Marius and Sylla; the Red Rose and the White. What Combustion and Faction, what Bloodshed and Battles, formerly between the Houses of York and Lancaster, each telling a plausible Tale, each claiming Right and Preference, or complaining of Injury and Expulsion? What then? All this, indeed, might affect a few Men of Ambition; but the chief Concern of the People was, Which proved a bad, or which a good King? As to their Primogeniture and Descent, these were Matters of Speculation, fit to be discussed by Lawyers and Genealogists. If the People were well protected, the People need look no further. He who proved a good King, might well be deemed a lawful King: He who declared himself above or against Law, was to be presumed void of Right. He is the Usurper, who reigns by Power against Law: He who deposes him, and Edition: current; Page: [21] squares his Power by the Law, is rightful King. They therefore are the Rebels, who adhere to a Prince, who, in a free Country, would be absolute, let his Genealogy be ever so long, his Succession ever so uninterrupted. No Man’s Race gives him a Right to commit Violence; no Man has a Title to do Injustice: No Man therefore can succeed to a Title which is not.

Are there any Bounds to the Will of Princes? If there be, is it not unjust to break these Bounds? Is it not also just to defend them, and to drive away whoever would destroy them? Are there no Bounds to the Will, and Folly, and Cruelty of a Prince? If there be not, why do we talk of Liberty and Law, of our Birthright and Constitution, or of Breaches committed upon it? A King and Parliament may indeed err; but are they more likely to err, than those Kings who would have no Parliaments, purely because they would err, and would not be controuled by Parliaments, nor have their Errors examined or mended? They who justify any of our Kings, who assumed a Power to dispense with Laws, must justify that dispensing Power, and averr, that we have no Laws but what were at his Mercy, and consequently none, nor therefore Liberty; for, with a Power to dispense with Law, Liberty is utterly inconsistent; and whoever can dispense with Laws, can annul them.

Now, how can such Men, (if there be any such) after this, ever complain, with any Consistency, of Misgovernment, and talk of Danger to Law and Liberty; when, under such a King, there was neither? Have we a Right to these Blessings? Then such a King was an Usurper, and he who deposed him a Deliverer. Have we no Right to them? Then how could we be injured, if they were taken from us? Or, had any King a Right to take them from us? How so? If they belong to us now, they belonged to us then, and always. We are told from the same Quarter, and very truly told, that a Nation deprived of Liberty, is a miserable Nation. Did not their dispensing Kings do this? Then they made, or would have made, this a miserable Nation. How then, and upon what Foot, were they to be again recommended to us? If we were to have them again, we had nothing to do with Liberty: If we claimed Liberty, we had nothing to do with them. Edition: current; Page: [22] The worst that can befal Liberty, is, To be lost. They would have taken it quite away. We have apparently a great deal left; I hope as much as ever we had: We are therefore still a great deal better than under them.

Such Men, therefore, must either give up the Cause of such Kings, or cease to talk of Liberty. They cannot maintain the Cause of both: They are Fire and Water to each other. We can easily remember when, in order to save and recal such a King, they vehemently contended for indefeasible Hereditary Right, for Passive Obedience without Reserve. Did they not then treat Liberty as a Chimera, the Doctrine of Liberty as Sedition, the Defence of Liberty as Rebellion? These were, indeed, Notions terrible to the Public, destructive of all Law, productive of all Tyranny, but truly serviceable to the Interest of that Prince; indeed the only Notions that could serve him. But to contend for Liberty, and mean a dispensing King, or his Cause, was notable Mockery, gross Deceit, and glaring Contradiction. To assert Liberty, in order to support lawless Rule, was to make Liberty unnaturally destroy itself. They must have been extremely stupid, who could not see through such apparent Absurdity.

I am of Opinion, that the People, though not yet free from Party-prejudice and Party-delusions, are yet much cooler and wiser than they were then, at least upon that Head; and would not now run mad after such pernicious Nonsense, after Maxims so pestilent to human Society. In short, none ever swallowed such, except downright Fanatics and Visionaries; none ever propagated such, but Madmen or Impostors. Another way of Thinking now prevails; and therefore the Style of that Party is altered; it is now Liberty, and the Public Good. This is not fair; I doubt it is foolish: Where Liberty is understood and valued, their Idol can never be admitted, nor followed.

Parties are so bewitched to their own Heat and Folly, that they become in Love with it; it grows their daily Theme, and the Pursuit of their Life. Both Sides talk of the Public, and think their own mutual Hate to be Zeal for the Public, whilst they are only weakening and endangering the Public by their eternal Strife. This their Spite to one another, they call Love to their Country. Edition: current; Page: [23] Thus they delude themselves, and often ruin their own private Fortunes to hazard and distress the State, which they imagine themselves to be successfully serving.

Now, when People are thus infatuated, thus drunk with Faction, delighting in Antipathy, and endless Discord, making a Merit of heightening popular Rage and Dissention, what Ear are they likely to afford to Expedients of Peace and Reconciliation? How likely to treat one who studies to calm and mediate? At best, it is a thankless Office, oftener provoking and invidious, sometimes dangerous and fatal. There is even Peril in being quiet and neutral. There is always too much Reason for blaming both Sides; yet, whoever does it, instead of reclaiming and convincing them, is more likely to incense them, to be charged, at best, with Lukewarmness, probably with Treachery and Desertion.

Such was the Situation of Cicero, who dreaded both Cæsar and Pompey; and only followed the latter, because he had some sort of Obligation to him, and believed him the less dangerous Tyrant of the two, as having, indeed, inferior Power and Talents. But though he saw the wrong Measures of Pompey, and foresaw the sad Consequences, he could not avoid following him. When the thing was gone so far, and Parties already drawn out, as it were, against each other, no Man, at least no Man of Name, was suffered to be his own Master, or Director. The Weight of others, and the Power of Faction, must then draw him headlong(a).

Thus Men come at last to be so involved, that they are sometimes forced to wish for the very Thing which they had at first, and all along, dreaded; as Cicero, at last, wished Success to Cæsar, whom he had so much feared and opposed; for that, having left the opposite Party, he was terribly threatened by them, as were all others, against whom they had the same Objection: Nay, that Party were already sharing, amongst themselves, the Estates and Palaces of all such as joined not with them. Hence Cicero found it perilous, even to be civilly treated by Cæsar. Great, therefore, was his Perplexity, how to behave towards and between Edition: current; Page: [24] the two contending Chiefs: If he followed Pompey, ‘From that Quarter, says he, I foresee, with Horror, a mighty War, most sanguinary and ardent. What terrible Vengeance threatened against the municipal Cities! with an equal Portion against particular Men by Name; nay, against all such as followed him not! How often is he heard to repeat, Such was the Power of Sylla; shall not I shew equal Power?’ In another Place, the same great Author says, ‘Shall I, whom some call the Preserver of Rome, bring against her a Host of barbarous Getes, of Barbarians from Armenia and Colchos? Shall I bring Famine upon my Fellow-Citizens? Shall I bring Desolation upon Italy?

Such mournful Discouragements he found on the Part of Pompey: And then from Cæsar, whom he treats as ‘an open Tyrant, raging with Ambition; as an abandoned Traitor, a notorious Parricide;’ what could he foresee, what expect, but utter Dissolution and Misrule? They both meditated to plunder and exhaust the World, thence to reward their rapacious Adherents. Cæsar particularly was attended by a dreadful Train and Conflux of Profligates, by all the Desperate and Debauched(a).

To such a forlorn Crew, the Tumult of Parties was expedient and natural; and public Tranquillity and Concord, matter of Sorrow and Despair. But for the State, for the Body of the People, and for all the Honest, the Industrious and Substantial, a different Situation is necessary. To these, Peace and Unity are perpetual Blessings: By entertaining and encouraging a contrary Spirit, they fight against their own Interest, and are only serving the Purposes of such as deserve Gaols and Gibbets. When Liberty and Property are safe, none but the Desperate and Ambitious can find their Account in Faction, which is always hurtful to those who are neither animated by Ambition nor Despair. When Liberty and Property are attacked, all Men ought to rouse; and then it is not Faction, but Necessity, common Consent and Self-defence.

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It is indeed lamentable, that Men, whose common Interest is mutual Good-will and Harmony, should divide, and quarrel, and hate one another, merely because the Leaders and Instruments of Faction find it conducing to their own Self-Ends to set them at Variance. Are not these their common Enemy? Surely they are. Yet they are treated as their Benefactors and Darlings. For, the Moment that Party-heat seizes them, they are blind; so blind, that one of them reckons not a foreign Invader half so terrible as his next Neighbour, who, perhaps, never hurt him, and has nothing terrible about him but an obnoxious Name; which Name too was given him, and derives its Terror, only from Prejudice and Opinion. Yet to grieve this supposed Enemy, and to be revenged upon him, without having been ever injured by him, he is ready to call in a real Enemy, whose Drift is to destroy both.

Are there some Men angry, because they are not in Power? What is that to the Nation, if other Men do as well there? Are some Men zealous to keep their Employments, and to disappoint their Rivals? This too is natural, and why should it offend the People, if it hurt not the Public? Let them contend together: What is all this to the People, who cannot occupy Place, nor enjoy Titles, and therefore ought not to involve themselves in the Contention, or in any Contention foreign to their own Interest and Stability?

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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.

IN the History of Sallust, and in other Roman Histories, as we are shocked to find so many Parricides, Enemies to their Country, it is a sensible Pleasure to find some, I wish I could say so many, Patriots. I therefore bestow the following Discourse upon these opposite Characters.

Men are so prone to comply with every Temptation to Evil, that the surest Way to escape the latter, is to avoid the former; and rather to distrust their own Virtue, than to stand the Trial. It is certainly safer to fly, than to be overcome. But, as a Man, who would shun all the Baits and Allurements of Vice and Evil, must utterly leave the World, which abounds in little else, he who would secure himself against Corruption, must arm himself with Self-denial, must consider his Innocence above all Price, his Virtue as the highest Acquisition of his Life, the Source of all true Glory, and the surest Pledge of lasting Pleasure and Fame. When all other Pleasures fail, this one is more than an Equivalent for the Loss of the rest; and it is often the Want of this, which creates such an eager Pursuit after other Pleasures, if there can be any, where this is not. These Amusements must surely be, at least, very impotent and defective, which only serve to make Men forget for awhile, that they are not Innocent, nor consequently Happy. In spight of all their Amusements, of all their Efforts to beguile themselves, they have a sore Place about them, which will Edition: current; Page: [27] be continually reviving their Memory, or their Memory the sore Place. What Recompence, what Place, or Wealth, or Power, is equal to this, or can atone for it; atone for perpetual Anguish and Self condemnation?

It will, perhaps, be alleged, that Men grow hardened, and their Hearts callous, and then feel no pungent Horrors, nor any Horror, for Iniquity and Baseness. I doubt this is not their Case. Habit may sear and deprave them in some measure, probably in a great measure; but, I believe, never beyond Feeling. I never knew a Man, nor heard of a Man, quite so abandoned, as to speak ill of Honour and Honesty; even the worst Men pretend to some Degree of it, and sometimes exercise it: All of them would be proud of a good Reputation; nor can any of them be absolutely indifferent what all others say of them. I have known Men, notoriously abandoned and decried, make great Court to Men of opposite and approved Characters, when by such Court they could propose no Advantage, but that of gaining some Esteem, by conversing with such as had a great deal.

Men therefore, the most hardened and corrupt Men, would rather be thought virtuous than wicked, honest than unjust; and, perhaps, wish themselves so; would rather chuse to hide their evil Doings than have them exposed, even where the Discovery is attended with no other Penalty than that of Censure and Dispraise. Even Nero and Tiberius had such Reserves, were anxious to conceal their secret Guilt, and mortified when it became exposed. It is, indeed, agreeable to the Idea of God and a Providence, that wicked Men should be haunted with the Terrors of their Enormities, and never taste of Happiness, though ever hunting after it; and that Innocence, however persecuted or threatened, should be attended with Pleasure(a).

That Men become hardened and insensible to a certain Degree, is undoubtedly true; else, after the first Compunction, which, I believe, naturally follows Crimes, they would not, at least wantonly, repeat them. But even this Insensibility is a terrible Edition: current; Page: [28] Curse and Misfortune; worse than natural Stupidity, or Lunacy. Who would chuse, or rather, who would not dread, such a Turn of Spirit, as weaned him from all Good, and the Paths of Praise, and hurried him continually after Evil and Infamy? For, Infamy will ever be the Issue and Reward of Evil; and Facts will, first or last, appear through all false Colours and Disguises.

A Man would therefore love and pursue Virtue, hate and shun Vice, for his own Sake, since he is sure of a Reward, such a Reward as all the Powers, all the Acquisitions of the World, cannot bestow, even Consciousness of Innocence, and an Heart upright and easy: And the more extensive his Virtue, the more extensive his Happiness. Does he hurt none, and help some? He is a good Man, and happy. Does he assist many, and still injure none? He is more happy. Is he just to Particulars, and also serviceable to All? Does he love his Country, and pursue its Welfare, with all his Might and Zeal? Who can be more happy? He is happy, though he should miscarry; for, having done his best, and faithfully discharged his Duty, he has the Approbation of his own Conscience, with the Applause of all worthy Men. Is any Reward equal to this Reward?

I have therefore always admired, as well as reverenced, the Characters of Patriots; Men of great and good Minds, Friends to Society and to human Kind, Lovers of Liberty and their Country, Enemies to Oppressors and Oppression, and Guardians of public Virtue, and the public Weal. These are the Men who have an unquestionable Title to the Favours and Blessings of the whole Race; nor can there be a greater Reproach upon the World, than that such Men have not been always well used in it. He who loves, and studies to serve All, merits that All should love and serve him. But, as we often see Men oppose their own Good, and flight and abuse their Benefactors, the Patriot has seldom competent Encouragement or Success. Such as have different Hearts and Views, will hate and decry him; and it is likely there will be many such. These, following their natural Bent of Malignity and Falshood, and pursuing a wicked End, will not spare wicked Arts and Means to obtain it. By such Arts and Industry, they will gain Belief and Followers. Malice is more active than Innocence; the Edition: current; Page: [29] latter is apt to confide in itself, which ought, indeed, to be a sure Guard, but is not always so; whilst the former seeks all Supports, and employs every base Artifice. Hence Virtue comes to suffer, being first misrepresented, then persecuted, at last oppressed. Hence it is, that the false Patriot is often more successful and popular than the true, and often triumphs over him.

Still this hinders not, but that Virtue is ever the best Choice. Who would not rather be a Cicero, even in Exile, than a Clodius his Enemy, though triumphing over that virtuous Roman? An Algernoon Sydney, sentenced to die for the everlasting Principles of Truth and Liberty, than a Jefferies, infamously exalted to the Tribunal of Justice, and pronouncing that wicked Sentence?

SECT. II.: A suffering Patriot more happy than a successful Parricide: Public Oppressors always unhappy.

MODERN History hardly knows a more venerable Name than that of John Barnevelt, that good Dutchman and Patriot, to whom his Country owed so much. Yet, notwithstanding his great Virtues, his great Services, and his great Age, he had his venerable Head severed from his Body, by a prevailing Faction, who confidently charged him with a Design to betray his Country; when it was apparent, that his great, indeed his only Crime, was, that of serving it too well, and for opposing a wicked Scheme to enslave it.

As he had acted righteously, and died innocent, his End was glorious; and, though his Death was tragical, he was, in one Sense, much less to be lamented, than the venal and guilty Parricides, who murdered him, under the Name of Law, and sacrificed him, and their Consciences, to their own corrupt Ends, and to the Ambition of Prince Maurice: That Prince, who was openly aspiring to enthrall those free Provinces, must needs destroy Barnevelt, Edition: current; Page: [30] his old faithful Friend and Counsellor, as his great Obstacle. Never was honester or wiser Advice, than that good Patriot gave the Prince upon that Occasion: But Ambition had blinded him to all Truth, Reason, and Gratitude, and even to his own Happiness and Interest. Thinking, therefore, that he had sufficiently strengthened himself with a Party of Men fit for such a Trust; that is to say, with Men abundantly profligate and abandoned, he deceived Barnevelt, caressed him, and destroyed him: For Ambition had taught him Falshood, as well as Ingratitude and Cruelty; nor could there be blacker Ingratitude.

Barnevelt was, indeed, the Author and Instrument of his Elevation and Power; and had been the constant Friend and Counsellor of Prince William his Father. Upon the Assassination of this great Prince, when Men were seized with a general Panic, and, seeing themselves bereft of their great Protector and Support, were even deliberating about accepting the Amnesty offered them by their old Enemy the King of Spain, Barnevelt animated them, and recalled their Courage: He told them, that he knew one fit to fill and sustain the Place of the late Prince; and recommended to them Prince Maurice his Son, then studying at Leyden. Thus, by the Counsel and Friendship of this worthy Man, he was taken from a College, and put at the Head of a State, and of Armies.

Had he not Cause to treat him as his Father and Benefactor? He did so for a while, till Ambition changed and mastered him. He afterwards hated Barnevelt, because Barnevelt would not compliment him with the Liberty of his Country. He was so drunk and enchanted with this Passion, to rule without Controul, that he, at last, seemed to think all Art and Dissimulation needless; and went openly from City to City, attended by armed Men, changing their Magistrates by plain Force; by Force abolishing their antient Institutions; and setting up Creatures and Ordinances of his own.

Now what was the Issue to Prince Maurice? What did he gain by all this Violence and Injustice; by destroying or displacing the best Men, and employing the worst, in order to enslave all? He missed his great Point; he suffered the Shame of being defeated Edition: current; Page: [31] in his evil Purpose; he had a thousand Acts of Injustice to reproach his own Heart withal; he had dispatched, removed, and provoked, all his old Friends, and was thwarted and disappointed by his new; he lost that Popularity which had always followed the House of Orange, and had been personal to himself, whilst he was only serving and protecting his Country; and he was now become the Object of popular Jealousy and Hate: He found an universal Coldness; and, instead of being followed by Crouds, as formerly, with kind Looks and Praises, saw himself shunned with all the Marks of Neglect, Resentment, Distrust, and Scorn.

The Tide of popular Passion, whether it be Love or Hate, is apt suddenly to turn upon any great Instance of Cruelty or Mercy. Prince Maurice, from being greatly beloved and applauded, lost at once the Hearts of his Countrymen, by the unjust Doom of Barnevelt, and by his other arbitrary Proccedings. Whilst the late King James was yet beloved, at least not disliked, and whilst the Nation still manifested great Loyalty to his Person, and was really averse to Rebellion; the brutal and sanguinary Behaviour of Jefferies in the West, and his Barbarities to the Followers of Monmouth, made a sudden and terrible Change in the Affections of the People. They began to pity the Sufferers; and, from Pitying to Approving, the Transition is sometimes very quick, especially, amongst the Populace. Besides, in proportion to such Pity was their Aversion; first to the Judge, at last to the King.

Such is the natural Effect of using Power wantonly, and of grasping at too much. There could not be wilder Infatuation, than of Prince Maurice: In labouring to seize the Sovereignty, he laboured to make himself unhappy; to destroy his present Credit, Popularity, and Ease; and so far his Labours were successful. He was, in effect, Sovereign already: He was Captain General: He was Admiral General; that is, Commander in chief by Sea and Land: He created all Governors; he distributed all military Charges: Even in creating Civil Magistrates, he had the last Choice; and, out of Three Candidates, who were presented to him, selected one: He enjoyed all the Power and Privileges that ever the antient Counts of Holland enjoyed, all that the Dukes of Edition: current; Page: [32] Burgundy, nay, all that Charles the Emperor enjoyed: He pardoned all Crimes, and was chargeable with no Punishment.

All this Power, with the intire Affections of the People, was not enough for this Prince; though full as much as mortal Man can discharge or enjoy. For the fantastical and false Splendor of a Name, he forfeited the public Affection, and entailed Unhappiness, and popular Hate, upon his remaining Years. The same Madness has possessed many other Princes, and the same Misery followed it.

Prince Maurice had the Mortification to see even his own Cabal, Fellows whom he had picked out as fit to betray their Country, and sell it to Slavery, disappoint and oppose him. These, when they saw themselves uppermost, and possessed of Places, by the Murder and Removal of their Antagonists, began to adhere to the Constitution. They were then for securing That which would best secure Themselves; and, as they had been wicked Traitors for him, became just Traitors to him. May it ever fare so, with such Men, and such Designs!

It is natural, indeed too natural, for Men to grasp at enormous Power. Is it not as natural for other Men, who would suffer by it, to oppose it? What is the true, the reasonable Purpose and Use of Power, but the Good and Protection of Men? They who only aimed to protect, would seek no more than is necessary for Protection; nor would they care how much they were limited from hutting; nay, would desire to be so limited: But the Truth is, that, in the Pursuit of Power, Men generally consider Themselves only: Should not They, over whom that Power is sought, consider Themselves, too? They ought, indeed, to beware of all aspiring Men: It is seldom for their sakes that such Men aspire; especially, if such a Man will be seeking such Power, as evidently tends to injure, to oppress, and destroy them, they ought to believe that he means it; and, from that Moment, look upon him as an Enemy.

He will, no doubt, disavow any such Design: And who is it that ever does avow any such, even when it is most apparent? All Traitors and Usurpers make fair Professions, and labour to hide their wicked Views; and they who would oppress, will certainly deceive. Even Catiline pretended to love, nay, to serve his Edition: current; Page: [33] Country, when he was going to destroy it. Spurius Melius, by bestowing on the Roman People great Quantities of Corn, in a Time of great Scarcity, was far enough from confessing to them, that he was thus purchasing Dominion over them; though this was manifestly his Drift; and he therefore became their Benefactor, that he might be their Tyrant. Cromwell, that mighty Champion against Monarchy, assumed more Power, than any of our Kings ever had enjoyed, purely to keep us from the terrible Power of Kings. He, good Man! aimed at none, but just what was necessary to preserve public Peace; that is, just as much as he pleased and wanted, enough to put Chains upon Three Kingdoms.

This Reasoning of Cromwell’s was as solid, and full as modest, as that of the Court, after the Restoration; when unlimited Power was claimed to the King, as necessary to save the Nation from relapsing into a Commonwealth, or falling under another Usurper. As if the greatest Curse that could possibly have befallen the Public, had been preferable to one that could not possibly be greater: I will go further, and venture to say, that if such a Calamity had been inevitable, and either King Charles or Oliver must sway the Sceptre uncontrouled, Oliver had been infinitely the better and wiser Choice, as a superior Genius, endowed with more Virtues, and better Principles. An Usurper is not the less one, for haveing been once a lawful King; for every lawful King grows an Usurper, when he assumes what is none of His.

Men often find, even in this Life, a proper, though not a complete Retribution for their Actions; besides that which arises from their own Conscience, which is the strongest and most sensible of all. Prince Maurice had served his Country with great Bravery and Success; and his Recompence was noble: He reaped great Glory and Fame, with public Applause, and all the most glaring and substantial Dignities of the State; nor, with Safety to their Liberties, which that People had so dearly purchased, could they give him more: And was not all that they could give him, Reward enough for doing his Duty? He thought not; but, it had been better for him that he had. If he had gained his Ends, he would have been miserable, because his Ends were wicked; nor could he have expected any thing from this Success but Vexation Edition: current; Page: [34] and Sorrow. But he miscarried; and, from thence, reaped Vexation and Sorrow, in such Abundance, as consumed his Life, as well as his Peace, and embittered and shortened his Days. Different and better was the End of Barnevelt: And, again I repeat it, he died gloriously, because he died for his Country.

To save and serve their Country, is the Duty of all Men. Or if it be just to reward Men who do so, as it certainly is; yet, surely, they must not be left to measure their own Reward: If they be, the Experience of all Times will shew, that Men, upon such Occasions, are not very modest. Some have thought the whole Country no more than a proper Recompence for their Services to it; and, to prove what faithful Servants they have been, and are, to the Public, have made themselves Masters of it.

There have never, in truth, been greater Pests and Felons to their Country, than such as it had most distinguished and ennobled with its highest Dignities. How could such Men afterwards have the Face to complain of Ingratitude, or even of Conspiracies against them, when they had proved the most ungrateful of all Men, and Conspirators against all Men? How could they bear any poor Criminal, who had transgressed for Bread, to suffer, without Shame and Sympathy? Is not a Fellow who robs and binds particular Persons, through Indigence, more intitled to Pity, and Excuses, and Pardon, than one who is already possessed of Preferments and Plenty, yet plunders and oppresses a Nation; that very Nation, to whom he owes his Exaltation, and all Things; yet, from being its Servant, would make himself its Master?

Such a Servant to his Country was Prince Maurice. It is very probable he had no such Design at first: But Power is apt to turn the Head; nor can the Man who has it, trust his own Heart; much less ought the People to trust him; I mean, implicitly. The Passions of Men are progressive; and Ambition was never reckoned the tamest and most moderate Passion. That Prince had, at first, full as much as he could hope for, and, perhaps, for a while, wished for no more; but, finding the States a Check upon him, he grew uneasy under that Check; then wanted to get rid of it. The People, long oppressed and exhausted by War, wanted Peace, which was offered them: He wanted perpetual War and Armies, Edition: current; Page: [35] at their Expence, to support his Grandeur and Eclat. He was, therefore, fierce for continuing the War, and implacable to all who opposed him. Hence he meditated the Death of honest Barnevelt, and the Bondage of all.

Barnevelt was, of all Men, the least qualified to comply with Measures so destructive to his Country; a Man who had done so much to make it independent and free, and so long and successfully served it, in so many Negotiations and Employments. He was Keeper of the Seals and Archives, had been trusted with Six important Embassies to several Courts, and near Forty times with Powers to confer with the Generals of the States, and to concert with them the Operations of War; had procured Succours from our Queen Elizabeth to his distressed Country, and brought several great Potentates, England, Denmark, and France, to own the United Provinces for a Free State. He was, indeed, the ablest Dutchman, and the most trusted. His last Words were; ‘I have been, all my Life, my dear Countrymen, your faithful Fellow-Citizen. Do not believe, I beseech you, that I die a Traitor. I die, only for endeavouring to preserve the Liberty of our common Country.’—What a Dagger must such a Speech, from such a Man, on such an Occasion, have been in the Heart of his Enemies? As cruel as they were, methinks, I pity them as miserable Men; and rejoice over the venerable old Martyr and Patriot, perishing for the Cause of Liberty and Virtue!

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.

WHAT a Fund of Evil and Malice lurks in the Heart of Man, when, to the Gratification of his own Vanity, foolish and pernicious Vanity, he can vow and resolve general Havock, and intail the Plague of Servitude upon Generations to come! Such Things Men have actually done to gain Edition: current; Page: [36] Power, nor will they do less to keep it. Yet some of these Men are said to have been merciful and generous: What Mercy have they shewn? Perhaps to a few Parriculars, when they were, at the same time, slaughtering and oppressing Nations. What Generosity? Profuse, it may be, they were to Favourites; whilst, all the while, they were plundering the World.

These are Considerations abundantly strong, to warn Mankind to watch the Movements of Ambition, and, where-ever they grant Power, to grant it with Reserves. No Man who intends only the Good of others, will desire more than is necessary to procure that Good. Power without Bounds has, ever since the Creation, proved the Misery and Bane of human Society, and of human Race. It is, indeed, utterly repugnant and irreconcilable to social Happiness. This is so true, that whoever knows it not, is a Stranger to the past and present State of the World. He, therefore, who loves and pursues it, must have a very weak Head, or a very wicked Heart. The Patriot flies and abhors it. He sees what horrible Ravages it commits; that it subsists upon the Misery and Depression of Men; that it dreads and destroys whatever is amiable, noble, virtuous, and free in the World; that it courts and employs whatever is wicked, mean, deformed, and ruinous; that it has reduced the loveliest Regions of the Earth to Graves and Desarts, and that it has universally the same swift Tendency to lay desolate and destroy.

Is it not just, is it not amiable and glorious, to prevent or remove a Curse so direful and consuming, with such a shocking Complication of Woes? Is it not wicked and execrable, to continue or introduce that Curse, and those Woes? This is the Work and Character of a Parricide; That, of a Patriot; the one, a Friend and Benefactor to his Species; the other, an Enemy and a Deserter; here, an Ornament and Support of human Nature; there, its Disgrace and Betrayer!

Behold Cicero labouring to save the State, excited by universal Benevolence to his Country; emboldened by the Goodness of his Cause, and the Approbation of his Conscience; supporting the Interest of public Liberty, and supported by it; all good Men his Friends and Assistants, and the worst Lot that could befal him, Edition: current; Page: [37] that of suffering, or dying for his Country; either of them a very glorious Lot, far preferable to that of rising or flourishing by its Detriment or Ruin! Is not this a glorious Situation, a virtuous Spirit, a divine Occupation, worthy and secure of immortal Renown?

See Catiline, on the other Side, meditating the Destruction and Slavery of his native City; conscious of his own hideous Guilt, worried by it, restless and desperate; not an honest, not a humane Sentiment in his Heart; his Soul possessed and gnawed by Revenge, and by every depraved and beastly Passion; an Object of Detestation and Hate; abhorred by every virtuous Citizen; followed by none but the Debauched, the Impious and Abandoned, by the Refuse and Dishonour of Rome; nothing before him but a guilty Death, or more guilty Success, with infamy living, and dying, and dead!

The Patriot has always a good Cause, the Cause of his Country and of Mankind, of all others the most important and interesting. His Aim is virtuous, his Ends noble, and therefore all his Pursuits pleasing. The Integrity and laudable Thoughts of his Heart, are a continual Cordial and Support. A Passion for the Public, and the Welfare of Mankind, animates him; the Sense of his Duty fortifies him. He has the Wishes, the Concurrence and Praises of all worthy Men: Opposition from the Vicious and Unworthy, proves a Justification to him, and inspires him with fresh Vigour. His Views are great, benevolent, elevated, even to promote and defend whatever is lovely, righteous, desirable, and praise-worthy in the World; for, the Root of all this is Liberty: Even to oppose and destroy whatever is baneful, odious, wicked, and afflicting amongst Men; for, the certain Cause of all this is Slavery. In such a Cause, it is glorious to succeed; for such a Cause, it is glorious to die. However, therefore, he may be unfortunate, he can never be unhappy.

Opposite to this, and consequently painful and miserable, is the Cause of the Parricide; terrible and loathsome to all good Men, and to himself a continual Source of Fear and Remorse. His Life is a Course of Falshood and Constraint, and therefore of Pain and Care. He must hide his Heart, because its Devices are evil; Edition: current; Page: [38] and for this his Heart must cruelly reproach him. As he hurts, or intends to hurt, all Men, he has Reason to dread all, and to apprehend Destruction from such as he would destroy. Virtuous Men will detest him; innocent Men will not assist him; he cannot trust to the Aid of wicked Men; and such Aid, when he has it, is infamous. Whatever Opposition is made to him, whatever Attempts are made upon him, he cannot complain, be the same ever so subdolous and violent; because all his own Proceedings are violent and deceitful; and whoever unjustly arms himself against Mankind, does but call all Mankind to arm justly against him.

Can such a Man be Happy? Can he have inward Peace, withour which there is no Happiness? Can that Man have Peace, who would ruin his Country, who would destroy Liberty, and, with it, Truth and Virtue? That Man who would establish Thraldom, and, with It, Vileness and Misery? His Ambition does not extinguish his other Passions which thwart it; it only proves his strongest Passion: But still from the rest, though they prevail not, he must find very painful Resistance. Shame, Compunction, and Fear, are all Emotions natural to the human Soul, and have Force enough to shake and rend it; and the Ambitious and Guilty feel them most. If Pleasure naturally attend Acts of Virtue and Benevolence; and if that Pleasure arise in proportion to the Good which is done, or endeavoured; it must be equally natural for Anguish and Bitterness of Soul to follow Deeds of Injustice and Violence; and the more Iniquity, the more Remorse.

Is it Amiable and Praiseworthy to be friendly and kind to Particulars? How much more so is it to be generous to All, to love our Country and Mankind, and to endeavour their Prosperity? Is it Odious and Hard-hearted, to have Pity upon no Man, to assist and relieve none? How much more base and barbarous is it to distress and oppress our Country and all Men, for selfish and wicked Ends of our own; for one Man to reduce all the rest to Chains and Misery, that he may domineer and riot?

Bulion, Treasurer to Lewis XIII. told his Master, who expressed some Tenderness for the poor People, loaded with Taxes, and devoured by Tax-Masters, ‘That they were not yet reduced Edition: current; Page: [39] to cat Grass.’ Certainly Grass, and common Air, was too good for such a venomous Parricide. Was a Creature, with so black a Heart, and so much Malice, fit to be employed by the supreme Governor and Protector of a Nation? For, he who is not the latter, is unworthy to be the former. I do not find, tht he lost his Employment or Favour for this execrable Declaration; whence may be concluded, that a hard Heart was no ill Qualification then in a French Minister of State.

Let a People be used ever so coarsly, and even unmercifully, by their Governors, yet their Governors always expect from the People signal Loyalty and Affection. They must be thankful under Oppression, be pleased with heavy Chains, and kiss the Iron Rod, which, perhaps, is reckoned Sacred and Adorable; whilst it is only employed to terrify, afflict, and kill. I have known Subjects so wretched, so oppressed and squeezed, so pale, starved and naked, that, as their Existence seemed a Burden and a Curse to them, Death would have appeared a Blessing and Relief: Yet their Prince talked much, and gravely, of his Glory, and of the Zeal and Duty of his Subjects: Duty! For what? For making them as miserable as all the Arts and Malice of Blood-suckers could make them? They were, indeed, tame, and stupid, and patient by Force. But Abjectness and Despair deserves not the Name of Duty. Duty ought to be a rational and voluntary Thing, the Effect of Ease, and fatherly Protection. No Man has a Right to expect Tenderness or Regard from me, if he use me cruelly and contemptuously. Governors who treat not their Subjects like Children, cannot expect to be treated by their Subjects as Fathers.

All Governors ought to be Patriots, the best Patriots, and to set a continual Example of Patriotism to others, and to all Men. Without studying the Happiness of others, they cannot hope for any Glory to themselves; and whoever rules without Glory, is not like to escape Infamy. Their highest and purest Glory is the Freedom and Felicity of their People. To procure this, as it is their Duty and best Ambition, ought to be the Study and Business of their Lives. This is their great Point, and, for their own Sakes, they ought to labour it. What else can concern them so Edition: current; Page: [40] much, and so nearly? No Power is otherwise laudable, than from the Good which it does. Where it does none, it is contemptible; where it does Evil, it is detestable; and is then only lovely, when it blesses, protects, and saves. It is like Fire and Water, two great Benefits to the World, when properly applied, and confined; but equally terrible and pernicious, when they rise to Inundations and devouring Flames.

I am charmed with the Saying and Behaviour of the Chinese Emperor Tai Zung, who carrying the Prince his Son into the Fields, and shewing him the Husbandmen busy at their Labour, ‘See, said he to him, what Pains these poor Men take, all the Year round, to maintain You and Me. I have therefore ever been careful to case and protect these poor People: Without their Labour and Sweat, You and I should have no Kingdom.’ These were Sentiments worthy of a King, who, when he is indeed the Father of his People, and loves and treats them tenderly, is then truly King; and, when he acts not like a Father, is then, in effect, something else, and worse.

These are Sentiments which ought to possess every Man who administers, or has any Share in administring a State; and without such Sentiments as these, no other Qualifications are availing, or to be trusted. The Head generally is led by the Heart, and, if he love any Interest of his own better than that of the State, he will be apt, instead of sacrificing private Interest to that of the Public, to sacrifice the State to his private Interest. This, indeed, is poor Policy, and a narrow View, as well as very wicked; it is Pity it were not more singular.

An Emperor of Turkey, when he was told how much the poor People were harrassed, and how many of them destroyed, by the Hardships which they suffered, in preparing Sport for him daily, and daily attending him in it, was so far from relenting, or feeling Pity, for Wretches thus suffering and perishing for his Diversions, that he answered, with great Scorn, to the merciful Man who gave him this honest Information; ‘Take care of the Dogs; be sure they be well used, and fed.’ Was this poor, great, miserable, lofty, hard-hearted Wretch, a Governor? This Destroyer of Edition: current; Page: [41] Men, a supreme Magistrate? This incarnate Dæmon, God’s Ordinance?

O with how much Nonsense, with how much Wickedness and Misery, this strange World abounds! And how fast and naturally they beget one another! It would be a great Blessing and Advantage gained to Mankind, under such Governments, if they could but compound with their Governors, to forbear doing them Mischief; and, upon that Consideration, chearfully give up all Hopes and Expectancy of any Good or Advantage from them whatsoever. It would, in truth, be a glorious Bargain, and mend the Condition of the World prodigiously; considering at what a sad and barbarous Rate the Government of the World is conducted in most Countries. For it is melancholy to consider, but too true, that generally they who sway the State, are its greatest Enemies: It is therefore no Wonder, that they treat as Traitors, and often destroy, its best Friends.

I have often wondered, how the Governors of a Nation oppressed and poor, could enjoy any Pleasure; how relish Pomp and Luxury, when by it they brought Wretchedness upon Millions! One would think, that, as they are Men, they must find much Bitterness in their Cup, and many anxious Reflections. Can they always avoid remembring, that Despair may produce Outrage and Revolt; and that their Subjects, having been treated without Mercy, may shew none? Or, supposing them ever so Tame, yet, if they are Miserable, is not this a melancholy Consideration to those who make them so? Can all the Pomp, and Luxury, and Flattery in the World, atone for so painful a Thought? What can be more dishonourable and unjust, and therefore more affecting, than to starve and afflict Multitudes, that we may riot and flutter? Multitudes too, whom it is our Duty to love, and assist, and cherish? Is there a real Delight in doing Good, as surely there is? Then equal is, or ought to be, the Pain of being the Cause of Evil; and that Pain must be still greater, and more pungent, if the Evil be done to such as depend upon us, to such as are trusted to our Care and Protection.

It is impossible not to love a Patriot. It is only loving those who love us. Is not this a desirable Character and Reward? It is Edition: current; Page: [42] impossible not to hate a Parricide, because he hates us, and is our Enemy. Who would not dread and avoid such a Situation? Indeed, Patriotism is no more than good Policy; it is the safest and best Choice, as well as the most virtuous and just. The whole State of Venice became, at one time, a State of Patriots, and found their Account gloriously in it.

As they were pressed by the powerful League of Cambray, and convinced, how much it availed them to preserve the Affections of their Subjects, they did a Thing, says the Historian, unexampled in the latter Ages. They published a Decree, by which they engaged to indemnify them for all their Losses, past and to come, during the War, out of the public Treasury. Those who trusted them had no Cause to repent. That State kept their Word religiously with every Particular, and found the good Effects of it; for never did People manifest greater Zeal and Fidelity, under all the Afflictions and Hardships of that terrible and unequal War. In spight of all Dangers, of all the Rage of a foreign Soldiery, and even of Death, that People persisted in their Affections to their State, ran all Risques for it, and even voluntarily served it as Spies. Such had been their merciful and paternal Usage from their Governors, and so generously and affectionately did they return it.

We see by this, that Governments can find Ways to make the People grateful, and even generous, as also what Ways these are. Had that wise State always acted thus wisely, and used their Subjects with equal Justice and Tenderness, they might, in all Likelihood, have been still Sovereigns of the Morea.

The Instance of the Saguntines is famous: They, rather than surrender themselves to the Enemies of Rome, burnt themselves and their City. There was something very remarkable and great in the Spirit and Behaviour of the Corsicans, during their late Revolt; which, I dare say, was not without Provocation: Few Revolts are. Not a Man of them would continue in foreign Service, however good his Appointments were there, when the Cause of his Country called him Home: Not a Man in the Island, not a Frier, was to be found, at any Price, to give Intelligence to the Enemy; and many of them chose to bear Racks, and Torture, Edition: current; Page: [43] and Death in the most terrible Shapes, rather than turn Spies and Traitors to their Country. This was Patriotism, an invincible Love to their native Country, above all Temptation and Terror, above all Price and Corruption.

This firm and generous Conduct of the Corsicans brings into my Mind the fine Answer of the Lacedæmonians to King Philip of Macedon, who, in his Letters to them, threatened, that, ‘He would prevent all their Measures!’ Will he prevent us from dying? replied those brave old Spartans.

Donato Gianotti, Secretary to the State of Florence, whilst it was yet free, could not bear even to live in it, when changed into a despotic Principality, and subjected to the House of Medicis, though he was offered, by the Great Duke, high Dignities and Advantages; all which he utterly rejected, and retired to Venice, to live and die in a free City. He scorned to countenance Tyranny and Usurpation; nor would he stay to see the sad Consequences of so terrible a Change, the best Citizens exiled, or imprisoned, or martyred; at best, awed, neglected, and unpreferred; the worst, caressed and promoted for being so, for their Insensibility of public Servitude, and for their Promptness to bear it; Men of Merit and Figure, lost in Oblivion and Solitude, Objects of Jealousy, and useless to the Public; Pimps and Betrayers, in high Favour, and covered with the Marks of it. He could not bear to see the Laws, and Liberty, and Welfare of his Country, all swallowed up in the Will, and Pride, and Convenience of a late Citizen, and a private Family; nor his Countrymen the Florentines, for so many Ages free, and brave, and impatient of any Yoke, a People who had been their own Masters so late and so long, now reduced to Impotence and Vassalage, cowed and enslaved. This was Proof of a good Spirit in Gianotti, and he made a better Choice. The meanest Retirement is far beyond any Share in Tyranny, beyond all the guilty Glare and Spoils which it can bestow.

Philip Strozzi, that illustrious and wealthy Citizen, of the same City, (one of the richest Subjects in Europe) was so passionate a Lover of public Liberty, and had such an Antipathy to Slavery, that, having tried all Ways of restoring the Freedom of his Edition: current; Page: [44] Country, without Success, he ordered his Children, by his last Will, to remove his Bones from his Grave in Florence, and, carrying them to Venice, interr them there; ‘To the End, says he, that since I had not the Felicity to die in a free State, I may enjoy that Favour after my Death, and my Ashes rest in Peace, out of the Reach and Domination of the Conqueror.’ Strozzi had attempted to restore the Republic, but failed, and was put in Prison; where, apprehending the Application of the Rack, that he might not, by Torture, be brought to betray his Friends, he slew himself. The Motive was noble, if the Act could be justified.

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.

IT is remarkable enough, and little to the Credit of the Judgment of the World, that Iniquity, if it be but very great and glaring, justifies itself; or rather, it is often justified by the strange Consent of the Gross of Mankind; and what should blacken and blast it, purifies and ennobles it. Can the Earth produce a more pestilent and guilty Creature, than one who enslaves any Part of it? In that one Act of Wickedness is implied every wicked Act whatsoever, Robbery, Murder, Treachery, Inhumanity, the Ravages of Lust and Malice, of Cruelty and Oppression, the Persecution and Exile of Virtue, the Abasement of Justice, and the Introduction to all Sorrow, gross Ignorance, and Bestiality. Yet, whoever passes through this frightful Train of Sin and Villainy with Success, shall have the unaccountable Honour to be admired and courted: He, who would have adorned a Gibbet, with universal Approbation, for attempting any one of Edition: current; Page: [45] them, grows renowned for perpetrating them all; and thenceforth Gibbets and Halters become the Portion and Reward of the Righteous and Innocent, of the Patriot, and the Friend to Virtue. Are not poor Thieves, are not humble Rogues, and small Robbers, notably injured by such partial Judgment, and such an unequal Lot? Ille crucem pretium sceleris tulit, hic diadema.

Man seems to be a Creature formed to be imposed upon, and misled; else the greatest Villain would always be the most decried and unhappy, and the most righteous and benevolent Man would flourish most, be best supported, most adored and applauded. To the Dishonour of our Species, and Misfortune of the World, the Reverse of all this is true. They who ought to rejoice, often weep; they who deserve to weep, often rejoice: The Innocent are generally oppressed, the Well-meaning misled: They who do this, are exalted and revered by those who suffer it; and the miserable Dupes, the Sufferers, often account these their Enemies and Seducers to be their special Friends; nay, are at great Pains and Expence to perpetuate their Misfortunes, under the Name and Notion of notable Advantages: They sometimes reckon him their worst Foe, who would enlighten and relieve them.

This is the Creature who boasts of being Rational! It must be owned, that he is capable of Instruction, as well as of sometimes abusing it: But the Truth is, Instruction is little else but Abuse in most Countries, little else but propagating Falshoods, and wonderful Nonsense, with Antipathy to Truth, to Reason, and to Liberty; a Fondness for Ignorance, which passes for divine Knowlege, and for Bondage, which is styled Obedience. Hence Popes and Tyrants are idolized; hence such as oppose these sacred Parricides, these supreme Curses upon Earth, are reproached, traduced, and mentioned with Horror; and hence, the greatest of all Rebels, he who enslaves his Country, when he has done it, is called Ruler, or some other fine Name; and treats, as Rebels, all who are loyal to their Country, against his Disloyalty and Rebellion.

Such is the ridiculous Force and Witchcraft attending Names, and proceeding from preposterous Education. Much more honourable to me, much more happy, seems the Family of Medicis, Edition: current; Page: [46] whilst yet private Men, and opulent Citizens of a free City, than when raised by Faction, by Force, and by the dirty and corrupted Populace, to be Lords of Injustice over their native State. Nay, I know not whether they were not richer when Subjects, than when Princes; more innocent I am sure they were, as well as more secure. Yet, such is the deceitful Force of a big Word, that they were no sooner called Princes, a Title ill-gotten, and therefore usurped, but great Monarchs intermarried with them. Whilst they were good Citizens and Merchants, these Monarchs, probably, would have despised such an Alliance. Strange Blindness and Injustice! A Merchant may be an honest Man, a Patriot, and a Friend to Mankind; a useful Member of Society he certainly is. Can a Usurper, one who brings Chains and Calamity upon his Country, claim any of these Characters and Commendations?

I see more Glory (and there is more) in being a just and useful Magistrate, in a free Country, even a Burgess in Swisserland, than in exercising the Iron Rod of a Tyrant, with a Title ever so sounding, over a Country ever so charming. Liberty produces Comfort, nay, Plenty and Prosperity, even amongst Rocks; and smileth in the sternest Regions; she blesses in spight of Nature; and, in spight of Nature, Tyranny brings Curses. In Climes, which, for Beauty and Fertility, look like the Pride and Masterpiece of the Creation, Rags and Famine, Nastiness, ghastly Looks, and Misery in all Shapes, are seen to abound; and the forlorn Condition of the wretched People seems to belye and disgrace the Soil. Such, in fact, is the Difference between the Condition of the Swiss Cantons, cold, bleak, and mountainous as they are, and that of some of the finest Regions under the Sun, not far from them.

Can they, who consider this, and are at all solicitous about the State of their Country, ever sufficiently value Liberty, and defend it? Can they prize Patriots, and hate Parricides, too much? Can they too much dread Tyranny, too much detest Slavery? Can they think any Subject upon Earth so worthy of being handled and opened, recommended and enforced? It is the great Theme, the first and principal Concern of Society. What can Edition: current; Page: [47] concern Men so much, as, whether they shall be Happy, or Miserable; Free, or in Chains? Whether they shall enjoy the highest Blessing, or bear the most bitter Curse and Calamity, that this World affords? Cicero esteemed Death and Exile to be Evils far short of Slavery: Mortem & ejectionem quasi majora timemus; quæ multo sunt minora.

Here, therefore, is the Test of the Patriot and the Parricide, and their different Characters. He who has a virtuous and tender Regard for the Public; he who wishes and pursues its Welfare; he who rejoices in its Prosperity, and feels its Misfortunes, and is zealous to remove them; he who is jealous of public Liberty as the great Root of all social Felicity; he who dreads and abhors arbitrary Dominion as the most devouring Plague; He, This is the Patriot, the Friend of his Country, and deserving its Friendship.

Yet all this is no more than one’s Duty, a Duty, which every Man owes to the Public. But it is too true, that such Duties as Virtue alone injoins, are seldom performed, or even considered as such. Men think, that, if they can but escape Censure and Penalties, they do their Duty; and bestow that good Name upon Sordidness and Fear. Such narrow Minds hardly deserve the Care of those who have larger. Besides, Wretches who are destitute themselves of public Spirit, cannot prize it in others, nor be grateful to those who have it. This Insensibility, I doubt, goes often further than the Vulgar, and above them. But where-ever it is found, it is excessively foolish, as well as shocking and criminal: For, as public Spirit is a Duty, from every Man to all the rest, enforced by the eternal Authority of the Law of Nature, whoever obeys it not, is an Offender, a greater Offender than some who are condemned by positive Laws; since he who hurts only one Man, or Particulars, cannot be so guilty as he who offends against all.

The Nature of Society implies the Necessity, and consequently the Duty, of mutual Help and Benevolence; and whatever of this Kind a Man claims from others, others may claim from him. The Right is reciprocal, and therefore so is the Duty. So that he who is indifferent about the Whole, about the general Interest of the Society, makes himself an Alien, and, in fact, forfeits the Edition: current; Page: [48] Favour and Protection of the Whole. He who has this Turn, this strange unfeeling Heart, is a contemptible Being, as well as foolish and short-sighted. When the Society is oppressed, or enslaved, He must be oppressed and enslaved too. For, I speak not now of any great Parricide, who has the Misfortune to be successful, and to subdue all.

When this Spirit of Indifference about the Condition of the Public, becomes general, it is, indeed, terrible; as it is an Encouragement and Opportunity given to Parricides, so to strengthen and exalt themselves, that even the Revival of public Spirit shall have no other Effect, than to furnish Victims to Their Power and Revenge; and the public Bondage, which might have been prevented, only by a little Care and Vigilance, is, perhaps, so fixed, as not to be removed, even by strenuous Resistance, and an Effusion of Blood.

This Sort of Stupor possessed the People of Italy, during the Attempts of Cæsar; even whilst he was already in their Country, openly armed against the Commonwealth. Poor and narrow were the Considerations that swayed them; and they looked no further than just to preserve their Seats and Farms, their Money and Rents. Nihil prorsus aliud curant, nisi agros, nisi viliulas, nisi nummulos, says Cicero.—He adds, in another Letter, Hujus insidiosa clementia delectantur: That artful Clemency of his, which was only a Snare laid for them, delighted them, and laid them asleep. Poor deluded Men! They did not consider, that he was going to have it in his Power to seize for himself, or to surrender to some of his needy Followers, (who only followed him for Rapine) these very darling Seats, and Lands, and Treasures of theirs, whenever he pleased, with Impunity; or that, if He spared them, some of his Successors might take their Fortunes, and their Lives too; as, indeed, they did, without any Ceremony or Mercy.

It is, indeed, amazing, that any Man, who thinks at all of the Public, should be indifferent about it; it is more amazing, that any Man, who has a Stake in it, can avoid thinking of it, or be without Zeal for it: But it is most amazing, that great Men, Men of Dignity and Fortune, of Splendor and Title, all which can only be secure whilst the Public is so, should not always, and in all Edition: current; Page: [49] Countries, be upon perpetual Guard against their own Ruin and Debasement, and continually studying to support public Liberty, which must support them.

Lukewarmness, from such Men, would seem incredible, if it had never happened; and is infamous whenever it happens, as well as the Effect of the most gross Blindness and Infatuation. Yet thus lukewarm were many of the Great Romans, even when they saw Cæsar’s Sword already waving dreadfully over them. Well might Cicero say of them, as he does, with just Severity and Contempt, Ita stulti sunt, ut, amissa republica, piscinas suas salvas fore videntur: ‘They were such Fools to conclude, that, though the Republic were lost, their Fish-ponds would remain secure.’

Fools indeed! When Liberty was gone, no Man could be secure, nor any Man’s Possessions. This Discovery, which a Child might have made at first, they made afterwards; when their not having made it sooner, only served to upbraid and torment them. They, indeed, felt it, and felt it with a Vengeance, under the Triumvirate, when a Price was set upon their Heads, and their Possessions, and darling Fish-ponds, seized by the Tyrants who succeeded their Friend Cæsar, whose Clemency was not perpetuated with his Usurpation. This, too, was very easy to have been foreseen; as also the future State of their Families, which were all persecuted; most of them cut off by the following Tyrants, without any Exception, or Favour to the Descendants of such as had helped to establish the Tyranny.

Here is a Lesson and Warning to all Nations, especially to Men of Name and Figure amongst them, how dearly they ought to prize public Spirit and Patriots; how much it becomes and behoves them to possess and cherish that Spirit; and how nearly it imports all Men to love their Country. It is only Self-love generously applied; and he who loves himself judiciously, will certainly love the Public and Liberty. It is, moreover, virtuous and honourable; and is intitled to solid Fame, to the Affections and Praises of all Men. What other Motive needs there? He who has not this Spirit, may, perhaps, be a harmless Man; but he is a very bad Citizen: He who dislikes or despises it, is an Enemy to his Fellow-Citizens; and must expect a natural Return, that of Hate and Infamy. Is Life, Edition: current; Page: [50] or any thing in Life, worth enjoying upon such melancholy Terms? A virtuous Man may bear Dislike and Obloquy, because he knows that he deserves it not: But Detestation abroad, accompanied with Guilt within, and occasioned by it, is a heavy and a doleful Lot! What does the World produce to atone for it? Guilty Greatness is, at best, but a great Burden and Reproach.

The Love of our Country is such an amiable Quality, indeed such an important Duty, attended with so many Recommendations to enforce it, that it is a Pity, as well as a Wonder, it should not be common. How natural it is, to love and respect a Man of this Spirit! It melts me into Compassion and Sympathy, and fills me with Reverence and Esteem, when I find, in my Reading, such a Character as that of the Sieur Baptist du Mesnil, Advocate General in France, in the time of that Monster in a Diadem Catharine de Medicis. He loved his Country so passionately, that it broke his Heart to see its Misfortunes. This Testimony he has from Monsieur De Thou, that great Historian and Patriot; and this Testimony is a glorious Reward for so virtuous a Mind, for a Grief so pious, and so honest an End.

Cicero used to ask himself, What Men would say of him when he was gone? And was more afraid of the Judgment of future Historians, than of all the common Prate and Censure of the present Time. This was agreeable to the good Sense of Cicero. A Man who loves Fame, will labour to deserve it: If he be indifferent about it, it is a shrewd Presumption, that he is equally indifferent about his Morals: If he utterly despise it, he does as surely despise the Means of acquiring it, even Virtue and worthy Actions. Fame is always the sure Portion of the Patriot, first or last (for sometimes he is eclipsed for awhile); and a glorious Portion it is. Flatterers and Parricides, with the great and small Vulgar, may traduce him; but this only confirms his Merit, and adds to his Renown. The best Lot that can befal the Parricide, is to be forgot: A very comfortless Lot! especially to a Man who has Cause to wish for it. It was a laudable Passion for Glory in Cicero, when he grew jealous, lest the Services done by Pompey to the Republic, might seem, to Posterity, to surpass His.

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It is but reasonable, that Men who are employed, and trusted, and paid, by the Public, should study its Interest and Welfare before all Things: If they do not, they dishonour their Employments, and break their Trust. Wretched, and even impious, was the Evasion and Excuse of the Cardinal de Biragues, Chancellor of France, for his abject Compliances with all the vile Devices, Frauds, and Enormities of the Court, in the scandalous Reign of Henry the Third: He said, ‘That he was not Chancellor of France, but Chancellor to the King of France.’ It was an absurd Distinction, as well as false and wicked. If the arbitrary Humour of that Prince had been checked, if his Ministers, instead of basely complying with his rash Will and Caprice, had taught him, as they ought, to measure his Power by the Laws, and to seek his Glory in the Prosperity of his People, he might have died gloriously and lamented. By serving only his Passions, they ruined his Honour and Reputation, and blasted his Reign: He became, first, the Dread; next, the Aversion; at last, the Scorn of his own People, and an Object of Pity or Contempt to Christendom.

This was the blessed Effect of complaisant Counsellors; who made it a great Merit, and Point of Flattery, that they were the King’s Ministers, and not the Ministers of the Kingdom: God knows, they were not; the Kingdom soon discovered it: Whence, too, another Discovery quickly followed, that, neither, was he King of his People, whom he cruelly oppressed, but only of his Favourites, whom, at the Expence of his Subjects, he extravagantly raised and enriched. When he had, by such Ministers and Measures, incensed his People, did these his Favourites retrieve for him the popular Affection? No; they were a dead Weight upon Him, as they were one principal Cause of the public Hate. When the People had revolted, did his Favourites prove his Support? No; he was forced to have recourse for Aid to the poor Protestants, whom he had been constantly butchering, persecuting, and using treacherously. How happy and beloved, and, therefore, how powerful and glorious, might this unfortunate Prince have been, only by following the easiest and honestest Methods of Government; which are always the most honourable and safe! But Edition: current; Page: [52] his Mother, his Monks, and his Minions, all seeking their own particular and base Ends, corrupted his Heart, youthful and voluptuous, by pernicious Maxims and Flattery; and thence brought upon him Ruin and Reproach.

‘It was not the Name of Kings, that created such Aversion in our Forefathers to Monarchy,’ said Tiberius Gracchus to the Roman People: No; ‘It was their Partiality, their profuse and boundless Favours to Particulars; whilst others, of superior Merit, remained in Want and Poverty.’ This was, indeed, unpopular and provoking; an Indication of what they had most at Heart; not the Service or Honour of the Public, but the Gratification of their own Caprice. Nor can any People, even the most stupid, be pleased, to see contemptible Men in Favour; such as Pimps, Barbers, and Buffoons; whilst Men of Merit, Ability, and Virtue, are neglected, discountenanced, and brow-beaten. Where Patriots, or the Spirit of Patriotism governs, that Government can hardly be shaken: And it is only for want of such Governors, and such a Spirit, that most, if not all Governments come to decay and perish: Nor can it be otherwise, when the public Interest is neglected by public Men, or sacrificed to little private Interests of their own. It is very true, that these separate Interests are always ill-judged; and, as they certainly hurt the State, they will, in the End, disappoint, and injure, and dishonour the Man who pursues them at the Expence of the State; upon the Prosperity of which, that of Individuals must always depend: Of which I have already given Instances, and many more might be given.

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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.

I SHALL finish this Discourse with some Observations upon Two famous Romans, Cato and Cæsar; the first falling by his own Hands, rather than suffer or see the public Bondage; the second by the Hands of others, for having introduced it. Their Characters are drawn ingeniously by Sallust; but not fully. He owns, that, in their Age, Lineage, and Eloquence, there was a near Resemblance; that they possessed equal Greatness of Mind, and gained equal Glory: But he considers them only as Two great Subjects of a free State, serving it, and thence acquiring Fame by different Ways and Qualities; and omits the grand Difference of all, that the one made it the great Study and Labour of his Life, to save and purify the State; whilst the other strove, with all his Might and Art, to corrupt and overthrow it. Cato contended for public Liberty and Virtue; Cæsar for his own Power; and thence promoted all public Abuses and Corruption. In Cato, all virtuous Men, and every righteous Cause, found a sure Patron and Sanctuary: By Cæsar, the Profligate, the Depraved, and Desperate, with every Traitor, and all traiterous Practices, were protected and cherished. Cato endeavoured to recall antient Probity and Innocence; to reclaim or punish Evil-doers; to secure the Public, by upright Measures; and to transmit Liberty and good Government to Generations to come: Cæsar promoted Dissoluteness and Venality; encouraged public Criminals; embroiled, and debauched, and oppressed the State. Cato loved his Country, sought for it, and died for it; and thence left to it an illustrious and affecting Example, of Virtue incorruptible, and of primitive Zeal: Cæsar loved Himself beyond his Country, fought for Himself against his Country, and to Himself enslaved his Country: He Edition: current; Page: [54] intailed Bondage upon That and succeeding Ages; and left a Race of Successors truly worthy of the Inheritance of Tyranny; a Race who were the Scourge and Shame of human Nature, the Pests and Butchers of the Romans, and of all Men.

Such, literally, were the Doings and Character of thy boasted Cæsar, O Rome; these his Atchievments, this his Legacy! If all this make him not a Parricide, the highest Parricide, the Meaning of Words is inverted, Truth and Reason have lost their Course, and Guilt and Innocence are no more. Did he not fill thee, Rome, and all thy wide Regions, with Blood, and Woe, and Chains? He spoke well, he fought well; but for whose sake? and who reaped the Benefit? Was not the Benefit His; the Expence, the Pain, and Sorrow, Thine? Over Thee and thy Liberties was his last Triumph.

Rather boast a Patriot; thy Patriot Cato; one who was a Foe to Thy Foes, thy best Champion, thy true Prophet; one who forewarned thee of all thy impending Calamities; struggled to avert them; and perished, rather than behold them(a). This is Fame indeed; genuine Fame; great, immortal, and unallayed. Whatever Exploits Cæsar did, whatever fine Qualities he had, still he enslaved his Country; a Consideration that tarnishes and frustrates all his Praise. Cicero treats him as a Madman, and a wretched Being, who had never the least Notion of genuine Glory. Amentem & miserum, qui ne umbram quidem unquam τȣ͂ ϰαλȣ͂ viderit. ‘Does he (says Cicero) do all these Things for the sake of his Honour? Where is his Honour; where his Virtue and Justice? To hold an Army from the Public against the Public? To seize the municipal Cities, in order to usurp Rome itself, and enslave his Country? To cancel all Debts; to pardon all Criminals; to commit a thousand Outrages; all to arrive at Tyranny, which is his highest Deity?’ All this, in the Opinion of that great Roman Patriot and Luminary, was to be most miserable, as well as most wicked; and his great Success was but great Guilt.

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Nothing was ever more shameless than his Demands, in order to an Accommodation; in which, however, he was never sincere. I must again borrow the Reasoning of Cicero. ‘How? Grant him what he asks with such enormous Impudence! For, what is more impudent, O Cæsar! Thou hast holden the Province Ten Years; a Term not given thee by the Senate, but given thee by Thyself, and the Force of Faction. Even this Term, one measured not by the Law, but thy own Lust, is elapsed. But grant it to be legitimate: The Senate have decreed thee a Successor. This thou opposest, and criest, Let some Consideration be had for Me. I say, Do Thou have some Consideration for Us. Dost thou keep an Army longer than the Roman People ordained, keep it in Defiance of the Authority of the Senate? There is therefore now no Choice, but either to fight, or to submit.’ In another Letter to Atticus, taking Notice of some plausible Promises from Cæsar, ‘Does Cæsar pretend, says Cicero, to bring good Tidings to all worthy Romans? Where will he find such, unless he hang himself, and go to the other World for them?’

The Clemency of Cæsar is much extolled. In truth, it was absolutely necessary, that he should appear full of Clemency; and therefore it was Policy to proceed by the Ways of Clemency, as long as Clemency would do. He had seen Marius and Sylla detested for their personal Cruelties. But, if mild Methods had failed, will any one say, that a Man, mad with Ambition, would have forgone all his fine Schemes, and ambitious Views, rather than pursue them by Acts of Vengeance and Blood? What Cruelty is so great, as that of making War upon one’s Country, and enslaving it? Did he not do this? Must he not do every thing necessary to such an impious End, even kill and destroy, till he gained it, or was himself destroyed? Would he, who exposed Men to Death and Slaughter by Myriads, have scrupled the Death of Particulars? Did he not tell Cicero roundly, that, if he could not obtain the Concurrence of Cicero and his Friends, he would embrace any Assistance, from whatever Quarter it came, and betake himself to all Courses whatsoever—ad omnia esse descensurum? Did not Curio, his Friend and Adherent, declare of him, that Edition: current; Page: [56] ‘He was not, in his own Nature and Inclination, unpossessed with a Spirit of Cruelty; but thought Clemency a popular Quality; yet, if the Favour of the People failed him, he would certainly prove cruel.’ Cœlius too, the Orator, and a Partizan of Cæsar’s, freely says of him, in a Letter to Cicero, that ‘He meditated nothing but what was Violent and Tragical, nor even spoke in any other Strain.’ Cicero charges him expresly, with a long and constant Design to murder Pompey.

Phalaris, the Tyrant of Agrigentum, whose Name is become proverbial for Cruelty, began his Usurpation with great Mildness, and proceeded in it long: He even manifested great Patience and Forgiveness upon the Discovery of several Attempts and Conspiracies against his Life; but, from the Frequency of such Attempts, he became Vindictive and Bloody, and continued so. He pleaded, ‘That, without being cruel to others, he could not be safe himself.’ A terrible Expedient for Safety, very precarious, and often producing a contrary Effect. Cæsar, in all Probability, must have acted as Phalaris had acted.

Take away Cæsar’s fine Qualities, which, of themselves, merit no Commendation, as he applied them to such evil Purposes, and consider only his Views and Pursuits, which were continually Evil, what a Monster must he appear? Nay, his Crimes are the worse for his fine Qualities. Without doubt, he was a Thousand times worse than Nero, as he did a Thousand times more Mischief to the World. Such Difference does Art, or the Want of it, make in the Characters of Men. Nero wanted Address, to appear a pleasing Devil. Cæsar had it. Besides, it was he, who, by enslaving the Romans, enabled Nero to butcher them.

I shall conclude, with considering the Advantages which this famous Usurper, Cæsar, drew from his Usurpation. It, indeed, cost him very dear: After a troublesome Life, a world of Guilt and Bloodshed, many Perils, and endless Disquiets, he was cut off as a Traitor and a Tyrant. As to Fame and Posterity, he, like all other Usurpers, judged ill about them. From good and wise Men, he, who did such execrable things, in order to the most execrable of All, even the destroying public Liberty, and enslaving his Country, could reap no Fame at all, but eternal Aversion and Edition: current; Page: [57] Reproach: And who would court Fame from the dirty and obscene Rabble?

It fared as ill with his Posterity, as with his Fame. He might, indeed, have left them possessed of great Glory, and a lasting Establishment, by reforming and restoring the State, and thence entailing upon them, and upon all Men, the great Blessing of their antient Liberty. Then, too, his Renown would have been permanent and noble, like that of the first Brutus, and his Descendants, ever dear to the Romans, and ever revered.

This would have been just Ambition, like that recommended by Machiavel, who would have ‘A Prince, or great Man, who aims at Praise and Immortality, to chuse, for the Scene of his Government and Glory, a State which is corrupt and decaying, as one proper for him to rectify and restore.’ This is a Design truly great and princely, benevolent and honourable. Whereas to vitiate and enthral a State, is barbarous, little, and base. Cæsar took not the former virtuous Course; but chose the latter Course, which was altogether impious and destructive, and thence forfeited all just Fame; and, having put Chains upon his Country, left thence a Curse upon his Posterity.

His immediate Successor descended not from him, but from his Sister: He that followed was not of his Family, but left the Empire to one of the Race, where it, however, continued not long. The whole Line, for the most part, proved beastly, bloody, and detested Monsters. Could such contribute to preserve or perpetuate his Fame? They died too, like him, violent Deaths. So little did His or Their overgrown Power serve to secure Him or Them! It, indeed, caused and quickened their tragical Fall. In a few Reigns, all bloody, unfortunate, and accursed, or rather, in a few Years, the Imperial Diadem was rent from his Family for ever. That horrible Cannibal Nero, was the last of it. Augustus, more bloody than he, was the first; I mean, after Julius. The Three who intervened, worthy Depositaries of the Name and Power of Cæsar, were, like the last, the Curse, the Scandal, and the Executioners of human Kind.

But, besides the bloody Fate, regularly overtaking every one of his Family, who wore the Purple, the rest, and the unreigning Edition: current; Page: [58] Branches, were continual Objects of the Jealousy and Cruelty of Him that reigned, who was ever constantly cutting off all of the same Stock, who were conspicuous for Parts, or Person, or Wealth, or any other Advantages, personal or accidental; nay, often only for being of that Stock.

This therefore is the mighty Issue of the mighty Cæsar’s Ambition. To his Country he procured Bondage, and utter Ruin; to Himself, and his Race, a Series of Slaughters, till they had all finally perished, together with the Curses, and universal Hate, of human Kind. These were the Doings, this the Merit of the great Cæsar, one so extolled for his Conduct, for the Wariness of his Measures, and his great Success! He was, indeed, very Artful, as well as very Brave and Successful, in bringing certain Destruction upon Himself, his Country, and his Lineage. For, in short, this was the real Result of all his Policy, of all his Plots, and Eloquence, and Heroism. Was This to be Amiable, This to be Fortunate and Wise?

Is it not natural to ask, How could such a Character be admired? How such a Man be popular? Yet Cæsar was popular; He gained all his Power by his Popularity; he gained all his Popularity by acting the Patriot; and usurped Patriotism on purpose to usurp the Empire: Nor was this Proceeding peculiar to Cæsar: It was the constant Art and Armour of all preceding Parricides, and by it they covered and recommended themselves, always with too much Success, to the credulous Many. In truth, the Efforts, and Frauds, and Management of such Parricides, (for many such there were) make a great Part of the Roman History, from the Foundation of the Republic, to the last Period of Roman Liberty. Cæsar had Parts equal to any of them, though not superior to some of them, with greater Opportunities, and more Success. They had all pretended to be public Benefactors, warm Advocates for the People, zealous Patrons of Liberty. Their fair Professions, false Bounties, and boasted Patriotism, were echoed, with their Names, loudly amongst the Populace: Then followed their popular Direction and Sway, deceitful Speeches, inflammatory Invectives, pleasing and pernicious Laws, with all Attempts to improve popular Phrensy, and, by the Cry of Liberty, to establish Edition: current; Page: [59] Tyranny. Catiline followed the same Road, and perished in it: Cæsar got to the End of it, and perished afterwards. By the Cry and Assistance of the People, he baffled Pompey and the Senate: By an Army, procured for him by the People from the State, he enslaved the People, and usurped the State. He made them giddy with the Sound of Liberty; and, whilst they were under that Infatuation, snatched away the Substance. This had been ever found the safest Way of undermining Liberty; the surest, the most concealed, and most successful Way. Cæsar, that pretended Patriot, that real Parricide, thought it so, and found it so(a).

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DISCOURSE III.: Of the Resignation of SYLLA.

SECT. I.: His Policy in Resigning; his Motives and Encouragement to resign.

THE Name of Sylla occurs so often in Sallust, his Usurpation is so frequently referred to, and his Abdication has been so long considered as a profound Mystery in Politics, that I shall here bestow some Thoughts upon it. His Resignation hath been reckoned a surprising Step, very hard to be explained. I cannot help differing from such as think it so, since I can account for it from obvious and probable Causes. But they who seek only for deep and abstruse Reasons, will always overlook or despise plain ones. It was surely the greatest, as well as the wisest of all the Actions of his Life, and had as much Sense as Boldness in it. Had Cæsar followed his Example, he too might have avoided a tragical End; as Sylla, had he not resigned, might have met with Cæsar’s Fate.

The People are naturally Forgiving, as well as naturally Violent; and the Restoring of public Liberty, was, to the Romans, who ardently loved it, such an Act of Benignity, as gained their Hearts in general. His assuming the Dictatorship admitted of an Excuse from the Struggle of Parties, as a Measure of Self-defence, necessary to secure him, and the Nobility, against the Violence of Marius, and his Associates, at the Head of the Commons. This Consideration served to justify, at least to palliate, many Acts of Cruelty and Power; and his Abdication passed, with the Public, for a Compensation for all. His Usurpation was then ascribed to Edition: current; Page: [61] Necessity; his Resignation appeared to flow from Benignity and popular Spirit.

If Sylla, therefore, resigned only in order to be quiet and safe, it fully answered his Ends. Or, if he was supposed to have done it from Greatness of Mind; such an Opinion was sufficient to procure him high Applause, as one animated by something more noble than Ambition, or, at least, governed by the best Ambition; such Ambition, as made him prefer the public Interest and Welfare, to all the Glare and Charms of absolute Power, and seek personal Glory from the general Good, the only just and genuine Glory! All other Glory is falsly so called, groveling, selfish, and contemptible. Does the debasing and enslaving of all Men, that One may swagger, and, by tyrannizing over all, hurt all, entitle that Man to any Share of Glory? No: Whoever introduces universal Infamy, is universally infamous. He may pretend to Glory, because none dare contradict him; but none will support that Pretence but such as dread him, and court him, or are misled by them that do so.

Besides, Sylla had Proofs, and Warnings, that his absolute Power, even his Dictatorship, did not render him absolutely secure, nor procure him absolute Submission. His Friend Pompey, and some other young Patricians, who were become popular by their Address, and gallant Actions, had gained such Credit at Rome, that they were become powerful enough to thwart and disappoint him upon very important Occasions, so as to carry popular Elections against him. For he did not, I believe he durst nor, carry even the dictatorial Power so far as to abolish annual Magistracies. Cæsar did not carry it so far: He only controuled them by his Influence.

Sylla judged well, in not provoking all Men, especially such Men who had Courage and Interest to make a terrible Party against him; Men who were already grown too strong for him, and Men who might have been soon able to have forced him to resign. A voluntary Resignation was far preferable, as it was more safe. Had they gone so far, as to have forced him to resign, they would, perhaps, have found it necessary to have gone farther, and to have taken away his Life, for the Security of their own. A voluntary Edition: current; Page: [62] Resignation neither prompted Him to meditate Vengeance against Them, nor Them to use Precautions against Vengeance from Him.

It is likewise reasonable to believe, that Pompey, and other great Men, glad to get rid of him, in order to share at least in that Power which he possessed intire, had either explicitly engaged to him for the future Security of his Person, or were understood by him to have been so engaged, from Reasons of State. By an Ordinance already made, all his Acts and Regulations, many of them very tyrannical and barbarous, but many of them conducing to public Peace and Order, and most of them in Favour of the Nobility, against the Power of the People, and their Tribunes, were declared Legal, and made the standing Laws of the Commonwealth: They were even preserved and obeyed, not only after his Resignation, but after his Death.

As he therefore well knew the Situation of Things, and the Interest and Views of the leading Men, his Resignation was not altogether the Effect of Magnanimity. All this will account for the Tranquillity of his Mind, and for his bold and unconcerned Behaviour, after he had resigned; for his walking securely in the Forum; for his Forwardness in meddling still with public Affairs; and, for his causing a Man to be put to Death, in his Presence, for railing at him, when he was no longer Dictator. So that, whatever he might declare in resigning his Power, he trusted not altogether to his Genius, and the Felicity of his Fortune.

SECT. II.: What Measures, and Precautions, he had taken for his Security, after his Resignation.

SYLLA could not, in the full Possession of all his tremendous Power, defend himself against the Attempts of any single desperate Man: No Monarch can. What Security he wanted, was, against the Violence of the People, against public Prosecution, and being made accountable to the Republic, Edition: current; Page: [63] for what he had done against the Republic, especially against the popular Part of it. This Security he had procured to himself, from the Condition in which he left the Republic, the People depressed, the Patricians in full Sway, and his own Friends, at least such as from Policy would not see him hurt, at the Head of Affairs.

He had got rid of all his most formidable Enemies; first, by conquering them, then by destroying them; nor had he spared any Measure or Manner of Cruelty; insomuch that, by the Sword, Proscription, Banishment, and Confiscation, he doomed a Hundred Thousand Roman Citizens to perish, with near a Hundred Senators, and almost Three Thousand Roman Knights. Such Enemies as remained alive, especially all the Children of the Proscribed, continued disabled, by the Law, from being restored; a Law, which continued in Force after Sylla was dead, for a Reason which will be found in these Discourses.

It must be owned, that many of his Regulations were wholsome and necessary: Many of them, too, contributed largely to the Safety of his Retreat; as I shall here shew in several Instances.

He had bestowed all the best Colonies, and great municipal Towns in Italy, which had taken Part against him, upon his faithful legionary Soldiers. So that in them he had a great and experienced Army, which cost him nothing, ready, at all Events, to espouse his Quarrel, and fight for him.

At Rome he had complimented Ten Thousand Slaves (such as had belonged to those whom he had proscribed) with their Freedom, on Pretence of supplying the City with a Body of Freemen, after so many destroyed in the Civil War. Here was a Band of Men, all his own Creatures, thoroughly engaged to him, distinguished by him with the Title of Cornelians, after his own Name, and answering the Purpose of a Body-guard to him at Rome.

As he had seized immense Wealth, from all whom he disliked or suspected, he distributed it so as to make by it many powerful Friends; and, by preferring his own Creatures to all Places of Power and Trust in the Provinces, he had made himself strong there.

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He had secured himself from all popular Attacks, by retrenching, and, indeed, sinking the Power of the popular Tribunes, those formidable Officers, who had so lately and so long awed the Senate, swayed the People, and acted as Masters in Rome. By an Ordinance of his, none but Patricians could be Tribunes of the People; nor could they, after that Office, rise to any of the great Offices of the State, that of Consul, or of Prætor. They were likewise restrained from inflaming and haranguing the People, and from arguing before them, as usual, for, or against, any new Law. He had, moreover, taken the Administration of the Tribunals, that is, the Execution of all legal Justice, both Civil and Criminal, out of the Hands of the Roman Knights, and committed it wholly to the Patricians: A Change of high Moment to Him, as well as to Them!

He had done many great and popular Actions, highly to the Honour and Advantage of Rome; new conquered Greece, recovered Macedonia, subdued Thrace, vanquished Mithridates, that terrible and inveterate Enemy to the Romans, and rescued, from his Tyranny, the Cities and Coast of Asia.

He was brave, prosperous, handsome, and eloquent; all popular Qualities! He brought great Wealth, as well as great Honour, to Rome. His Triumph was splendid and dazling, over foreign Enemies only, not over any of the Roman Chiefs, his Rivals, nor for his Success in the Civil War; and he always modestly ascribed all his prosperous Events to good Fortune.

He entertained the People with magnificent Shews and Diversions, made them grand Feasts, gave them great Largesses; all mighty Engines of Popularity! His last great popular Action was his Resignation, the most popular of all; indeed, the most noble and virtuous: For which he was highly celebrated at Rome to the End of his Life, and his Death followed with the highest popular Honours.

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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.

AS the principal Dissentions and Revolutions in the Roman State, are imputed, by Sallust, to the Abuse of Power, either by the Patricians, or Plebeians, after they had reciprocally gained it, or to their mutual Struggle to gain it; I shall here explain the Mistakes of both, and first, those of the Patricians.

In every Government, where constant Dissentions reign, there must be a great Defect, either in the Institution of it, or in the Administration. Rome, under Kings, seems, to me, to have been better secured against intestine Discord, than it was after their Expulsion; had the last Tarquin, like his best Predecessors, observed the original Laws of the State. As they were trusted with the Administration of the State; as they were chief Commanders in War, and supreme Civil Magistrates, and had the Execution of Justice and Law; they had Power sufficient to check and oblige the Populace; to distinguish, as well as to awe, the Nobility; and to secure their own Station and Dignity. But all this Power and Prerogative not satisfying the mad Ambition of Tarquin, he scorned to possess the Power of Protecting, though this be the only End, and therefore the only Glory, of Reigning, unless he had also the Power of Enthralling and Destroying.

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He therefore set up a Model of Government, as frightful as it was new, to that free and brave Nation; and, without consulting People or Senate, Two of the Three Estates, He, who was only the Third, would needs rule alone, according to his Lust. As he had usurped the Throne by the most barbarous Parricide, he tried to maintain himself in it by the most arrogant Tyranny. Hence, not only He, but the Throne itself, became odious and unpopular, and both were degraded and abolished together for ever(a).

But, though the King was gone, the legal Part of Kingship remained; and the two Consuls could do whatever the Kings could do. They called together the Senate, and presided in it; as they did in the Assemblies of the People, whom they likewise summoned: They bore the chief Magistracy in Rome, and chief Command in War. These, which were the principal Prerogatives and Emoluments of Royalty, became the Portion of these Two Magistrates, and were, consequently, confined to the Senate, from whence they were chosen. It is true, the People chose them Annually, (as they had formerly the Kings for Life) but still the Choice was restrained to Senators.

This Accession of Dignity, and therefore of Pride, to the Nobility, awed now by no Superior, and possessed of all the Authority and Trappings of the State, had its usual Effect upon the Minds of Men, naturally frail and vain, and inspired them with high Conceit of their Blood and Character, both which they accounted Sacred, as they did all beneath them Profane; though most of them sprang originally from the lowest Plebeians, such as they now despised; and they owed their Supremacy at Rome, to nothing but the Tyranny and Expulsion of Tarquin. Such is the Insolence of Man, ever fond of being thought more than Human, and of making himself, what God never made him, of a Texture more Divine than the rest of his Species. I wish that Heathens only were thus apt to exalt themselves, and belye the Godhead, by boldly pretending to a Share of it; a sure Symptom of Imposture, as well as of Insolence, when Men make the worst Qualities Edition: current; Page: [67] cleaving to Humanity, Marks of their Divinity; namely, their Pride, and Passion; their Frauds, and selfish Designs.

Such Use has been made, in all Ages, of the Name of Heaven, by Men who meant to engross and controul this Earth. Thus Emperors and Popes came to be deified; and thus, numberless Fanatics of all Sorts, some Pagan, others falsly called Christian, have roundly claimed an Alliance with the Deity, or Commissions and Immunities from Him; for no other apparent Reason, than that they differed from the rest of the World in Craziness and Conceit, or in the Quaintness of their Titles and Apparel, or in some senseless Forms and Grimaces, pompously practised to promote Superstition, and dignify Folly and Fraud; as if the confident Pretence of One, or a Few, to celestial Attributes and Authority, were sufficient to enforce the Belief and Obedience of all the rest; or, as if certain religious Terms and Fashions, invented by Men, inferred any real Warrant or Power from God to some Men, to guide and govern other Men endowed with equal Faculties, and equally capable of undergoing, or of performing, the same Solemnity; a Task which required no other Ability than that of Voice and Motion, and, perhaps, a demure Look.

Yet this Solemnity, this Exercise of the Auspices, hitherto confined to the Patricians, exclusive of the Plebeians, was one of the best Arguments for excluding the Plebeians from it for ever, and consequently from every considerable Office and Dignity in the State; since, without the Solemnity of the Auspices, no considerable Office could be exercised. This Reasoning in the Nobility was now very strange and unjust, upon several Accounts. For though, during the Monarchy, they enjoyed this exclusive Privilege, which was Part of the Constitution settled under Romulus; yet, when the Monarchy was abolished, the People, by whose Assistance the Change was effected, were intitled to new Advantages and Prerogatives, as well as the Patricians, who, having suffered more than the People in the Tyranny of Tarquin, had not only revenged and secured themselves by his Expulsion, which had been therefore concerted by them, but had gained from it all the Power and Pre-eminence of Royalty intirely to their own Edition: current; Page: [68] Body, as before I have observed. They were therefore become, by the Conjunction of Monarchy and Nobility, more than twice as great and strong as they had Both been whilst they were separate; as there could be no longer any Jarrings or Jealousy between the Claims and Prerogatives of King and Patricians, since the Patricians possessed both.

So that the People, instead of any Profit or Relief (unless such as was altogether precarious and momentary) from this Revolution, which they had readily helped to accomplish, were really in a worse State than before, by being subservient to a higher and more awful Power. Nor could Things last long upon this strange Foot of Inequality in a free City. How, or why, was Tarquin to be kept out by the People, if the People were still to be greater Slaves than they had been under Tarquin? Yet the Nobility had no other Way to keep up the Spirit of the People against Tarquin, and all Kings, but by the constant Cry of popular Liberty, and of the Tyranny of Kingship. Nor had the People much Cause to complain of Contempt, or hard Usage, whilst Tarquin was making constant Efforts to be restored, and forming continual Confederacies, amongst the neighbouring States, against Rome. But when all his Attempts, and those of his Allies, were defeated, as well by the Bravery of the Roman Soldiers, (that is to say, the Roman People) as by the good Conduct of the Patricians, and he and his Family were extinct, the Patricians began to shew, as all Men, and Bodies of Men, almost always do, that Power uncontrouled and enormous will, first or last, be enormously exerted(a).

The People, whom the Patricians, out of Fear of Tarquin, had persuaded, that they were never free before, and had taught to love Liberty in Hatred to Tyranny, could not but be provoked, to find such, as seemed, hitherto, no more than their Counsellors and Coadjutors in the common Cause, acting, on a sudden, as their Masters; Men, who had lately been the great Orators and Champions for Liberty, setting up and practising Tyranny. The Edition: current; Page: [69] People, who had done more than They, in Defence of public Freedom, thought they had as good a Right to be free Themselves. What was this boasted Revolution to Them, if they derived no Benefit from it? It was exceeding hard, and even barbarous, that They, who exerted so much Bravery, and ventured their Lives, to accomplish it, should still be in a worse Condition than before; possessed of less Liberty; exposed to more Severity and Insults; nay, enthralled by those whom they had rescued from Thraldom. It was, indeed, very ungrateful in the Patricians towards their Deliverers: For what could They have done without the People? It was also unjust; because they imposed upon the People, what they would not suffer the King to impose upon Themselves: And was ill-judged; since how could they expect, that the People, who held in their Hands the Elements of Power; who created all Magistrates, and gave Sanction to all Laws; who were born to Liberty; and, having now redeemed it, expected to enjoy more than ever; who were armed, and brave; all bred Soldiers; and daily fighting for their Rights, Possessions, and Independency; would, all at once, bear Servitude, from such as they had just saved from Servitude; and be oppressed by those who were bound to protect them(a)?

They bore it, in truth, for some time, with great Tameness: But it was ill Policy to think, that what they suffered for awhile, they would suffer always; and submit to any Degree of Hardship, because they had submitted to many Degrees. Sometimes the Transition is hardly perceiveable, from abused Patience to violent Resentment. It was manifest, from the Change of Behaviour in the Patricians, upon the Death of Tarquin, that their late popular Conduct had been only the Acting of a Part; and their Cry for public Liberty, no more than Cant and Grimace; whilst they were securing and engrossing to Themselves the same Domination which He had lost; but which, whilst He lived, They durst not avow.

When, therefore, they had Him no longer to fear, they no longer used the People with the same Respect and Tenderness; but, as if every Patrician had been a Tarquin, began to treat the Edition: current; Page: [70] People like Slaves, and subject them to Whips and Chains, according to the Extremity of the Law; a Law utterly inconsistent with the Genius of a free and brave People, and fit to have been abolished with the Tyranny of Tarquin, had Tyranny been abolished with the Tyrant. But the reasonable Claims and Redress of the People squared not with the domineering Views of the Nobles; who, bearing all the Names, Ensigns, and Offices of Power, treated the Plebeians as their Vassals, born to bear and obey.

SECT. II.: The Plebeians, long oppressed, obtain a Remedy by Force; but a Remedy dangerous to the State.

THE Plebeians, who would have still submitted to the Patricians as their Magistrates, would not tamely suffer them as Oppressors: And, since they had such Heads, who thus unnaturally used and tortured the Limbs, they were advised and resolved to find other Heads, or, which is the same thing, Protectors, who were more nearly interested in the Preservation of the Body.

This will ever be the Case and Event, whilst Men are Men; all who are oppressed, will, where they can, relieve themselves from Oppression. If Magistrates will not be content with their proper Character, the Office of Protecting, but stretch that Office into Rigour and Violence, they who feel it will seek a Remedy, and, perhaps, find and apply one stronger than the Disease; and so cure a great Evil by one as great or greater. This is the natural Progress and Consequence of popular Reformations. The People seldom think of any, till they are quite inflamed; and then they are not fit to make any. The Roman Populace, with all the Merit that any People could have, had suffered as much as People could suffer, before they retired, and held a common Consultation, how to redress themselves. Every body knows the Story of their proposing and carrying the Establishment of Magistrates of their own, Tribunes of the People; Officers who avenged them, indeed, amply upon the Patricians, but who were likewise almost continually Edition: current; Page: [71] misleading them, violating the public Tranquillity; and who, though they helped to aggrandize, yet ruined the State.

This Reward had the Nobles, for their extravagant Pride and Contempt; for their engrossing all Power to Themselves, and exerting it without Bounds over the Commons. It was a strange Error in the Nobles, to think, that the Roman People, who made Laws and Magistrates, would not only remain without any Share in the Execution of the Laws, and any Lot or Advantage in their Choice of Magistrates, but even tamely bear the violent Abuse of Law, from Magistrates of their own Creation. Was it likely, that They, who had the legislative Power, would be content with an intire Exclusion from the Administration; and be Slaves to Officers created by Themselves? Upon the Expulsion of Tarquin, as it was a new State, new and proper Regulations should have been made; and an equal Administration settled, equally interesting to the whole Community; with a Set of Magistrates alike concerned for Nobles and Commons, without exclusive Views and Qualifications, and Names and Offices of Strife; such as the Tribunes of the People proved, extraordinary Officers, vested with the whole Authority of the People, and set up professedly to oppose and controul the whole Administration; which, at last, by this Authority, at first intirely negative, they usurped and swayed.

From hence it appears, that Governments are seldom equally balanced and perfect: They are, for the most part, Patch-work, seldom formed at once upon an honest, universal, and rational Scheme; but, generally, so established, at first, as to answer the ambitious Views of One, or a Few; or altered afterwards, according to present Necessity, and by extemporary Remedies; such as rather serve to give momentary Ease, and remove some glaring Symptoms, than to eradicate the Disease. The People, with whom instant Relief generally passes for a complete Cure, are apt to trust implicitly to the Skill and Management of the State-Physicians of the Time; whilst these Physicians contrive how to make the best Advantage of their Patients, and the Distemper; and, by flattering Medicines, and magnificent Promises, get the intire Direction of their Persons and Purses.

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This may, indeed, at last, provoke the People to look out for other Doctors, and other Remedies, when they find themselves still sick and disordered, and, perhaps, worse, rather than better. But, as, where-ever they turn and apply, they must trust Somebody, they are not sure of being better used, or more effectually cured, by their new Physicians and Patrons; who, in order to serve them, must be trusted by them; and will thence have an Opportunity (which they seldom will neglect) of serving themselves at the Expence of such as employ them.

For the People are, generally, gained by the same Snares and Professions; and let them be ever so angry at one Man, or Party of Men, for abusing the Trust which they had reposed in them without Reserve, they are still ready to commit the same Trust, with equal Blindness, to their new Favourites; who, perhaps, have acquired their Confidence by deceiving them, and, in Requital for having acquired it, are determined to deceive them still more.

Thus the Roman People, finding themselves oppressed by Tarquin, heartily concurred with the Patricians in dethroning and expelling him, without taking any due Precautions against Oppression from the Patricians, in whose Hands the Kingly Power still continued. The poor Populace saw no farther than the Name, and the Man; and, both these being gone, they perceived nothing to hurt them, and, therefore, nothing to fear. But, as Power and Ambition seldom sleep, what they perceived not at first, they amply felt afterwards. The Patricians, delivered from the Tyranny of Tarquin, forgetting how insupportable they had found Tyranny to Themselves, as also, by whose Aid and Courage they had shaken it off, began to exercise it over the Plebeians without Mercy or Bounds. The Plebeians, finding, at length, that they had only changed One severe Master for Many, roused by ill Usage, and listening to their own Demagogues, sought Redress and Protection from the Creation of Plebeian Officers; who, afterwards, abused their Power, and, consequently, The People, as much as ever the Patricians had done; as will fully appear, when I come to discourse of the popular Tribunes.

This, however, excuses not the Patricians; who might easily have foreseen what their rigorous Rule would produce, amongst a Edition: current; Page: [73] People so magnanimous and determined. Their bearing it, in many Instances, and for some Time, proved not, that they would always bear it; but only, that they were not yet desperate. They, indeed, wanted but One Spark to set so many inflamed Spirits on a Blaze: This Spark was administered by Volero; and one more effectual could not have happened.

It might have seemed reasonable, that the Roman Soldiers, that is to say, the Commonalty of Rome, who were daily venturing their Lives against the public Enemies, and bringing home continual Victories, should have shared in the good Fortune of the State; and that they, who were the Authors and Instruments of public Safety, and public Honour, should have enjoyed Ease and Esteem at home. But they found a very different Lot and Recompence; and, in Return for Triumphs and Laurels, won by them for the Commonwealth, and as a Reward for Inlargement of her Territory, and Revenue, and Strength, they were treated with Whips and Gaols, and found themselves Slaves, for having, by the Price of their Blood, preserved their Country free. Such just Cause had they to ask as they did, ‘Were we in the Power of our Enemies, whom we have so often vanquished, could They treat us worse than these our Fellow-Citizens treat us?’

In the midst of such bitter Usage on one Side, and of such grievous Complaints on the other, the sad Sight, and mournful Tale, of a miserable Man, in the public Place, whither he had just broke from Chains and Stripes, drew the whole Body of Plebeians thither, and filled up the Measure of their Resentment and Horror: He was an antient Man, covered with all the Marks of Wretchedness, and barbarous Usage; his Apparel old and nasty; his Body emaciated; his Countenance wan and meagre; his Eyes hollow; his Hair matted and staring; all together a Figure frightful and shocking. The doleful Impressions which his Appearance made, were greatly heightened by what he said; ‘That, whilst he was serving his Country, in the War against the Sabines, his Grounds were utterly wasted and ruined by the Enemy, and produced him no Harvest; his Farm itself was burned; all his Goods plundered; and his Stock of Cattle carried off: Besides, having the public Assessment to pay, he had Edition: current; Page: [74] been forced to borrow: To discharge this Debt, increased by monstrous Usury, he had parted, first, with the Estate left him by his Ancestors; then, with what other Effects he had; at last, to complete his Calamity, had surrendered up his Body: That his Creditors, not satisfied with holding him in Servitude, had doomed him to Irons and Torture.’ Next, he made his Back bare, and there shew’d the recent Gashes and Impressions of the Lash; whilst upon his Breast there appeared large Sears of Wounds from the public Enemy, all thus honourable received before. Add, that he was well known by some of the Spectators; who said, that they had seen him bravely engaged as an Officer at the Head of his Men, and distinguished for his noble Exploits in War. Such were the Merits, such the Sufferings, of Volero.

What needed there more to blow up general Discontent into a Flame? Nothing was seen in Rome, but Dissention and Uproar. Yet the Plebeians were quieted, for the present, by some reasonable Condescensions, which were very little observed, and by fair Promises, never made good: So that the old Grievances, returning or continuing, revived the old Complaints and Disaffection; and the People, who would have been satisfied with very moderate Concessions honestly fulfilled, quite weary of trusting to Words, and utterly provoked by false Dealings, insisted upon, and obtained the Creation of such a new Power in the Commonwealth, as, by altering the old Balance, formed as it were another and a new Commonwealth, and terribly diminished the Authority of the Patricians, as well as mortified their Pride. It was but the Course of Things: They who domineer when they are uppermost, cannot be surprised, nor ought to complain, when they are undermost, to find Others domineer over Them. Every Man has a like Right to injure another; that is, no Right at all: But whoever begins the Exercise of Injustice, has the least Right or Pretence to cry out when he suffers it.

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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.

THE Roman People, who had hitherto suffered too much, seem now to have gained too much. For, though these their Tribunes were vested with a negative Power only, yet, as they exerted and applied it, (as it was easy to foresee they would) it was the Exercise of Government over the Government; since, whenever they pleased, they could (at least they did) by one short Word, suspend and interdict the whole Administration; command the great Council of the State to stand still, and not only oppose, but imprison the supreme Magistrates, alter their Titles and Number, dictate to the Grandees of the State, and even force the greatest of them, the Dictator himself, to abdicate his Charge. It was, indeed, owing to Accident, to the Stratagems, Reputation, and Spirit of the Nobility; to their superior Address, and Temporizing, and to the inveterate Reverence of the People towards the Patricians, that these popular Tribunes did not very early quite abolish the old Government, and set up another. At best, there was thenceforward but little, or short-lived Concord at Rome; much Strife, or the Seeds of Strife, continually subsisting: And as the Nobles, by wronging and oppressing the Plebeians, had driven them to Extremities, and unwisely put them upon trying their own Strength; the Plebeians made the Patricians soon feel that Strength, and with it that Resentment, which they had too long despised. It is the Consequence of Justice long delayed, and of Misery forced to seek its own Relief. They Edition: current; Page: [76] who are ill used, and denied just Relief, when thus driven upon finding it themselves, may likewise find the Means of returning it, perhaps twofold; nor is it to be wondered at, if they make that Return; neither are they to be blamed for it, any further than when, in doing it, they hurt Themselves in order to mortify Others, and enable the Instruments of their Vengeance to become the Instruments of their Oppression.

It is very true, that these many Feuds, and the continual Efforts of the popular Tribunes, occasioned many Wars and Conquests, and thence contributed to the Grandeur of Rome, as well as to furnish out many able Commanders and Statesmen. But this was an accidental Advantage, arising out of a real Evil; such as might have produced, and was often near producing, and did at last produce, utter Ruin and Dissolution. For a long while, neither Side could quite subdue the other, though engaged in a continual Struggle: And as soon as one came to be enslaved, it was by such means as enslaved the other too. Sylla, at the Head of the Nobility, mastered the Plebeian Party with Marius at their Head, but was also full as much Master of the Nobles. Cæsar, the Idol of the Commonalty, subdued Pompey and the Senate, but equally subdued the Commonalty too.

Parties are too angry, and consequently too blind, (for surely nothing is more blinding than Rage) to see any Designs in their Leader to their Disadvantage. It is only public Spirit that prompts him, and their Interest alone is the Measure of his Conduct. All his Professions are sincere, all his Harangues convincing, his Steps disinterested, and his Lyes and Flatteries so many Marks of Love and Truth. Thus they dance after their Demagogues to Bondage, and all the while cry Liberty, repeating it after Him, till He has carried Them (perhaps for ever) out of the Reach of Liberty, and made use of the Sound utterly to destroy the Substance. Spurius Melius, Marcus Manlius Capitolinus, and Spurius Cassius, all driving at Tyranny by the Cry of Liberty, were all popular, all beloved, and believed. Catiline had Liberty, Roman Liberty, in his Mouth, whilst his traiterous Heart was panting after Tyranny and Massacre, and the utter Extinction of the Roman State. And Cæsar, out of Fear and Tenderness for public Liberty, was Edition: current; Page: [77] zealous to save the bloody Accomplices of Catiline, even after the fullest Conviction, such as even the Arts and Eloquence of Cæsar could not baffle nor evade. That Catiline was popular, Sallust shews; and how popular Cæsar was, the World knows, as the Roman Commonwealth did, to her Sorrow and Subversion.

The Tribunes applied themselves early to the same Arts, with great Popularity and Success, cheating the People almost continually with deceitful Baits, inflaming them by seditious Harangues, and keeping them ever idle and turbulent. In truth, considering the ambitious Attempts and Views of the Tribunes, with their great Boldness in misleading and inflaming the People, and the great Credulity of the People, and their Proneness to be misled and inflamed; I cannot see, but that some extraordinary Revolution must have soon ensued, if, out of their own Number, a Remedy had not been found for their Fury, by gaining One, which it was not always hard to do out of Ten, to oppose, and consequently frustrate, the extravagant Projects of the rest. Though this Remedy was once afterwards taken away, in an extraordinary and violent Manner, by one of the famous Gracchi.

SECT. II.: Reflections on the plausible Professions, and dangerous Conduct, of the Gracchi. Public Reformations, how cautiously to be attempted.

HAD these two illustrious Brothers, the Gracchi, proceeded much further, however virtuous at first their Motives may have been, and however crying the Injustice of the Nobles, I think the State must have been turned upside down, and some sudden Tyranny must have been the Lot of Rome; or, which is generally introductive of Tyranny, a cruel Civil War, with Invasion, and probably Conquest, from so many warlike Nations, Edition: current; Page: [78] exasperated against the Romans, for having been vanquished by them. It is certain, that the Spirits of Men, on both Sides, were furiously heated, and disposed to think no Measures, which promised Success or Assistance, unjust, or too sanguinary. When Things go this Length, as both Parties will always like their own Cause best, they will judge all Means lawful to support it; and, as Fury and Madness will be called Zeal, Calumny and Lyes will obtain Credit; Violence and Outrage will pass for Self-defence; Bloodshed and Massacre will bear the Title of Punishment; and all Wickedness and Barbarity will be done under the softest Names, and for the best Ends: As I have more fully explained in my Discourse upon Civil Wars.

Suppose the two Gracchi, whose Virtues and great Talents I honour, whose tragical Ends I lament and abhor, but whose Conduct seems to me to have had a very terrible Aspect and Tendency; I say, suppose them to have had the best Intentions upon Earth; it is most certain, that their Measures were such, as rendered each of them successively absolute Master of the Republic; a Situation, than which nothing can be more terrible to a free State; for it was then at his Mercy, whether it should be a State, or no; a plain Proof, that it was not free! Besides, they gave such alarming Proofs of their violent Spirit, as well as of their tremendous Power, that they seemed as little Masters of their own Temper and Ambition, as the State was of its own Authority. It is a dreadful Medicine, which is as likely to kill as to cure; and if there be certain Disorders incident to the Body, which cannot be extirpated without the Extirpation of Life, and are therefore to be endured; is it not more eligible to suffer certain Diseases in the Body Politic, even certain great Diseases, than attempt to remove them, by an Expedient much more likely to destroy than to reform it; or which, if it reform one Abuse, yet tends to introduce the most horrible of all Evils and Abuses, even Tyranny and Servitude?

Now, what is it that introduces this greatest of all Corruptions and Calamities, but the Power of one Man to do what he pleases? And was not Tiberius Gracchus that Man? Was not his Brother Edition: current; Page: [79] Caius, after him, such another Man? Their Professions were plausible; and the open and daring Abuses of the Nobility furnished them with fair Pretences. But who knows their Intentions, the Intentions of two very able and very powerful Men, animated by Vengeance, as well as by Justice, and aiming avowedly at the Abasement, probably at the Destruction, of the Senate, as well as at the Relief of the poor Plebeians? Were they, or could they be, Masters of their own Intentions? As they could not foresee all Difficulties, neither could they foresee what Expedients they must be forced upon to overcome them. For they seemed determined to carry their Point at all Adventures, and therefore to try every Means proper for such a Purpose.

Now, suppose nothing less than the Power of Sylla, and of Cæsar, would have been found sufficient, namely, Power absolute and continued, that is, downright Tyranny; would they have submitted, and dropped their Point? I cannot see, from their obstinate Behaviour, and violent Measures, that they would. Or, if they had openly assumed the supreme Power in Form, as they did in Effect, they would have said, (and perhaps then might have meant what they said) that there was no other Way of humbling the Nobles, and restoring the Commons; and that when they had accomplished this End, they would lay it down: And yet would have found afterwards, full as good Reasons for prolonging it, even for their own Ambition and Security, and that of their new Establishments; that is to say, for ever. It was the Plea and Practice of Cromwell. He made Reformation a Stale for Usurpation: When he had mounted the Throne, he found it unsafe, as well as unpleasant, to descend; never pretended to hold his Power always, but only till a Godly thorough Settlement was made; how soon, or how late, He only was to judge; and in the mean time, retained his sovereign Authority to keep the Peace, and carry on the Work of Reformation.

I dread all such Reformations, as are only to be effected by the arbitrary Will, and unaccountable Humour, of one Man, by a Power too nor delegated, but taken. I would rather see many Abuses subsist, than a Cromwell, a Pisistratus, a Cæsar, or (it you will) a Gracchus, assuming lawless Power to redress them. Edition: current; Page: [80] Indeed, in all Revolutions, the most necessary and best, there are Evils and Inconveniencies more than enow(a).

The Provocation given by the Nobles was, indeed, very great, and their Oppressions shocking; as They were, in the Face and Defiance of all Law and Compassion, possessed of all that Portion of the conquered Lands, which was appointed for the Subsistence of the poor Plebeians, who had carned them with their Swords. The Usurpers were rioting in overgrown Wealth, Pomp, and Luxury; whilst the poor Romans, who daily exposed their Lives for the Safety and Aggrandizing of these their Oppressors, by being deprived of their Property, wanted Bread. There could therefore be nothing more just, nothing more equitable, or more conducing to mutual Peace amongst Fellow-Citizens, and to the Equality so necessary in a free State, where the overgrown Riches, and consequently Power, of One, or a Few, tend directly to the Enthralling of All, than the Ascertaining the Agrarian Law, and Restoring the usurped Lands to the injured and necessitous Proprietors.

But the Evil was inveterate, and far spread; all the great Men in the Commonwealth were engaged in Pride and Interest to support it, and to oppose every Remedy: Since whatever removed That, must reduce Them; and terribly shorten their Property, their Figure, and Authority.

Lælius, that accomplished Roman, the celebrated Friend of the great Scipio Africanus, as virtuous and public-spirited a Man as either of the Gracchi, and, I think, more wise, was sensibly touched with the same Grievances, which so much piqued Them, and, whilst he was Tribune of the People, conceived a Design to cure them; but gave it over, upon a View of its extreme Difficulty and Peril. Had he seen any Prospect of succeeding, by Methods that were not desperate, and threatening to the Commonwealth, it is likely he would have pursued his Intention. Surely the Temptation was great to an honest and humane Mind, to make the Rich and Wanton restore the Bread, which they had robbed from the Poor and Innocent, to cut up daring Oppression Edition: current; Page: [81] by the Roots, to restore the baffled Laws to their former Force, and to establish a just and equal Administration in a free Commonwealth. But he would not attempt what he foresaw no Man could accomplish, without making himself Master of all the rest; and particular Acts of Injustice, perhaps, seemed to him more tolerable than the Tyranny, that is, the Power, of One over All. The Gracchi actually assumed and exercised that Power, which, had not They been destroyed, would, in all Likelihood, have destroyed the Republic. Machiavel observes, that whenever the People are brought to admire and extol a Man, only because he has Power to punish their Enemies; if he prove but selfish and able, their Liberty is lost, and he may usurp the supreme Power when he pleases. For, by the Assistance of the People, he may master the Nobility; and, when the Nobility are depressed, it will not be difficult to him to enslave the People; who will then have no Resource of Succour or Support.

The Gracchi breathed the true Spirit of the Tribunitial Power, ever turbulent and aspiring, ever producing popular Tyrants. It was a Power which seemed very small at first, since they who had it appeared lower than the lowest Magistrates, and were, indeed, without any Mark or Name of Magistracy, without Jurisdiction over their Fellow-Citizens, and without any Tribunal, or particular Habit, or the Power of calling Assemblies. They were dressed like common Men, sat without the Senate, attended by one Serjeant; and their sole Business and Authority was, to observe, that nothing passed there contrary to the Interest of the Plebeians. So that their whole Power was Negative, and comprised in one short Word, I forbid; a Word capable of being terribly extended; as, indeed, it soon, and always was.

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SECT. III.: The boundless Power assumed by the Tribunes: With what Boldness and Iniquity they exercise it. The People still their Dupes.

THE Power of the Tribunes grew so enormous, that, under that Title, the Emperors, afterwards, held and maintained their Usurpation, which they chose to call by the Name of the Tribunitial Power, as the greatest Power known to the free State, and moreover familiar, and even acceptable, to the People. This was one of the Arts of Augustus, and practised, by all his Successors, down to Constantine. The Title of King, and that of Dictator, were odious: That therefore of the Tribuneship, comprehending full as much Power, was adjudged more safe; besides that, it was declared, from the Beginning; sacred and inviolable. This shews to what a Height and Immensity this Office must have grown, when Princes, usurping and arbitrary Princes, entertained so high a Conceit of it, and esteemed it sufficient to denote and support their lawless Power.

The Tribunes began early to manifest what copious Authority they meant to draw from their short Commission. They assembled the People, harangued, governed, and inflamed them; commanded the Senate to meet, controuled, interrupted, and insulted it; arraigned the highest Patricians, and ordered the Consuls (the supreme Magistrates of the State) into Custody. All this oppressive, and indeed destructive Power, they found in an Office instituted only to prevent Oppression. They would mend the Government by Misrule, protect the Plebeians by oppressing the Nobility, and lead the People by misguiding and oppressing them(a). Their greatest Credit consisted in fomenting continual Misunderstanding between the People and Senate; and, as the Edition: current; Page: [83] People would scarce ever receive Information but from their Tribunes; the Tribunes seldom gave them any Information that was true, and thus became their Favourites for deceiving them. A Case by no means new in the World, nor likely to grow old.

They seemed to think themselves created to crush and persecute the Patricians, whom they were only to check and balance; and to alarm and deceive the Commons, whose great Interest it was to be quiet and free. The Senate, the great Council, and one of the two Limbs of the State, was to be lopped off, or laid aside, or rendered intirely useless, and the State itself to be disabled and mutilated, and consequently the Constitution changed, to make Way, not for a popular Government, but for the furious and unnatural Sway of a few Demagogues, naturally and necessarily ending in the Tyranny of One. The unrepresented Multitude never can govern; and a few Individuals, representing and governing the Multitude, generally govern for Themselves, against the Interest of the Whole, and cannot hold long; but must either be all removed, or will soon remove each other, and leave the Whole in the Hands of One; and then the Multitude, who at first were Principals, and gave all the Power, will be Slaves to the Power of One.

Popular Sovereignty (I mean the Populace not duly represented) is popular Licentiousness, which is destructive of regular Liberty; and tends directly to what it seems, at least sounds, least like, the lawless Sovereignty of a single Man. So that he, who, with this View, takes off all Bonds and Restraints from the People, will soon have an Opportunity to bring them under the most severe and strongest of all, even the Bonds of Servitude. Anarchy can never last long any-where, and is always more likely to end in the Government of Will than that of Laws. During such a State, the People are too mad to be well advised, and are therefore fit to be mastered. Though the Many have no Art, some Few amongst them may have a great deal; and amongst these Few, One may have more Cunning, or more Success, than the Rest. Now, as Anarchy generally ends in Tyranny, great Licentiousness produces Anarchy.

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How could popular Tranquillity, and consequently civil Liberty, which delights in Quiet, be secured at Rome where these popular Leaders were, for their own Ends and Importance, continually transporting and affrighting the People? Soon after their Creation, two of them, Brutus and Sicinius, took Occasion from a public Calamity, (a proper Conjuncture for raising popular Tumults) to publish a mischievous Lye, ‘That the Patricians, by keeping their Granaries full, had caused the Dearth, and consequently the Famine, that prevailed, as it furnished them with an Opportunity of selling Corn at an exorbitant Price.’ For this, they represented the Patricians as Extortioners, and hard-hearted Tyrants, who thus aimed at swallowing up what small Portions yet remained of Land and Substance to the poor Plebeians, or at starving all the Plebeians in general. For this Famine there was an obvious Cause, as the Tribunes well knew, even the wilful Idleness and Neglect of the People themselves, who, when they retired from Rome with an Intention to settle elsewhere, had left their Fields uncultivated, and occasioned their own want of Bread. But the Tribunes were sensible, that any Falshood, however gross, would pass with the Multitude, who were starving and credulous. These Sons of Sedition traduced and decried the Government with one only View, even that they themselves might come to be Governors.

Indeed, these Tribunes carried most of their Points by downright Impudence, and by Lyes, confidently spread to terrify the People, and incense them against the Senate. The Tribune Volscius procured Cæso, Son of the famous Quintus Cincinnatus, that brave old Captain, and frequent Deliverer of his Country, to be condemned for a Fact which he never committed; as was afterwards fully proved, when the vile Falsifier was punished with perpetual Exile for having forged it. This lying Accuser charged Cæso, before the People, with having killed a Brother of his. For this the credulous People, deceived and exasperated by their Tribune, doomed Cæso to Banishment, and a Fine; and to pay this Fine, the venerable old Patriot, so often Consul and Dictator, sold the best Part of his Estate, and was forced to retire to a poor Edition: current; Page: [85] Hovel beyond the Tiber, and there cultivate, with his own Hands, Five Acres of Ground for his Subsistence.

When the Tribunes found, that the blind Croud swallowed greedily every Lye against the Senate, they contrived a Plot to destroy the greatest Part of that venerable Body at once, by accusing them of a sham Conspiracy to destroy a great Part of the People. This pretended Plot of the Senate against the People, and their Magistrates the Tribunes, was carefully imparted to the Populace, who believed it all, though it was all a most mischievous Fiction. Nay, the Tribunes had the Assurance to repair to the Senate, and, in a formal and pathetic Speech, to represent it to the Fathers. But both in the Senate, and before an Assembly of the People, the pretended Conspiracy was finely and successfully exposed, and the Absurdity and Improbability of it so fully demonstrated, that it turned highly to the Disgrace of the Framers. But, though all People of Sense and Condition were abundantly convinced, the Rabble, ever stupid and deluded, persisted in believing it, without once suspecting it to be, what it really was, a shocking Device of these their Idols, to increase and confirm their Dominion over them. So that they were not Magistrates, but eternal Fomenters of Discord; a Character which destroys that of a Magistrate.

It was evident, that their noisy Zeal for the People, and the Liberties of the People, was Grimace; when they were doing what was ruinous to popular Liberty, by raising continual Seditions, and attempting, as they often did, sometimes avowedly, to perpetuate themselves in their Office. But still the Multitude were convinced, that all these pestilent Doings and Designs were for their Benefit. If the Tribune Sextius had not known them to be the grossest Dupes in Nature, he could not have treated them with such egregious Insult and Scorn as he did, by declaring to their Faces, when, having been once disappointed of the Consulship, he sued for it a second time; ‘If We, the Tribunes, obtain not the Consulship by your Help, you shall never obtain the Division of the Lands, nor the Discharge of your Debts, by ours.’ But even this selfish Declaration cured not the People of their wild Edition: current; Page: [86] Partiality for Sextius; though by it he forfeited all Title to Modesty and public Spirit, and all just Pretence to Popularity.

It may not, perhaps, be impertinent to observe here, that these Declaimers, who filled Rome with their Assemblies, their Swaggering, and their Harangues, Men, so bold at the Head of a Multitude, and professing such Vigilance for the public Weal, never once shewed their Faces, nor were their Names mentioned, when the brave Coriolanus, driven from Rome by their Invectives, was returned thither at the Head of an Army, to take Vengeance on them. It was much safer to abuse him in the Forum, than to meet him in the Field; and whilst he was pursuing, and might have effected, the Destruction of the Republic, the Tribunes, whose Tongues could not then avail them, yet had now recourse to no better Weapon; that is to say, To none; and expected the Event with Submission and Silence. When they had escaped that terrible Blow, not by any Address or Prowess of theirs, instead of blushing for their late Behaviour, and retiring till it might be forgot, they soon resumed their old Strains and Practice of Pertness and Sedition. Indeed, they proposed some things that were reasonable and just; as the worst Tyrants have sometimes made good Laws, whilst their Conduct upon the Whole was lawless and violent.

Nor did the Tribunes lose any Opportunity of boasting their popular Services, and heightening their own Merit. They likewise took all Occasions, to depreciate and revile the Senate and Magistracy, to represent them in constant Combination against the Commonalty, and themselves as their great Protectors. So that the People were kept by them in an everlasting Ferment, in a Flame of various Passions, Partiality, Aversion, Fear, and Jealousy. Neither is it to the Reputation of these Tribunes with Posterity, that they were assiduous to procure Information of the Transactions and Passages in private Families, (the sure Sign of a mean and spiteful Spirit!) whence to raise and aggravate ill-natured Reports; all to make the Patricians odious, or contemptible.

Was Rome, thus constituted, thus agitated and tumultuous, a well composed State, properly balanced and secure?

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DISCOURSE VI.: Of Public Corruption; particularly that of the Romans.

SECT. I.: The Interest of Virtue, and of the Public, every Man’s Interest.

THERE are, in Sallust, so many Reflections about public Corruption, such strong Instances of it at Rome, not only in the People, but amongst the great Men, who ought to have been the soundest of all, and Patterns of Probity to the rest of the Commonwealth; especially of their Venality, during the Jugurthine War; and public Corruption is in itself of such fatal Effect; that I shall take it into large Consideration in the following Discourse.

Whoever would cure public Evils and Corruption, can never do it so effectually, as by convincing such who promote them, that whatever is injurious to their Country is likewise prejudicial to Themselves; whether they consider their Innocence, or their Fame, or the Permanence and Stability of their Family and Fortune. This seems, to me, so true, that I cannot, in all History, recollect an Instance which does not confirm it. That no Man can be called happy, who betrays public Trust, or enslaves his Country, is as certain, as that there is such a Thing as Happiness or Unhappiness, such a Thing as Honour or Dishonour, in the World: Where there is no Virtue, there can be no Merit nor Praise; neither can there be any Breach of Trust, or Failure of Duty, without Reproach and Infamy: Besides that, it is often accompanied, as it ought to be, with personal Peril and Ruin: But this Peril is not the greatest Peril; that of losing Honour and Reputation, and Edition: current; Page: [88] inward Peace, is by much the most terrible. Virtue, and a good Name, is the best Wealth: It is Wealth which cannot perish; and he who is rich in Virtue, can never be poor: Whereas the Man who is rich without it, still labours under the worst of all Poverty, and is liable withal to lose his Treasures and Revenues; and, when these are gone, what remains to comfort or support him? In his highest Pomp and Prosperity; all Men of Sense and Probity despise him; and, when deserted by Fortune, even the Vulgar ridicule and scorn him. This was the Fate of that miserable Voluptuary the Emperor Vitellius; who had earned such Infamy by the Vileness of his Life, that the Manner of his Death, though very sad and tragical, procured him no Compassion. So true is that Maxim of the Philosopher’s, ‘That only is miserable, which is base and dishonest.’

The good, the upright Man, he whose Heart is pure, whose Hands are clean, has a continual Resource in himself, out of the Reach of Power or Fortune. The Man who keeps his Integrity, and does his Duty, is always sure of one Reward, even when he is oppressed, persecuted, and ungratefully used. To be conscious of having acted virtuously, is a Reward for Virtue; such a Reward as the Power and Malice of Men cannot obstruct nor diminish. And where this Recompence is wanting, any other Recompence, however splendid and sounding, is but Farce and Mockery, Satire and Reproach: It is like melted Gold poured down the Throat of a Miser; it is like loading a Traitor with Bags of Money, till he expire under the Wages of his Treason.

There have been Men distinguished with very high Titles and Preferments, for Actions which merited Gibbets and Dungeons: But what Man of Sense or Honour would have chosen their miserable Lot? Their unnatural Exaltation only added to the former Detestation of their Persons and Crimes; and they were considered as double Criminals, for having usurped and defiled the Rewards only due to Merit, to cover their Deformity, and adorn their Guilt. Had they any Pleasure in such bloated Greatness? Then they were stupid, and in the Condition of the lowest and most unperceiving Quadrupeds; a Situation not to be envied; indeed, to a reasonable Being, worse, and more wretched, than Non-existence. At Edition: current; Page: [89] best, they were seared, and had hardened their Hearts with such a continual Bent to Vice, to depraved Habits, and the Repetition of Crimes, as to be insensible, that Wickedness was wicked, and that Crimes were criminal.

Can a higher, or more shocking Curse than this befall a Man, to become an habitual Enemy to Virtue, and, consequently, to Men, and human Society; and to be continually abandoned to a Passion for Evil and Mischief? This is the Character and Curse of a Dæmon; yet it is a Character which is too often found amongst the Sons of Men: And if they find no Delight at all in these their unsuitable Trappings, but still feel their own pungent Guilt, in the midst of all that Glare intended to hide it from others, then are these Trappings only fresh Burdens; which, by being wickedly obtained, do but bring new Guilt and Pain; and their Dignities and Distinctions are so many importunate Monitors and Remembrances, how little they deserve them, and how much they deserve another and an opposite Lot.

Prosperity, Wealth, and Power, cast a false Lustre upon Characters, and disguise Crimes and Defects, especially from the Eyes of the Rabble: But when that faise Lustre is lost in the Loss of what caused it; that is to say, when the Prosperity of the Guilty ceases; such Crimes and Defects become apparent, exposed, and hated. All Men then see, what wise Men always saw, that where there was no real Merit, there could be no real Honour or Fame. Imagine any Two Men, one vicious and criminal, but continually prosperous; the other virtuous and innocent, but always unfortunate, or rather unsuccessful; which of these Two Characters would appear the more eligible to a wise Man? Undoubtedly the latter, at first Sight; for Vice and Wickedness are the highest Misfortune; and Virtue brings Felicity, even in Distress.

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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 hate it.

BY all that I have said in the foregoing Section, I mean only to introduce a Discourse upon Corruption, which is the Subject I purpose to pursue; an interesting Subject, since, by Corruption, every thing is changed, and, at last, consumed. Even War and Violence do not bring Ruin with more Certainty, nor, indeed, with so much Certainty: For Violence may be resisted and bassled; but Corruption, by continually wasting and weakening the Parts, must, without a Cure, infallibly, at last, destroy the Whole. Corruption, moreover, invites Violence; since such is the Nature of Man, that there are ever too many ready to seize and usurp whatever is destitute of Defence; and thus tempts their Ambition, or Avarice, with a Prospect of Success. This World, which has been so full of Revolutions ever since the Beginning of it, at least, since the Beginning of Records, would, perhaps, have afforded very few, had the several States in it been administered with constant Virtue and Probity, had the Magistrates done their Duty with Capacity, Vigilance, and Vigour.

This is the Method, these the Qualifications, for rendering a State prosperous and secure: And where these are wanting in any State, that State will certainly grow impotent and contemptible; and thence the Prey of some bold domestic Traitor, or of some foreign Invader. Nations the most populous and rich, when debased by Corruption, have never proved a Match for a People, however small and poor a People, who still possessed their primirive Integrity and Spirit. Happy is that Nation, where the Government is so formed, as to admit no Corruption! A Happiness, I doubt, not be hoped for; and, therefore, happy is that People, Edition: current; Page: [91] who, though they be in a good measure corrupt, yet preserve their civil Liberties long, as some such People have done; those of Athens, and some others: Yet, even there, Liberty was daily declining, according to the Progress of Corruption, and always sure to be utterly lost at last.

No doubt, there is great Analogy between private Morals and the Morals of a State; and, consequently, between public and private Corruption; yet they are far from being universally the same; since sometimes the Public is helped, and even saved, by encouraging private Acts of Dishonesty; such as bribing secret or public Enemies with Money, or (which is the same thing) with Promises, to betray their Trust, and to discover the Secrets of their Country or Party, contrary to their Honour, and, perhaps, their Oath. If this be a great Breach upon private Conscience, and private Morals, to encourage Perjury and Falshood, it would be a greater Breach of public Conscience and Morals, to risque the State, or any great public Advantage, for want of it; and, in the Casuistry of a State, the greater Good cancels the smaller Evil: Nor does he who practises it, sin, though he make others sin. It is immoral and cruel, causlesly to take away the Life of a single Citizen; but it is justifiable, to expose many thousand Lives for the Defence of the Public, and the Whole; because the Care of the Whole, which is better than a Part, is the Business and Duty of Governors, who would be unworthy of that Character, if, out of a false Tenderness for Blood, they should venture All, rather than Some. It is the same with Ministers who hire Spies; that is, People to lye and cheat for them, and bribe foreign Ministers and Generals to betray Counsels and Armies to them. Without such Practices they could not serve their Country as they ought; and what is their Duty cannot be a Crime, nor omitted without a Crime.

The same Reasoning holds, when applied to the secret and subdolous means of frustrating domestic Traitors and Treason; namely, the Hiring some to betray the rest, and misleading them all, by fair Speeches, and false Appearances: How, else, are any hostile Designs from Abroad, or any close Conspiracy at Home, to be detected and prevented? What other Part had Cicero to take with the dreadful Conspiracy of Catiline? Was he ever blamed by any Edition: current; Page: [92] Man of Candour or Honesty, for gaining over one of the Conspirators, by great Promises, and great Sums of Money, to betray the rest; or for persuading the Allobrogian Deputies to express a violent Passion for the Conspiracy, and to promise copiously to the Conspirators? Or was he ever censured for bribing Antonius, his Collegue, with a Government better than that which he kept to Himself, in order to secure to the State a Man very corrupt, and otherwise wavering, or rather inclining to dangerous Courses? For this, too, is the Duty of Governors, when public Men will not do their Duty to the Public, or are, perhaps, disposed to betray their Trust, and the Public too, and yet cannot be removed or secured, to apply even to their worst Passions, and hire them to be honest, since they value not Honesty, and love Hire.

Whatever tends to save or secure the Public, or to mend its Condition, is not Corruption; even though it may be effected by the Assistance of corrupt Men, and by Means that are called corrupt, and may be so in Him to whom they are applied, but cannot be so in Him that thus profitably applies them; because, by such Men, and such Means, he serves, nay, often saves, the State. It is Corruption, true and terrible Corruption, whatever is practised to save the Guilty and the Corrupt, (except where they have been the Instruments of public Good) to set some above the Law, to deprive others of its Protection, and to destroy the Force of the Laws. But it cannot be Corruption in a just Man, to hire a venal Man to do his Duty, and serve the Public, if nothing but Hire will induce him. If corrupt Men will not save nor serve their Country, without corrupt Motives, the just Ministers of the Public are not corrupt, but still just, in furnishing them with such Motives. He to whom they apply them is, indeed, corrupt; but though they hate Corruption, and corrupt Men, ever so much, yet, in Justice to their Country, they must procure Men to serve it how they can. It is great Pity, that this should ever be the Case; but I fear it is often so.

In all Events, none but virtuous, none but public-spirited Men are to be vested with such a tender Trust. A corrupt Man, employed in corrupt Measures, is more likely to apply them to hurt the State, than to save it; and what is continually hutting it, Edition: current; Page: [93] will, at last, destroy it. It is, indeed, a terrible Sign, when Men, especially public Men, refuse to serve or assist the State without private Considerations, which, upon such Occasions, are always sordid Considerations. Whoever will not act for the Public, when his Duty calls him to it, without a Reward, will be presumed ready to act against the Public for a Reward: And he who has the Distribution of such Rewards, is Master of all such venal Spirits, and consequently of the Public. Though even these venal Men may not at first mean to distress, much less to ruin their Country, yet an able Man, who has gained their Confidence; and purchased their Affections, may so far blind and engage them, that they will, they must, go all and the worst Lengths. Many of Cæsar’s Creatures, many of Cromwell’s, never dreamed of seeing the one Protector, or the other perpetual Dictator.

Corruption in a State is a Deviation from our Duty to the Public, upon private Motives. Nor are such Motives confined to Money, or Place, or Favour. Whoever prefers his Anger, or his Ambition, or his Hopes, or his Popularity, to his Duty to the Public, is as corrupt as he who postpones the Public to Gain; and Avarice, as distasteful and sordid a Passion as it is, does not more Hurt than other Passions with more pleasing Names, such as Liberality, Clemency, and the Love of Applause. Cæsar was not reckoned avaricious; Crassus was. But Cæsar corrupted Rome more by his Liberality, than Crassus did, or could, by Avarice; since Avarice only corrupts the Heart that entertains it, and therefore avaricious Men cannot be terrible to a State, otherwise than by plundering it, which they seldom have Credit enough to do. But, as Liberality is popular, the liberal Man is the most likely Man to rob his Country, as Cæsar actually did.

Sometimes Corruption is boldly charged upon others, by those who are themselves exceedingly corrupt. Thus Marius grew popular at Rome, by accusing the Patricians as corrupt, which, indeed, was true; and by railing at Corruption, for which there was ample Cause. But it ill suited his Mouth; for he himself proved as corrupt a Knave, as he did a bloody and a revengeful Savage, false, ungrateful, and void of Faith. He first railed at Bribery, and afterwards procured the Consulship, especially his Edition: current; Page: [94] latter Consulships, by Bribes; and, by Force of Bribing, kept Metellus, that excellent Person, Patriot, and Commander, from being Consul.

Catiline complained of Corruption in the Administration, at the very Time when he was corrupting all the Youth at Rome, with all his debauched and deluded Followers there, to destroy the Roman State. Indeed, most of the Traitors, and the greatest Incendiaries in Rome, professed Zeal and Concern for their Country, and charged the best Friends to it with Corruption, whilst they themselves were meditating Destruction to their Country, and all its best Friends. Nay, some of them, such as Titus Manlius, Spurius Cassius, and Spurius Mælius, even when they were doomed to die, as Enemies to their Country, appealed to the People, with notable Confidence, in the Style of their Patrons and Friends; as if they had been Victims only for the Sake of the Multitude, for whom they were preparing the Bitterest of all Calamities to a Roman, even Bondage!

SECT. III.: Some Corruptions in the State to be borne, rather than removed by the Introduction of greater.

THE Transactions of this World, especially Transactions of State, are more Problematical than is generally thought or considered; and the truest Virtue may, at some Conjunctures, be exerted preposterously. No Man ever questioned that of Cato; his Virtue is become Proverbial. Yet, by carrying it further than the Times would bear, he sometimes hurt what he loved beyond his Life, even Liberty, and his Country. By this means, at one time, he lost to the Public the Body of the Roman Knights; a very powerful Body, and, till then, well disposed to assist against the exorbitant Power of Pompey and Cæsar. This was a great Consideration, superior to all others. But Cato gave is up, rather than allow them some Mitigation in a Bargain, for Edition: current; Page: [95] a Part of the Public Revenue. I forget whether he gained this small Point; sure I am, that, by insisting upon it, he lost a much greater. That great Body, thus piqued, fell instantly into the Arms of the first Triumvirate, who knew how to humour and prize them. So truly might Cicero say of Cato—optimo animo utens & summa fide, nocet interdum Reipub. dicit enim tanquam in πολιτείᾳ Platonis sententiam.

Cato hated all Corruption, Public and Private, and could not bear to see the Commonwealth wronged by the Farmers of her Revenue; nor the Roman Knights, who were such, grow rich at her Expence, and commit notorious Abuse and Oppressions, as they often did, as well as often refuse to comply with the Terms of their own Bargain. It was, in truth, melancholy and affecting, to consider how mercilesly these public Farmers squeezed and devoured the People in the Provinces, and to what cruel Extremities they drove them, even to sell their Children to satisfy the Tax-gatherers. Lucullus therefore deserved immortal Praise, for causing these poor People to be redressed; the more for the powerful Enmity which he incurred for such Mercy and Beneficence. It incensed the whole Equestrian Order, who thenceforward laboured his Downfal. For, Men who gain by Injustice, always think it unjust to be restrained from it. Such Injustice and Baseness in the public Farmers provoked the honest Mind of Cato. But he carried his Honesty further than the Times would bear, and, with an upright Design to assist the State, hastened its Fall.

Just so acted Appius the Censor. He, indeed, exercised that high Office with strict and severe Justice. But, whilst he attended to Justice only, he overlooked Reasons of State, which are often just, though they quadrate not with the simple and exact Ideas of Justice. For, by degrading many Senators of Distinction, though it was what in Strictness they deserved, he notably weakened the Republican Party; that is to say, his own Party, for which he was sincerely zealous; and consequently strengthened that of Cæsar, which he equally hated and opposed. Appius set cordially about the Cure of Corruption; and, by doing it, contributed to bring in universal Corruption, even the Domination of Cæsar, and Perdition to the Commonwealth.

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Sylla, to secure himself from future Vengeance, for his present Cruelties and Oppression, made a Law, which excluded from all public Offices, the Children of all such Romans as he had proscribed. What was this but adding one Wickedness to another, and perpetuating his Cruelty? Could there be more apparent Justice, than to abolish that unrighteous and barbarous Law? Yet, when Sylla was dead, the Repeal of it was opposed by such as hated Sylla and his Power, even by the best and wisest Men in Rome; and for wise and just Reasons. For, had the Children of the Proscribed been restored to a Capacity for Employments, they might have been led, by their Resentment, to have cancelled all other Laws, all the useful Laws passed under Sylla, and thence brought great Disorder into the State.

The Abuse of Liberty, by turning it into Licentiousness, is Corruption, such Corruption as threatens, because it often brings, public Ruin; and therefore it is wise and just to cure it, in any Way consistent with Liberty. But it would be a much greater Corruption, to cure popular Licence by establishing Tyranny; that is, by giving absolute Power to one Man to prevent the Abuse of Liberty in many.

Whatever weakens the Power of a State, is Corruption, however righteous and plausible it may appear: Whatever preserves or increases its internal Strength, cannot be Corruption, though it may appear harsh and immoral. It is just to cut off a Limb to save the whole Body; as it would be unjust to expose the Body, to perish for the Sake of saving the Limb. When Spurius Mælius, who attempted to make himself Tyrant of Rome, could not be brought to Justice in the ordinary Way, whilst he was protected by the Multitude, whom he had bought and cheated by deceitful Acts of Liberality; it was necessary, and therefore just, to take away his Life by an extraordinary Power. Yet it was also just, because necessary, to forbear all Inquiry after his Adherents; because they were supposed to be very many; and it was judged rash, to make very many Citizens desperate.

The Rule and Art is, to make the Remedy strong enough for the Disease, without being too strong for the Patient. Cæsar and Crassus were engaged in the Conspiracy of Catiline, and it was Edition: current; Page: [97] just to have arraigned them for it; but it was not expedient, because not safe; for then the Criminals, many and powerful as they were, might have been too strong for the Prosecutors and the State. It was therefore just to spare them, however guilty. Yet it would have sounded well Abroad, and been a notable Topic for railing at Cicero, and charging him with Partiality and Corruption, in having passed by, or rather protected, the most Mighty of all the Traitors, and therefore the most Dangerous. But Cicero, who aimed only at saving his Country, was constrained to connive at some who were leagued to destroy it.

Caius Piso was one of the worst Men in Rome, a powerful and a desperate Incendiary, an Accomplice of Catiline, ready for all public Mischief, and more worthy of a Dungeon than Preferment; yet, was sent into Spain with supreme Command. This must surely seem very wrong and unjustifiable. There were, however, many worthy Citizens, and even Patriots, who approved it, and were pleased with it, for a powerful political Reason; namely, that he was a Man, who, from his Figure, Spirit, and Character, might serve to balance and check the overgrown Power of Pompey, become now altogether formidable.

The purchasing Votes at Rome, for public Employments, was justly restrained by strong and severe Laws; as what had a direct Tendency to ruin any State. Yet that Practice, wicked in most Circumstances, became necessary in some, and countenanced by the most virtuous Romans. Thus, when Cæsar, who had already given so many Proofs of a Genius utterly lawless and aspiring, was suing for the Consulship by Money, and all Methods of Corruption, such as wished well to the Public, and opposed him, thought it no Corruption to oppose him by the like Means, and, by a Contribution of Money, to assist Bibulus his Competitor. Even Cato owned, that bribing the Centuries against him conduced to the Security and Interest of the Commonwealth.

I am far from making, or intending by what I have said, any Apology for Corruption. I hate Corruption as much as I love what it tends to destroy, Liberty, Peace, and Justice. I mean only to shew, that what sounds like Corruption, may not be Corruption; and that it is not so much the Act, as the Characters Edition: current; Page: [98] and Designs of Men, that constitute it. I have owned every such Act to be Corruption in him to whom it is applied; but contend, that it may be otherwise in him who honestly and usefully applies it.

It was Corruption in Catiline, to bribe Men to promote his Interest against the Interest of the State: But it was public Spirit in Cicero, to gain Men by Money to serve the State against the treasonable Designs of Catiline.

SECT. IV.: How hard to prevent Corruption, where the Means of Corruption are found.

SUCH is the Nature of Man, and of Society, that where-ever the Means of Corruption are found, the Exercise of it will soon follow. Rome was at first Virtuous from Necessity, very Poor, almost always in War and Danger. Poverty, and Equality, (which is often the Effect of Poverty, especially in new Establishments, before the Pride of Blood and Lineage begins) proved her Defence for some time against Ambition. She had no Trade, no Money, no Room or Materials for Luxury. Temperance and Frugality naturally followed Necessity. Iron, the best Instrument in forming and preserving their State, was more esteemed than Gold, which Men seldom love, till it has hurt them; that is, taught them by Use to desire more than they want. They had no slavish Dependents; for the Relation of Patron and Client implied no more than a kind Intercourse of Protection and Duty. Each supported Himself; for none were able then to support Many, and thence to draw numerous Dependencies. Liberty was their great Passion; Virtue had all Opportunities of shining, none of being debauched and enervated. But their Habits changed with their Condition; they first grew less Virtuous, then Vicious, at length Abandoned. It is the Course and Fate not of Romans only, but of Men.

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Just so it fared with the Saracens, at first Poor, Virtuous, and Self-denying; afterwards, very Voluptuous, from being very Rich. Omar, the second Caliph, was such an Admirer of their former Condition of Meanness in Equipage, Living, and Dress, that in his Progress to the Camp at Jerusalem, besieged by his Army, the same Camel carried him and his Provisions, a Couple of Sacks, one holding Grain, the other Fruits; before him, a great Leathern Bottle of Water; behind him, a large wooden Platter. Thus he travelled more like what he had been, than what he was; a Farmer, than a Prince; and, perceiving some Saracens dressed in rich Silks, the Plunder of Christians, he sorely chastised their Pride, ordered them to be dragged through the Dirt with their Faces downward, and their fine Attire to be rent in Pieces. And though, like all Conquerors, he was cruel to human Race; he was, like some other Conquerors, just and humane to Particulars. He said, to certain of his People, who were punishing a poor Man for not paying, what he was not able to pay, his Tribute; he said, and quoted Mahomet for it, ‘Do not afflict Men; for those who afflict Men, God will afflict, and punish them in Hell-fire on the Day of Judgment.’ Enthusiasm hindered him, as Ambition does others, from seeing how much he himself was afflicting the World, by the Violence of War, in making Conquests, and settling Mahometism.

Such were the first Saracens in Plainness and Frugality; nay, most of the Spoil taken in War, and of the Tribute paid by the conquered Nations, was appropriated to the Use of the Public, untouched by their Princes, who took hardly any Part to themselves, as I have elsewhere observed. But after they had been some time accustomed to Wealth, they found out all its Allurements and worst Uses, and became a most interested and voluptuous Race, both Prince and People. The Ottomans too, who conquered the Saracens, began like them, and ended like them; in the Beginning, Plain and Temperate; at last, Luxurious, Avaricious, and Splendid. The Ottoman Princes, for a long while, like the Saracen Princes, did not appropriate any of the Public Revenue to their own Personal Expence. Afterwards, the Public Edition: current; Page: [100] Revenue scarce sufficed some of their Successors for their Personal Waste and Luxury.

In truth, where-ever Riches come, they never fail to bring along with them their Abuse, as well as Use; and are, next to Superstition, the great and successful Instrument of corrupting human Society. For, as Men are chiefly led by a Passion for Ease and Pleasure, whatever most readily purchases these, will be proportionably esteemed; and, as Riches procure all worldly Things, they will be prized above all such Things. Even Virtue, fine Qualities and Acquirements, will be less valued than Wealth, because Wealth, which can do more than they, will be consequently more popular and potent. When Money, and not Worth, comes to be the Standard of Respect, the most Rich, however Sordid and Vicious, come to be preferred before the most Able and Virtuous; and Profuseness, which is Folly, baffles Merit and Wisdom, upon any Competition for popular Favour.

This is one of the ill Consequences of Riches: They bring Weight and Esteem to the Possessor, though he be otherwise empty, silly, and immoral. Hence Scorn follows Virtue in Poverty; and the great Strife comes to be that of excelling in Wealth, which thus becomes an Equivalent for all Merit, and conceals all want of it. Great Talents are not to be acquired, great Opulence may; and then it stands for Talents, Virtue, and All things. Thus Men come to contend, not for Superiority in Merit, but in Money, which is often the Portion of the Fool, and the Profligate.

Does Money adorn any Man’s Mind? Does it improve the Head, or mend the Heart? What is valuable in a Man, but his Disposition and his Faculties? Is it not They chiefly that set him above Brutes, which, for Symmetry and Strength, often surpass him? Riches make him not less a Beast, where, in his Habits and Propensities, he is one. A Wolf, or a Tyger, lying in Dens full of Gold and Diamonds, would be still a Wolf, or a Tyger; and a worthy Man not less worthy, though he possess neither Diamonds nor Gold. No Man has any Advantages, for which his Person ought to be valued, but what are Personal. Neither Wealth nor Power is so. A Man therefore may be a Wretch, though very rich and powerful.

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All Order and Justice comes to be inverted, when Riches bear Sway, or are made the Means of it. This is true Corruption, which then taints and pervades all Things, and grows the Beginning, the Middle, and the End. A Man then, instead of pleading his Services to his Country, or having shewn his Capacity to serve it, need only produce his Money, and shew, That he is rich. It was so at Rome. The worst Men carried popular Elections from the best, by being richer, or by employing their Riches to bribe the People. And, as they gave them Money, they made Money of them: Such giving and receiving Money for Votes, and Votes for Money, was an obvious Bargain, plain Traffick, buying in order to sell. The People see it not at first, nor its Tendency. They conclude, that he who pays them best, can serve them best; or, that he is their best Friend, without once thinking of his Services and Trust: Nor can they believe, that one who is so generous to them, and one to whom they are so kind, can mean them any harm, or would raise himself higher at the Expence of his good Friends, who thus raised him so high. They that are shy in the Beginning, grow less so, as the Thing becomes more common; and become reconciled, by Degrees, to that which had once shocked them. Some, who never approve it, come in the End to practise it, when they judge, that their single Integrity cannot possibly resist a general Contagion; at least, they find this Excuse for what their Integrity cannot but condemn.

Immense were the Sums which it cost the Roman Candidates for Places and Preferments, in bribing and entertaining the People. It is easy to guess, if it were not known, as it notoriously is, what Frauds and Rapine must follow such Prodigality, and what Impunity such Rapine. The Magistrates, who had paid so dear for their Promotion, thought themselves intitled to make Reprizals, and to reimburse themselves, besides making the best of their Employments. Besides, it was but prudent to levy and reserve a good Sum, to convince the Tribunals of their Innocence, and just Administration, in case any clamorous Complainers, whom they had, perhaps, oppressed no more than the rest, should force them to defend themselves there.

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Cæsar, besides wasting all his own Substance, ran in Debt near Two Millions of our Money, by bribing the People, and their Tribunes; with what View is apparent. For it is natural to Ambition to make its Advantage, and a Tool, of Avarice. Cæsar did by Bribes what his Sword, without them, never could have done, oppressed the Liberty of his Country. Perhaps he considered the Roman People, as his Property, and that, because he had bought them, he might take them. Neither could they, or any other People who do so, complain, with Decency, of any ill Usage from such as they suffer to purchase them.

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.

THOSE who have sold themselves, ought no longer to consider themselves as their Own: No; they are His who bought them. What is it that gives us Property in a Bondman, but paying the Price for him; and then he is ours, whether he consents to be so, or no? When People set themselves to Sale, the Title will be presumed still clearer, as Consent at least strengthens Property. For what do they take Money? Is it for their Votes? Then, he who has bought them, means to make the best of his Bargain; since for this End only he made it. They may mean what they please; but thus, generally, the Purchaser will reason, and thus act. He will not reckon himself beholden to Them, but to his Money; he will not consider himself entering upon a Trust, but taking Possession of a Purchace; and that, if He had not made it, Another would. He who commits a Trust, parts only with the Administration, and is intitled to a just Account how it is administred. But he who sells a Trust, parts with it intire, and for ever; at least, he is at the Mercy of the Buyer, and Edition: current; Page: [103] leaves him Power to raise his Money again how he can, and with whatever Improvements he pleases. He who hath got Possession, is the strongest Man; and it is odds but he will argue and behave like the strongest.

Others, indeed, such as are uncorrupt, may justly blame and reproach him, for taking such dishonest Advantages even of venal Men: But they, whose Venality have enabled him to oppress them, cannot well wonder at It, nor upbraid Him for it. What was the Multitude to Him? Perhaps he knew not One in a Thousand amongst them: He wanted only their Votes, for which they took his Money; and, as They applied That to their own Use, so did He Those to his. It was not in his Thoughts, to impoverish Himself merely to enrich Them; nor yet to purchase Leave, at a great Price, to drudge in carrying on their Interest and Affairs, or to be continually annoyed with their Noise and Folly: No; he bought their Voices, in order to ride upon their Necks; to make them the Instruments of his Fortune, and to set him above wanting them any more.

Caius Pontius the Samnite was so sensible, that a State of Corruption was a State of Decay, and saw it so evidently in the Roman Commonwealth, that he wished, ‘That Fortune had appointed him his Time of Life in those Days when the Roman People began first to take Gifts and Bribes: For then, said he, I would have borne their Empire no longer.’ He seems to have judged soundly; for, as they were longer in subduing the Little free State of the Samnites, than in conquering all the Great Kings in Europe, Asia, and Africa, it is almost demonstrable, that, had their Love to their Country, and, consequently, their Bravery in fighting for it, been weakened by Venality, the Samnites must have vanquished them.

‘I ask, (says Cicero) whether they who left us this Commonwealth so gloriously established, seem to have had one Thought towards feeding Avarice, by the Gratifications of Gold and Silver; or Vanity, by splendid Furniture; or Voluptuousness, by delicious Banquets; or a Passion for Pleasure, by Indulgence and Luxury?’ But the Vices of the Romans were then as glaring and common, as the Virtues of their Ancestors formerly had been; and they were not ashamed to be boasting of their Ancestors, Edition: current; Page: [104] and quoting the Examples of their Forefathers, whilst they were doing every thing unworthy of their Forefathers, and disgraceful and ruinous to themselves: Nor were they ever louder in their Cries for Liberty, than when they were following Those, selling themselves to Those, who purposed to enthrall them, and to destroy their boasted Liberty: Nay, such as meditated nothing but absolutely to rule them, and, consequently, to enslave them, were always most popular with them. Whoever fed them with Money, or Provision, or Flattery, was their Darling; though, by all his Bounty, and Soothing, and Noise for Liberty, he aimed only at being their Tyrant. Even the detestable Catiline was popular, and considered by them as a great Champion for Liberty, because he talked loudly about it, and was a known Enemy to those who were then uppermost in the State; Men who, whatever Faults they had, were, in comparison with him, virtuous and unblameable.

Even whilst Cicero was Consul, one of the ablest and most upright Magistrates that ever honoured or protected any Government; and whilst that Parricide continued to pursue his inhuman Conspiracy against Rome, and all that was valuable and sacred in it; the People, tho’ they could have no Objection to Cicero, but that he was in the Interest of the Senate, that is, was for preserving the Senate, and his Country, yet still admired and followed Catiline, till, by the Discovery of his Plot and Designs, it appeared that he was about to have extirpated, by the universal Rage of Fire and Sword, the very Being of their City and Commonwealth. Then, indeed, they were shocked, and cried, Horror! They had all along imagined, that he only meant to have changed the Magistrates, whom they disliked; or, at worst, to have begun a Civil War, in which they had little to lose, and a Chance to get (which Chance was dearer to them, than public Tranquillity, and their Country): But, in the Burning and Destruction of Rome, they would have met their own Destruction; and so far they detested the Views of Catiline.

That the Roman Populace were governed, upon this Occasion, by a Spirit of Corruption and Blindness, (two Qualities generally following one another) and not by Judgment or Honesty, appears Edition: current; Page: [105] from hence; that Catiline, whom they applauded, and from whom they hoped so much, was, and ever had been, a notorious Profligate, black with all Crimes, detestable in his private Life, abandoned, corrupt, and lawless, in Office: So that, if they expected from him nothing but public Disorders and Revolutions, (as what else could they expect?) they were corrupt, utterly corrupt, and lost to all Public Spirit, to all Sense of Honour and Virtue: If they depended upon him for any public Good or Reformation, they were blind. It is, in truth, evident, that they considered him as a public Plague, as a ready Instrument of general Confusion and War; and, as such, warmly espoused and encouraged him. Sallust declares it explicitly: Omnino cuncta plebes, novarum rerum studio, Catilinæ incepta probabat. Id adeo, &c.

‘The Commonalty, in a Body, from a Passion for public Changes, approved the Pursuits of Catiline; and, in doing so, seemed but to follow their usual Bent: For, in this our City, all they who are destitute of Place and Substance, ever repine at the Enjoyments and Distinction of virtuous Men; ever extol the Vicious; hate the old Ways; long for Noveltics and Change; and, from Disgust to their own Condition, labour to introduce universal Confusion. In popular Commotions and Discord, they find their Subsistence without Pains and Care; since Poverty, which never has any thing to lose, is, upon such Occasions, readily supported.’

Now such Fondness for Civil Disorders, and for the wicked Authors of such, is, by this Account, intirely derived from the depraved Spirit and Disposition of the People; and not imputable to the Misconduct of the Magistrates, however faulty they might be: Nay, the best, the most strict and steady Administration must have been the most disliked and unpopular, when the People were passionate for the worst Calamities, such as Civil Dissentions and War; and for the wickedest Men, such as promoted those Calamities, and because they promoted them; even for Catiline, Cethegus, and every great Traitor and Incendiary.

Could there be a more tempting Opportunity than this, offered to the Ambition of Cæsar, for pursiting the great Aim of his Life, Edition: current; Page: [106] that of usurping the Government of Rome? And, perhaps, it is the most plausible Defence that can be made for him, (for no solid Defence will his Crimes bear) that, seeing them the Dupes and blind Followers of every audacious and desperate Demagogue, He, who was a more powerful and able, at least a more fortunate Demagogue, than all the rest, judged it politic to enslave them Himself, rather than let any other enslave Them and Him too; though the more honourable Task would have been, what was also his Duty, to have rescued and reformed them, and to have struggled against their extravagant Corruption and Folly: This would have been an Undertaking worthy of his great Abilities, and indefatigable Spirit, had his Heart been as good as his Head: But he found them bad, and made them worse, in order to make them his own.

SECT. VI.: Amongst a corrupt People, the most debauched and desperate Leaders are the most popular.

IF only bad Government had displeased the Roman People, the excellent Government of Cicero, one so wise, fatherly, uncorrupt, and meritorious, a Government which saved them and their State, would have removed their Displeasure, and reconciled them to the State, and their own ‘Safety under it.’ But it had not that Effect; at least till they saw, that Catiline’s Designs threatened Themselves with immediate Destruction. Till then, they continued to love and follow him, as one that was to present them with, what they earnestly wished, public Uproar, Civil War, and Rapine; all which implied an Overthrow of the Government, which they foresaw, and rejoiced in; and, therefore, could see no Merit in Cicero, as a general Preserver of the State; but must have sound great Fault with him for disappointing Catiline, and their best Views, had not the Discovery produced more than they expected.

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Was this a People worthy of Liberty? or was public Liberty, in such keeping, likely to last long? Long before this, indeed very early, the Roman People were prone to Corruption, and zealously attached to such as corrupted them, by whatever Means it was attempted; whether by false Munificence, or by Faction, or by the never-failing Bait and Cry of Liberty. So that they were always corrupted, and consequently most abused, by their greatest Champions and Favourites; that is, by their real and worst Enemies; as the false Friend is ever the most dangerous Foe.

Spurius Mælius, whilst he cheated them with false Bounties and fair Speeches, was extremely popular, and even their Idol, though he only fed them, and flattered them, in order to enslave them. But the Character and Appearance of a Benefactor covered and recommended the Traitor; and the People, like other Animals, not seeing the Hook, greedily swallowed the Bait. Nor would they have ever discovered his horrid Designs, till they had been accomplished, had not others, even such as they suspected and disliked, discovered and exposed them. For, their daily Watchmen and Orators, in whose Zeal and Sagacity they generally put blind Trust, had sold themselves, and their Trust; that is, sold the People to Mælius; so that whilst he was pursuing Kingship, they were silent and assisting. When the Traitor was put to Death, they expressed much Regret for his Fate, and their Loss of him, remembring his perfidious Courtship and Liberality, and forgetting or disbelieving his Treason.

Just such another Deceiver, false Friend, and real Enemy, they had in Marcus Manlius Capitolinus. For the People are ever the servile Tools of such as know how to blind them with false Tales and Appearances. He was, indeed, a brave Soldier, had nobly defended the Capitol against the Gauls, and done many signal Exploits in War; but, full of Ambition, and envying the famous Camillus, attempted Royalty by the Means of Popularity; and, in order to gain the People, took such Measures as will ever gain them: He deceived them with magnificent Professions and Undertakings, and corrupted them by bribing them; and as he was profuse in his Gifts and Caresses, they were equally extravagant in their Zeal and Adoration. Whilst he was giving Money to Edition: current; Page: [108] many, or paying their Debts; becoming Security for some, and even assisting and rescuing others by downright Violence; whilst he was continually proposing popular Schemes, popular Projects, and popular Largesses; it never entered into their credulous Heads, that a Benefactor, so infinitely liberal and zealous, could possibly intend them any Harm, much less Misery and Chains. Yet it was obvious to common Sense, that either Manlius, or the Government, must fall; especially when he came to be constantly guarded by the Croud, and to bid Defiance to the Magistrates. But the People, corrupted even to Blindness, either saw no Danger to the State, or regarded Manlius more than the State, or perhaps as the best Friend to the State; and much Difficulty there was in securing the State against him, by depriving him of Life. His Friends, the Multitude, who strove to rescue him from Justice, loudly lamented him for having suffered it; and, as the Plague happened soon after, they said, that it was a Judgment, sent by Jupiter, to avenge the innocent Blood of Manlius, the Defender of his Temple the Capitol. For, as they were perpetually infatuated by the Projects and Harangues of their Tribunes and Demagogues, they were always sauntering in the Forum, and reasoning about Matters of Government. Thus they neglected their Labour, and the Manuring of their Lands; and, when Famine followed, which was very natural, they railed at their Governors.

The extraordinary Conflux of People from all Parts of Italy to Rome, upon the Return of Cicero from Banishment, raised the Price of Provisions. This public Inconvenience furnished a Colour to the Tribune Clodius, his implacable Enemy, for traducing him to the Rabble, as the Cause of it; and for charging him with it, as a Crime. The Rabble gave full Credit to their Oracle the Tribune, and called licentiously upon Cicero for Bread; nay, taught their Children the same seditious Cry. In their Fury they insulted and scared away the Audience at the Theatre, attacked the House of the Prætor, who presided at the public Plays; besieged the Senate in the Temple of Concord; fell upon one of the Consuls with Stones, and wounded him. In the Mouth of this Rabble, animated by the most abandoned of all Profligates, and led by two notorious Criminals, one an Assassin, another a Creature and Instrument Edition: current; Page: [109] of Catiline’s, the Name of Cicero, so justly dear to the Romans, was a Name of Reproach.

What could argue higher Corruption than such raging Licentiousness, and such desperate Acts of Sedition, as well as such a blind Propensity to follow and obey the most debauched and lawless Leaders, to defy all Law and Restraint, and to assault the Government itself? When the giddy Populace, or, which is the same thing, when such as lead them, (for the Populace will ever be led) can controul all Things, the Government is, in effect, dissolved, or near its Dissolution, and must either be utterly lost in Anarchy, a Case which hardly can happen; or, which is more likely, be seized by a foreign Invader; or, which is most likely, by a domestic Usurper. This was the Condition and the Fate of Rome; a Fate which often threatened her, a Fate which she several times felt, and a Fate which at last thoroughly mastered her, and mastered her for ever.

Her warlike Spirit and Atchievements, the Dignity and Freedom of her Government, her Laws and Magistrates, all of her own creating, with the boasted Rights of Roman Citizens, and their many Immunities; her numerous Conquests, her universal Sway and Command, Laurels about her Head, the Globe under her Feet; I say, Rome, thus exhibited and arrayed, made a splendid Appearance, full of Majesty, full of Strength; and, in this Light, one is apt to wonder, as well as to gtieve, that ever she should perish, or even shrink and fade. But upon a nearer View of her Frame, of the Materials that composed it, and the Machines that conducted it, we may cease to wonder at her Decay and Overthrow; when we see a numerous and swarming People forming a Legislature, not by Representatives chosen from amongst them, but every Man, in a vast Nation, a Legislator, and possessing a deliberative Voice; and the Whole of them swayed and controuled by a few bold or crafty Men, perhaps by one, who could well harangue them, or deceive them, or feast them, or buy them; here, a popular Sycophant winning them with Flattery; there, an artful Speaker, charming them by Eloquence; a bold Lyar, imposing upon their Credulity; an Incendiary, terrifying them with groundless Jealousies; a Merchant, bribing them into Slavery by Edition: current; Page: [110] Doles of Corn; a Bully, with the same View, rescuing them from their Creditors, and both likely to succeed: When, in short, we see them passionate for Schemes calculated to undo them, for Laws destructive of the State, and for Men who were their worst Enemies, for Catiline and Clodius!

The latter was their Darling a great while, though one of the worst Men that ever infested Society; implacable, unjust, mercenary, impious, and lawless; a Pathic, Incestuous; a Fire-brand in the Army, a Fury in the State, a Tyrant in Office; plundering the Public and Particulars; selling Places and Provinces, and the Friendship of the Roman People; forging Wills, suborning Witnesses, and oppressing Right by Violence. But his Laws, however wicked, and even pernicious, were popular and pleasing, as particularly that for distributing Corn gratis to the Populace; by which Law a Fifth of the Public Revenue was cut off, and consequently so much of the public Strength and Security. For this and the like Extravagances, fatal to the Republic, and destructive to its best Members, this Madman was adored and followed as a public Benefactor, and went guarded by the Rabble, and a Band of Profligates, who never failed to insult and abuse every Man not in his Favour; that is to say, every worthy Roman. They particularly fell upon so great a Man as Hortensius, and had well nigh murdered that great Orator, because he appeared for Cicero. Such as remained of the desperate Followers of Catiline, were now very naturally Followers of Clodius.

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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.

COULD there be more glaring Mockery, than the Sound of Liberty from the Mouth of Clodius? Yet he declared for Liberty, and the Croud believed him; though they heard him, with the same Breath, threaten, what he continually practised, all Acts of Violence, and the Decision of the Sword. Nay, when this wild Tyrant had pulled down Cicero’s House, he erected a Fabric in its room, and consecrated it to Liberty: As if that excellent Roman, who had defeated the bloody Conspiracy of Catiline, which struck at the very Foundation of Liberty and of Rome, had been an Enemy to Liberty; and he, Clodius, acting like another Catiline, its Restorer! Whilst, at the same time, he was marching like a foreign Enemy in a City just taken by Storm, at the Head of his outrageous Cabal, with Fire-brands in their Hands, and in open Day setting Fire to the Houses of all such as had furnished him with Cause of Offence; namely, all such as opposed or disapproved his wild Doings. When these his bloody Followers had fallen upon a Tribune in the Interest of Cicero, and having wounded him in more than Twenty Places, left him for dead; as this Action might displease the People, who accounted their Tribunes sacred, these Blood-hounds resolved to murder a Tribune of their own Faction, that the Guilt might seem equal; as it would then appear done in a sudden Encounter between both Sides. Nay, these Ruffians had a Commission from him to plunder, burn, and kill, at Discretion. Thus was Rome, the Mistress of the World, insulted, and her Laws set aside, or defied, by one detestable Tribune, supported by the Multitude, who always supported the Worst and most Mischievous; insomuch that, for almost half a Year together, she was deprived of the Edition: current; Page: [112] Exercise of Justice, and, as it were, of Government, by the Fury of a popular Incendiary.

In short, all his Doings tended directly to overturn the State, and to introduce Tyranny; but passed with the Commonalty for Measures to increase and confirm Civil Liberty. There was good Policy in the Institution of observing the Heavens by the Augurs, or other Magistrates, during the Assemblies of the People, in order to prevent any wild Result from such Assemblies; since the Appearance of any ill Omen, declared by such Augur, or Magistrate, effectually dissolved them. This good Usage, so necessary at Rome, Clodius abolished by the Authority, and with the Applause, of the People. Of the same Tendency was his abridging the Power of the Censors, who could brand any Senator, or Roman Knight; and, indeed, degrade either: Nay, One of them could do all this; till, by a Law of the execrable Clodius, they were restrained from branding or degrading any, unless first accused before their own Order, and punished by their Concurrence. What was this but an Invitation to open Dissolution of Manners, and bidding Crimes and Debauchery prosper?

Could Madness and Corruption rise possibly higher in Magistrate, or People? And was such a State likely to subsist, such a People to continue free? Their Fondness generally followed the most vicious Men, such as meant to enslave them; and, in order to it, corrupted their Hearts, and humoured their Follies. They were therefore scarce ever under the Direction of wise and worthy Men, Men who would not cheat nor flatter them, not encourage their Idleness, and dissolute Manners. Blinded and bewitched with Cæsar’s Bounty and Complaisance, from his Almsmen they became, naturally enough, his Bondmen. He fed, and charmed, and enslaved them. Were they wiser after the Death of Cæsar, and after the Use which they had seen him make of their Corruption and Folly? No: They must still have some lewd Favourite to abuse and master them, and therefore trust him with their Liberties. Still corrupt and craving, and struck with Cæsar’s Legacy, they went eagerly into the Measures of Antony, who acquainted them with it, and who, under Pretence of avenging the Death of Cæsar, aimed at succeeding him. They therefore Edition: current; Page: [113] desert, nay, turn their Fury against, their true Friends the Tyrannicides, and strengthen the Hands of Antony, though his Success was to be attended with their Bondage, and must necessarily produce it.

Antony, thus set up and espoused by the deluded and ill-judging People, failed not to improve his Fortune with notable Activity and Boldness. The Tyrannicides, through Love of Peace, and Fear of the Army, had agreed with Cæsar’s Friends, that all his Acts and Regulations should remain in full Force(a): So that he had really more Power now he was dead, than when he was alive. Such was the Oversight of the Tyrannicides, in not improving the first Heat and Spirit, whilst the People were yet with them, as at first they were; and whilst the Creatures and Supports of the late Tyranny were yet terrified and lurking. They might, at least, have confined Antony, and some other Chiefs, and Officers, either at Rome, or conveyed them away instantly to some distant Confinement. But, as they left him (I think weakly, I am sure very unhappily) at Liberty, and in Rome, he soon gained the poor fickle People, and then made the most of the late Stipulations. Amongst Cæsar’s Minutes and Regulations, he inserted and forged whatever he had a Mind to carry, and called it the Appointment of Cæsar. Even without such Pains and Ceremony, he often said, that this, or that, was Cæsar’s Design, and confidently put it in Execution. Thus there often passed, in his Name, such monstrous and daring Things, as, had he been alive, he would not have passed, nor suffered. By Antony’s enormous Demands and Donations from the Treasury, under colour of Cæsar’s Orders, most Part of the mighty Treasure, amassed by Cæsar for the War against Parthia, was exhausted.

So that Antony was first enabled by the People, and then enabled himself, to be a greater Tyrant, in Cæsar’s Name, than Cæsar himself was. By the Money, which he said was thus granted by Cæsar, he influenced the mercenary Spirit of Cæsar’s Army, and gained just as many as he was able to bribe; but, not having enough to bribe all, the rest devoted themselves to Octavius, upon Edition: current; Page: [114] the like sordid Consideration. For, the Roman Armies were become as corrupt as the Roman People. After so many Forgeries in the Name of Cæsar, it was the less Wonder, that Antony impudently forged Decrees in the Name of the Senate. This bold Villainy had been often practised by Cæsar.

Perhaps it may not be improper to take notice here, as a further Instance of the Fickleness and Folly of the Multitude at this very time, that, amongst the public Plays exhibited to the Romans, in the Name of Brutus, as Prætor, after the Death of Cæsar, was the Tragedy of Tereus, which, for the many severe Strokes in it against Tyranny, was extremely applauded by the People. Cicero justly laments, that they thus employed their Hands, not in defending their Liberties, but only in clapping at the Theatre. What I would observe from it, is, that they are naturally fond of Liberty, but generally judge ill about the Means of keeping it; that their Meaning is good, even when their Judgment is wrong; yet they oftener err in following the Sentiments of others, than in following their own.

SECT. VIII.: The swift Progress of Corruption in the Roman Republic. Its final Triumph in the Dissolution of the State.

CAN it seem at all strange, that, when the Roman People were become so debauched, so idle, credulous, venal, and corrupt, their popular Meetings should prove, as they did, rather Tumults than regular Assemblies? They met, not to make equal and just Laws, or to prefer able and worthy Men; but to sell themselves, to form Factions, often to exalt the most wicked and dangerous of all Men, often to depress, or to disappoint, the most virtuous Patriots. Their Assemblies were no longer formed with Deliberation, according to the Laws, but in a Heat and Hurry; insomuch that popular Decrees, which had never passed, came to be forged: Several such were made, when only a few of the People, the Simplest, and the Worst, were present; some only Edition: current; Page: [115] by the lowest and vilest Rabble, where not a Man of Sense, or Honour, or Weight, was present. Nay, popular Decrees, of the highest Moment, then passed, such as conferred Legions, public Treasure, nay, the Government of Provinces, and the Command of Armies; vacuo non solum a bonis, sed etiam a liberis, atque inani foro, ignaro populo Rom. quid ageretur. The Candidates for public Employments came at last, in spight of all the penal Laws, to bribe openly, and were chosen sometimes by Arms, as well as Money.

In the Senate, things were not always carried much better, sometimes Decrees of great Consequence were made, when very few Senators were there, and sometimes such Decrees were forged; as I have lately observed. Sometimes the Leaders of the People, and those of the Senate, agreed, (when it suited their particular Interests) the former, to publish fictitious Ordinances of the People; the latter, to frame false Decrees of Senate.

Could there be more crying Corruption than this, blacker Imposture, or a more terrible Prospect? When Laws were made, not by the Legislature, but by private Knaves, in a Corner, for dirty Self-ends, yet binding all Men, and changing, or perverting, the Course of the Government? Who now can wonder at the Fall of Rome? Enfeebled by continual Faction and Corruption, (Two potent Engines to destroy a State!) and thence ripe for an absolute Master, she fell into the Hands of many Masters, Marius, Sylla, Saturninus, Cinna, Clodius, and many others, all occasional Tyrants; that is, sovereign Controllers of the Multitude, and the Laws; till, at last, Cæsar seized her; and, after he was slain, when she might have re-assumed her Liberty, at least, for some time, (And surely, as Cato expresses it in the Tragedy,

  • A Day, an Hour, of virtuous Liberty
  • Is worth a whole Eternity in Bondage)

she refused the invaluable Blessing, joined with his Friends, that is, her Enemies; and thus transferred herself to a Series of Tyrants for ever.

The Balance was never properly nor equally fixed between the Patricians and People; and it was the constant Pursuit of each to destroy all Balance; not to govern in Conjunction, but Edition: current; Page: [116] of one to govern the other. The Senate, which had the most Power at first, exercised it too rigorously; and, upon all Occasions, manifested great Contempt, and often great Bitterness, towards the People; and forced them to seek a Remedy in the Institution of popular Tribunes, who, under the Mask of protecting the People, sought and acquired enormous Power to themselves. For the People will be ever the Tools and Dupes of their false Friends, and pretended Patrons. These Tribunes fed them with continual Jealousies, dressed up the Senate as a Bugbear of Tyranny, and still wanted new Authority to themselves, all for the Benefit of the People against the Patricians. The Patricians too, studying their own Defence, sometimes used unrighteous Means to defeat unrighteous Designs. The Struggle, going still on, produced some temporary Tyrannies; whilst single Men, usurping and abusing the Authority of Magistrates, enslaved both Parties, to be avenged of one. At last, in a few Years, the Tyranny became lasting and settled. Then the two Factions had Leisure to look back upon their own blind Phrensy; when, by struggling who should be Masters, they were both become Slaves: Nor did they seem to have reflected upon the Tendency of their pernicious Corruption, of their mad and fatal Feuds, till such Reflection could only serve to reproach and distract them.

It were well, that all Parties, all People, would grow wise by the Example of those at Rome, nor suffer a Passion for Party, or for Money, to drive them on to such Mistakes, and hasty Measures, as Reason cannot afterwards retract or cure. Party is Corruption, as well as it is Folly. The Revenge which they seek, often falls as heavy, sometimes heaviest, upon themselves; and what they call Redress proves Destruction. But Rage considers nothing but present Gratification. The Plebeians, piqued at the Patricians, who had used them ill, set up, for their Head, the savage Marius; at first, against Rules; afterwards, in Defiance of Law. The Patricians, to stem the Fury of the bloody Marius, exalt Sylla, or enable him to exalt himself, as their Patron and Champion, a Man no less bloody. Both Marius and Sylla play the Tyrant in their Turn, and both Parties are, by one or the other, enslaved and slaughtered by turns.

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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.

IN a State where Corruption so exceedingly prevailed, both by Faction and Bribery, (for Party corrupts as powerfully as Money) it is no Wonder, to find the Parts resembling the Whole, all tainted by the general Contagion; the People sordid, as well as seditious; the Senators rapacious, as well as profuse; Justice sold, because the Seats of Justice were bought; the Provinces, having cost their Governors great Sums to purchase them, plundered and scraped to the Bone, that the Purchasers might repay themselves Tensold; Oppressors safe; since, having payed a Price for oppressing, they claimed a Right to oppress; and the greatest Criminal never found so, till he was found, first, poor.

Did a distressed Prince or State, even such as were under the Protection of the Roman Commonwealth, apply to the Roman Senate for Relief? It availed little, if the Offender could but prove his Innocence by large Bribes. At best, an Admonition is sent to him to forbear; that is, in Effect, an Order to send fresh Fees to his Judges; and not to forget their Deputies, that these may make a favourable Report. Perhaps, after repeated Complaints and Representations of his barbarous Outrages, and Acts of Tyranny, he is summoned to appear in Person, and to answer the Charge: Still he may deny all, and be believed, (for, why should a Man be condemned upon the Accusation of his Enemies?) if he do but confirm his Denial by more Treasure. Though his Deeds be black Edition: current; Page: [118] as Hell, his Guilt as apparent as the Day, the Suit may depend, and he be safe, for many Years, provided he has large Presents to urge in his Defence.

Whose Crimes were or could be more black, manifest, unprovoked, and crying, than those of Jugurtha? Yet he wanted not many Advocates in the Senate, who, for ready Money, or the Hopes of it, boldly denied them to have been done; or defended them, as done in his own Defence. Such, whom he had traiterously murdered, or whose Murder he was openly pursuing, were said to have laid Plots to murder Him; and, whilst at the Head of a great Army, in the Face of the Sun, he was usurping and ravaging the Dominions of a poor weak Prince, who only fled before him; nay, when he had already usurped those Dominions, still the poor suffering Prince was the Aggressor, and the bloody Jugurtha was vindicated, as forced to Arms, for his own Security against the terrible Attempts of his persecuted, desolate, and forlorn Enemy; whom, having stripped him of all but Life, he soon bereft of That, with all the Circumstances of savage Cruelty.

All this will be fully and finely illustrated in Sallust’s Account of the Jugurthine War.

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.

WE may be sure, where the Root was so corrupt, the Branches were not sound. If the People were mercenary, if the Senate was venal, and the Government of the Republic vicious and depraved at home, that of the Provinces must be, at least, as bad, or rather much worse. Let us take a View of the Administration of Verres in Sicily.

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From the Moment he entered that Island, whither he was sent by the Republic as Governor, to protect the People in their Lives; Properties, and Laws, he applied himself, with all his Might and Malice, with all possible Arts and Violence, to seize their Property, in spite of their Laws; and to destroy both their Laws and Lives, in order to come at their Property. His Government was, literally, a merciless Course of Hostility and Plunder: He beggared the Rich; starved the common People; murdered such as threatened to complain; and, to shew himself an impartial Oppressor, spared neither the Public nor Individuals; but plundered even the Temples of all their Treasure, Statues, and magnificent Furniture; stripped Men of Fortune to the Skin, nay, hanged and whipped them, though Men of the first Dignity, for not consenting to all his Felonies and Plunder.

His Way of spoiling the religious Edifices was not quite so open: He sent Bands of Villains, by Night, to break into them, and carry off their Gold, their Images, and all their curious Ornaments. I forget whether the Statue of Hercules escaped; a Statue so adored in his Temple at Agrigentum, that his Mouth and Beard were worn away with the devout Kisses of his Worshippers: Probably it did not; since it was charged against him, (nor do I remember the Charge to have been denied) that, in all Sicily, an Island so rich, so large, so populous, so abounding in all Curiosities, wonderful Works of Art, and in all sorts of Luxury, he left not one Vase of Silver, or Corinthian Metal; not a Pearl, or Precious-stone; not a single Piece curiously wrought, either in Gold or Ivory; not a Statue of Brass or Marble; not a fine Picture, either painted, or in Tapestry; not a Piece of nice or antique Armour.

When a Pitate-Ship was seized upon the Coasts, Verres, instead of executing the Crew, as by Law and Justice he ought, claudestinely sold and disposed of all that were well-favoured, and all that were Artists among them; them executed, in their room, so many innocent Men, no Matter whom, as if They had been the Pirates.

By such hideous Oppression, this Governor Verres desolated and wasted Sicily, more than any soreign and hostile Army ever had Edition: current; Page: [120] done; more than ever Asdrubal had done, with all his fierce Africans and Mercenaries; more than ever Athenion had done, with all his cruel Host of Vagabonds and Banditti; and the Oppression of Verres proved more consuming than foreign Arms; drove away and destroyed more of the People; nay, utterly discouraged such as remained, from cultivating the Ground; since not they themselves, but a barbarous Magistrate, and his Blood-suckers, were to reap the Harvest. Nay, when the Government of Verres, or, more properly, his Period of plundering, was over, and he gone, it was a hard Task, to engage the poor broken-hearted Sicilians to manure their Fields any more: Indeed, many of them were fled, and could hardly be brought back again: Several, made desperate by his Violence, and the Rapine of his Harpies, to escape Him and Them, laid violent Hands upon themselves; and preferred the Rope, and the Dagger, to the Mercy and Justice of their Governor.

If any Man, under this insupportable Tyranny, dared to appeal to the Law, Verres, who still had the matchless Assurance to talk of Law and Justice, was provided with a Set of proper Judges; all his own Domestics and Freedmen; such as his Physician, his Augur, his Painter, and his Crier. He had the Impudence to declare to some, who seemed determined to stand a Trial, that, if they were condemned, (as he was sure and resolved they should be, by his faithful Knaves the Judges) they should be scourged till they perished under the Lash.

There is no such thing, as a Governor acting the Oppressor and Plunderer, without the Assistance of trusty Knaves and Confidents; such as those of Verres; his Apronius, his Arthemedorus, and many others. Apronius, particularly, a useful Implement, and in proportionable Favour, had always some of the Pillage for himself, for procuring all the rest to his Master. This is a Condition always understood, though not always stipulated, between the Great Thief and his Subaltern Thieves; who sometimes cheat him, if not always; and get as much, perhaps more than He. Nor is there, I believe, an Instance of any ravening Magistrate who was not the Dupe, if not the Property and Slave, of some Creature and Slave of his own: Nor doth it avail, that he is; but it is melancholy and unnatural, to see a great Magistrate, extremely honest and Edition: current; Page: [121] well-meaning, surrounded with dirty Fellows, and governed by them; sometimes very silly Fellows. This often happens, though he knows it not, when all others do; and seldom fails to be the Misfortune of all who possess great Power, together with great Credulity, and great Indolence; since it is a Misfortune, which, I doubt not, will, in some degree, attend the most active and most vigilant great Man. I could name a great and able Minister, famous for sound Judgment, and clean Hands; yet ingrossed, at his Leisure-hours, by Harpy Gamesters, and Jockies of the same Spirit, and miserable Morals; but for the high Honour I have for his Memory.

Verres, amongst his other bad Instruments, entertained Two Artists and Connoisseurs, and employed them to find out Prey for him. They were two Brothers, Tlepolimus and Hiero, Rogues who had fled from their Country for public Robbery; and proved such active Agents for Verres, that no other Way was found of saving any thing valuable from them, but that of bribeing them to dispraise it to their Master.

Verres was not such a Changeling, not to know what he did.----He was well apprised, that it was all against Law and Trust; and played the Tyrant with his Eyes open. What he depended upon was, either to escape Accusation, (for All guilty Magistrates were not tried, though Some were) or to escape Punishment by corrupting his Judges. The Truth is, the Tribunals of Justice were then become infamous: For, by the Power of Sylla, they had been taken from the Roman Knights, who had administered them for Fifty Years without Reproach; and committed to Senators, who were altogether venal. This gave Hopes to Verres; who, being Three Years Prætor or chief Governor of Sicily, proposed to keep the First Year’s Rapine to Himself; to employ that of the Second amongst his Patrons and Defenders; and that of the Third to bribe his Judges.

Was it not glorious Merit, to implead and pursue such a dareing Parricide, and to patronize such as he had oppressed; especially as he was furnished with powerful Advocates, and appeared to have mighty Interest? Yes, such a shocking Parricide, so glareing a Criminal as Verres, one of the blackest that ever lived, had Edition: current; Page: [122] Protectors, many, and able, and potent Protectors: Nor was it any longer a Wonder, when that bloody Usurper Jugurtha, one of the guiltiest Men that ever the World saw, had, by the Force of Gold, engaged so many Grandees; and thence eluded Chastisement for so many Years. Even the famous Orator Hortensius, otherwise a worthy Roman, was not ashamed to plead for Verres; though, according to Cicero, neither Crassus nor Antonius, nor any of the antient Orators, would have appeared in Behalf of such a notorious Profligate. So corrupt were the Romans then grown, particularly the Senators, that it was difficult, indeed scarce possible, to procure common Justice against a Plunderer of their Order, or of any Order, if he had Money enough. Upon this Verres relied; but the Attack of Cicero was so strong, the Charge so heinous, so horrible, and so well proved, that the People took Fire, and his Judges durst not save him.

Justly, therefore, might that great Orator, and invaluable Citizen, say, in his first Discourse against Verres; ‘How can I, at this Conjuncture, become more useful to the State? What can be more acceptable to the People of Rome; what more to the Wishes of our Allies, and even of strange Nations? What more suitable to human Society, and the Felicity of all Men? The Provinces are ravaged, distressed, nay, totally ruined: The confederate, the tributary Countries are squeezed, harrassed, and reduced to Misery, without Hopes of Deliverance; and only hope for some Ease in this their Desolation.’

He deals honestly and frankly with the Judges; and tells them, ‘There is no longer any Integrity, no longer any Conscience, in our Judgments. We (Senators) are considered as nothing: The Roman People scorn and contemn us; and we have been long decried.’ And, as the blackest Parricides were daily acquitted, he exhorts them, ‘To redeem their Order from that Infamy, that public Indignation and Shame, which they had thus drawn upon themselves.’ He adds, that, ‘When Pompey, upon being designed Consul, began, in his Speech to the People, to declare, that he would restore the Tribunals of Justice to their primitive Credit, he was heard with a pleasing Murmur of Applause: But, when he proceeded to complain, that the Provinces were ravaged Edition: current; Page: [123] and undone, the Decisions of the Judges unjust and scandalous; and that, by his Consular Authority, he would remedy these Evils; it was no longer in a low Murmur, but with loud Acclamations, that all the People of Rome expressed their Sentiments and Joy.

‘In this Accusation, and the Result of it, You (says Cicero to them) will judge Verres; but the Roman People will judge You: And Verres will serve for an Example, whether a Man who is extremely guilty, but extremely rich, can be condemned, when Senators are his Judges. So that, if he be acquitted, no Reasons will be found for it, but such as are most infamous and reproachful.’ He adds, that ‘They had now an Opportunity of obliterating that Blemish and Odium, with which, for several Years, the Order of Senators had been branded.’

The Friends of Verres seem to have judged him in no Danger, notwithstanding all his infinite Guilt and Excesses. Timarchides, directing his Brother Freedman Apronius how to act, namely, so as to save their common Master Verres, advised him to offer to All whatever was found expedient; and declares his Opinion, that, to succeed, he need only be liberal.

It appears from hence, how prevalent such Practices then were; and that a corrupt Man thinks no Man incorruptible; though, surely, there are always some such. Worthy was the Answer of Epaminondas to Diomedon of Cyzicus; who had undertaken, to Artaxerxes, to gain over that extraordinary Theban Magistrate and Commander by the Force of Money; and, for that Purpose, came to Thebes with a mighty Sum: ‘There is no need of Money (said Epaminondas): If the King of Persia aim at such Measures as are for the Interest of the Thebans, I am ready to comply with them, without any Reward: If he aim at contrary Measures, All his Wealth suffices not: Nor will I, for the Riches of the Universe, forego my Affection to my Country. At thy Offer I wonder not: Thou hast tried me, because thou didst not know me, and thoughtest me like Thyself. Hasten, however, from hence, lest thou corrupt Others, though thou didst fail in thy Attempt upon Me.’

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It might have been easily foreseen, with what Equity Verres was like to govern Sicily, from his Conduct at Rome, during his Prætorship there. In it he sold All things, as well as Justice and Decrees; every Place, every Charge; even Rank, and Order, and Speech; for he exacted great Sums for Liberty of Pleading. He robbed whatever he could reach, not only Silver and Gold, but Ivory and Stone, Pictures, Statues, Cabinets, Furniture, Stuffs, Cloths, Corn, &c. Even Hyrondilla, his Mistress, (a Bond-woman) was then absolute at Rome. To her, Men of the greatest Worth and Quality were forced to make Application, and Presents: Insomuch that, at her House, a great Court was kept, for the Buying of Business, and the Purchase of Pardons and Injustice. Here, says Cicero, new Decrees were daily solicited, with new Laws, and new Judgments. ‘I come, says one, to have Possession granted me. I beg, says another, that Possession may not be taken from me. I, adds a Third, pray, that Process be not issued out against me. And my Suit, says the next, is, that my Effects may be adjudged to me.’ Thus they severally addressed and petitioned. Some payed ready Money; others signed Notes; and her House was crouded with such a Number of Suitors, that it appeared rather like an Exchange, than the Lodgings of a Courtezan.

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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.

GREAT Wealth had introduced into Rome, what it everywhere introduces, a blind Passion for Wealth, and endless Corruption. It is a Pleasure to look back to better Times and Men, in that mighty Republic; to review the Characters and Conduct of Scipio Africanus, of Lucius Scipio, of Marcus Marcellus, Titus Flaminius, Paulus Æmilius, and Lucius Mummius, Conquerors of great Kingdoms, their clear Hands at Home and Abroad, and their Benevolence to all Men. When we read their Story, how must we detest Verres, and all Oppressors! When we read the Story of Verres, how we must love the above amiable Names, and all who resemble them!

Lucius Mummius having, when Consul, vanquished and taken Corinth, of all the immense Wealth in that famous City, reserved nothing to himself; and died so poor, as to leave his Daughter, and only Child, without a Fortune. Lucius Scipio was so scrupulous, that, when he had broken his Ring, he ordered the Gold for another to be weighed out publickly to the Goldsmith, that there might be no room to cheat the Treasury which furnished it. Quintus Mutius governed Asia with such Integrity and Beneficence, that the Greeks there, upon his Departure, instituted an annual Festival to his Honour, called the Feast of Mutius.

There were found, to the last, some good Governors of the Roman Provinces; but generally they were very bad. The Julian Law, which obliged the Provincial Towns to supply such as travelled through them, under a public Character, with Hay, Salt, and Wood, was terribly stretched and abused. These Commodities were not only demanded from the Towns in which they Edition: current; Page: [126] lay, but from every Town through which they passed; and for these Advantages, which they wanted not, they took an Equivalent in Money, called perhaps a Perquisite, and, by the Force of a dishonest Word, reckoned lawful, though against Law, at least, the reasonable Meaning of Law.

These Governors found infinite Gain, in another Source of notorious Corruption, by levying great Sums from the several Cities and Districts, for excusing them from furnishing Winter Quarters to the Soldiers. Cyprus alone paid to the Governor of Cilicia, to which that Island was annexed, Two Hundred Attic Talents, computed at near Forty Thousand Pounds Sterling. Doubtless, nothing but the Dread of terrible Vengeance, for refusing so barbarous a Demand, could have brought the Cypriots to submit to it. Nor was the Governor the only Oppressor; his Lieutenants, and all his Officers and Followers, were Oppressors too. Nay, Stripes, with cruel Insults and Contumelies, exercised upon the Persons of the Plundered, never failed to accompany the Plunder. Scaptius, an Officer and Creature of the Governor of Cilicia, beset the Senate of Salamine, in the same Island, with a Body of Horse, and confined them so long together, that Five of them died of Hunger; I suppose, in order to force them into some lusty Boon, as well as into the Payment of a Debt due at Rome, which was the avowed Pretence.

It was not enough, that the Public provided Shipping, and Money, and whatever else was necessary, for the Journey of the Governors of Provinces, to prevent all Pretence of any Demand upon the poor People, sufficiently burdened with public Impositions. The Lust of Gain, and unbridled Rule, proved too hard for Law, and every other Consideration. Nay, what is most remarkable of all, the wretched Asiatics, so much oppressed by that very Governor of Cilicia, were prevailed with to send a solemn Deputation to Rome, at a vast Expence, to thank him publicly there. This extraordinary Practice was, however, not singular: The People of Messina, a great City in Sicily, dispatched the like Deputation to Rome, there publicly to praise that Monster Verres for his good Administration. We may guess how such Deputations were procured.

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Cicero was the succeeding Governor in Cilicia; a blessed Change for the People! a public Saviour for a public Plunderer! He found them utterly unable to pay their Taxes: All their Revenues were mortgaged; nothing but Poverty, Groans, and Wailings, with all the Traces of a Government, not exercised by a human Creature over those of his own Kind, but by a wild Beast of Prey, ravaging human Society. No Wonder that they were charmed with the mild and virtuous Administration of Cicero. Yet, his Predecessor, far from being punished for his furious Misrule, was chosen into the most awful Office of the State, and created Censor. He was a Man, indeed, of high Quality, and high Spirit, and, which may seem wonderful, filled that sublime Station with great Integrity, as well as Vigour; indeed more strictly than was expedient for that critical Conjuncture, as I have already elsewhere observed.

From this his very opposite Administration of different Offices, I am inclinable to think, that, when Censor, he acted in his own Person; when Governor, left his Authority in the Hands of his Officers and Followers; as it often happens, that the best Men make the worst Governors, since they exert not their best Qualities, and, bearing only the Name, blindly trust others with the Discharge of their Duty. For, though the Spirit and Behaviour of Men be strangely various, yet it is not usually wont to change so suddenly and intirely, from a constant Course of Violence and Injustice, to a constant Course of invincible Probity and Justice.

Cicero, in his Journey to his Government, travelled wholly at his own Expence, and proved burdensome to none. He would not accept even the Benefit of the Julian Law. All his Retinue observed the same Moderation. He considered himself as employed to procure the Good of Mankind, with the Blessings and Praises of all such as he protected, and even of all whom he oppressed not, nor suffered to be oppressed. Such Virtue was then too rare, but thence the more glorious to him. Like other great and worthy Minds, he scorned to take every base Advantage from his Place. As he behaved himself, so did those about him; observing his Conduct, consulting his Honour, and following his Example. About a corrupt Man, every thing will be corrupt. Edition: current; Page: [128] Cicero was too quick, and attentive, to suffer his Administration to be stained by the Venality, or Oppression, of his Creatures, whilst his own Hands and Heart, and whole Conduct, were so clear, and so virtuously exercised, to procure the Ease and Felicity of the Province. It was therefore a just and honourable Testimony given of him by the famous Cato, ‘That the Excellency of his Government deserved high Praise; and, if public Honours were bestowed upon Virtue, as well as upon Victory, Cicero could never have too many.’

Cicero believed that it was the Duty of all Generals, and Governors of Provinces, to be content with the Glory of a righteous Administration, without any other Advantage. Nihil enim prætor laudem bonis atque innocentibus, neque ex hostibus, neque a sociis repetendum. The Conquests of Marcus Marcellus, in Sicily, were not more glorious to himself and the Commonwealth, than his Faith, and Disinterestedness, and Humanity, towards the Conquered. Such an Administration, brought not only high Glory to Rome, and her Magistrates, but equal Security and Strength. But such good Rule was far from being constant or universal. It grew common for the Roman Rulers, sent to rescue the Provinces from a foreign Enemy, to oppress and plunder them afterwards, with equal Violence, and continue it longer, and turn a small and temporary Deliverance into a severe and lasting Tyranny. A dreadful Circumstance to the Provinces, when they durst neither submit to Invaders, nor apply for Succours against them, nor forbear to apply. Thus the Roman Armies became more terrible than an Enemy’s Army. The Countries suffered less from a merciful Conqueror, than from their Governors afterwards, when they were intitled to Law and Protection. The natural Consequence was, that, when Rome lost her Liberty, the Provinces, long oppressed by her Citizens, readily complied with the Change, and submitted to the Government of the Cæsars.

Rare then were such good Governors from Rome as Cicero proved, and rare the Punishment of bad there. Almost all the great Men were corrupt, and, as in a common Cause, stood by one another. They who were to judge the Criminal, had been either Criminals, or expected to be; and therefore were little disposed Edition: current; Page: [129] to punish him for what they had practised, or were determined to practise, themselves. The lawful Gain of such Governments seemed small, without oppressing for more; and thus most of them undertook them purposely to oppress; for they were generally indigent, or rapacious, or both; and, as they were always Men of great Quality, who are not always the most virtuous, they ever depended upon powerful Protection at home.

Caius Macer, Governor of Asia, when accused for his lawless Administration there, before Cicero, then Prætor, though notoriously guilty, yet trusted so strongly to the Credit and Intercession of the renowned Marcus Crassus, his Kinsman, as boldly to put off his mourning Habit, which Men under Arraignment always wore; nor would he have been condemned by his Judges, notwithstanding all his Guilt, had it not been by the Power and Management of Cicero.

The famous Catiline was roundly acquitted of the like Charge, brought against him by the People of Africa, where he had been Governor; though his Guilt was as glaring as the Sun at Noonday: Nay, he impudently stood Candidate for the supreme Office of the Commonwealth, that of Consul, whilst he was yet under Arraignment.

When the Judges, appointed to try the wild and abandoned Clodius, desired a Guard for their Security; Catulus, who knew that they had been corrupted, asked them, If it was through Fear that the Money, with which they had been bribed, should be taken from them?

Lentulus, he who afterwards conspired with Catiline, having bribed his Judges, and being acquitted by a Majority of Two, declared publicly, that he regretted the Money given to one of them.

Had not, therefore, Caius Gracchus good Grounds to press the People of Rome, to transfer the Tribunals from the Senators to the Equestrian Order, when he urged, with so much Truth, that the Plebeians must never expect Justice, in any Dispute with the Nobility, when the Criminals themselves, or their Friends and Relations, sat as Judges? He alleged two recent Examples, of Cornelius Cotta, and Marcus Acilius, two principal Senators, Edition: current; Page: [130] guilty of scandalous Extortion undeniably proved, but suffered to escape Punishment, through the Corruption and Pattiality of their Judges.

Du Vignau relates a remarkable Instance of Avarice, Corruption, and Oppression, in the prime Vizier Cara Mustapha; that as he took the Tribute of Moldavia in Cattle, chiefly in Goats, such numerous Flocks were driven from thence to Constantinople, that, to make the most of them, he forced that great City to eat no other Meat but Goats Flesh for several Days together, till the Whole was consumed. Nuuman Bashaw, of the famous Family of Kuproli, Grand Vizier to the late deposed Sultan Achmet, had a more merciful Spirit. When that Prince, who was extremely covetous, and void of all Tenderness for his Subjects, had determined to break the Truce with the Czar of Muscovy, as the War could not be carried on without laying new and heavier Taxes upon the People, he ordered such to be forthwith raised. The Vizier first represented, that it was impossible; for that nothing ought to be levied upon the Subjects but what the Law and their Prophet prescribed: Then, perceiving such merciful Counsel to be displeasing to Achmet, he added, boldly, that, if he liked it nor, he must chuse another Vizier better skilled in the Arts of Oppression, like some that he had had not long before.

However great the Power be of the Provincial Mandarins in China, it is not sufficient to support them in the Exercise of their Charge, unless they act with such Benevolence, and public Spirit, as to be reputed the Fathers, as well as Governors, of the People. They therefore strive to enrich their Provinces, and employ the People profitably: They even extend their Cares to all Quarters and Persons. One of the Occupations of these great Mandarins is likewise to instruct the People, which they do with great Assiduity and Gravity twice a Month, upon important moral Subjects, upon all public and private Duties, in a plain Style, by Arguments obvious to their Understandings; without any Terms of Ambiguity and Strife, or distracting the Heads of the poor People with Chimeras, Subtleties, and egregious Nonsense.

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The Mandarins are supposed, by such frequent Instructions, so to form the Minds and Morals of the People, as to prevent the Commission of all notable Crimes; and, when such Crimes happen, the Mandarin is answerable for them, or obliged, at least, to find out and punish the Criminals: Nay, he is sometimes turned out of the Government, where such Crimes prevail, merely because they prevail; for that they are supposed to proceed from his little Care in instructing the People.

It is from such Institutions as these, that the Chinese Provinces surpass all the Nations of the Earth in Numbers, as that Government, in general, does in good Policy, and consequently in Felicity; insomuch that, in Compation with the Antiquity and Stability of the Government of China, all the Governments of the Earth besides are but of Yesterday.

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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.

SALLUST, in recounting the many Causes operating at Rome towards Civil War, mentions the Spirit of Disaffection, like a Contagion, seizing the Minds of Men; some out of Place, eager to be in; others, ill using their Power; many, desperate in their Affairs, and hoping to mend them by the Calamities of the State: The Poverty of the Vulgar, who had Hopes to Win, without Danger of Losing; all Criminals, all vicious, prodigal, and desperate Men, flocking from all Quarters to Rome; Numbers admiring the Times and Usurpation of Sylla, whence common Soldiers were raised to the Dignity of Senators, and to the Riches of Kings; all the Descendents of such whose Estates were then forfeited; all Parties who were angry at the Senate, and would rather see the State in Confusion, than themselves deprived of Sway.

How well the Effects agree with such powerful and discouraging Causes, I hope the following Discourse will shew.

As Faction proves often the Beginning and Cause of Civil War, Civil War, which is the last and highest Effort of Faction, has but one certain Way of curing Faction; that is, by the Extinction of Law and Liberty; of that very Liberty, which, being wantonly stretched and abused, ends in destroying itself. Thus they, who having too much Liberty, and yet still contended for more, as if they that could bear none had not enough, became Slaves in their Edition: current; Page: [133] Pursuit of Freedom. Neither is there a more certain Sign, or more effectual Cause, of Slavery, than Liberty pushed to Licentiousness, which, by making all Men Masters, must soon reduce all Masters to one. So that Anarchy, which is Power assumed by All; and Tyranny, which is all Power exercised by One; though very distant in Sound, are nearer to each other in Effect, than many things that have greater Conformity of Names.

And as they, who under the Pretence of vindicating or supporting Liberty when it is not hurt, nor lessened, nor attacked, incense the People against their lawful Rulers, or disable their lawful Rulers from well governing the People, are the Authors of Faction, and Promoters of a Civil War; so they who are possessed of lawful Power, and abuse it by using it unlawfully, or assume more than they have, and from Magistrates turn Oppressors, are accountable for all the Mischief that follows such public Provocation and Insolence; especially when they persevere in their arbitrary Doings, after all Remonstrances, and in spight of all Warnings; and, by so doing, manifest a settled Intention and Rancour against the People, and their Liberties. For the People, for their own Sakes, ought to try all Expedients with Patience, before they try the Sword, which may serve to cut them off, as well as to save them; and therefore never to trust to it, (for Civil War is a terrible Lottery) till they have full Proof, that they have nothing else to trust to; and then, Woe be to the Aggressors! Let the Merit and Result of all Civil Wars, as also the Pretensions of all Princes, and all People, who have engaged in them, be tried by this Rule.

Power unrestrained, and Liberty uncontrouled, are both apt to make Men wanton and insolent; Magistrates to despise and oppress their People; the People to defy and insult their Magistrates; and therefore both have a direct Tendency to produce Civil Wars. The Magistrate will strive to maintain, and consequently to extend, his Power; as will the People, to secure and increase their Liberty and Independence. He pleads his Authority, they their Rights; both deny each others Claims: He prepares to use Force, they to resist it. Thenceforward he treats them as Rebels; they him as an Usurper: That is, they commence on Edition: current; Page: [134] both Sides open Enemies, and bring the Contest to the Decision of the Sword; which, when it is once drawn, measures Right and Reason only by Success; maintains Justice and Protection by killing and destroying; settles Property by seizing it; and, whoever has the sharpest Weapon, has the best Cause.

Whoever would kindle a Civil War, for whatever Ends, good or bad, needs only set it on Foot; that is, bring the opposite Sides to shed one another’s Blood; and then it will go on of itself but too naturally and freely. Mutual Hatred, which may subsist, at least awhile, without Violence, becomes then mutual Vengeance, ravening after Sacrifices, and human Slaughters; and both Parties, having the same Provocation, and the same furious Pursuit, must needs act implacably, and delight in afflicting, distressing, and butchering one another(a).

In Wars between Nation and Nation, the Individuals of each, not knowing one another, can have no reciprocal Aversion, or Bitterness, from personal Causes and Distaste; so that the Rage of the Commonalty is chiefly Personal to the opposite Chief; as the English hated Lewis XIV. and the French hated King William III. At least such personal Hate extended no further than a few remarkable Officers in both Armies, such as had distinguished themselves by their Bravery and Success, or, perhaps, by their Cruelty. The Bulk of both Armies were animated towards each other, only by a general Enmity, which has nothing of the Rancour arising from particular Enmities of one Man towards another.

Thus Civil War comes to be more fierce and outrageous than other Wars. In other Wars, the Particulars fight for Pay, or Plunder; but here, Family Animosities are superadded, with the Emulation of Neighbours; and the Dispute is not only between Men and Men, for Rule and Command, which can fall into the Hands of but One, or a Few; but it is a Conflict between Individuals, between Subject and Subject, Thomas and Peter, upon private Antipathy, and for personal Injuries. And whereas Quarrels Edition: current; Page: [135] between Nation and Nation, as they arise upon certain Points, easily known, and not many in Number, may be adjusted by settling, or giving up, these Points; and it is generally in the Power and Option of one Man, or a few of each Nation, so to adjust them; since each Nation leaves it to their Civil Governors, as to begin such Wars, so to end them; it is quite otherwise in Civil Wars: For then the Civil Government is not known, at least not owned, by both the contending Parties; and the Points of Contention are as infinite, as the Caprices, Animosities, Pursuits and Sufferings of particular Men.

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.

IT is not in the Power of any General (for they own no other than that of their General) to satisfy, nor consequently to controul, the Demands of the Subalterns and Soldiers, who, in Civil Wars, have often more Authority than their Commander. For, though his Power, in its Nature, be absolute; yet, as he can exercise none without their Leave and Assistance, they seldom leave him more than squares with their own good Liking. Sylla, as cruel and ambitious as he was, endeavoured to end the Civil War by an Offer of fair Terms: But no Peace could please such as had engaged in it, upon Views altogether immoderate and pernicious.

‘The Generals of the Party, (says Tacitus, speaking of that of Vespasian) Men so vigorous and puissant in kindling the Civil War, were found insufficient to controul the Spirit of Victory.’ When they had conqueted all their Enemies, they could not controul their own Men. The Reason which he assigns, is very just: ‘In exciting public Tumults, even the worst Men have the greatest Sway: But to uphold Peace, righteous Measures, and virtuous Edition: current; Page: [136] Management, are required.’ He had been just recounting the miserable State of Rome, immediately after that Victory; that ‘The Streets were filled with Carnage, and mangled Coarses; the Temples, and Places of public Resort, were dyed and streaming with Blood; and all were butchered, who presented themselves to the destroying Sword. Anon, private Houses were searched, and such as lay hid there were dragged out; and every-where the Tall and Youthful were murdered without Mercy or Exception. This Cruelty, when glutted with Blood and Killing, was strait changed to Rapaciousness; all Places were broken and plundered, and Murder always attended Opposition. The indigent Populace were as busy as cruel, and as rapacious as the Soldiers. Slaves betrayed their Lords; as did one Friend another:—On all Sides Wailing, and the Voice of Anguish, with the miserable Spectacle of a City stormed and sacked; yet they who caused the Calamity, could bring no Relief.’

The Prince, or the General of an Army, may, perhaps, have Authority enough to order any egregious Mischief to be done; such as burning or plundering a City, or putting worthy Men, and innocent People, to the Sword; but have no Power to prevent any, especially the worst Mischiefs from being done; as was the Case of Otho; and the same may be observed of almost all Generals, in all Civil Wars.

It was so even with Cæsar, the most able and most successful Commander in Rome; it was so with Augustus, a Prince, fortunate beyond most that ever reigned; both forced to wink at Sallies of Rage and Excesses in their Officers, which, sometimes at least, they would gladly have prevented: It was the Case of Cromwell, whose Agitators, a Faction raised in the Army by himself, and encouraged by him for Purposes of his own, to represent and assert the Interest of the Soldiery, became at last so formidable to him, that he was forced to venture a bold Stroke, and even his Life, to quell them.

It was also the Case of the Duke of Mayenne with the Junto of Sixteen at Paris, Men selected from the several Quarters of that City, as the ablest and most determined Demagogues, to oppose Edition: current; Page: [137] the Parliament, to inflame the People, and keep up the furious Spirit of the Ligue; and, at first, they did him notable Service, as the Agitators did Cromwell; but as soon as they found their own Strength and Influence, they began to assume sovereign Power, to act for Themselves, and not for Him; committing the most barbarous Injustice and Cruelties upon all Sorts of Men, and dooming Magistrates of the most venerable Character and Rank to the Gallows, and the like ignominious Punishment; amongst others the President Brisson, the great Light of the Law, and of public Justice: Insomuch that the Duke de Mayenne was obliged to have recourse to Violence on His Side too; and executed several of these his own Instruments, and subordinate Leaders.

These Demagogues had even a Chance for continuing their Authority without him, and in spite of him; as, probably, they would, at least for a time, if they and the Army had but agreed to have supported each other; as sometimes, in Civil Dissentions, the People and the Soldiers, that is, the Incendiaries who influence both, agree in Measures of Anarchy and Fury, though seldom in those of equal Righteousness, and common Good. Thus, at Constantinople, the Populace and the Janizaries frequently go Hand in Hand to pull down and butcher their Rulers, both supreme and subordinate, and to set up others; but never once propose, much less concert, any Scheme to secure themselves, and all Men, against the Excesses of their future Rulers; Excesses arising naturally and necessarily from the Frame of their Government, of which they are very fond, and see no Fault in it; nay, despise all other Governments, such, especially, as provide best for public Security, by limiting the Power of the Governors. The Turks daily feel and rue the dreadful Rigour of their own brutal Sovereignty; but see no further than the Men who administer it; and, therefore, aim only at Them, like a Dog that bites the Stone which is thrown at him. They murder and dethrone, without mending their Condition; and satiate their Vengeance, without finding Amends or Restitution.

In former Ages, too, during the Reign of the Greek Emperors, in all the frequent Insurrections, and dethroning of Princes, the common People were as forward as the Soldiers; and no Imperial Edition: current; Page: [138] City was ever more fertile in Revolutions even then: For the Emperors, though the State abounded in Laws, and they professed to rule by Law, yet generally ruled without and against Law; and, supporting unjust Power by Violence, exposed themselves to be used violently; and thence furnished an eternal Source of Revolts, Massacres, and Civil Wars.

Hence, too, from the Frequency of the Evil (and Civil War, which infers all Evils, is, consequently the greatest of all) People grow hardened, lose all Horror of public Calamities and Confusion, and become disposed, if not to encourage, at least not to oppose, what they would otherwise have considered with Dread and Abhorrence, and ventured their Lives to prevent.

In the last Struggle between the Armies of Vitellius and Vespasian, even in the Streets of Rome, the People, instead of being doleful and affrighted Witnesses, instead of bewailing the public Lot, and the Curse of Civil Arms, and of feeling Anguish for their native City, the Pride and Mistress of the Earth, now wallowing and defiled with the Blood of Romans, as well as of Barbarians; instead of Concern for her Property, and the Lives of her Citizens, for her Beauty and Buildings, and even for her Being, all at the Mercy of the Sword and Flames, were so little affected with such Sympathy, and tender Concern, that, ‘They were gathered as curious Spectators about the Combatants; and, as if they had been only attending the Representation of a Sight exhibited for public Amusement and Sport, they favoured and espoused now These, anon Those, with theatrical Shouts and Clappings: Nay, as often as either Side recoiled, and Particulars had fled into Houses, or lay hid in Shops, they insisted upon their being dragged out and slain; and thus came Themselves to enjoy the largest Part of the Prey: For, whilst the Soldiers were only pursuing Blood and Slaughter, the Spoil fell to the Possession of the Commonalty. Tragical and ghastly was the Face of the whole City: In one Place deadly Conflicts, and bleeding Wounds; in another luxurious Bathings, and Feats of Riot; everywhere Blood in Streams, and Carcases in Piles; yet just at Hand wanton Harlots, or such as resembled Harlots; Acts of Debauchery and Voluptuousness, as extravagant as ever were practised during Edition: current; Page: [139] a Season of Luxury and Repose; with all the Barbarities attending the most merciless Captivity: Insomuch that you would have thought the same City, at once, transported with brutal Outrage, and abandoned to sensual Revellings. Rome had before seen contending Armies in her Streets; where Sylla twice remained Conqueror, and once Cinna; nor was there then less Cruelty exercised: But now, amongst Men, there prevailed an Unconcern and Security perfectly inhuman; nor, for a single Moment, were their Pursuits of Pleasure postponed: Nay, as if this Confusion and Carnage had seasonably intervened to heighten the Gaiety of their festival Days, they exulted, they pampered and indulged, to both Parties utterly indifferent, and triumphing in public Miseries.’ This Account we have from Tacitus.

SECT. III.: The shocking Corruption, and dissolute Manners, produced by Civil War; with the dreadful Barbarities and Devastations attending it.

AS Civil War hardens the Heart, it likewise debauches all Degrees of Men. It furnishes Men of Ambition with a Prospect of raising themselves to Power; and animates the Avaricious and Indigent with Hopes of Plunder: It enures People to Sights and Acts of Cruelty; and thence banishes or lessens their natural Tenderness and Humanity, and teaches them to despise the Laws, and, consequently, Right and Wrong, by perceiving all these daily trampled under Foot: Insomuch that, at the End of one Civil War, there are always Numbers who wish for another; and always forward to begin it, as a ready way to grow considerable, if they be low; to grow rich, without much Labour, if they be poor and rapacious; to be revenged on their Enemies, if they be vindictive; to live without Restraint, if they be debauched and licentious; and without Fear, if they be obnoxious Edition: current; Page: [140] to Punishment and Restraint, for Debt, and Disorder, and Crimes(a).

All Revolutions are Seasons of wonderful Latitude and Licence, as well as of strange Vicissitudes, and sudden Turns, where the Wicked are often rewarded, at least saved, and the Harmless punished. Cornelius Aquinas and Fabius Valens, having sollicited Fonteius Capito to rebel against Galba, and Capito (though otherwise a Man far from virtuous) having rejected their Sollicitations, they charged him with the very Treason which he refused to commit, and slew him as a Traitor. The Murderers of Galba boasted of being so, and even craved a Reward; many at once assuming that horrible Merit.

The Evils which any Civil War, however short, produces, are so many and shocking, as to deter every honest and humane Mind from every Step that tends to raise one; as in it neither Life nor Property is secure, but even exposed to continual Peril and Violence: When Innocence is a Snare, and the Laws no longer protect; when Men follow only the Bent of their worst Passions; when the Ties of Morality are dissolved, with those of Society; and even those of Consanguinity and Nature are disregarded; when blind Force dictates, and the Weak and Unoffending must bleed or obey; when the Lowest and Worst Men are daily prospering and rising, merely, perhaps, for being the worst; and the Greatest and Worthiest are destroyed or depressed, probably for that Reason only; when the vilest Instruments are encouraged and supported, and Wealth and Virtue subject to their Malice and Rapine, without Protection or Appeal; when the Magistrate’s Authority is defied by the Officer, that of the Officer by his Men; when the common Soldiers are Masters, and the licentious Rabble fear no Restraint; when the Works and Monuments of Ages, with the noblest Efforts of human Genius, are destroyed in an Hour; and Cities, which gloried in Opulence and Antiquity, reduced at once to Ashes by a few Incendiaries, perhaps in a Whim, or from Mistake, or in a drunken Fit; all their numerous and wealthy Inhabitants either burnt, or begging, or sold to Slavery, or murdered, Edition: current; Page: [141] for Want of Money to redeem them; the old Men dragged about in Derision, then butchered, as useless; the young Men committed to Bonds; the young and virtuous Women forced to bear the Embraces of Brutes yet reeking with the Blood of their Mothers and Fathers and Brothers, shed in their Sight, for endeavouring to save these their dear Children, or Sisters, or Wives, from Brutality and Dishonour; a Lot worse than Death.

It was the Design of the Soldiery, after they had murdered Galba, (for which Murder they had no Pretence, but their own vile Avarice, and his ill-timed Frugality) to have their Hands let loose to general Pillage and Massacte, and to bring to Destruction every able and every worthy Man in the Roman State. Thus they vehemently pressed the Death of Marius Celsus for his Abilities and Virtues; which they dreaded and abhorred as dangerous Crimes.

Guilty Men are always disposed to revolt, like the Soldiers of Nymphidius, Captain of the Prætorian Guards to Nero; like the Soldiers of Vindex in Gaul, and the Armies in Germany. They had all been engaged in treasonable Designs; and, being conscious of such Engagements, continued prone to every Act of Treason. The Soldiery then, having been long accustomed to the base Reign of Nero, came to admire the Vileness and Vices of their Princes, as much as the Armies of old had adored their Virtues; as Tacitus observes. It was, therefore, no Wonder, what otherwise would seem very wonderful, that Two common Soldiers should undertake to transfer the great Roman Empire from one Prince to another; and actually so transferred it, as the Minds of all the rest were before foured and prepared.

In a Civil War, as both Parties are generally implacable, and determined to carry their Point, general Cruelty and Devastation, and even general Destruction, must ensue, till it is ended by a general Victory; which can hardly happen, till after infinite Havock and Misery. Cicero says, ‘The Civil Dissentions between popular and powerful Men (he means the Heads of Parties) never used to have any other Issue than universal Desolation, with the Domination of the Conqueror, and settled Tyranny. Sylla, when Consul, in his Descent very noble, in his Person very brave, had a Contest with the celebrated Marius; each of these Edition: current; Page: [142] was vanquished and sell, yet so that each again became Conqueror, and exercised sovereign Sway. Between the Consul Octavius, and his Collegue Cinna, Discord arose; to both these Fortune, proving propitious, presented absolute Rule; and upon both these Fortune, turning cross, brought their mortal Doom.’

Even during the Peace ensuing these Civil Wars, the Sword continued drawn(a), and was employed against such as had quietly surrendered. Sylla, for Example, not satisfied with the Slaughter of above Seventy thousand Men at his Entrance into Rome, commanded several Thousand Roman Citizens, submitting to his Power, and unarmed, to be openly massacred in the midst of Rome; besides the Carnage committed every-where by his Men, at their Pleasure; till Furfidius advised them, for their own Sake, to let some live, else they would have none to rule, or rather to domineer over. Then followed the bloody Proscription, the most daring and dreadful Butchery of all, that of Two thousand distinguished Romans, selected from the Senate and Equestrian Order. Nay, shedding their Blood was not enough: Some illustrious Men were torn leisurely Limb from Limb, their Eyes pulled out, their Legs and Arms rent from their Trunks, still breathing, and thus exposed as a Shew. The Destruction of Communities succeeded that of Men, and the most illustrious free Cities in Italy were confiscated, and even sold by Auction, such as Florence, Præneste, Spoletum, &c.

When Fortune had declared for Vitellius, Italy suffered Calamities more oppressive and barbarous than she had during the War. The Soldiers, quartered in the great Towns, let themselves loose to Spoil and Ravage, to Cruelty and Pollution; following Rapine, or compounding at a Price to forbear; sparing neither things Sacred nor Profane. Some assumed the Garb of Soldiers, thus safely to kill their particular Enemies. The Soldiers themselves, marking out for Plunder all the rich Farms, where they met Resistance, devoted both these, and the Owners, to Fire and Sword.—Nor dared their Generals to restrain them, being themselves guilty, and quite awed by their Men. For,

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To engage them thoroughly in the Civil War, general Licentiousness was one of the great Baits offered and allowed them by the contending Chiefs: Insomuch that not only the Butchering of all their own Centurions, remarkable for Discipline, was connived at; but they were allowed to chuse others in their Places, and then they always chose the least qualified, and the most seditious. So that it was no Wonder to see the Soldiers no longer under the Controul of their Leaders, nor the Leaders forced headlong by the Fury of the Soldiers(a).

It is to be observed too, that the less regular and brave Soldiers are, the more licentious, and disobedient, and merciless they are. Tacitus says, that, ‘As, amongst the Soldiers of old, to surpass each other in Modesty, and Feats of Valour, was their only Contention, they at this time (that is, during the Civil War) vied in Impudence and Mutinies.’ Hence they were continually destroying, or demanding the Destruction of, their Commanders. When they themselves had been guilty of any remarkable Violence, or Cowardice, they were sure to punish their Officers, especially the Brave and Innocent: And, if sometimes they became ashamed of their Madness, their wild Fears, and Mistakes, and for a little while relented, their former Fury and Folly soon returned. As, these Outrages were common to whole Legions, one Legion encouraged another in them; and as some Legions thought, that, by the Sedition of others, their own was obliterated, they all rejoiced in repeating their Guilt. Sometimes they were animated to these Acts of Sedition and Blood by one Commander, in order to get rid of others, that the whole Sway and Praise might remain with himself. But whatever was the Cause of such repeated Guilt, they were almost eternally guilty. When they were not doing Mischief in a Body, they crept singly into private Houses, in disguised Habits, as Spies, watching for Matter of Accusation and Ruin, against Men of Wealth and Eminence: So that as no Man was safe at Home, every Man lived in Fear there.

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Neither was it against the Insufficiency, or Infidelity, of their Leaders, that they were apt thus to rage. They were often, on the contrary, ready to prompt and encourage such Infidelity. Who was a more able, who a more unblameable, and even admired Commander than Germanicus? Yet, with what Outrage did they use him; drag him from his Bed, and threaten his Life, scorning his Authority, and proceeding to general Mutiny, and Acts of Blood, before his Face; after they had tempted him, in vain, to usurp the Empire himself? Where was there a more loathsome and contemptible Character than that of Vitellius, a Glutton, more resembling a Swine than a Man; yet, in such high Estimation with the Soldiers, that hardly had any Man ever gained such an Interest in their Hearts by worthy Methods, as he had by mere Impotence, Gluttony, and Sloth? We have this Account of him, and them, upon the Authority of Tacitus. All the military Virtues and grand Capacity of that mighty Captain, the great Marshal de Turenne, could not secure to him the Attachment of his Army, when he had declared for the Party of the Slingers, in the Minority of Lewis XIV. against the base Administration of Mazarine. The Cardinal’s Money bribed them all from him in the Space of a Night.

Otho too was the Favourite of the Soldiers, in a very high Degree, by the Force of much Flattery, and profuse Bounty; yet neither Otho nor Vitellius could prevent their Fury and Excesses. In Sight of Vitellius, and in Spight of him, they first besieged, and then burnt, the Capitol, the Glory, and Strength, and Boast of Rome. In spight of Otho, upon a foolish Suspicion and Mistake, some of them drunk, all of them mad for Plunder, they murdered their Officers, and entered Rome like a hostile Army, breathing Destruction to all Men; but especially to the Senate, whom, in express Terms, they professed to butcher. They even burst open the Palace-Doors, to his own great Dread, as well as of all about him; neither could he effectually quell their Fury, even by unmanly Sobs, and Tears, and servile Supplications, till to these he added, what was of more Force, indeed the only Means of Safety and Peace, a Donative. During this dreadful Uproar, Persons of the first Rank in Rome fled by Night for their Lives; Edition: current; Page: [145] Magistrates without their Ensigns and Train; tender Ladies, and antient Noblemen, roaming hither and thither in the Dark, few returning to their own Homes; most seeking lurking Holes amongst the Lowest of their Dependents.

SECT. IV.: The Soldiery, in a Civil War, only consider themselves: What low Instruments and Causes serve to begin and continue it.

THE Soldiery, in all Civil Wars, generally consider neither the Cause, nor the Commander; but only Themselves, and Licentiousness, and Rapine. When News were brought to the Army in Gaul, that Galba was murdered, and the Sovereignty devolved upon Otho, such News moved not the Spirit of the Soldiery, either with Grief, or Joy; for their Spirit was only intent upon War, without regarding for whom, or for what. Sometimes they committed the most horrid Mischiefs and Cruelties, even without View to Plunder, or any Provocation, or any Passion for Spoil, but from sudden Rage and Madness, and Causes unknown, and thence the harder to be remedied. At Dividurum, a City of Gaul, the Soldiers under Fabius Valens, General to Vitellius, though they were received into it with every Degree of Frankness and Complaisance, were seized with a causeless Frensy, and instantly grasped their Swords to massacre the unoffending Citizens; and, before they could be appeased, slaughtered Four Thousand.

It is always too easy to inflame a Croud; for, whether armed or unarmed, they are alike liable to be deceived, and consequently to commit Acts of Rage; as they are alike apt to listen more to Passion and Lyes, both soon raised, than to Truth and Reason, which, to be successful, require Time, and Temper, and Attention. Any miserable Knave, that can Speak loud, and Lye lustily, or even Whisper craftily, is capable of raising such Mutinies and Insurrections, (especially in Civil Wars) as the best Capacity, and Edition: current; Page: [146] highest Authority, cannot quell; whether he affrighten them with Apprehensions of severer Discipline, or the Want or Reduction of their Pay, or of harder Quarters, or of Stripes or Dismission, or that they are never to be dismissed, or that some of their Brethren, for being just to the Body, have been privately dispatched by the General, or with any other Grievance, however false and improbable, (for, to the Multitude, the most monstrous Absurdities, strongly asserted, appear true, as do the greatest Follies important) they will credit his Forgeries, because they think him their Friend, though he be indeed their worst Enemy, sooner than Truth from an honest Man, whom they are taught to esteem their Enemy, though in reality their Friend.

Any counterfeit Knave, who boldly personates any Prince, or Leader, slain or dead, finds presently Followers; these Followers daily increase; and, more zealous for Deceit than for true Information, will consequently be more eager to restore him, than to forsake him: And thus, for a miserable Lye, Civil Wars have begun, and been carried on with infinite Obstinacy and Blood. This Country, and many others, afford Instances of this Sort.

There can hardly be a greater Example, how easily, and from what small Causes, Civil Wars rise, even to the greatest Height, than the great Revolution which produced the dethroning of Edward IV. and the Restoration of Henry VI. It began from a little Story, in a remote Part of the Kingdom, about defrauding an Hospital of some Corn. The Populace, hearing this Story told, (perhaps maliciously, though truly) fell tumultuously upon the Officers employed to collect it; and their Resentment was so well improved, that what was at first a Riot, from private Passion, whether of Charity or Avarice, became an Insurrection against the State, and overturned it. The great Revolution in China, which brought that mighty State, in 1644 under the Dominion of the Tartars, where it has ever since remained, was so suddenly accomplished, that the capital City was taken, and even the outward Court of the Palace, before the Emperor knew a Word of his own Danger. Matters, indeed, and the Minds of Men, were well prepared by his oppressive Reign, which naturally produced sore Discontents, as these did strong Factions, and Factions Edition: current; Page: [147] did Revolts. An Incident, not great in itself, being altogether of a private Nature, contributed greatly to the first Triumvirate, so fatal to the Roman State. Cæsar intrigued with Mutia, Pompey’s Wife, whom therefore Pompey divorced. This so affronted her Brother Metellus Celer, the Consul, that he opposed all Pompey’s Views, especially of ratifying his Conduct in the War against Mithridates, and of obtaining Lands for his Soldiers. Under this Difficulty he fell into the ruinous League with Cæsar and Crassus.

Old Villeroy says, in his Memoirs, that one of the great Causes of the Mischiefs which befel Henry III. and France under him, his tragical End, the fierce Ligue, and the bloody Civil War, was his changing the Form of expediting Royal Grants and Donations, subject, before that, to be controuled by proper Officers, who could not pass them when not agreeable to old Forms and Regulations, which were an excellent Guard to the Crown, and a Security against the King’s being surprised into extravagant Concessions, to their own great Hurt and Impoverishing, as well as that of their Subjects, and against the Influence and sudden Rise of worthless Favourites and Flatterers. Yet these Favourites and Flatterers had too much Success with a young King, naturally generous, and fond of Rule without Restraint, when they told him, ‘It was beneath a Monarch, to have his Will and Commands controuled by his Subjects.’ The Consequence was, his Profuseness made him poor; his Poverty made him oppress his People: They grew uneasy and discontented. This encouraged ambitious Men, and Demagogues, to incite, and even begin, a Civil War.

Whatever alarms the Populace, and causes Insurrections, be it ever so absurd, or even impossible, such Alarms and Insurrections will rarely want busy Heads to foment, and able Hands to strengthen them. Wretches, too, who pretend to Intelligence from the Stars, or beyond the Stars, Dealers in the Nonsense of Astrology, and false Prophecy, are always of notable Influence, and prove successful Incendiaries, upon such Occasions; belying Heaven, and abusing and inflaming Men. As if the Divinity communicated himself only to Mischief-makers, and only for the Edition: current; Page: [148] Sake of Mischief. Yet, such as belye God, have often the greatest Credit with Men.

Mankind are always prone to Delusion, but most so upon great public Shocks, general Distress, and Changes, when their Hopes and Fears are greatly agitated, and thence continually disposed to gratify these Passions with false Objects; as they always are at the Beginning, and during the Progress, of a Civil War. This therefore is a rare Season for Monks, Astrologers, and all Spiritual Mountebanks and Fanatics, to thrive and multiply in, and to promote, and even perpetuate, Civil Rage. When they have once persuaded their Dupes, that such an Event will happen, it is easy to put them upon Expedients to bring it to pass; and in doing it, such as believe it to be God’s Decree, will thence be notably animated to fulfil it; nay, be proud of being his Instruments. Otho, when he was assured, that he should reign, found no Objection against murdering the reigning Prince. When the Almighty is thought to direct and to sanctify the End, the Means will always be sanctified too, by such as employ them.

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.

WHILST Civil War subsists, it must be conducted by Soldiers; and then, not the Laws, but the Soldiers govern, often against the Authority of their General, and the Laws of War, almost always against the Laws of the Land: And, when the Civil War ends, it must be ended too by the Soldiers, by their Power and Consent; and they, continuing the principal Power, as they must be, if they are not dismissed, will govern even in Peace, or suffer their Leader to govern, who must govern to their good Liking, or not at all: And then it is at their Option, whether Peace, or at least the Effects of Peace, shall continue or Edition: current; Page: [149] no. ‘Such, says Cicero, has been the constant Issue of our Civil Wars, that not only the Pleasure of the Conqueror was always complied with, but many Concessions were likewise made to those by whose Aid he conquered.’

If the Soldiery, or any great Number of them, be discharged, a Rebellion is to be feared, and thence a Renewal of the War. New Pretences, and new Leaders, will never be wanting. Thus the Prætorian Cohorts, dismissed by Vitellius, betook themselves again to Arms, joined themselves to Vespasian, and proved the Bulwark of his Party. Nay, not satisfied with being still employed, upon the bare Apprehensions of being neglected, or even suffering themselves to be tempted by a vile Price, the Roman Army warring under that brave Captain Vocula, against public Enemies, Foreigners, and Rebels, bargained to renounce their Allegiance to Rome, to swear Fealty to the Gauls, a Nation so often beaten and conquered by them; nay, to give earnest of an Iniquity so huge and flagrant, by shedding the Blood of their General Officers, or by delivering them up under Chains.

But suppose a Civil War totally concluded, the Army disbanded without Mutiny, or retained without Acts of Violence, (which are large Suppositions) with all the Appearances of general Peace; still it is a Miracle but the Constitution has suffered a violent Shock, such as a long Tract of Time is necessary to cure, if it be ever cured. A People, for some time inured to a Life of Licenciousness, to revenge their own Quarrels, to rob and kill one another, will not cordially submit to live in Peace, and under equal Law. Those who have gained Wealth by the War, will be afraid of having it resumed by the first Owners; as the latter will be sollicitous to have it restored. So that between the Plunderers and the Plundered, there must be constant Rancour, and a Bone of Contention. A Man, once of great Fortune, finds himself a Beggar, made so by one who was a Beggar before; but is now enriched, and swaggering in his Spoils. The first is enraged because he is ruined, and abhors the upstart Author of his Ruin: The other hates the Man whom he has ruined, whose Resentment he fears, and whose Scorn provokes him.

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Men newly raised, will strive to have the Government modelled to their own Security and good Liking; and, being uppermost, will probably succeed, or try all Expedients, even the most desperate, to do so; and then insult and oppress, in proportion to their Power, or Indignation, or Wantonness. They will still see, or pretend to see, the same old Spirit of Malevolence, or Contumacy, or Resistance, (or whatever else they chuse to call it) in the subdued Party; and still want new Powers to curb and restrain them, perhaps to imprison, enslave, or even to cut them off; and thus prove Tyrants themselves, and oppress all others, for public Good and Tranquillity. Besides their own Strength and Security, and the Gratification of Revenge, they will be apt to relish the Sweets of Fines, Compositions, and Confiscations; and therefore carefully promote them. It will be easy to find Accusations.

If it be in a Commonwealth, they will be said to affect Monarchy. John Barnevelt was accused of a Design to restore the Spanish Government; that is, the best Protestant, and best Commonwealth’s-Man upon Earth, was meditating how to introduce, and live under, Spanish Revenge and Tyranny, and the horrible Cruelties of the Inquisition. Thus the Oliverians charged all whom they disliked, with a Passion for the Government of the Stuarts; that is, as they meant it, Government without Law, and against Law, though that of their Master Oliver was as absolute as his own Will and Passions could make it. Thus again, after the Restoration, all who displeased the hot-headed Cavaliers, were Oliverians; though these Cavaliers wanted to compliment the King with the same boundless Power, which Oliver, with much more Capacity and Attention, had possessed.

Thus the new prevailing Party will rule, or attempt to rule, after a Civil War, by new Laws, or rather by Violence forbidden by the old Laws; and whatever Power they like, will be found necessary. The Party vanquished, groaning under new Burdens, and berest of Protection, will look back with Regret to the old Laws, (which perhaps they too had violated in their turn) would be glad to see them restored, and even ready, perhaps, to lend Assistance towards restoring them. This is Treason, in the Eye Edition: current; Page: [151] of their lofty Rulers, who, construing their own Oppression to be just, as all Oppressors do, judge the Oppressed to be Rebels, because they complain, as all the Oppressed will; and therefore, by the Name of Law, doom them to Whips, and Chains, and Forfeiture, against Law. All this being fresh Oppression, will naturally beget Schemes and Efforts to destroy it, such as, if they are discovered, (for sometimes they presently succeed) will be encountered with other furious Efforts to defeat them; and then, if neither Party be at once disabled and ruined, the Civil War is rekindled.

As Faction implies Contention and Hate, Civil War infers Destruction and Revenge. Both Sides will do their best to prevail, and the prevailing Side to be fully avenged; and as Men in Prosperity are more apt to be wanton than cautious, and to provoke many of their own Party, and thence divide and weaken it, as well as to oppress the undermost, and thence unite and strengthen it, (for common Distress is an admirable Cement and Reconciler) the Weaker will be gaining from the Stronger; even their Sufferings will procure them Pity and Friends; Dissention amongst their Adversaries will increase their Numbers; Leaders, and Orators, and Motives, will soon be found to rouse them to attempt a Deliverance; which, if it succeed, will probably tempt them, in their turn, to the same Insolence, Oppression, Follies, Desertion, and Weakness, which gave them their present Superiority.

In these Struggles and Changes, both Parties proceed without Mercy or Sense, till one or both find, that, for one to get the intire Mastery of the other, it is absolutely necessary to raise up some one Leader to absolute Power, and thus become Slaves themselves to make their Opponents Slaves; as was exemplified in the Roman People, and their Darling Cæsar, to whom we may join Pompey and Crassus, two other Favourites of the Multitude. The Roman People meant not to exalt either of them into Tyrants, but, in the Heat of Faction and Opposition to the Senate, did it effectually; since from this popular Heat and Madness the first Triumvirate arose; a wicked and terrible Combination Edition: current; Page: [152] of Three Men to engross the Roman Power, and enslave the Roman World.

The Roman People, like other People, first blinded with Party-Animosities, then opening their Eyes, when their Sight served but to torment them, perceived into what infamous Bondage they had plunged themselves, and abhorred it. At the public Shews, Pompey was insulted, Cæsar affronted, and Curio, who then opposed both, received with a Thunder-clap of Applause. All Rome resounded with Murmuring, with loud Complaints, and even with bitter Reproaches upon the Administration. Cæsar was hated, his great Opponent Bibulus was adored: Nothing was ever so unpopular as these Three once popular Men. Yet all their Measures, however pestilent and detested, prevailed; nor could Cicero foresee how they could be opposed without risquing a general Massacre. For the Three grand Conspirators had introduced into the City, particularly Cæsar, from his Government of Narbon Gaul, great Numbers of Soldiers, thence to prevent, or conquer, all Opposition: Insomuch that Cæsar, I know not whether with more Impudence or Violence, ordered the great and virtuous Cato, though invested with the sacred Office of Tribune of the People, to be carried to Prison, for discharging the Duty of his Place, and that of a worthy Patriot, by opposing the Law of Vatinius, for continuing that terrible Man in his great Government now inlarged, at the Head of a great Army in the Neighbourhood of Rome, for Five Years longer.

The wretched People might now see Themselves, their Liberties, and their best Citizens, thus scorned, and despitefully used, and grieve, as they did, for it. They themselves had enabled him to do all this; and, having raised him so high, could not pull him down, even whilst he spurned them, and trod upon their Necks.

Thus Cromwell came by his Power; and, having by it got his Masters, who gave it, under his Feet, he kept them there. Their struggling in Chains served only to make their Chains sharper and heavier.

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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.

AS Violence generally precedes, and begets, and accompanies, a Civil War, so a Civil War generally ends in Violence, in furious Measures, Confiscations, and Executions; that is to say, in such Measures as tend directly to produce a Succession of Civil Wars. Men fight naturally to defend their Lives, and Estates, and Families, where they are attacked, and manifestly threatened; and to recover their Estates, when taken away. If some are fond of Civil War, from a Passion for Prey and Forfeitures; others are so from a Passion as strong, even to retrieve their Losses and Inheritance: And if mean Men be apt to promote public Confusion for the Sake of Titles, and Fortunes, and Dignities; great Men, reduced to Meanness by such a Vicissitude, will be as eager to risque fresh Confusion, in order to divest their Supplanters, and reinstate themselves. He who is a Lord To-day, and abounds in Wealth, will not, if he can help it, bear to be a Slave, or to beg, To-morrow; no more than any turbulent Slave will stand at any Means to soar above Slavery, and to mend his Character and Condition.

What more abetted the many Civil Wars in England formerly, (I still except Oppression, and lawless Rule) than the Bait and Temptation of Forfeitures, whence great Acquisitions were probably to be had, and great Fortunes to be suddenly made or mended, and a continual Propensity in such as were stripped and undone, to be revenged and restored? One got half a County by crowning an Edward; another hoped to recover it with Additions, by re-establishing a Henry. Here was a perpetual Source of Civil Broils and Bloodshed, even where there was no other.

The Truth is, says Cicero, ‘The Seeds and Source of Civil Wars will never be lost or extinguished, so long as desperate Edition: current; Page: [154] and abandoned Men are always remembring, and hoping to see revived, the former barbarous Scenes of Confiscations, such as were displayed under Sylla the Dictator, by his Kinsman Publius; nay, Six-and-thirty Years after, by the same Instrument, then much exalted in his Station, at first a common Notary, afterwards City-Prætor, or Grand Justiciary of Rome, yet pursuing the same horrid Trade of Confiscations, in a Manner still more extensive and merciless. Nor is it possible, that Civil Wars should ever cease, when such mighty Forfeitures and Rewards are always in View to rouse them.’ Cicero de Offic. L. II. He likewise says, in one of his Philippics, that, ‘The Forfeitures made under Cæsar had furnished many wicked Men with Hopes and Confidence; for that they saw Numbers, lately abject and poor, on a sudden wallowing in Wealth: So that all, who with a malignant Eye behold our Estates, (he is speaking to the Senate) are ever longing for such Days of Forfeitures.’

Civil Wars do in the Civil and Moral World, what Earthquakes do in the Natural, confound all things; sink and exalt; change high and low, and unite Extremes; raze down old Piles, which seemed to defy Time, and prop the Sky; and scatter such as possessed them, as effectually, as if neither had ever been; or just leave Ruins enow to indicate their former Grandeur, and the Opulence of the Owners, with the Wretchedness of their Posterity, if any remain; lift new Fabrics, and new Men, both out of the Dust; extinguish Titles; abolish and debase Dignities, perhaps for ever, or transfer them to Grooms and Lacqueys, or to sold Slaves, born to Nakedness and Chains; expose venerable Senators to want and to beg, whilst common Soldiers assume the Rank of Senators; prefer condemned Felons to conduct Armies and possess Countries, while those who doomed them to die, suffer Death by their Command; set Bond men to rule over their late Rulers; and, being now Lords of Life and Death, to award Freemen and Grandees to Prison, and Execution, at Pleasure, or, which is perhaps more shocking, to treat them with Pity; shew a Minion, such as Chrysogonus, once a base Slave, exercised in the lowest and vilest Offices of Life, then the Favourite of an Usurper, living and rioting in the Profusion and Magnificence of Edition: current; Page: [155] an Eastern King, supported in it by the Estates of many illustrious Romans, accumulated upon him by Grants, or feigned Purchases, and the noble Owners butchered, or banished, Vagabonds, and starving; Men who had no Guilt, besides their Estates, executed for their Estates, or punished with Life void of Support.

It sometimes happens, that Men, thus suddenly and wickedly enriched, become, through Waste, and Vanity, and Riot, soon poor again, and then want recourse to the same Means to renew their Fortune. They who lost their Fortunes to the former, have the same Aim and Pursuit: To such, add all that are vicious, and criminal, and indigent, in dread of Gaols and Gibbets, of Creditors, and Want; all that are voluptuous without Property, daring without Honesty, oppressed without Redress, vindictive, but disappointed of Vengeance; all who have Much to hope, and Nothing to lose; all who have great Ambition, and no public Spirit, with whoever thinks a Civil War either necessary or unavoidable, and resolves to follow Fortune, and make the best of it; Officers out of Post, Soldiers out of Pay; every aspiring Man, who has not Preferment, or not enough; every Man void of Humanity, who feels not the public Calamities, nor the Sufferings of others; every Man who is indifferent about public Liberty, interested in general Confusion, and fears no Consequences; together with the needy Rabble, always unsteady and thoughtless, for the most part venal and debauched, generally passionate for Innovations, from whatever Hand or Quarter they come.

When the Civil War is over, its Effects, and even its Spirit, remain, sometimes for Generations; it entails ill Morals upon a Country, as well as Distress and Calamities upon particular Families, and leaves the Laws under Weakness and Scorn.

As a Conclusion of this Discourse, I shall subjoin a summary Account of the Civil Feuds and Outrages that happened at Corsetra, now Corfu, during the War of Peloponnesus, as the same are related at large by Thucydides.

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SECT. VII.: A View of the affecting Horrors, and Calamities, produced by Civil War; taken from the History of Greece.

THE People, who could not live without Submission to Superiors, yet cared not to submit, or were easily persuaded that they ought not, after long and violent Distrust, attack the Senate, and murder most of the Senators, as Enemies to popular Government. The Senate, in Revenge, fall upon the People, as Enemies to all Government, and Rebels to their own: They prevail, and rout the Multitude. The People rally, aided even by the Women, and by the Slaves, now purposely declared Free, and thus put into a Condition to master their late Masters, who, in their Fury, rather risque Tyranny from their Bond-men, than bear Subjection to their legal and natural Rulers. They now vanquish the Senators. The Senators make fresh Efforts: So do the Populace: The Conflict goes on, and dreadful Havock follows it, incessant Cruelty and Devastation, Houses fired, Citizens murdered, public and private Wealth destroyed, and the whole City threatened with Conflagration.

A Reconciliation is patched up, but does not cure mutual Enmity, as it cannot cancel the Memory of mutual Injuries and Provocations. Piques and Suspicions still subsist, and produce fresh Insults: These are returned and multiplied, portending and hastening another Massacre. The People think themselves, and their Liberty, still in Danger, whilst any Senators are left; and therefore butcher all that are to be found. Nor can their own Leaders and Partizans escape their Rage. Whoever is a Friend to Peace, they judge to be a Foe to Them. Their Rage continues and increases, and, besides all that they murder, they frighten Numbers to murder themselves. Their constant Charge against all these Victims was, that they were Enemies to Liberty, to the Interest of the People, and to popular Government, which, by such a Torrent of Phrensy, of Rage, and Barbarity, they thus rescue, and thus recommend.

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It may be easily guessed, how fast Slander and Lyes prevailed at this horrid Conjuncture, and how busy and fashionable were all public Incendiaries, and personal Revilers. All Sorts of Immorality prospered; Acts of Treachery and Fraud went Hand in Hand with Acts of Violence. Some committed Murder out of private Revenge: Some discharged their Debts by murdering their Creditors: But it was still Zeal for the People that prompted Murderers, and justified Murder; and whilst Death was seen in all Shapes, and inflicted upon all mean Occasions and Provocations, the same infamous Plea served for all. Many, who thought themselves secure in the Protection of Sanctuaries, were dragged from them, and butchered near them: Many were immured, and perished in them.

Such was the Blindness, as well as Fury, of this Civil Rage, that Good and Evil lost their Names and Application. Good was Evil, Evil was Good; just as Men, in seeing or doing either, were inspired by their Passions: Whatever gratified the worst Passions, was best: The Author of the most Mischief was the greatest Hero. Party-Spirit was the great and uncontroulable Adviser and Defender of all things: Its grossest Misrepresentations were readily believed; its most furious Dictates most chearfully obeyed. Party-Merit outweighed all Regard to Kindred, cancelled all Friendship, extinguished all Gratitude, covered all Crimes, sanctified all Enormities. Law and Obligations, whether Divine or Human, where-ever they interfered with Party, were spurned and trod upon by Party: For, Patty was the Public; and all things must give Way to the Public. It was Mean to Forgive: It was Cowardice not to seek Revenge. Oaths were taken, not to be kept, but to deceive and ensnare: The more Treachery, the more Art and Policy: The higher Cruelty, the higher Heroism. To excel in Fraud, was the highest Excellency. Honesty was Weakness: Deceit and Knavery were Proofs of Ability. A Passion to bear Rule, to gratify Ambition by Avarice, and Avarice by Ambition, was the great and laudable Passion. A selfish Spirit was public Spirit, which it contradicted and destroyed.

All specious Pretences were offered, every plausible Name was assumed, by both Sides. Here the natural Equality and Power of Edition: current; Page: [158] the People were urged and maintained, as the only Source of Justice, and public Liberty, against the Authority of Some over All. There, a steady Government of Chiefs and Representatives, was contended for over the giddy Multitude. Both Parties alleged the Public Good; both Parties obstructed and banished it. Both committed horrible Outrages upon each other; both destroyed Men of moderate Spirits, and reconciling Principles. Fools, by observing no Rule, had the Advantage of Men of Sense, who observed the Rule of Wisdom. Villains were an Overmatch for such as adhered to the Measures of Justice.

I must inform my unlearned Readers, that as the Reign of the Multitude could not be long, popular Fury was at last subdued: The Nobles who escaped, about Six hundred in Number, uniting and returning, soon brought Distress and Misery upon the Populace, burnt their Shipping, robbed the Island, and thus caused a Famine; then raised a Fort above the City, and soon became Masters of the Island itself.

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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.

NOTHING which depends upon the changeable Humours and Passions of Men, can be permanent. No Species of Government can, therefore, be so. Time and Accidents, as they alter the human Face and Frame, so do they that of human Society.

Nothing is perfect at once: Government never is so, nor can be; and has been sometimes destroyed by Attempts to make it so. Human Society, like human Life, is liable to Decay; and the latter, as well as the former, is supported by Expedients. Occasional Laws are found as necessary as occasional Medicines; and both Medicines and Laws, though they sometimes help and save, do likewise sometimes hurt and destroy: Nor can the ablest Physicians and Legislators be certain, that their best Rules will always succeed, and their best Directions be salubrious, or even safe; since the best may be perverted, and then become the worst. The best Remedies, applied unseasonably, or in too great Quantities, may destroy Life: The most wholsome Laws may be perverted into Edition: current; Page: [160] Poison to a State. Laws and Physic, thus abused, are worse than none; because they do Mischief by Authority; and warrant, as well as hasten, the Dissolution of human Life, and civil Society.

In every State and Community, there will, I doubt, be found more Vicious than Virtuous, more Weak than Wise. The Cunning will be for ever deceiving the Simple; the Ambitious will be for ever finding Fools, and for ever leading them. No State or Nation was ever without such Instruments, no more than without proper Materials for such Instruments to work on; the Foolish and the Credulous always blindly following the Ambitious and the Cunning. Wherever there are Multitudes, there will be Seducers; and whilst the Many are always ready to be led, they will never want Leaders. Very mean Implements often serve the Purpose: For there are none so low, but they will see, or think they see, many still lower; and from this Superiority, real or sansied, will try to govern the rest. Indeed, many, of all Ranks, are governed by such as surpass them, not in Capacity, but only in Assurance and Deceit. I doubt not but Beggars, as much upon a Level as they seem, have such Degrees and Subordination amongst them; the Imperious, and the Meek; the Directors, and the Directed; the Credulous, and the Imposing. It is the Characteristic of Society, it is the Nature of Man, to guide, and to follow; to dictate, and to obey; to deceive, and to be deceived.

What State is likely to be quiet, where there are such constant Causes of Disquiet? or to be lasting, where there are so many Materials, so many Authors and Causes of Change? No Government is without such; and the freest Governments, which are consequently the best, abound with them more than the worst. Liberty, like many other valuable Things, carries with it the Seeds of Self-destruction: It is ever liable to be turned into Licentiousness; and thence ever in Peril. Many will abuse it, because they may: Some will encourage that Abuse, on purpose to destroy it. It protects even those who attack and undermine it; and often secures them from Punishment for the worst of all Crimes. As it subsists by certain fixt Laws, whoever can evade those Laws, may overthrow it: And where Liberty abounds most, Laws are most easily evaded.

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In a free State, a Man may be a notorious Criminal against Law, yet not punishable by Law; which requires there such Evidence for Guilt, as cannot well affect the Innocent; and, therefore, the Guilty, if they be wary, often escape all Punishment. Here is Encouragement given by a free Government against itself, and often taken! It is like a Distemper arising from too much Health: No Wonder that a Disease, so continually and plentifully fed, proves mortal in time; often in a short Time.

In arbitrary Countries, a Man may be innocent, yet punished legally; because the same absolute Will which creates the Guilt, finds the Evidence. Here is an Opportunity and Temptation presented to an absolute Ruler, and too generally accepted by him, to destroy his best Subjects! It is small Surprize, that, under such a Government, one so threatening to Virtue, there are found but few great Men; or that such Men are unprosperous and short-lived.

In arbitrary Countries, it is a Maxim, ‘That it is better to destroy many innocent Persons, than that One guilty should escape:’ A Maxim which, when generally pursued, threatens swift Destruction to All: And it sometimes happens, that Numbers are sacrificed to the furious Suspicion of unbounded Power, where there was no real Guilt to provoke it. Whoever a Tyrant fears, is always guilty. A King of Siam, having lost his Daughter, and fansying that she was poisoned, put most of his Court, great and small, to Death, chiefly by the most exquisite Torture; because it appeared probable to him, that some of them had given her Poison. Thus that savage Prince massacred above Two thousand Persons, mostly of principal Rank; the great Mandarins, their Wives and Children, all first scorched with Fire, and mangled with Knives, before they were admitted to his last Favour of being thrown to the Elephants, to be by them torn or crushed to Pieces, or buried, still alive, with their Heads above-ground.

By such savage Policy, Expedients are sought for the present Safety and Gratification of such a Prince; who, having, for his chief Drift in reigning, the Ease and Security of his Person, makes it his Study and Pleasure, to cut off and destroy whoever has, or he apprehends may, hurt him, or even thwart or ruffle him. When he thinks, that, by Blood, he can establish his Throne, he will Edition: current; Page: [162] not spare to shed it; nor will he make any Difference between Suspicion and Proof; much less prolong his Fears and Danger by Forms and Examination. An Attempt upon his Person is punished not only by the Execution of the Conspirators, but often by the Massacre of their whole Family and Kindred, and the Extinction of their Race. The Vizir Kuproli, to punish the turbulent Janizaries, is thought to have destroyed above Forty thousand of that important Militia, by different Slaughters, and at different times; and thus weakened the Monarchy, for the Safety of the Monarch. The strange bloody Justice of an Indian Prince, mentioned by Monsieur D’estoille, as what he saw, is amazing! ‘That, for Two or Three Robberies, he had caused an Hundred thousand Men to be gibbetted upon Trees.’ So that this Traveller, for many Days together, passed through Regions peopled with the Dead. So readily and wantonly can a Prince, thus arbitrary, execute whoever is obnoxious to him, or suspected by him, without Form or Delay.

Against a Power thus violent, and armed with such Force and Expedients to secure itself, no Number of Persons will easily venture into a Conspiracy, or no such Conspiracy is likely to remain long undiscovered. Though One particular Hand, sufficiently desperate, may destroy the Tyrant, yet it cannot with him destroy the Tyranny. He is seldom without a Successor at Hand; one who, perhaps, employed the Assassin, and reaps the Benefit of the Assassination; though he seem not to like it, and often cuts off the Author of it. Perhaps no further Change is thought of; no Change of the Government, but only of the Governor: Few Countries will bear any other Change; nor is the Trial like to be made. What Number of able and unarmed Men are to be found, under a despotic Prince, willing to trust one another; and to meet, in order to concert a new Frame of Government, and to abolish the present? They are almost sure of being first destroyed themselves: Or, were such a Scheme concerted ever so wisely, it is hardly possible to be executed. Such Countries are hardly to be supposed to be without mercenary Armies, chiefly Strangers; and the Changes made by such Armies are always personal, from one Prince to another. It is not their Turn or Interest to Edition: current; Page: [163] settle a free State, where the Laws must dictate to the Sword. When they find, that they can make and unmake Princes, (a Lesson which they quickly learn) they will as soon learn another Lesson, even to make and unmake Laws.

Besides, no free State can be established without proper Materials; I mean a People disposed to receive and submit to it. The Wisdom of Man could not convert the Turkish Monarchy into a free State: A Parliament there would appear a Monster: Even the People, if they could have it, would not suffer it. The same People, who can bear any Act of Power done by the Sultan, or in his Name, and have no Notion of opposing any such Act, be it ever so outrageous, would not quietly bear any Act of Power, however just and necessary, from any Number of themselves; nor see, with Patience, some of their Neighbours, no better than themselves, and lately no higher, making Laws, and controuling all Things. Indeed no public Change whatsoever can be expected in that Empire, or any other like it, but by the Army; and what, other than a military Government, is to be hoped there from military Men? It is true, they have often destroyed Tyrants; but I do not remember, that they have ever destroyed Tyranny. They have frequently sacrificed Princes, for not being Tyrants, and for not devoting the State, and all in it, to the Will and Lust of the Army. They deposed Nero; but they likewise murdered Galba.

It seems, to me, impossible, for a great Monarchy, extending over many Nations, and ruling a great Empire by great Armies, to fall into a Commonwealth: But I conceive it very possible, for it to break piecemeal into several Governments; some of them, perhaps, Commonwealths. The Weakness of the Head, or a great Revolution, may occasion a Separation of the Members; and each, setting up for itself, may produce several separate Principalities, as well as some Commonwealths. The large inland Provinces will probably preserve the same Form of Government, single and military. The great maritime and trading Cities will naturally aim at governing themselves, upon the Principles of Liberty and Commerce; and be, perhaps, encouraged and supported in their free Government by the neighbouring Princes; who, if they cannot master it themselves, will defend it against one another.

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To this Principle some free States, even in Europe, owe their Preservation and Independency; Geneva, the Hans Towns in Germany, and even the High and Mighty States of Holland. I say this of the States, without any Design to derogate from their own genuine and eternal Merit and Firmness, in maintaining their Liberties against that merciless and perjured Tyrant, Philip II. of Spain.

SECT. II.: The Danger to Free Government from popular Maxims, and popular Men; with the Advantages it furnishes against itself.

IN free Countries it is a Maxim, That it is better to letseveral guilty Persons escape, than to punish one who is innocent: A benevolent Maxim, but full of Encouragement to Factionists, Traitors, and other Criminals; since all the Laws, and Proceedings of the State, are to be framed and softened agreeably to that Maxim. The Trial of a State Criminal must be slow and solemn; his Character, the Credibility of the Witnesses, Laws and Precedents, must be all coolly and carefully examined. Possibly his great Power and Popularity, and the Tenderness of the Laws, and of those who administer them, make it dangerous to seize him, and difficult to confine him: So that an able Traitor may execute his Treason, before it can be proved that he designed any; and he may still enjoy his own Liberty, whilst he is contriving the Destruction of public Liberty: He may even make himself popular, whilst he is pursuing popular Mischief, and Measures destructive to the People. For as Liberty, amongst its many Advantages, furnisheth great Men, so, amongst its other Disadvantages, it is often weakened, sometimes extinguished, by Heroes of its own forming: It produces false Patriots, as well as true; and the former are frequently too hard for the latter.

It was a strange Declaration to come from a Roman, ‘That Men were mistaken, to think that the Senate (the Roman Senate) had any Power in the Roman Republic.’ It was still more Edition: current; Page: [165] strange from the Mouth of a Senator, and a Consul: Yet the Consul Gabinius was not ashamed to make that strange Declaration in Public. The Truth is, he was the Creature of Cæsar, and the Associate of Clodius, who had purchased him into a League against his Country, by the Bait of a great Government. After this, it can be no Wonder to hear, that the same Gabinius, still in his Consulship, used to celebrate, in his Cups, with Piso his Brother Consul, (no better than himself) the Names, and Memory, and brave Attempts, of Catiline, Cethegus, and the other Conspirators, all executed for Treason.

In a free State, as well as in one not free, whoever has Power to serve it, has Power to hurt it. They who administer it, will often weaken the Power of the State, to keep or increase their own; and will sometimes rather destroy it, than lose their Power in it. The Decemvirate, or College of Ten at Rome, established for a Time limited, with absolute Power, to settle a Body of Laws, attempted to turn that temporary Trust into perpetual Tyranny. The annual Tribunes often made the same Attempts. The Nobles, for a great while, engrossed all Power, and abused it; acted like Masters, and treated the Plebeians like Slaves: The Plebeians, in their turn, seized the Power of the Commonwealth, and exercised it licentiously. Nor was it likely to be otherwise. In popular Governments, such as admit of Appeals to the People, there can be no certain Stability; because the People are always unstable; always subject to be led, and deceived, and inflamed, by Demagogues; such as are never wanting in that sort of Government.

In Rome, for a great while, no Ordinance of the People could pass, without the Authority and Sanction of the Senate; a most reasonable Restraint, to keep popular Passion and Folly from gaining the Force and Terror of Law. Afterwards, by the Violence of popular Faction, this wise Precaution was lost; and the People could make Laws, without the Senate; but the Senate none, without the Consent of the People. Thenceforward, whoever could alarm and mislead the People, governed or misgoverned the State.

Laws extending throughout the Empire, and binding to the whole Roman People, were sometimes passed by a wild Rabble; Edition: current; Page: [166] such was that for the Banishment of Cicero: The Title of the Law was taken from a ragged Profligate, who wanted a Habitation, and a Bed. By the like Rabble, Armies, Treasure, and Provinces, were allotted to their own Favourites; that is, whomsoever any turbulent Tribune recommended to their Choice. All sober and substantial Citizens were, upon such Occasions, kept off by Violence and Arms.

The Government of Carthage was firm and good, till it fell into the Hands of the People: From that Moment it proved violent, fluctuating, and perishing. The Senate was despised; and then, what Anacharsis observed to be the Case in all popular Governments, was the Case there; ‘Wise Men proposed, but Fools disposed.’ The Answer of Lycurgus was lively and sound, to a Fellow-Citizen, who proposed a popular Government for Sparta. ‘Try it, says Lycurgus, in your own House.’ As that great Man judged very wisely upon this Subject, how to reform his native State, fallen, through popular Licentiousness, into Impotence and Decay, he had the Policy to procure a Judgment from the Oracle of Delphos, allowing the Spartans ‘to vote, but not to debate.’ He knew how unfit the Populace were to make Laws; how unfit to propose; how unfit to abrogate. By this wise Negative upon the People, the State of Sparta continued long firm and glorious: For want of it, that of Athens was always tumultuous and unsettled. Lycurgus took Warning from the tragical Fate of the King his Father, murdered by his own Subjects in a Riot, for attempting to quell it. The Spartans had been long used to defy the Government, and been countenanced in it, or, which is the same thing, not checked and discouraged, by their former Kings. ‘The People, says Plutarch, were so far from growing more tractable by such Indulgence, and false Courtesy, (as these Princes hoped they would) that the Government fell under popular Contempt.’ The great Task, and great Merit, of Lycurgus, was to recover its lost Authority; since every Government without Authority must be lost.

It is with the People as with Princes; whatever they have gained upon one another, they both still want to gain more. They both strive to acquire more (call it Liberty, or call it Power) than they Edition: current; Page: [167] can manage or keep; and they lose by seeming to get. Monarchy sometimes produces Tyranny; Tyranny often produces the Destruction of the Tyrant. Popular Government is apt to beget Licentiousness; Licentiousness destroys popular Government. All Power, breaks when stretched too high; and finally sinks, when let down too low.

In the most complete Governments there will be always something to mend, and many to pretend, that many things want mending, even when they do not; or, which is the same thing, cannot be mended, at least with Safety, and without risquing the Whole. Even such State-Physicians as mean well, may be unskilful in the Choice, or in the Application, of the Remedy. Free States particularly are liable to be undone, and have been undone, by Attempts to reform them, at least covered and carried on under that Pretence. Such Attempts too, as they are generally popular, and thence judged to be safe to those who make them, will therefore be often made and repeated. Even the Miscarriage of some, does not always discourage others, but only serves to suggest different and more wary Measures. The Romans, who were frequently making Changes in their Constitution, proceeded at last to one fatal to it, and lost their Liberty by false Measures taken to increase it; Measures chiefly proposed and promoted by the most popular Romans.

Such are the Advantages which a free State furnisheth against itself. In an arbitrary State, every Attempt to mend it is high Treason; and it is secured by continual Jealousy, and sudden Executions; as I have already observed.

It is better to bear some Inconveniences, and even very palpable Faults, than to introduce worse, by endeavouring to remove them. Most Reformations as certainly imply future Danger, as they infer present Defects and Depravity. Whoever has Power to mend a State, hath Power to hurt it, and may do so without designing it. The Populace, particularly, are very insufficient, very rash Reformers; nor can any State be steady or tolerable, where the Populace can sway the State: For, besides their own rapid and incompetent Judgment, they are eternally liable to be charmed, and roused, and seduced, by some dangerous and selfish Prompter, Edition: current; Page: [168] who loudly professes their Interest, and sincerely means his own, though it be ever so irreconcilable to, ever so destructive of, theirs.

In truth, considering the Frailty, and Folly, and Selfishness, of Men, the Arts of some, and the Stupidity of others, it is a Wonder how any good Government should have any Duration. There can be but one effectual Way to secure it; that is, by making it evident to every Man, that it is more the Interest of all Men to preserve it, than to hurt and destroy it; a Felicity, I doubt, never to be attained by any Government. No Government can so convince, and so gratify, all Men; and all Men, disappointed by the best Government, will be apt to see many Faults in it.

Whenever any State judges as favourably of all its Subjects, as each of its Subjects does of himself, and rewards all so, as all think they ought to be rewarded, we may then expect to see what has never yet been seen, a State without Flaw or Complaints. Every State will want reforming, in the Eyes, at least in the Language, of those who are dissatisfied with the State. Even such as seek to destroy it, will pretend to reform it: Such was the horrible Purpose, yet such the plausible Professions, of Catiline.

Whoever can best deceive the People, is the most popular Man, and has most Influence over them. The false Patriots are often louder, often better heard, than the true. In a Competition for the great popular Offices at Rome, the worst Romans frequently carried them from the best. In all popular Projects, in all public Commotions, some one Person will be trusted more than the rest, and than all; and then he may make his own Interest the Measure of the Public Weal; a Consideration of infinite Force (if there were no other) against a Civil War, and whatever tends to produce it, as it naturally throws all into the Hands of a single Person, Marius, Sylla, Cromwell, Cæsar.

I question whether any Civil Government was originally framed upon any well-concerted Scheme, or upon any wise Plan, laid down by competent and disinterested Judges, but rather formed upon Exigences, mended and improved by Accident, as well as always liable to be altered and undone by Accidents. Even those of Theseus and Romulus were adapted to the Genius of the Rustics, their Followers, whose Humours were consulted, and their Habits Edition: current; Page: [169] preserved; else they would not probably have parted with their boundless Freedom, and complied with the Council, or submitted to the Institutions of these, or of any Law-givers. Neither are these Law-givers to be supposed to have been exempt from Ambition, and Views of their own, but to have found their Gratification in leading, as well as in civilizing, the People. They were Men, and they were Heroes, who are not always the most disinterested Men, or the most tender of their Species.

Men like best what they have been accustomed to, and care not to part with what they have long reverenced. The Turks love absolute Monarchy, because they were bred under it: They love the Mahometan Religion, because they were bred in it. It is thus with most Men, at least with all Men brought up in false Religions, and with many who profess the true. In the Settling of Colonies, in the Transmigration of Nations, People carry with them their Customs and Usages, both Domestic and Public. The new State is generally set up upon the Model of that at Home. The Athenian Communities in Asia were popular, like the Mother Community. Those from Sparta were settled upon the Spartan Foot. The Tyrians, who founded Carthage, set up the Government of Tyre. And the many Settlements of the Goths were all Gothic.

Absolute Monarchy, being always the same, and unchanging in its Frame, does, by such Constancy, produce a Constancy in the People towards it. Free States are more subject to vary, and to be altering at least something in their Plan. As there is nothing perfect at once, nor, I doubt, ever can be amongst Men, new Laws will be frequently wanting: Every new Law is, or will be thought, an Alteration in the State: And the Affections of the People are not likely to be fixed to that which is, at least seems to them to be, unfixed. Besides, they may be taught to believe, that the best Laws, and the wisest Changes, are hurtful, and even pernicious, and to clamour for some which literally are so; and thus come to destroy their precious Liberty, by wrong Measures taken to improve and secure it, or by opposing and defeating Measures which are necessary and wholsome.

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SECT. III.: The signal Power of Enthusiasm, and pious Imposture, in settling, changing, or perpetuating Government.

THE most effectual Way to change Men intirely, and consequently to settle a Government absolutely new, seems to be by religious Imposture. Whoever can mould the Conscience of a Man, can mould the Man. This was the Course taken by Mahomet; by this Course he succeeded, and, from driving Camels, founded an Empire. What can resist armed Enthusiasm, when the Enthusiast thinks himself intitled to both Worlds, and, by being secure of Paradise, claims a Right from Heaven to govern the Earth? He who wields the Sword, both of the Lord and of Gideon, is much more than a Match for those who carry no such awful Weapons. The Saracens were therefore invincible: So were the Round-Heads, who attacked the Cavaliers as impetuously with the Tune of a Psalm, as the Arabs did the Greeks and Asiatics with the Sound of Allah and his Prophet; and as stern a Spirit, though not so extensive, appeared for a Fifth Monarchy, as ever there did for the Monarchy of Mahomet. What this Impostor gained at first by the Force of Delusion, be retained and increased by the Force of Arms; and the finest and richest Parts of the old World, Asia, India, Egypt, and the Coasts of Africa, to the Pillars of Hercules, with the fairest Provinces in Europe, are still darkened and subdued by his gross, but popular and prevailing, Imposture.

Error is not the less forcible for being extremely gross, but rather the more successful for that very Reason. Small and moderate Error, as it is not far removed from Reason, is in Danger of being cured by Reason; but when it is extravagant, and quite monstrous, it is above and out of the Reach of Reason, and thence safe and thriving: The more wonderful it is, the more it is reverenced; and firmly believed, because it is incredible. An Impostor carries his Followers out of the Regions of Nature, and leads and governs them in the Clouds, by Visions too glorious for Edition: current; Page: [171] Eyes which have no more Light than their own, and by Documents too refined for Philosophy and Sense. Thus he forms them his true and devoted Bubbles: They find high Transports in being such, and scorn to change their Happiness and Blindness, for Light and Conviction. Whoever would make them wiser and free, is their mortal Foe, an Enemy to God and his Elect, and They are Enemies to Him.

A Government thus founded, the most disgraceful, as well as the most pestilent of all others, to human Race, is yet the most powerful and permanent of all Governments, if the same Influence do but continue; especially if Force be joined to Fraud, and Heaven and Earth be supposed to combine to support the same Cause. For the Cause of Enthusiasm, with all its celestial Views, and Scorn of worldly Things, has never enough of worldly Succours, not, indeed, of the World itself, all for heavenly Purposes. How many Millions of Men have been Slaves in their Persons, as well as in their Faculties, to an Impostor, only for his good Word to the Deity in their Behalf! and yielded up their whole Property to a Cheat, purely for teaching them to despise it! In truth, whoever can effectually awe Men by the Dread of eternal Torture, or charm them with Assurance of eternal Bliss, will be Omnipotent amongst Men, and controul and engross this World, by being thought Master of the World to come. It will then be very easy for him to introduce that never-failing Maxim, amongst all worldly Saints, (that is, Men more holy than other Men, and therefore striving to govern all Men) ‘That Dominion is founded in Grace;’ a Maxim of more Force than any in Politics, and always adopted by every able pious Impostor.

It is indeed equally true, that whenever common Sense takes Place, there is an End of all his fairy Influence, and mock Terrors, though perhaps not of his present and temporal Dread. But, alas! common Sense, which is treated as his common Enemy, and depressed by all the Engines of Art and Fury, may be persecured, banished, and extinct, for many Ages together. Who has dared, in Turkey, to dispute Mahomet’s divine Mission, or his lewd and voluptuous Paradise, during a Thousand Years past? Who has ventured (at least without incurring a terrible Doom) to question Edition: current; Page: [172] the Pope’s fanatic Supremacy over Heaven and Earth; or his wealthy Heirship to the poor Apostles; or the Kindred of a miserable Frier to the Deity; or his Power of damning and saving Souls for Money, or for want of it; or of drawing Holiness, and Miracles, and Treasures, out of dead Dust, and rotten Bones; or his Title to the Keys of St. Peter; or his Right to a tributary Purgatory, or to his Toll from Souls released from it by his Command; or to his Lease of Provinces from the Emperor Constantine, who gave him none? Yet all these shocking Forgeries, all these blasphemous Impieties, were, for many Centuries, Sacred throughout Christendom, and still are so in Italy, Spain, and other Countries, cowed by Superstition, and blind with Bigotry.

This Sort of Government therefore is as lasting, as it is dreadful and infamous. Enthusiasm is perfectly satisfied with itself, and its Situation; nor will Enthusiasts venture their Soul by venturing upon a Change, or upon inquiring whether a Change be expedient. Great is the Charm of being deceived; great the Pleasure, as well as the Profit, of deceiving! Few good Governments have lasted like that of Mahomet, and of Popery; both founded upon the Delusion, upon the Misery and Affliction of Men, all with the Consent of Men, enslaving and destroying them with their own Assistance.

So that the Means of annoying the best Governments are much more successful, as well as much more readily found, than those of restraining the worst.

SECT. IV.: The surprising, despotic, but pacific Government, established by the Jesuits, by the Force of Imposture, in Paraguay.

THE Settlement made by the Jesuits, upon the River Paraguay in America, is extremely remarkable. These good Fathers, every-where indefatigable in improving their apostolic Talents, and turning Souls into ecclesiastical Traffick and Power, began there, by drawing together, into one fixed Habitation, Edition: current; Page: [173] about Fifty Families of wandering Indians, whom they had persuaded to take their Word implicitly for whatever they told them: For, this is what they call Conversion; and is, indeed, the true Art of making Catholics, who have no other Ground for their Faith, but the Assertions of their Priests.

From this Beginning, and such Encouragement, the assiduous Fathers, ranging the Country, and dazling the stupid Savages with their shining Beads, charming them with their pious Tales and Grimaces, their tuneful Devotions, and high Professions, made such a Harvest of Converts, as to form a Commonwealth, or rather an Empire, of Souls. For every Convert is a Subject most blindly obedient.

The holy Fathers, not Fifty in Number, are thus Sovereigns of a noble Country, larger than some Kingdoms, and better peopled. It is divided into several large Districts, each of them governed by a single Jesuit, who is, as it were, a provincial Prince; but more powerful and revered, and better obeyed, than any European, or even any Eastern Monarch. His Word is not only a Law, but an Oracle; his Nod infers supreme Command: He is absolute Lord of Life, and Death, and Property; may inflict capital Punishment for the lightest Offence, and is more dreaded, therefore more obeyed, than the Deity. His first Ministers and Officers, Civil and Military, are doomed by him to the meanest Punishments, and whipped, not only like common Slaves, but like common Felons. Nor is this all their Punishment, at least all their Abasement, which, to a Man of Spirit, is the worst Punishment: Whilst they are yet marked and mangled with the Lash, they run, Colonels and Captains run, and kneel before their holy Sovereign; condemn themselves for having incurred his pious Displeasure; and, humbly kissing his reverend Sleeve, thank him for the fatherly Honour he has done them, in correcting them like Dogs.

So much Tameness and Vassalage is Part, and an important Article, of their Conversion. They are even pleased with their Servitude, and care not what they do and suffer here, for the mighty Treasures of Joy and Liberty which are ensured to them hereafter by the good Father, who gives them all that He has to Edition: current; Page: [174] give in the Next World, and, by way of Barter and Amends, takes all that They have in the Present.

The poor Indians cultivate the Ground; dig and plow, and reap and sow: They make Stuffs, and other Manufactures; they rear Fowls, they breed Cattle, they carry Burdens, and labour hard above Ground, as well as under it, where, in Sweat and Darkness, and in Peril of perishing, they drudge in the Mines. Yet, with all this Industry, they earn nothing; nothing for themselves: All their Earnings, all the Profit and Advantages, appertain not to them, but solely to the good Father, their spiritual Sovereign, who rewards them to the full with what costs him nothing; Blessings, and Masses, and distant Prospects. Their Grain and Manufactures are all carried into his Warehouses, their Cattle and Fowls into his Yards, their Gold and Silver into his Treasury. They dare not wear a Rag of their own Spinning, nor taste a Grain of their own Sowing, nor a Bit of Meat of their own Feeding, nor touch the Metal of their own producing, nor so much as an Egg from the Hens they rear. They themselves are fed and subsisted, from Day to Day, by a limited Allowance, furnished them by the Appointment, and at the Mercy, of their great Lord, a small Priest.

Yet, under all these Discouragements, which are none to them, who seem to have sacrificed their Feeling, as well as their Reason, to the Sorcery of Superstition, they are diligent and laborious to the last Degree, and vye with one another for the high Price and Distinction bestowed by the Father upon such as excel most in their Work and Industry; even the bewitching Honour of kissing his Sleeve. The second Commandment, in their Table of Duties, is, To fear the Jesuit, and obey him; as the two next are much akin to it, and of like Tendency, even, To study Humility, and to contemn all worldly Goods. The Precept, of fearing God, seems to be prefixed for Form, and in Policy only; since it is impossible there should be any Knowledge of God, where the Exercise of Reason is not known nor permitted: Nor can God be said to be regarded by those who use the Images of God like Beasts.

All these Stores and Warehouses, so much Grain, so many Manufactures, so much Gold and Silver, so many Commodities Edition: current; Page: [175] from so fine, so large, and so plentiful a Country; abounding in Mines, in Rivers and Meadows, full of Horses, and Sheep, and Black Cattle, of Timber and Fruit-trees, of Flax and Indigo, Hemp and Cotton, Sugar, Drugs and Medicinal Herbs; must enable these good Fathers, who have renounced all Wealth, and the World itself, to carry on an infinite and most lucrative Trade, in which, though they have vowed Poverty, they are extremely active; and consequently must make that Jesuitical Government a most Powerful one. It hath Advantages which no other Government ever had, an absolute independency upon its People, or their Purses; the whole Wealth of the Country in its present Possession; the People absolutely submissive, and resigned to its good Pleasure and all its Calls; no Factions, not a Malecontent; an Army of Sixty thousand Men, all tame and tractable, devoted to blind Obedience, commanded in chief by a Jesuit, and obstinately averse to be commanded by any other General; a vast Revenue of many Millions; no Trouble in Taxing, no Time lost in collecting Taxes.

Such a Government, whilst it proceeds upon the same Principles, is unchangeable. No wonder these Jesuits are extremely jealous and tender, not only in keeping the poor Indians Slaves to Ignorance and Bigotry, in order to keep them Slaves to themselves, but in concealing so much Empire and Wealth from all the World; especially from Spain, from whence they were sent, at the Expence of that Crown, to convert the Indians, and make them Subjects to the Spanish Monarchy. The good Fathers are so far from meaning any such thing, that they not only carefully avoid teaching them the Spanish Tongue, but press it upon them, as a Point of Conscience, not to converse with the Spaniards. If any Spaniard happen to come amongst them, a Thing which the Jesuits are so far from encouraging, that they care not to see it, he is indeed civilly used, but carefully confined within the Walls of their holy Citadel, the Presbytery; or if, by earnest Intreaty, he obtain leave to walk through the Town, he is closely guarded by the Jesuit at his Side, and sees not an Indian in the Streets. For the Indians are ordered to shut themselves up, and fasten their Doors, upon any such Occasion.

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Besides, these vigilant Fathers keep Five or Six thousand Men, employed in several Detachments, (Apostolic Troops!) to watch and scour the Frontiers, in order to cut off all Intercourse with the neighbouring Countries, not yet subjected to the good Fathers. Towards one of their Frontiers particularly, lest the rich Mines in it might invite a Settlement from Abroad, they have destroyed all the Horses, in order to discourage any such Settlement. For these self-denying Friers, who are sworn to Poverty, have an ardent Zeal to secure all these wealthy Mines to themselves, for religious Uses.

These poor, rich, humble, sovereign Missionaries, as they are Masters of such immense Wealth, all consecrated to their own Use, that is, to the Use of Religion, make a proper Display of it. The Churches are spacious, magnificent in their Structure, and set off with all Pomp and Decorations; grand Porticos and Colonnades, rich Altars adorned with Bas-reliefs, Pictures in Frames of massy Gold, and Saints of solid Silver, the Foot and Sides covered with Cloth of Gold, and the Pedestals with Plates of Gold; the Tabernacle made of Gold; the Pyx (or Box for the Sacrament) of Gold, set round with Emeralds, and other Jewels; the Vessels and Candlesticks made of Gold; the Whole, when illuminated, making a Shew almost beyond Belief: A proper Bait for the Eyes of deluded Indians, who, by such fine Sights, and the pious Mountebankery attending them, are retained in due Awe and Wonder!

The Princely Person of the Poor Jesuit is suitably lodged in a spacious Palace, containing grand Apartments, furnished with many Pictures and Images, with proper Lodgings for his Train of Officers and Domestics; the Quadrangles and Gardens all in proportion; the whole Court making a Square of some Miles. Observe, that all the many opulent Warchouses, belonging to the Holy Disinterested Man, are contained in it!

Such is the Situation, such the State, and inimitable Authority, of every Jesuit in Paraguay. There are but Forty odd of these Monks in all that great Tract of Country; and in it they have above a Million of Souls, not only to obey them, but to worship Edition: current; Page: [177] them: Nor do these their sightless and abject Slaves know any other God: For where the true God is ever so little known, no Man will worship Friers; who always paint Him as like Themselves, as They themselves are, in Reality, unlike Him.

SECT. V.: The inevitable Danger of trusting Ecclesiastical Persons with any Worldly Power, or any Share in Government.

THIS Government of the Jesuits in America, the most monstrous, and the most tyrannical, that ever the World saw, is yet the most quiet. It owes its Security to the same Principles, to which it owes its Foundation; Two very short, and very simple Principles: First, that the Jesuits come commissioned from God, to declare His Will to the Indians; then, that the Indians are to submit in All Things, and to give up All Things, to the Jesuits: And these Two Principles are sufficient, nay, necessarily tend, to introduce and perpetuate the most complete Tyranny; a Consideration which ought to be an eternal Warning to all Nations, and all Governments, never to suffer any Man, or Body of Men, to make Religion a Stalking-Horse to Power or Property; since, thenceforward, all the Property and Power of the World will be found too little for any Man, or Body of Men, who pretend to preside and dictate in religious Matters: Witness the Pope, and Mahomet, and the Jesuits in Paraguay.

It seemed to be a pertinent and prophetic Conjecture in the Abyssinians, concerning the Churches erected amongst them by the Romish Missionaries, ‘That they were Forts, raised to master and bridle the Country.’ The Missionaries in Japan had such Confidence in the blind Bigotry of their Converts, who believed the Fathers to be all Vice-gods, and the Will and Wisdom of the Fathers to be the Will and Wisdom of God, that they thought themselves able to form a powerful Army, of these their bewitched Tools, against their natural Lord the Emperor; to make them Edition: current; Page: [178] Traitors and Rebels, out of Zeal for Jesuitism, abusefully called Christianity; and to sacrifice their Lives, to make these Reverend Pedants Masters of the Empire. For, had they conquered, they must have assumed the sovereign Sway, or committed it to some nominal Prince to sway it for them: And then Japan must have felt the Fate of America; namely, a Course of Barbarity, Massacre, and Desolation, with whatever was afflicting and dreadful to human Nature; all to spread Darkness and Delusion over the human Soul, for the Benefit of inhuman Deceivers. The Jesuit Xavier, who is sainted, and called, The Apostle of the Indies, made a Declaration, worthy, indeed, of his Order, but nothing savouring of an Apostle, that Missionaries without Musquets were never successful in making Converts. What a Romish Missionary in Japan owned to that Emperor, was enough to alarm him. The Emperor asked him, How the King of Spain came by such vast Territories in America? The Father replied, in the Simplicity of his Heart, ‘That the Catholic King sent over Missionaries to convert the Americans, and then Troops to master them.’

It cannot be forgot, how precariously Princes reigned formerly in Christendom, whilst the Pope presumed to guide and command; nay, to curse and depose Princes. Doubtless he was then the Monarch of Christendom; and those who were called Christian Monarchs, were, under that mock Name, no other than his Vassals and Tributaries. He published Laws binding to Prince and People, taxed their Subjects, levied Money upon them, armed them against their Sovereign, and often dethroned their Sovereign. Were not all these Demonstrations, that he was Sovereign over them All? His magic Monarchy was therefore not only the most impious, and most complete Tyranny, but the most formed for Continuance, as long as Imposture was swallowed and revered for Religion.

Dominion, founded thus in the Soul, is absolute, and ought to teach all Princes, and States, never to suffer those who profess to direct in Religion, to possess Power; since, where-ever these two are blended together, one of them must perish. It is easy to guess, because it has been always seen, which of the Two will prevail; and then worldly Ambition, covered and recommended by a holy Edition: current; Page: [179] Name, animated by the worst Passions, acting from the worst Motives, and pursuing the worst Ends, will monopolize, or taint and confound, All things, Conscience and Property, Law and Reason, sell and belye Heaven, engross and oppress the Earth. The Priests of Egypt, of old, supreme in the State, as well as in Religion, making the most of these mixt Characters, not only made and unmade Kings, not only deposed and slaughtered them, but ordered the King to slaughter himself, whenever they told him he was unfit to reign. Indeed, the more qualified he was for reigning, the less he answered their Purpose, and was the more proper Victim to holy Jealousy. It was therefore from sound and necessary Policy, that the Sophis, or Sovereigns of Persia, assumed the Headship of the Church, as well as of the State, and were as absolute in Religion as in Government. The Great Turk, without claiming the same Title, assumes the same Right, and exercises the same Authority, by making and unmaking the Mufti, or Chief Pontif, at Pleasure.

The De la Lami is not only Chief Pontif of the Eastern Tartars, but treated like a Deity, and stiled Everlasting Father. What may not an Impostor, so important, so adored, and thought to be Almighty and Immortal, undertake and accomplish? It is no Wonder, that the Tartar Princes are never crowned till they have his Blessing, which may be presumed to mean his Permission. They even eat his Dung as sanctified Dainties.

The Talapois, in the Kingdom of Lao, or Langia, in the East, are so formidable, even to the King, that when they commit the most outrageous Crimes, Robbery, Treason, Rapes, and Murder, he dare not punish them, nor suffer them to be punished. He fears, that, were he to chastise or restrain them, they would make his People, over whom they are Omnipotent, destroy him, or would destroy him themselves. He therefore excuses, or will not see, their most shocking Enormities. If they counterfeit the Coin, ‘The poor Men, says he, were in want, and found this ingenious Contrivance to relieve themselves: Besides, it was pious in them, thus to support their Temples and Convents; and their Accusers are to blame.’ Once, one of these Reverend Friers was, upon full and ocular Evidence, convicted, before the King, Edition: current; Page: [180] for having broke, by Night, into the Apartment of two Sisters, Women of Condition, and murdered them for their Jewels. The Fact was plain, the Evidence undeniable, yet the Murderer innocent. ‘An evil Spirit, says his Majesty, hath done the Murder, under the Form of a Talapoi, to bring Disgrace upon these holy Men.’ Thus that King reigns with their Leave, and they tyrannize without his.

This is, indeed, a very surprising Account; but it is still more surprising, that it comes from the European Missionaries, though it be probably very true. Have not European, Catholic Talapois opposed Princes, their natural Princes, rebelled against Princes, cursed their Princes, deposed their Princes, poisoned and stabbed their Princes? And do they not still claim to be independent of their natural Sovereign every-where, and subject only to their own Jurisdiction, and to the Sovereignty of the Pope?

SECT. VI.: The Profession of the Missionaries Abroad; how notoriously insincere, and contradictory to their Tenets and Practices at Home.

THE above strange Boldness and Inconsistency in the Missionaries lead one into many Reflections. When I think particularly of the mighty Empire of China, that, in Numbers of Inhabitants, in good Policy, and consequently in Felicity, it surpasses all the other great Empires of the Earth, past and present; when I consider, what raised it so high, what preserved it so long, as also, what would sink and ruin it for ever; I cannot but wonder at the marvelous Assurance of these Missionaries, in trying to propagate and establish their shocking System of Absurdities and Impieties there; a System, as repugnant to the Simplicity of Christianity, as to that of rational Heathens! When the Moment their History, and Conduct, and Maxims, are known, all reasonable Chineses must abhor them; Edition: current; Page: [181] abhor their History, fraught with Acts of Fraud and Sedition; abhor their Conduct, black with Persecution and Cruelty; abhor their Maxims, levelled against all Conscience and common Sense, full of Blasphemy against the Deity, full of Contradiction to Reason and Figures; all intirely selfish, framed only to exalt themselves, by cheating, impoverishing, and depressing all others.

Can any sensible Chinese, without Resentment and Scorn, hear himself persuaded to renounce his Reason, as the first Step to Happiness; to stifle that Light which certainly comes from God, and to follow what flatly contradicts that Light; to take extravagant Traditions, and Fairy Tales, and Dreams, for the Will and Word of God; to believe Impossibilities as Divine Truths; to practise wonderful Fooleries, as Duties commanded by the God of Wisdom; to esteem the God of the Universe addicted to personal Fondnesses and Favourites; influenced, or rather governed, by a Mother and Kindred; subject to Caprice and Passions; nay, shifting his Passions, and even his Purposes and Decrees, upon every Request and Whim of his Creatures; unaccountably fond of one Sect, however little and obscure, generally Slaves and Vagabonds, and often, in spight of Him, and all his Menaces, obstinate Idolaters; yet, for their Sake, hating, or neglecting, all the rest of the World?

Can a rational Chinese think, that the Almighty and Impartial Being more readily hears a Prayer made by one Man, than the same Prayer made by another Man; that he regards Coats, or Colours, or Names, or Distinctions, or has given Power to particular Men to prevail with himself in Behalf of all the rest (just as a weak Prince does to his Mistress, or his Barber); though these particular Men can in no earthly or visible Thing shew, that they have any Power, or any Faculties, superior to those of the most ordinary Men; when the Morals of the most ordinary Men are, indeed, generally better than theirs, and when such Morals are the only Recommendation of Men in Society? For, God wants no Human Help, no more than he does Grimace and Flattery.

If the Chineses knew further, that these holy Strollers, professing at first only a Desire to be heard, only to instruct them, to pray for them, and to propose to them the meek Principles of the Edition: current; Page: [182] Gospel; contending for no Power, but that of Persuasion; for no Authority, but that of blaming Vice; for no Revenue, hardly for daily Bread, would yet assume a very different Style, when they had once gained sufficient Numbers of Bigots to follow and support them; that they would then boldly claim a public Establishment, and public Rents, amounting to a large Proportion of the Public Wealth; besides all that they could procure by cheating and frightening private Consciences; that they would haughtily assert an absolute Power in Spirituals, that is, in whatever they pleased to call so; even a Power to excommunicate the whole Empire, and the Prince himself with it; that is, to dethrone him, if he submitted not blindly to them, especially in sinking his Sovereignty, or employed it not in setting them above himself, and in persecuting, burning, and exterminating his best and most conscientious Subjects; namely, such as they could not force to give up all Conscience, at the Word of Command, nor to believe Lyes, nor to reverence marvelous Folly and Inhumanity; that they would raise popular Ferments, Tumults, Bloodshed, and Civil Wars, about Bowings, and Tables, and Legerdemain; would promote continual Strife, about mere Words, and dry Names, and internal, involuntary Motions of the Mind; nay, kill and destroy, for such scandalous Considerations; or, where they were not suffered to go so far, at least make these the Subjects of everlasting Strife and Rancour, to the constant Disturbance and Ruin of Society; that they would curse, and oppress, in Defence of the most shocking Blasphemy; maintaining, that the One only God, He who made all things, He who fills all Space, and, in Power and Greatness, is utterly Incomprehensible, might be eaten and multiplied; that they could damn, and save, human Souls, and open the Gates of Heaven and Hell, though they could not, without human Means, command the smallest Leaf from a Bush, or the smallest Candle to burn, or be extinguished; and that such poor weak Creatures, who had not Power to controul the Motions of a Fly, or award the lowest Insect to a common Death, would yet most impiously presume to influence, nay, to direct and determine, the God of infinite Wisdom and Power:

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I say, if any Chinese knew all these frightful Truths, concerning the Missionaries, (and Truths they are, too glaring to be denied) would he not wonder at their Boldness, pity the unhappy Countries where such pestilent Instruments bore Sway, rejoice that his own had escaped them, and study to preserve it for ever from them? Indeed, there cannot be a surer Sign, that all monkish Pretensions whatsoever, to propagate Divine Worship and Opinions, by the Aids of Wealth and Power, by Terrors and Penalties, whether Positive or Negative, are utterly repugnant to the benevolent Christian Religion, and to the merciful Will of God, the common Father of all Men, than that they are found certainly baneful to Society, certainly tending to make People ignorant and slavish, utterly uncharitable, and therefore utterly unsociable, as well as few and poor.

There could not therefore be a surer Method of reducing the mighty Numbers of People in China, with all their mighty Wealth, Trade, and Happiness, than by establishing a monkish Hierarchy there, or any such Hierarchy as considers only Itself, and All things For itself.

SECT. VII.: The Duration of Tyrannical single Governments, and the changeable Nature of such as are Popular and Free, further considered and illustrated.

WHEN Virtue and good Sense become more prevalent in the World than Vice and Folly, it will be a Wonder indeed, to see the worst Government more permanent than the best. People are generally more constant in evil Habits than in good, more persevering in Grossness and Stupidity than in the Exercise of Reason, and in useful Pursuits. In truth, the more foolish their Habits, the more wild their Tenets are, the more they are prized. The absurd Customs, and extravagant Notions, almost every-where prevailing in the World, shew this Edition: current; Page: [184] to be, in general, the Character of the World, and of most Men in it. They are rarely disposed to change for the Better; or if they be, they almost always mistake the Means: And though they did not, they will find unsurmountable Difficulties thrown in their Way, by those who have Power to do it, and Interest in doing it. Whoever is hurt by the Change, will oppose it, however advantageous it may be to the Whole; as they who gain by the worst Change, will advance the worst; and, in both Cases, the People may be sometimes either so awed as not to attempt the best Change, or so deceived as not to wish for it: At other times, they may be so managed, so seduced and inflamed, as to be hurried into a Passion for the worst.

Where such public Agitations prevail, and in the freest Governments they will always prevail most, the Government itself is constantly threatened with a Revolution, and, at length, with Dissolution, as happened to that of Rome, and had before to that of Athens; which, after all the Laws and Regulations of Solon, still continued turbulent and raging, and hastening to a Downfal. He himself owned, that the Government was bad; but said, the People would bear no better. It is a Wonder, that that of Rome held so long, under such a continual Course of Struggles, between the Leaders of the Senate, and the Leaders of the People. Sallust says expresly, ‘That they (that is, those Leaders) would rather see the State in Convulsions, than lose their superior Sway in it. The Tribunes engaged the People, nay, bribed them, and incensed them against the Senate; all to gain Influence and Popularity, and thence Power and Command, to themselves. Against the Tribunes the Nobility exerted all their Force; in Appearance, for the Authority of the Senate; in Reality, for their own Grandeur. One Side was loud for the Rights of the People; the other, for supporting the Dignity of the Senate; both pleading the Public Good, both struggling for their own particular Pre-eminence. Not was there any End, or Bounds, to this terrible Competition.’

The Faction which prevailed, must, in all good Policy, disable the defeated Faction from recovering: They would rather therefore try a new Constitution, that is, a new Government, than Edition: current; Page: [185] hazard the Re-admission of the late Governors; and risque the utter Change of the State, than lose the Rule of it.

The Romans got rid of the Tyranny of Kings, but fell under the Tyranny of Party. The History of the Commonwealth is little else but the History of Party. Even their Foreign Wars, and Conquests, arose from the continual Struggle of Parties at Home; a Struggle that early presaged the Overthrow of the Commonwealth, which fell finally under that great Party-Man, Cæsar, who, by the Force and Improvement of Party, put an End to Liberty. Sylla and Marius had shewn the Thing to be feasible: Many others had attempted it. Cæsar accomplished it; he oppressed Liberty, and oppressed it for ever.—A sad Consideration, that when Liberty is once lost, it is hardly ever to be recovered; it is the more sad, as Liberty naturally furnishes Enemies against Itself. Great Liberty always produces Faction: Faction is always dangerous, often pernicious to Liberty.

Faction, if it be not formed by some particular Head, will at least soon find a Head; or a Head will soon find the Faction. Then, as He will stick at nothing to humour Them, They will stick at nothing to exalt Him, even so as to enable Him to destroy the State, and Themselves with it. If Catiline fail, so must his Followers. They therefore desperately concur with him, in all his most desperate Measures, to destroy the Government with Fire and Sword, and, by the same dreadful Means, to set up another Government. The whole Faction were so devilishly determined, that not a Man of them, amongst so many Thousands, all desperate and poor, would betray any of the rest, though tempted to it by the Offer of Pardon, and a great Reward; as I have elsewhere observed. They even blaspheme the sacred Name of Liberty, and use it as a Stale to their savage Treason; prostitute it, yet complain of the want of it; and pretend to restore it, whilst they are extirpating it.

Indeed, by the Sound of Liberty, every enterprising Tribune could shake and endanger the State; and his most pernicious Projects were sometimes the most popular: Sicinius Dentatus proposed, upon the Conquest of the City and Territory of Veii, to divide the whole Roman People, and to send One-half of all Edition: current; Page: [186] Degrees thither: A Proposal which, had it succeeded, would have put a Period to the Roman State; yet the People, ever fond of Novelties, and popular Projects, rejoiced in the Proposal, and were hardly kept from executing it.

It was thus the worst Men made themselves popular, by offering popular Laws, and bewailing popular Grievances; Laws which were really wanted, but sometimes could not be obtained, or were attempted to be obtained in such a Way, upon such Terms, and by such Instruments, as made the Execution of them more mischievous than the Want of them; Grievances that could not be removed, without introducing worse. What seemed more reasonable, what more wanted, than the Distribution of the public Lands amongst the Roman People, who had conquered them? What more reasonable, what more just, than an Agrarian Law; limiting the monstrous Wealth of some particular Subjects, and supplying the miserable Wants of All? But, besides the great Difficulty in gaining and executing such a Law, those who were loudest and most active in pushing it, meant only their own Grandeur, and to enthrall the People with their own Consent. They knew that any popular Cry would be followed with popular Applause, with popular Confidence, and popular Authority.

Even the extravagant and enslaving Scheme of the Tribune Rullus was applauded by the People, because he declared it to be for the Benefit of the People; though nothing was ever more obviously destructive of their Liberty, and of the very Being of the State. By it, ‘He and Nine Confederates more, were to be invested, during Five Years, with absolute Power over the Commonwealth, over all its Forces and Revenues, over all the Lands and Fortunes of particular Subjects; Power to settle Colonies, to distribute the public Treasure to the People at Discretion, and to alter and transfer Property at Pleasure.’ A Scheme, which, at first View, declared these Ten to be uncontroulable Tyrants over the Republic, and All in it to be absolute Slaves to these Ten Tyrants; yet, so pleasing to the People, that it required all the Credit, all the Address and Eloquence, of Cicero, to undeceive them, and prevail with them to reject it.

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There never was any human Society, which did not want something: In every Society, there will be many Men wanting many Things. These, as they will be apt to complain, will like such as pity them, and join with them in their Complaints. Such who pretend to relieve them, will be still more dear to them. The same Spirit, and the same Materials, which produce Mountebanks and false Teachers, produce false Patriots and Reformers, who, in order to gain popular Influence, must practise and promote popular Deceit; as I have already largely illustrated.

The great Unsteadiness, and, consequently, the great Insecurity, of popular Governments, as well as the sudden Gusts of Rage and Injustice, to which they are subject, is signally exemplified in the Commonwealth of the Grisons. Whenever the Peasants are heated by any malevolent Report against any Man, though it be only whispered, perhaps to be traced to no Author, or the Author never to be discovered, they flock in Crouds to the Diet, and demand a Chamber of Justice, or rather command it. For they are Masters, and this, nor any thing else, must be denied to their Fury, be their Fury ever so groundless. The Person accused, however innocent, is put upon proving himself not guilty. For the Charge is without Proof, and supported only by popular Jealousy, raised by any Incendiary, and Artizan of Falshood. Be the Person ever so guiltless, he must be tortured; and the Torture often produces Confession of false Guilt, which is followed by real Execution. Such as can stand the Rack, are indeed acquitted, but live ever afterwards bereft of their Limbs. So that here is certain Punishment, without any certain Crime, or for none: The Innocent may die by false Confession: The most Guilty may escape by making none. No Wonder, that upon such popular Alarms, such as any spiteful Slanderer may wantonly raise, the Gentry fly: For the Peasants are both Judges and Accusers; and there is no Safety, though there be no Crime. Some Sacrifices must be made, generally many are made, to asswage popular Rage, which, when it is most blind, is most carnivorous.

Here is a Republic, where, first, any Malecontent, any Incendiary, may, by any spiteful Device or Forgery, rouse the People to Insurrections and Massacre; and where, secondly, all the principal Edition: current; Page: [188] Men, who are thus least safe in it, are under a continual Temptation to abolish such popular Licentiousness, and to introduce a quieter Government, for their own Security. Besides, we have an Instance from the same Country, how easily, and readily, and madly, the People themselves are drawn to change the most popular Government, and to submit to absolute Tyranny. A Community of the Grisons, under the gentlest Yoke in the World, without any Grievance to complain of, but that their Magistrates were now-and-then of a different Religion, and that Protestants were tolerated amongst them, were such surprising Bigots, as to throw off their just and mild Governors, cut the Throats of their unoffending Neighbours, and cast themselves into the Hands of the Spaniards, the most terrible Masters in the World.

Upon the Whole, Free Governments are indeed difficult to be conquered, but subject to change; and it is scarce possible to frame, or even to conceive, one of them free from the Materials of Change, and internal Dissolution. They may conquer great Monarchies: The Roman Republic conquered many, but, at last, conquered itself, by the very Means and Instruments of its Conquests, even its own victorious Armies and Commanders. That State, like others, equally Popular and Free, produced Great Men: Those Great Men often threatened, at last effected, the Ruin of the State. They proved equally dangerous at the Head of Factions, as at the Head of Armies; and frequently came to lead Armies, by having led Factions.

Great absolute Monarchies cannot properly be called Government, because they can never be well and equally administred, even where the Monarch most sincerely intends it; a Case which seldom happens, or can be presumed. He who directs All, cannot be exactly acquainted how All is executed, and cannot answer for the Virtue and Sufficiency of all the infinite Instruments employed by him, and under him. Absolute Power is generally absolute Misrule, a Train of public Spoilers, preying upon one another, certainly upon all others; and, under the Name of Protecting, in fact, Distressing and Consuming Men.—Yet this Sort of Monarchy is generally lasting; it is subject indeed to be conquered, but is obnoxious, within itself, to no essential Change. The Edition: current; Page: [189] Monarch himself is frequently changed, and for ever liable to be so; to be dethroned, imprisoned, slain: But such Changes, however frequent, are but Personal: The Power and Policy is the same, and continues. Civil Wars and Revolutions have been frequent in India, Persia, and Turkey; but, in all of them, the Constitution remains unvaried; and the Successor of an Emperor, deposed for abusing his Power, is still at Liberty to abuse it as much.

There never was a freer, or a braver People, under the Sun, than the Cossacks. Oppression at Home from their Polish Lords, drove them to seek Shelter in the Ukrain, from their Courage, and into a League of mutual Defence. It is wonderful, what great Defeats small Bands of them have given to great Armies, and what amazing Exploits they have performed against the Turks, upon the Black Sea, where, in small open Boats, without the Help or Possibility of Ordnance, they have awed, surprised, and beaten, the Turkish Navy, and often taken and destroyed their proud Gallies, full of Men and Artillery. But their Government is too free to be steady and lasting. Their Hetman, or Chief, is elective; and a terrible Station he holds; since, upon every public Disaster and Miscarriage, which must frequently happen from their frequent and desperate Excursions, he is almost sure to be cut to pieces, however able and faultless he be. Yet this Honour, which no Wise Man would chuse, the Wisest Man dare not refuse. If he do, he is as surely cut to pieces for Not serving, as if he had served ever so Ill. So that any factions Member, may, from private Spite or Ambition, propose his Enemy, or Rival, to be their Chief, on purpose to have him staughtered. Thus daily Commotions, and continual Tragedies, are to be apprehended amongst them; and the Chief is under constant Temptations to save his Life, and consult his own Security, by conspiring against that of the Public, and by betraying the State to some powerful Neighbour, able to protect him against his own People; and many such Neighbours there are, ready to combine with and encourage him, in Moscovy, Turkey, Tartary, and Poland.

Crotona, an antient Greek City in Italy, famous for the Birth of Pythagoras, was a Commonwealth, administered by a Council Edition: current; Page: [190] of a Thousand: That of Locris had one as numerous: The Seres, a People in Scythia, had one of Five thousand. What Union, what Peace and Secrecy, could be expected in such tumultuous Councils? We may guess, and indeed find, by their History, to what Factions and Struggles, to what intestine Changes and Calamities, these popular States were subject; what Scope and Encouragement was given to Demagogues; what Danger attended their best Magistrates, what evil Constructions the best Measures; and, thence, what Temptation to these Magistrates to make themselves independent; and thus introduce a Single Tyranny, or that of a Few.

Syracuse was the proudest and most opulent of all the Greek Cities; till the People, wanton with Plenty and Prosperity, and impatient of any Restraint upon their Liberty, (though, without Restraint, no Liberty can subsist) ruined All, Themselves, their Liberty, and their State, by setting up a popular Government; which, whilst it lasted, was little better than Anarchy, and naturally produced, what, from the Beginning, it naturally tended to produce, Single Tyranny. The Multitude made War and Peace; gave and resumed Governments, and military Command; made and abolished Treaties; were Masters of Life and Death; declared and pardoned Criminals; despised real Merit, and exalted Favourites without Merit.

This popular Liberty, or rather this Madness, this wild Power in the Many, could not hold, when every loud Son of the Rabble was first heard; and, minding only his own little Interest, trusted most in those who flattered him best. All lived in a continual Intercourse of deceiving, and being deceived: He who could best deceive All, was in a Way to be Master of All. Dionysius proved to be the Man; a Man ever since renowned and detested, by the Name of the Tyrant. He cajolled the Multitude, and the Multitude adored him. For Their sake, and for his Attachment to them, he told Them, (and this was Argument enough to gain their Belief) that he went in hourly Peril of his Life; and begged them to appoint him a Guard: They readily granted him what he wanted, and he readily took what they had thus helped him to; even the Prerogative of putting Chains upon them Edition: current; Page: [191] All. He even entailed the Tyranny upon his Son. When they were released from this Second crazy and contemptible Tyrant, by the virtuous Timoleon, the People, bewitched with the Notions of unbounded Liberty, (a Thing which can never last; and, whilst it does, is in continual Combination against itself) struggling for the old popular Government, Agathocles, once a Pathic, a Haunter of Brothels, then a common Soldier, now an Officer, adopting the fashionable Cry for Liberty and the People, charmed them, cheated them, enslaved them, and then butchered them by Centuries.

Sybaris was a populous and thriving State; the City contained Three hundred thousand Inhabitants. The Government was popular and unsteady. The People, provoked and deceived by one Telys, a designing Citizen, banished Five hundred Citizens at once, the most wealthy of the Whole; Men whom He disliked, and whom he taught the Populace to hate. The Exiles were protected and patronized by the Crotonians; a War ensued; an Army of Three hundred thousand Sybarites were utterly routed and slaughtered, by a Third of the Number of Crotonians, commanded by the famous Wrestler Milo. The City itself of Sybaris was sacked, and laid desolate: It was not rebuilt for almost Sixty Years; and then again razed by the Crotonians. The fugitive Sybarites, assisted by a Colony from Athens, built another City, with another Name; and, using the New-comers insolently, lost the chief Sway to them. So much they got and lost, by their Possession of popular Liberty, and by their Faith in Telys their popular Leader.

The Populace at Argos, in one wild Sedition, destroyed most of the considerable Argives, without other Evidence, than the Insinuations and bold Calumnies of their Orators. All the Rich were accused; all the Accused were found guilty; all the Guilty were put to Death. Even the inhuman Orators were, at last, terrified with such infinite Executions, no less than 1600 in a Train; and, growing slack in their Pursuit of more, became thence suspected; Suspicion was Guilt enough; and they were themselves slaughtered; they who were the Authors of so much Slaughter!

An Aristocracy, or a Government of the Nobles, is more secure, as it is more steady, than a popular Government; and though generally very strict and severe, yet nothing so terrible as absolute Edition: current; Page: [192] Monarchy. That of Sparta lasted many Ages, after it was rescued, by the Wisdom and Courage of Lycurgus, from the Weakness and Violence of Popularity, into which it had lapsed; and was therefore hastening to Dissolution, as I have before observed. One Part of the Spartan Policy seems extremely unjust and cruel: As the genuine Spartans were not very numerous, all bred only to Arms; the Grounds were cultivated, and all servile Offices were performed, by the Helotes, their Slaves, the Natives of the Country, first conquered by the Heraclides. These Slaves were very numerous, and presumed not to be well-affected to their proud Masters; who therefore used, from time to time, to employ the most trusty Spartan Youth on secret and nightly Expeditions, to massacre quietly such of these Slaves, as were most obnoxious for Strength, Capacity, and Spirit; even Two thousand at a time.

The Venetians, with all their Experience and Refinements, their great Council, their Senate, and their College; with all their Checks, Rotations, and Ballotings; their extraordinary Maxims, and Jealousy; could not boast much Security and Permanence, but for the supreme and unaccountable Authority of the Council of Ten; the constant Terror of all turbulent Subjects, and the great Bulwark of the Commonwealth.

The Government of the Argives was, in a great measure, the same with that of Sparta; but through One Defect, I mean the Want of a Senate, like that of the Ephori there, was subject to terrible Agitations and Insurrections. Any popular Jealousy and Rage, always easily raised by any evil Instruments amongst the Populace, for want of such a Council to intercept it, discharged itself directly upon the King, and ended not, but in his Murder, or Deposition. It was therefore just Policy in one of the Kings of Sparta, to institute the Ephori; for, though that Institution checked the Royal Authority, as his Queen weakly upbraided him, it secured and prolonged it: And the Spartan Government, which lasted so long, might have lasted still longer, but for its Attempts to make Conquests; which introduced new Maxims, with the Means and Examples of Luxury; let loose the Ambition of particular Spartans, and unsettled all Things. It was admirably framed for Self-preservation, but not for Inlargement.

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The Roman Government was itself enslaved by the same Spirit and Instruments, by which it enslaved so many other Nations; I mean, by popular Heroes and Armies. Thenceforwards the Roman Government could not be said to exist, even with a Roman Emperor at the Head of it. It was lost in Imperial Frolic and Fury; in the Humour, Whim, or Appetite, of a Fool, or a Madman, Claudius, or Nero. Neither could the wisest Prince alter it, much less restore it: This was, indeed, impossible; and some such were destroyed for attempting it; not could the best do more, than shew their Pity and Generosity, by particular Acts of Justice and Benevolence, which died with them. The best Reigns were only Intervals of Violence, Robbery, and Bloodshed. Yet this Tyranny, this Inversion and Suppression of Government, proved lasting. The Tyrants were frequently destroyed, but the Tyranny never.

This is the Lot and Curse of Tyrants, without bringing Relief to the People; unless, perhaps, it prove some Consolation to them, to see, that their grand Oppressor, that the proudest Ruler, holds a more precarious Life, and is hourly threatened with a more ignominious Death, than his meanest Slave. There are eternal Changes in such Government, but never of it; and the same Hands which preserve the Monarchy unchangeable, may change the Monarch every Day.

The Prætorian Bands, the Turkish Janizaries, the Russian Strelitzes, as they can make and unmake Sovereigns, are rather the Masters, than the Servants, of their Sovereigns: And a Prince, thus at the Mercy of his Soldiery, must, to save Himself, give up All to their Mercy; his Subjects, his Revenue, his Prerogative, his Ministers, and his Favourites. Sometimes, after all these Sacrifices, he is sacrificed Himself. A dreadful Situation, both for Princes and Subjects; the more dreadful, as it never, never mends. It is a Sort of Government which destroys Government, and all Things; Princes, as well as People; but is Itself never destroyed, till it hath destroyed All. It may change its Name, from Roman to Greek, from Greek to Saracen, from Saracen to Turkish, from Persian to Parthian; but its Nature doth not change: It is still military; still arbitrary and violent; perpetual, and unchangeable.

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A free People may conquer an absolute Monarchy: The Romans conquered many; indeed all that they attacked. But the same Way that leads to foreign Conquest, leads to domestic Slavery; and where Slavery is so established, it is established for ever; as it was at Rome: Vestigia nulla retrorsum. It is not likely, that the Soldiers will let the Laws govern the King, when They cannot govern the Laws. With them, the Opportunity of making Princes infers the Power of doing it: Power is Right; Right is perpetual and sacred. The Roman Emperors continued to be made by them, or were deposed and destroyed by them, to the last. Where the Son succeeded the Father, he did it by their Fiat and Approbation.

In Turky, Superstition has confined the Janizaries, in the Choice of their Princes, to the Line of Othman: But they have dethroned, imprisoned, and butchered their Princes, as freely as if they had been chosen from the Army, or the Rabble. It must be owned, too, that History furnishes not such an able and brave Race of Princes, as have been found of that Line. For Three hundred Years they were all Heroes: A Wonder indeed! The greatest Wretches are commonly the Descendents of the greatest Heroes. Such, literally, were those of Cæsar, of Sesostris, of Cyrus, of Tamerlane, and Charlemagne. Yet, during the Successors of these great Princes, the Dread and Infamy of their several Reigns put no Period to their dreadful Form of Reigning, though it often did to their Lives. Sometimes the immediate Successor is only conspicuous for being unworthy of his Ancestors: Witness Edward II. the weak and unhappy Son of Edward I. Richard II. the hopeful Heir of Edward III. Also Henry VI. the wretched Son and Successor of Henry V.

This Consideration is alone sufficient to expose the horrid Nature and Claim of despotic Sway in any one Man. For, Once that it falls into the Hands of an able Prince, it may fall Ten times into the Hands of Fools; who consider the Country as their Estate, and Men as their Cattle. In this Light the Emperor Severus (one of the best, too, that the Romans knew) seems to have considered the Roman Empire, and the Romans themselves: His last Advice to his Two Sons was, To fill the Treasury; (without Edition: current; Page: [195] limiting them to any honest Methods of doing it) To feed and gratify the Soldiery; and to take no further Care or Concern for any thing else. He did not so much as name the Roman People, or Senate: He even knew, that these very Youths were likely to rend and waste the Empire; for they hated one another mortally, and were already in a State of War; and the Elder had attempted to poison, then to assassinate his Father. Soon after his Father’s Death he butchered his Brother, even in the Arms of their common Mother; proved a Tyrant, and a Butcher, to the Romans, but a liberal Slave to the Army; agreeably to the Advice of his Father. He died, however, in Blood, as became such a bloody Man. His Successor proved worse than He, and had the like Fate; which, in a long Succession, scarce any escaped.

But though the Imperial Tyrants were still falling, the Imperial Tyranny stood still firm. The Soldiers would brook no other: How should they? Whenever they murdered one Emperor, they were sure of being well paid for setting up another; and then murdered Him, too, when they had left him no more to give them. It was a fine Government to Them: From it they had the Spoils of the World.

Why did the free Romans, why did the free Greeks, hate Monarchy, and despise Monarchs, but because they were lawless, absolute Tyrants; their Subjects absolute Slaves, and their great Armies for ever defeated, by Handfuls of Men born free, and therefore brave? An Athenian valued himself more upon being the Son of an Athenian, than upon the Blood he derived, by his Mother, from the Kings of Thrace: And the Daughter of a Roman Citizen refused to be the Wife of a King.

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SECT. VIII.: An Inquiry, Which is the most Equal and Perfect Government: Our own proved to be so.

THE most equal and perfect Government amongst the Romans, was their First Government; that of King, Senate, and People, and it is the most perfect of all Governments.

Absolute Power, in the People, is Madness, naturally and hastily running into the Hands of One Man, where it is Madness still; but more dangerous, as it is then harder to be removed: In the Hands of a Few, it is the Tyranny of a Few. Now, what can controul either a governing Multitude, or a Cabal that governs the Multitude, or one Man who dictates to all?

Power divided between the People and the Nobility, produces Distrust, Faction, and Civil Feuds, threatening to all Government; as in Rome during the Commonwealth, which perished by them.

Power divided between King and Nobles, besides the infinite Distrust between Him and Them, as in Poland, infers absolute Slavery in the Populace; nor can there be more miserable Slaves than the Poles, who are worked and sold like Cattle, and often killed by their Lords, with as much Wantonness, and as little Ceremony; almost with equal Impunity: A Ducat compensates for the Life of a Subject: Sometimes no Inquiry is made, and consequently no Forfeiture.

Power, divided between a King and the People, produces equal or more Distrusts; and as there is no Check nor Mediator, where both are equal, he must either enslave them, or be deposed by them. The Athenians banished Theseus; and Pisistratus mastered the Athenians. I have above mentioned the defective Policy of the Argives, their Struggles against their Kings, and their barbarous Usage of them. As Power, when it is no longer limited, is no longer Government, but only the Sallies and Outrages of Passion and Folly; Liberty, when it is no longer confined, no Edition: current; Page: [197] longer exists. Both Liberty and Power are known and justified by their Bounds.

The Form of Three Estates is the most perfect Form, as it comprehends every material Interest in a Country, and balances all. Four would be too many; since a Misunderstanding is more likely to happen amongst Four than amongst Three. More would but still create more Discord, Distress, and Confusion.

A little Observation, without much Reasoning, or any Refinement, will serve to satisfy any unprejudiced Man of the Truth of what I say, and of the superior Excellency of Three Estates to any other Form whatsoever.

In all the English Reigns, from the Conquest to the Reformation, the Liberty of England was very defective, and therefore the English Government was imperfect. In all the Struggles between the King and the Barons, it was only for absolute Power to the Crown, or absolute Independency in the Barons: The People were never further considered, than as they joined one Side, or the other; the King, or the Nobles; and the chief Use that either made of them, was to draw them into their particular Quarrels, to spill their Blood, oppress their Persons, and exhaust their Property. The Commons had no Share in the Legislature, at least no equal and proportionable Share. There were only Two Estates, the King and the Nobles; no Third to balance them; and therefore frequent Struggles and Wars between these Two. Neither did it proceed from any Virtue in either the Crown or the Lords, but only from the Wealth and Strength of the Commons, that a Third Estate, that of the Commons, was established with proper Weight and Authority.

These Three Estates constitute the most free, the most equal, and the most happy Government yet known in the World, or that ever can be known. It is the Government which Tacitus mentions as the most complete, but the rarest to be found, and the hardest to be formed.—Cunctas nationes & urbes populus, aut primores, aut singuli regunt: Delecta ex his & constituta Reipub. forma, laudari facilius quam evenire; vel, si evenit, haud diuturna esse potest. ‘All Nations and Communities are governed by the People, by the Nobility, or by single Rulers: Edition: current; Page: [198] A Constitution framed of each, and comprehending all Three, is easier admired than accomplished; or, if accomplished, is not lasting.’

As this Power, in the Hands of One, makes all Men Slaves; in the Hands of a Few, it makes so many Tyrants; in the Hands of All, it confounds All: But in the joint Hands of One, of Several, and of Many, that is, in the Hands of the Populus, Primores, and Singuli; King, Lords, and Commons, all constituting one mixt Legislature; it is a complete System, including all Ranks, and salutary to All. This is our Constitution, such a one as yields more Security, both to the Governors and the Governed, than any that has yet appeared in the World, and more than any other can. In it, all the Three Parts are equally bound and interested to preserve one another, and each is only safe, where the other Two are so. Without a King, one of the Two Estates would soon swallow up, or abolish, the other: A King, without the other Two Estates, would be in Danger of abolishing himself.

The Experiment hath been tried. The Suppression of the Royal Power was followed by that of the Nobility: No King, No Lords. The King had before attempted to abolish both Lords and Commons; an Attempt against Nature and Duty, impotent and odious, subversive of his own Power, and fatal to his Person. They had as good a Right to rule without Him, as He without Them; and sad Experience taught both Him and Them, that they could not rule without One Another.

No other Scheme can be pursued in England, without pernicious Consequences to the Whole, and even to those who pursue it. No absolute Monarchy can be settled without a Civil War: And many Civil Wars would probably follow one another. If a Civil War should end in absolute Monarchy, it is not probable, that he who aimed at it, would enjoy it: If it should end in a Commonwealth, it is likely the same Instrument that set it up, would pull it down, and raise himself upon its Fall.

The only Hope and Aim therefore, amongst all reasonable, all suffering Subjects, after all the Efforts and Bloodshed of a Civil War, would be, to recover the former Government: An Event, which, howeve salutary to the Whole, would be ruinous to the Edition: current; Page: [199] Innovators. The haughty assuming Prince, who would submit to no Law, would not be again trusted to administer the Laws. Such as would not submit to a limited Monarchy, must then square their Allegiance to it, or suffer for refusing.

Can there be stronger Motives to a Prince to govern justly, or to Subjects to behave dutifully? This is the only sure Policy in both Governors and Governed; this the only certain Rule to preserve good Government.

I might inquire next, how far the Judgment of Tacitus may be prophetic, when applied to the Stability of this our Constitution: But I chuse not to enter into such an Inquiry, perhaps neither satisfactory to myself, nor to my Reader. I own there is Danger; I think I see the Causes of it, but cannot see the Cure. I doubt the greatest Danger is little known, or apprehended.

I shall end this Discourse with the same excellent Observations, with which Sir Walter Raleigh ends his History of the World; Observations worthy of that great and masterly Genius, perhaps as great as ever England, or human Nature, produced.

‘By this which we have already set down, is seen the Beginning and End of the Three First Monarchies of the World; whereof the Founders and Erectors thought, that they could never have ended. That of Rome, which made the Fourth, was also at this Time almost at the Highest(a). We have left it flourishing in the Middle of the Field; having rooted up, or cut down, all that kept it from the Eyes and Admiration of the World. But, after some Continuance, it shall begin to lose the Beauty it had; the Storms of Ambition shall beat her great Boughs and Branches one against another; her Leaves shall fall off, her Limbs wither, and a Rabble of barbarous Nations enter the Field, and cut her down.’

‘Now, these great Kings, and conquering Nations, have been the Subject of those antient Histories, which have been preserved, and yet remain among us; and withal, of so many tragical Poets, as in the Persons of powerful Princes, and other Edition: current; Page: [200] mighty Men, have complained against Infidelity, Time, Destiny; and, most of all, against the variable Success of worldly Things, and Instability of Fortune. To these Undertakings, these great Lords of the World have been stirred up, rather by the Desire of Fame, which ploweth up the Air, and soweth in the Wind, than by the Affection of bearing Rule, which draweth after it so much Vexation, and so many Cares. And that this is true, the good Advice of Cineas to Pyrrhus proves: And, certainly, as Fame hath often been dangerous to the Living, so it is to the Dead of no Use at all, because separate from Knowledge; which, were it otherwise, and the extreme ill Bargain of buying this lasting Discourse understood by them which are dissolved, they themselves would, then, rather have wished to have stolen out of the World without Noise, than to be put in mind, that they have purchased the Report of their Actions in the World, by Rapine, Oppression, and Cruelty; by giving in Spoil the innocent and labouring Soul to the idle and insolent; and by having emptied the Cities of the World of their antient Inhabitants, and filled them again with so many and so variable Sorts of Sorrows.

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‘For the rest, if we seek a Reason of the Succession and Continuance of this boundless Ambition in mortal Men, we may add to that which hath been already said, that the Kings and Princes of the World have always laid before them the Actions, but not the Ends, of those great Ones which preceded them. They are always transported with the Glory of the one, but they never mind the Misery of the other, till they find the Experience in themselves: They neglect the Advice of God, whilst they enjoy Life, or hope it; but they follow the Counsel of Death, upon his first Approach. It is He that puts into Man all the Wisdom of the World, without speaking a Word; which God, with all the Words of his Law, Promises or Threats, doth infuse. Death, which hateth and destroyeth Man, is believed; God, which hath made him, and loves him, is always deferred. I have considered (saith Solomon) all the Works that are under Edition: current; Page: [201] the Sun; and, behold, all is Vanity, and Vexation of Spirit. But who believes it, till Death tells it us? It was Death, which, opening the Conscience of Charles V. made him injoin his Son Philip to restore Navarre; and King Francis I. of France, to command, that Justice should be done upon the Murderers of the Protestants in Merindol and Cabrieres; which, till then, he neglected. It is, therefore, Death alone that can suddenly make Man to know himself. He tells the Proud and Insolent, that they are but Abjects, and humbles them at the Instant; makes them cry, complain, and repent; yea, even to hate their fore-past Happiness: He takes the Account of the Rich, and proves him a Beggar, a naked Beggar, which hath Interest in nothing, but the Gravel which fills his Mouth. He holds a Glass before the Eyes of the most Beautiful, and makes them see therein their Deformity and Rottenness; and they acknowlege it.

‘O eloquent, just, and mighty Death! whom None could advise, Thou hast persuaded: What None have dared, Thou hast done: And whom all the World hath flattered, Thou only hast cast out of the World, and despised: Thou hast drawn together all the far-stretched Greatness, all the Pride, Cruelty, and Ambition, of Man; and covered it all over with these Two narrow Words, Hic jacet.

POSTSCRIPT.

I Add what follows, for the Information of such, who entertain Notions of Liberty inconsistent with those of Government; and I do it, because I have met with many such, who were otherwise reasonable and well-meaning Men.

In every State there must be unbounded Power somewhere. The free Romans had it as much as the tyrannical Roman Emperors had it afterwards; nor can there be any Safety to a State, where the Power of the State is bounded. The Romans, whilst yet free, found it necessary, upon some Conjunctures, to invest the Magistrates with unlimited Authority, where the Roman Edition: current; Page: [202] Government did not furnish a present Remedy against present and unforeseen Danger: The Magistrates, upon such Occasions, were charged to provide, ‘that no Evil befel the Republic;’ and the Means of doing it were left to their own Discretion.

The English Government is as absolute as that of Turky; that is, it is supreme, as every Government must be. The Difference is, that, in Turky, the sole Will of the Sultan is Law: In England, the Law is the Will of King, Lords, and Commons; and the English Constitution claims the same Power over the Lives, Liberties, Persons, and Properties of the English Subjects, as that of Turky does over those of the Turks.

It is the necessary and indispensable Privilege of every independent State, to oblige every Man in it to serve it upon its own Terms; and to punish, as it pleases, such as refuse to comply. No less Power will suffice, to serve or to save a State; otherwise the Governed would be too strong for the Governors; and the Governors unable to protect the Governed: A Case which infers the Subjection of Sovereignty, and the Sovereignty of Subjects; and, consequently, the Dissolution of Government and Society.

They who execute Laws, are, indeed, limited; but the Lawmakers know no Limitation. The Power of the Three States is, therefore, unbounded; and Subjects are only so far free, as the Legislative permits. Laws are no longer Laws, when Subjects dare refuse to obey them. They are even worse than none; as they then only serve to declare, that the Power of the Subject is stronger than that of the Sovereign: Indeed Liberty doth not only imply Limitation, but can never be secure, where it is not limited. Liberty without Limits is Licentiousness, which is Popular Tyranny; as unbounded Power in the Prince is Single Tyranny.

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The Conspiracy of Cataline

To His Grace EVELYN, Duke of KINGSTON.

MY LORD,

AS I take the Story of Catiline to be full of Instruction to all Subjects, especially to all great Subjects, in a free State, I freely inscribe it to Your Grace. It is what I have long intended, what I think very pertinent, and what I therefore do with great Chearfulness, as well for the Honour accruing to myself, as for the Pleasure it must give to a Mind like Yours, not only free from all the Guilt and Perturbations rending the Heart of that great Parricide, but replete with all opposite Impressions, good Wishes for public Security and Repose, and for whatever tends to procure them, the Love of Justice, Truth, and Peace, with an Antipathy to all Violence and Fraud; a Character as amiable to human Society, and pleasing to Edition: current; Page: [ii] him who has it, as the contrary Character is odious to all Men, and a Curse upon him to whom it belongs.

Bright Talents, depraved by Ambition, are more dangerous to the World than none: Such were Catiline’s Talents, strong, but terrible, because terribly perverted. He had great Abilities, great Accomplishments, I think as great as any Man, but wanted Virtue: An admirable Head was corrupted by a bad Heart. Such is the Difference between great Sense and sound Sense, and consequently between Parts and Wisdom; which implies, not only Parts, but the Direction of good Parts to good Purposes. As able good Men are the best Men; a Character too uncommon, even where it most abounds; able bad Men are the worst Men; a Character too common, even where it is most rare: A lively Spirit, innocently employed, is an unblameable Character: When it is benevolently employed, it is an amiable one. Men of Parts, who will rather display them mischievously, than not display them at all, only teach People to fear their Parts, and to hate their Persons: For, whatever Disguises they wear; however they may deceive for awhile; they will be discovered sooner or later, and then not only miss their Aim of public Admiration and Worship, but meet, what is opposite to both, Infamy, and public Indignation.

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A Man of Parts, void of Vanity, without knowing, or seeming to know, that he has them, cannot long conceal himself from Men of Discernment, though he may, for some time, from such as have none. His Modesty, at worst, can only hurt himself, by hiding or suspending his Character for a Time, but can never create him Enemies; and is, on the contrary, an amiable and sure Introduction to general Affection and Esteem. The highest Abilities, accompanied with Ostentation, are offensive; at best, envied: But when such as have them, will needs shine to the Hurt of others, they will be abhorred by others; indeed, by all who are not like themselves, frequently by such as are. He who doth most Good in the World, ought certainly to be most esteemed in it: He who hurts the World most, ought to be most detested by it.

It is, or ought to be, the great Purpose of History, to illustrate and recommend this Lesson; and those Historians who do it best, are the best Historians and Instructors. It is drawing the Characters of Men from their Actions, and instructing the World by the good or evil Fate of Men, what the World is to expect from their following good or evil Courses. I think it is plain, upon the Whole, that guilty Actions have, first or last, an unhappy Issue, sometimes indeed to the Guiltless, but generally to the Guilty. How miserable is the Edition: current; Page: [iv] illustrious Lucius Sergius Catiline? What an unhappy Wretch is the Royal, the renowned Jugurtha? Both Jugurtha and Catiline the Authors of their own Misery! It were to be wished that They, and such as They, could make none but Themselves miserable.

If any Examples, any Instructions, were capable of mending the World, of prevailing with Men to resist their bad Passions, and of convincing them, that all wicked Pursuits, however pleasing at first, threaten painful Consequences at last, and naturally tend to produce such; no History is fraught with stronger or more instructive Examples, than those of Catiline and Jugurtha; Catiline continually engaged in flagitious Courses, continually disappointed, never mended, still pursuing Evil, still rewarded with Crosses and Rebukes; and, after a long Series of Wickedness, Distress, and Danger, and general Abhorrence, cut off as a public Traitor; and his Name, which he thought himself sure of exalting with his Fortune, become a Name of Infamy to all Generations since and to come.

The Fortune of Jugurtha was more varied; so was his Character: A very great Man, an able Prince, a mighty Hero, wonderfully qualified both for a Warrior and a Monarch; a good Governor, kind to his Subjects in general, and friendly to their Liberties and Fortunes; his Name greatly celebrated in the World, his Lot in Edition: current; Page: [v] it singular and fortunate, chiefly the Effect of his high Abilities and Reputation; a King well established, nothing threatening to hurt him, nothing able to disturb him; such was the Awe of his Name, such the Inferiority of the Princes about him: The Romans, who alone could have troubled him, in Friendship with him, and partial to him.

Such was the Situation and Glory of Jugurtha, such his Ease and Security! Could Guilt, the most flattering Guilt, heighten his Renown and good Fortune? Could black Perfidy, or unnatural Barbarity, extend his Fame? Yet, from a Rage for fansied Grandeur, he sacrificed all his real Greatness: From a Passion for Glory, he made himself detestable; and, to secure himself from all Danger and Attacks, exposed himself to an incessant Train of Woes, with the constant Peril of his Diadem and Life, and, in the End, with the utter Loss of Both. One wicked Step required another, and that other required more: He murdered in order to usurp: To maintain one Usurpation, he added another: And then, to make both safe, more Murders must be committed, all naturally following the first and most shocking, those of his nearest Relations, the Sons of his adopting Father, left, by the dying King, to his fraternal Protection, and That Edition: current; Page: [vi] Protection purchased by the Gift and Reward of a Kingdom.

In destroying those Princes, his Ambition, which inspired him with Cruelty, blinded him too from reflecting, that he was but making a Precedent, and giving Encouragement to another Usurper to destroy himself, and even arming the Hand, as well as hardening the Heart, of that Usurper to strike boldly; since that Stroke, however cruel and unprovoked it might be, could hardly be so impious and aggravated as his own had been. There followed many subordinate Murders and Acts of Treachery, with all the fearful Calamities attending a War wantonly undertaken by him, cruelly felt by his People.

The Consequences to himself, after all his rapid Success, and all the deceitful Smiles of Fortune, for some time, were restless Nights and Days, Plots against his Life, endless Fears and Distrusts. This great Conqueror and Statesman, this Man of Head and Stratagem, was at last over-reached as well as vanquished, surprised and seized by Craft, like his own, carried to Rome in Irons, there committed naked to a Dungeon, where he is said to have been perishing many Days, before he was released by Famine from the Load of Life and Misery. How secure, how happy, might he Edition: current; Page: [vii] have lived, how quietly died, and in what Renown! No Man had a clearer Head, no Man had stronger Reason: But what a Dwarf is Reason in the Hands of headstrong Passion?

The Abilities of great wicked Men are fatal to themselves, as well as to the World. But what Amends do their Sufferings make to the World, which suffers with them, and for them? The Hero sacrifices Millions of Lives, and has but one Life to lose. Sometimes Millions perish to humour a vain Coward aping Heroism: A tragical Farce, which Europe saw, and rued for half a Century.

Memorable too, and instructive, was the Conduct of the Romans in that War. Every Step taken by the Roman Leaders in it were, for a long Time, not only scandalous to themselves, and injurious to Rome, but ended naturally in their own Disgrace and Ruin. They trusted to Support from the Senate, where all the Insults, and glaring Guilt, of Jugurtha were of no Force against Jugurtha’s Money. The Senate not only sheltered and protected this Son of Blood, this public Enemy, one of the most formidable that the Commonwealth had ever encountered, but openly defended and extolled him: This they did so confidently, and so long, that they themselves became as odious as the Cause they espoused; and thence raised Edition: current; Page: [viii] a Storm that crushed them. They saw themselves exposed to the Vengeance of the People, whom they had long treated with Contempt, void of Tenderness or Mercy, and were treated by the People, in their turn, with as little. By a Course of Defiance and Insults upon the Plebeians, they had provoked the Plebeians to return Oppression with Oppression: Popular Rage broke out the fiercer for having been long smothered, and now proceeded to very barbarous Excesses.

Such is the wild Spirit of Party! The Party which prevail, as if they could fix Fate, and their own Fortune, turn it into Arrogance and Riot; and, instead of conciliating their Opponents by just and engaging Usage, oppress and exasperate them; and consequently invite a Retribution of the same merciless Treatment, whenever Fortune changes. Bad Example is generally more eagerly followed than good: When the Change happens, the Party which complained loudly and justly of Oppression, whilst they were under it, exercise it over their late Oppressors, with the same Asperity and Blindness, till they themselves come to be again oppressed: They then feel, very sensibly, what they had unfeelingly earned, the like bitter Usage, and now utter the like bitter Complaints.

Men rarely feel the Hurt they do to others, but only what others do to them. Whoever uses us ill, deserves Edition: current; Page: [ix] ill Usage from us, and ought not to complain; but we may complain of ill Usage, because we never deserve any.

Self-love will always reason selfishly, often ridiculously. Sound Reason, and good Temper, which is comprised in it, will prove, in the End, to be always the truest Self-love, and lead Men to their true Interest, with most Ease, and Certainty, and Fame. If we would avoid Evil and Injustice, we must not commit them; but rather bear some Injury, than provoke more by returning it: If we set no ill Example, our own cannot be alleged against us. This is Reason, this is Prudence and Interest. But Parties do not reason, but rage: They consist of Numbers in a Passion with Numbers, hating and striving to mortify each other: A sad domestic War, at best, a sad Presage of it! In it, if the Enemy be but hurt, no matter how they are hurt.

As to the Patricians, it is surprising how Men of high Quality, of great Fortunes, and equal Pride, should act a Part so ruinous to their own Dignity, so destructive to the State, and consequently to themselves, so glaringly repugnant to all the Laws of Justice and Humanity, for a Sum, for any Sum of Money, and be meanly bribed by a foreign Enemy to espouse Edition: current; Page: [x] his infamous Cause against that of their Country, and their own.

Such shocking Venality could be no Secret; since nothing but that could have procured him one Voice in a Roman Senate, nor indeed in the Roman State. The Reason of their Partiality and Injustice was as manifest as the Guilt of Jugurtha, which was just as notorious as were the Motives of their Efforts to save him. What Wonder that the popular Leaders snatched the Advantage? What Wonder that the great Men, who had so debased themselves, were so vehemently decried, so successfully attacked, so unmercifully lashed, by the popular Orators, especially in the celebrated Harangues of Memmius and Marius, and so exposed to the Hate and Insults of the Populace?

The Populace too, equally liable to be corrupted, ever to be easily and violently misled, abused their Victory over the Patricians upon this Occasion, by a Torrent of scandalous Outrages. They gave themselves up to precipitate Acts of Vengeance, and, in order to procure it, followed blindfold the Guidance of those who put them upon seeking it; followed their Favourites and Demagogues, more dangerous Masters than the Grandees of the Senate, because implicitly trusted, and consequently more powerful. Whoever Edition: current; Page: [xi] proposed to them what pleased them, however it hurt them, gained their Confidence, which was always as unbounded as their Hate and Distrust: So that they were ever in more Danger from their Friends than their Enemies; and generally more violent and headlong in mistaken Measures, than in such as were just. They were justly provoked with most of the Directors of the Jugurthine War, but extended their Resentment indiscriminately to all, to the brave and successful Metellus, as well as to his venal and baffled Predecessors. They were in Wrath with the whole Senate, because many of the Senators deserved their Wrath. They were of course the Dupes and Votaries of every Incendiary, if he were but recommended by the only Merit of inveighing loudly against the Patricians. They encouraged every designing Man to mislead them, every hot Orator to inflame them. Thus, in Opposition to the Grandees, they enabled the brutal Marius to hurt themselves more, and to bring more Disorder and Desolation upon the State, than all the Grandees, the worst and most criminal Grandees, had done before him.

The People were apt to think Men better or worse than they really were: Their Affection, as well as their Aversion, was without Measure: Both their Aversion and Affection were often ill-founded and misplaced. Edition: current; Page: [xii] They sometimes hated, where they ought to have loved; and loved, where they ought to have hated. They rage against Metellus, though he had done all that a brave General, all that an able Magistrate, could do: They applaud and exalt Marius, merely because he promised to do better; and they believed him upon his bare Word. They take all his rough Railings, all his Scurrilities, as Marks of Zeal for public Justice, and public Liberty; and his Plebeian Extraction and Manners pass with them for Proofs of his Attachment to the Plebeians. They think that Metellus cannot be a Man of Honour, because he is a Man of Quality; nor Marius a Knave, because he is a Rustic. They swallowed Things and Characters by the Lump: They did not consider, that, in general, little more can be expected from Men, than that Men so far seek the public Good, as in it they find their own; that if Men judged truly of their own Happiness, even this Spirit, however selfish, would be public Spirit; since every Man will, first or last, find the Interest of the Public to be his own Interest, find his own Glory inseparable from the Glory of his Country.

I thought that such Reflections as these, which occur naturally from Sallust, would stand naturally before his Works, in an Address to Your Grace. No Man can have stronger Motives to love his Country, Edition: current; Page: [xiii] and to study its Peace and Security, its equal Laws, its free Constitution; for the Liberty, Ease, and Security of the Subject, not to be matched by any Constitution, in any Country, antient or modern. No Subject can have a juster Call to prevent all dangerous, or to promote all just Measures; to oppose all Violence from Men in Power, as well as all Violence against them; to weigh Reasons of Ambition against Reasons of State; to compare popular Grievances with popular Disaffection, Patriotism with Party, and private Heat with public Zeal. No Man was ever less formed for Party, no Man more unqualified, both from Temper and Interest, to engage in narrow, hot, and dangerous Pursuits, such as Party blindly delights in.

Your Grace cannot but, upon all Accounts, love Your Country, particularly upon Your Own, as You have so great a Stake in it: Your Dignity cannot be higher for a Subject: Few Subjects of equal Dignity have equal Fortune to support it: Fewer perhaps have a Temper so even and happy, with such a manly Contempt of all Pride and false State; none a more just and ready Understanding, or a Heart better disposed; the highest Endowment of all! In a Word, Your Grace has many Qualifications to make You many Friends; and whoever are worthy to be Your Friends, will never be Your Enemies.

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I therefore own to the World, that I esteem You very highly, and if You will pardon a familiar, but honest, Expression, very affectionately; that I take a zealous Part in whatever concerns You; that I consider You as a great Ornament to Your Rank and Country, uncommonly interested in its Welfare, well disposed to serve it, and furnished with Firmness and Spirit to support it.

I am, therefore, with the highest Regard, and the warmest Wishes,

MY LORD,
Your most Obedient, and
Most Humble Servant,
T. Gordon.
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CATILINE’s CONSPIRACY.

IT is incumbent upon all Men, who aim at surpassing the brute Creation, so to exert their Spirit, as not to pass their Life without Notice or Name, like the Herd in the Fields, by Nature framed with Bodies prone to the Earth, and under blind Subjection to their Appetites.

The Faculties of Man are indeed twofold; those of the Mind and those of the Body: The Prerogative of the Soul is, to command, the Duty of the Body, to obey: The former we share with the Gods; we possess the latter in common with the Beasts. Hence, in the Pursuit of Glory, I prefer the Abilities of the Mind to those of the Body; and since the Term of our Life is but short, it ought to be our Study to perpetuate our Memory. For the Splendor of Beauty, and of Wealth, is transient and frail; Virtue alone is intitled to Eternity and Renown.

It hath, however, been a great and long Debate amongst Men, whether Vigour of Body, or the Talents of the Mind, contribute most to Success in War; for, as Counsel must precede and direct Execution, prompt Execution must follow Counsel: Whence it comes, that, neither of these sufficing alone, each prevails by the Aid of the other. Thus it was, that, of old, Kings (for this was the Title of Government first known in the World) pursued different Improvements; some those of the Mind, others those of Edition: current; Page: [2] the Body. Nor as yet was the Conduct of Men influenced by Ambition; but all remained abundantly satisfied with their own Lot and Possessions.

Afterwards, indeed, when Cyrus began in Asia, the Lacedæmonians and Athenians in Greece, to seize Cities, and subdue Nations; when the Lust of unbounded Sway became the Cause of War; when the highest Glory was thought to arise from the largest Dominions; it was then at last discovered, by a Course of Experience, that it is Genius which chiefly supports War. Indeed, would Princes and Leaders but exercise the same Capacity and Address in Peace, as they do in War, the Condition of human Affairs would be found more reasonable and just, as well as more steady; nor should we see Property and Power tossed hither and thither, nor such violent Reverses of States, and universal Combustion. For Government is easily preserved by the same Measures upon which it was founded: But when, in place of Industry and Vigilance, of Justice and Moderation, Insolence, and Sloth, and Licentiousness prevail, the Fortune of the State changes with the Manners of the State. So that in all Revolutions, Power passes from him who hath least Abilities, to him who has most.

The Productions of Men, whatever they be, in Agriculture, in Navigation, in Building, indeed in all things, are owing to the manly Efforts of the Soul. Yet many of the human Species there are so abandoned to Gluttony, to Sleep and Sloth, so void of all Improvement and Politeness, as to pass their Lives like Men on a Journey; and, contrary to the Purpose of Nature, knowing no Delights but such as arise from the Body, find their Minds only an Incumbrance. Now I hold the Life and the Death of such Individuals to be of equal Moment, since they live and die in equal Silence and Obscurity.

The Man, therefore, who seems to me truly to live, and to enjoy his rational Faculties, is he, who, by exerting himself in certain Pursuits, seeks the Glory arising from some illustrious Edition: current; Page: [3] Adventure, or some honourable Function. Now in a vast Variety of Occupations, the different Nature of Men presents them with different Pursuits.

It is laudable to act worthily for the Commonwealth; and to write well for it, hath its Measure of Merit. There is room to gain Renown in Peace as well as in War: Many have acquired Applause by performing great Actions; many by describing them. And though I perceive, that so large a Portion of Glory attends not him who describes Exploits, as him who atchieves them; yet, still, to me, it appears a Task of the first Magnitude, to discharge the Duty of an Historian; especially since the Dignity of Deeds must be equalled by the Dignity of Style. Moreover, whenever you reprove Faults, many will conclude you animated by Malice and Envy. When you recount Deeds of Magnanimity and Renown, exhibited by the Worthy and the Brave; if they be such as every Reader thinks himself capable of producing, he will be complaisant enough to believe them; but hold them for Fables framed by yourself, where they surpass that Measure.

For myself; I, like many others, was carried away, in my early Youth, by a Passion for a Part in the Administration; but found many things to cross my Pursuit: For, in the Place of Modesty, of Restraint, and of Works of Merit, all Licence flourished, with all the Efforts of Corruption and Rapaciousness; Vices which my Soul, not yet enured to evil Habits, did indeed utterly disrelish: Yet, during such prevailing Depravations, my tender Years were intangled by Ambition; and altho’ I avoided, in general, the corrupt Morals of my Contemporaries, I was still instigated, like others, with the same Ardour for publick Preferment; and thence exposed to popular Rancour and Reproach.

As soon, therefore, as my Soul became disengaged from the many Vexations and Perils attending this Pursuit, and I had determined to retreat, during Life, from the Administration, Edition: current; Page: [4] I conceived a Design, not to waste such valuable Leisure in Inattention and Indolence, nor to apply my Thoughts and Care to Agriculture or the Chace, and thus pass my Days in laborious Occupations, which exceed not the Ability of Slaves; but, resuming my former Aim and Undertaking, from whence the depraved Spirit of Ambition had diverted me, I resolved to compose a History of the Roman People, by collecting the principal Events, such as appeared to deserve the Attention of Posterity: A Task which I the rather chose, for that my Soul was unbyassed by any Hope or Fear, and attached to no Faction in the State.

I shall here therefore briefly recount the Conspiracy of Catiline, with all possible Veracity; as it was an Attempt, which, for the wonderful Singularity of the Treason, and for the Danger that it threatened, appears to me extremely memorable. Of this Man’s Character it is proper to open some Parts, before I enter upon the Story.

Lucius Catiline sprang from an illustrious Race: He was a Man of great Vigour both of Body and Mind; but of a Spirit altogether vicious and depraved. From his Youth he delighted in intestine Wars, in Slaughter and Depredation, in civil Discord and Tumults: These were indeed the great Occupations of his younger Years. He was capable of enduring Hunger and Cold, and Want of Repose, beyond what is conceivable: His Spirit was daring, insidious, and shifting; expert in feigning what he meant not, and in dissembling what he meant; rapacious of what belonged to others, profuse of his own: violent and flaming in all his Passions: He had a sufficient Share of Eloquence; of Wisdom a small Share. A Spirit so boundless was ever pursuing extravagant Views, too romantic to be feasible, too high to be attempted.

This was the Character of Catiline; who, having observed the successful Usurpation of Sylla, became transported with a Edition: current; Page: [5] Passion to seize the Commonwealth; nor, in his Pursuit of Tyranny, was he at all concerned by what Methods he carried it. His Spirit, naturally impetuous, was still more and more inflamed by domestic Wants, and by the Horror of his manifold Guilt; Misfortunes which he had greatly heightened by the Courses that I have mentioned. He was also encouraged by the corrupt Character of the Romans, now quite debauched by two Vices, opposite in their Natures, but equally pernicious; Luxury and Avarice.

Since I had here Occasion to mention the Manners of the Romans, the Subject seems to invite me to trace the Ages past; and briefly to review the Institutions of our Ancestors, both in Peace and in War; how they conducted the State; in what Grandeur they left it to their Descendants; and how, by a gradual Degeneracy, from the most glorious and most virtuous, it is become the most vicious and most depraved.

By what I have learned, The fugitive Trojans, who, following Æneas, wandered about in Italy, without any constant Settlement, were the Founders of Rome, in Conjunction with the Natives; a savage Race of Men, subject to no Laws, owning no Authority, but absolutely free and unaccountable. It is incredible to recount how easily these two Nations, different in their Original, in their Language and Manners, blended together into one People, as soon as they came to inhabit one City. Afterwards, when, by the Augmentation of Citizens and Territory, and by domestic Improvements, their State increased, and appeared sufficiently flourishing and powerful, they experienced the hard Condition annexed to almost all human Things, that their particular Opulence begat general Envy: Insomuch that the neighbouring Princes and Nations took Arms against them; whilst but very few of their Friends afforded them Succour: For all the rest were struck with Terror, and kept far from the Danger.

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Nevertheless, the undaunted Romans, alike vigilant in the City and the Field, acted with Vigour, concerted all Measures, animated one another, advanced against the Enemy, and thus protected their Liberty, their Country, and their Families, by their Bravery in Arms. Then, when by it they had repelled their own Danger, they carried Aid to their Friends and Confederates: And it was more by conferring Benefits, than by receiving them, that they procured Alliances.

Their Government had the Name of Monarchy; but Monarchy limited by Laws: A select Number of ancient Men, who, however weakened by Years, were vigorous in Spirit and Prudence, forming a Council, directed the Administration; and either from their Age, or a Similitude of Tenderness and Care, were called Fathers. Afterwards, when the Monarchy, established at first for securing public Liberty, and for aggrandizing the State, lapsed into Insolence and Tyranny, they changed the Form of their Government, and created two Rulers with Authority only annual. By this Expedient they concluded, that they had best restrained the Spirit of Men from being tempted, by long Power, into Acts of Violence.

Upon this Revolution, all Men began with greater Zeal to exert themselves in their Stations; all Men more readily to display their several Abilities. For, to the Jealousy of lawless Kings, the Virtuous are much more obnoxious than the Vicious; and in their Eyes virtuous Merit appears always dreadful. But how much the City, now she had acquired Liberty, increased in a small time, is incredible to be told; so powerfully had a Passion for Glory possessed the Hearts of her Citizens!

The Roman Youth, the Moment they could bear Arms, repaired to the Camp, where, under hard Fatigues, they acquired by Practice the Art of War: And greater was their Delight in their military Dress and War-horses, than in lewd Edition: current; Page: [7] Women and Banquetting. To such Men therefore no Fatigues were strange, no Situation grievous, no armed Host formidable; for their Magnanimity overcame all things: But their highest Contest for Glory was amongst themselves; whilst every Particular strove to be first in wounding the Foe, in scaling the Rampart, and in signalizing himself to all in performing these Exploits. This they accounted to be Riches; this to be Reputation and high Rank. They were covetous of Applause, but liberal of Money. They sought only a moderate Degree of Wealth; but Glory without Bounds.

I could here recount upon what Occasions the Roman People have routed mighty Armies with a Handful of Men; as also what Cities, strongly fortified even by Nature, they have taken by Assault; but that the Detail would lead me too far from my Undertaking.

Yet surely it is Fortune which bears supreme Sway in all things: It is she that, following Caprice rather than Justice, brightens or darkens all the Affairs and Actions of Men. The Atchievements of the Athenians, I allow, were abundantly grand and noble; yet still inferior to the Representations of Fame: But as they were furnished with Writers of fine Genius, the Exploits of the Athenians are thence renowned throughout the World, as the most noble and exemplary; and the Bravery of such as performed them, is accounted just as high as the Address of these illustrious Wits in describing and extolling them.

But the Roman People were never thus supplied; since all their ablest Men were likewise the most active, and therefore most employed. None applied their Talents but jointly with bodily Application. Every Man excelling in Worth, preferred Doing to Saying; and chose rather, that others should applaud his deserving Actions, than he recount those of others.

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Sound Manners, therefore, were promoted both in the City, and the Camp. The most cordial Union every-where prevailed, and no selfish Pursuits. They were determined to Equity and Right, not more by the Force of Laws; than by a natural Propensity. The only Strife, the only Dissentions and Disputes which they exercised, they exercised against the public Enemy. All the Contests between Citizen and Citizen were in Deeds of Bravery. They were magnificent in their Oblations to the Deitics; in their Families very frugal; in their Friendships very faithful. By two principal means, Valour in War, and righteous Conduct during Peace, they supported their own Reputation, and that of the Common Weal: and, as the fullest Proofs of these Virtues, I find that, during War, more frequent were the Punishments of such as attacked the Enemy contrary to Orders, or continued in Battle after the Signal for a Retreat, than of those who dared to abandon their Standards, or to relinquish their Post; whilst, in time of Peace, they sustained their Power more by the Influence of Favours than of Fear: And, when they were injured, they chose rather to forgive, than to seek Revenge.

But when, by a Course of Industry and Justice, the Commonwealth was grown powerful; when mighty Kings were vanquished in War; when several Nations, very fierce and wild, were tamed, and many potent People had yielded to her superior Might; when Carthage, that Rival to the Empire of Rome, was utterly demolished, and now Sea and Land lay every-where open to her Sway; then began Fortune to exercise her Tyranny, and to introduce universal Confusion. The same People who had, without Regret, undergone Fatigues and Dangers, Distresses and Hardships, were baned by a Life of Ease: The Romans became depressed by Riches, which are the great Idol and Pursuit of other Nations.

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Thus the Lust of Money first prevailed; next a Passion for Place and Sway. These were the Sources of all the Evils which followed. For, Avarice abolished all good Faith, and all Probity, with every other worthy Principle. Instead of these, it inspired Pride and Inhumanity, Contempt of the Gods, and a Spirit of unbounded Venality. Reigning Ambition generally forced Men to be deceitful, to conceal their real Meaning; to profess, what they meant not; to estimate Friendship and Enmity, not according to their own Weight, but by that of Lucre, and rather to bear a fair Countenance than an upright Heart.

These Depravations at first gained ground by Degrees, and were sometimes damped by Correction. At last, Corruption spreading like a Pestilence, the City became utterly changed, and the Administration, from the most righteous and fatherly, grew violent and insupportable.

I own, that at first Ambition had a greater Share than Avarice in influencing the Spirits of Men, and is indeed a Vice which bears some Resemblance of Virtue; since all Men alike, the Worthy as well as the Worthless, covet Glory, Preferments and Power. The Difference is, that the former employ direct means; the others, wanting just Abilities, betake themselves to Craft and Frauds. The Object of Avarice is Money; for which no wise Man ever entertained a Passion. This Vice, as if impregnated with every deadly Poyson, unmans Body and Soul: It is ever boundless, ever insatiable; nor is its Rage more abated by Affluence than by Want.

But when Sylla had by Strength of Arms recovered the Administration from the Plebeians, and his fair Beginnings had produced such guilty Events, all his Followers grew eager for Spoil and Rapine: One coveted a House, another was greedy of Land: Each seized what he liked: The conquering Soldiery observed neither Moderation nor Measure, and treated the Citizens with Edition: current; Page: [10] brutal Abuse and Barbarity. What heightened these Evils, Sylla, to engage the Affections of his Army, which he had commanded in Asia, had, against all the Rules of our Ancestors, indulged them in great Delicacy, and excessive Latitude: The warlike Tempers of the Soldiers, now unemployed, became easily softened, by their delicious Quarters, by Pleasure, and Luxury. There the Roman Soldiery became first habituated to Drunkenness and Amours; to admire Statues, Pictures, and Sculpture; to make Spoil of all things, as well by open Violence as by Stealth; to ravage the Shrines and Sanctuaries of the Deities; and, without Distinction, to devour and contaminate all things sacred and profane. A Soldiery therefore thus disposed, and withal Conquerors, were sure to leave nothing to the vanquished. Even the Hearts of wise Men are unmanned by Success: How should Forces so debauched temper Victory with Moderation?

When Riches began to pass for Worth and Honour; when Glory, Command, and great Sway waited upon Riches; then Virtue began to languish; Poverty to be held contumelious; Innocence of Life to pass for Ill-nature. Thus Luxury, Voraciousness, and Pride, all arising from the common Root of Riches, captivated the Minds of the Roman Youth: They rioted in Rapine and Prodigality; despised what was their own, coveted what belonged to others; banished Shame, Friendship, and Continence; confounded things divine and human, and were regardless of all Circumspection and Restraint.

As a Mark of primitive Parsimony, and of succeeding Prodigality, we need only survey the Houses of particular Citizens in Rome, and in the Country; all appearing, in Dimensions and Grandeur, like so many Cities; and then behold the moderate Structures erected even to the Gods by our Ancestors, the devoutest of all Men! Yet they thought of no Edition: current; Page: [11] Ornament but Piety, for the Mansions of the Gods; nor for their own Houses, but that of glorious Deeds: Neither did they ever deprive such as they conquered of any thing, except the Power of doing Hurt. Contrary is the present Conduct! Whatever our Forefathers, the bravest of all Men, left to their vanquished Enemies, these, who are the most effeminate, plunder from their Confederates, by the most crying Violence; as if they believed the Practice of Oppression to be the only Use of Power.

I pass over, as needless to be recounted, other things too incredible to be believed, except by those who saw them. Mountains frequently levelled by the Power of private Citizens; and even the raging Sea covered with mighty Edifices. These Men seem indeed to me to have turned their Riches into Sport and Frolick; since, instead of enjoying them with Honour, they lavished them upon Monuments of Shame.

Nor less prevalent was the Pursuit of impure Pleasures, voluptuous Feasting, and other extravagant Gratifications: Men prostituted themselves like Women: Women suffered Prostitution without Fear or Restraint. To gratify Gluttony, Sea and Land were ransacked for Rarities. Sleep was indulged ere Nature craved Repose: Luxury anticipated the Returns of Hunger and Thirst: Cold and Fatigue were so carefully prevented, as never to be felt.

By such Depravations, the Roman Youth, when they had exhausted their Fortunes, were instigated to all Enormities. For, their Minds, poisoned with evil Habits, wanted Force to resist their Appetites; and were therefore the more furiously abandoned to all Extravagances, and to all the means of supplying them.

In a City so immense and debauched, Catiline kept about him, what Rome plentifully furnished, Bands of Profligates, and Sons of Violence, like Guards of his Person. Since whoever Edition: current; Page: [12] were Slaves to Voluptuousness, Gluttony, and Lewdness, and had dissipated their paternal Fortune, by a Course of Gaming, Feasting, and Lubricity; whoever were pressed by Debts, contracted to purchase Impunity for their Misdeeds and Enormities; whoever were charged with the Crimes of Parricide and Sacrilege, and convicted for them, or feared Conviction; add, such as had sold themselves to Perjury, and to shed the Blood of Citizens, and lived by it; lastly, all who were worried by their own guilty Minds, or by their Indigence and Crimes; became jointly linked to Catiline, and his closest Intimates. Or, if any one, as yet free from Blame, grew familiar with him, he too, from daily Commerce, and by Snares laid to debauch him, was brought to resemble, and even to equal, the rest.

But he especially sought the Intimacy of young Men; for their Minds, then pliant and tender, were, with less Difficulty, moulded and engaged. So that for some of these he provided Harlots; for others, he procured Dogs and Horses, according to the Rage and Bent of their several Pleasures, at that Time of Life. Nor indeed did he spare any Expence, nor even his own Honour, so he could but make them intirely trusty, and attached to himself. Some, I know, there are, who thought, that all the Youth who haunted the House of Catiline, debased themselves unnaturally: But this Rumour arose more from other Causes, than that any such Fact was ever proved.

For Catiline himself: He had, whilst yet very young, committed many heinous Acts of Lewdness; deflowered a Virgin of noble Rank; debauched a consecrated Vestal; with other Crimes equally black, in Defiance of all Law, and the most awful Restraints. Then, as he was smitten with a Passion for Aurelia Orestilla, (one in whom no virtuous Man ever found aught to admire, but her Beauty) and as she scrupled to marry him, because he had a Son already grown to Maturity, Edition: current; Page: [13] it is undoubtedly believed, that he butchered his own Child; and made his House desolate, to facilitate the unballowed Nuptials. And this very Thing, in my Opinion, proved the principal Cause of hurrying him on to the Execution of the Conspiracy. For, his guilty Soul, exasperated against Gods and Men, was equally incapable of Repose from Rest and Sleep, as from Watching and Motion; so strongly did the Guilt of his Conscience tear and affright his Spirit: Hence his Face was pale, his Eyes baleful, his Pace unequal, now slow, then quick: Indeed in his whole Visage, and in all his Looks, there appeared Distraction and Wildness.

Now having seduced over to his Interest these young Men, as above I have related, he disciplined them, by various Methods, in all the Arts of Wickedness; prompted them to Forgeries, to bear false Witness, to falsify their Faith, to lavish their Fortunes, and to despise all Dangers and Restraints. When he had thus divested them of all Reputation, and of all Shame, he incited them to Crimes still higher; and, even where no Provocation was given, it was their Practice to insnare, and to assassinate, with equal Wantonness, such who had never offended him, and such who had. For, rather than the Hands and Spirit of his Accomplices should lose Vigour thro’ Inaction, he was causlesly mischievous, and inhuman unprovoked.

Catiline, in Confidence of Support from this his Band of Associates and Followers, formed a Design to seize the Commonwealth: He was further encouraged, by the grievous Debts which pressed all Men throughout the State; together with the Temper of Sylla’s Soldiers; who, having wasted in Riot their late Acquisitions, and looking back wishfully upon their former Conquests and Depredations, longed earnestly for a Civil War. He observed Italy destitute of an Army; Pompey engaged in War in the remote Parts of the Earth; and had himself high Edition: current; Page: [14] Hopes of obtaining the Consulship. The Senate, apprehending no public Danger, was void of all public Care; and all things seemed secure, because all things were calm: A Conjuncture of Circumstances highly seasonable to the Views of Catiline.

Hence, about the Beginning of June, during the Consulship of Lucius Cæsar and Caius Figulus, he began to apply to his Followers, at first one by one: Some he persuaded, others he sounded. He explained to them, how powerfully he was supported, how destitute the State was of Forces, and what mighty Recompences would attend the Conspiracy. When he had sufficiently sisted their several Tempers, he called together all of them who were most pinched by their Necessities, or known to be most desperately bold.

In this Assembly were found Publius Lentulus Sura, Publius Autronius, Lucius Cassius Longinus, Caius Cethegus, Publius Sylla, and Servius Sylla, (Sons of Servius Sylla) Lucius Vargunteius, Quintus Annius, Marcus Porcius Læcca, Lucius Bestia, and Quintus Curius; all of the illustrious Rank of Senators; besides those of the Equestrian Order, Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, Lucius Statilius, Publius Gabinius Capito, and Caius Cornelius. To these were joined many from the Colonies, and great free Cities, all of principal Rank in their several Communities.

There were moreover Patricians of the highest Name and Figure engaged in the Combination, but with greater Caution and Disguise; Men instigated rather by Hopes of lawless Sway, than by Indigence, or any other urgent Motive. Finally, most of the Youth, above all, the Youth of Quality, favoured the Designs of Catiline: Even They, who were furnished with ample Means of living in Repose, and even with Magnificence, nay, in extreme Luxury, preferred future Contingencies to certain Enjoyments, and War to Peace.

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There were also then some, who believed Marcus Licinius Crassus, to have been not clear of the Conspiracy; since, in Hatred to Pompey, whom he saw with Regret at the Head of a mighty Army, he would gladly have promoted any Interest whatsoever, in Opposition to the Authority of that General; from a Confidence too, that if the Conspiracy prevailed, he should find it easy to make himself Head of the Conspirators.

A while before, some few had, in Conjunction with Catiline, formed the like terrible Conspiracy; of which I shall deduce the Detail with all possible Veracity.

In the Consulship of Lucius Tullus and Marcus Lepidus, Publius Autronius and Publius Sylla (chosen to succeed them) were set aside, nay arraigned and punished, for violating, by corrupt Arts, the Freedom of Elections. Soon after, Catiline was likewise convicted of Bribery, and disqualified from suing for the Consulship, as the Time for declaring himself was elapsed before his Trial was ended. Another public Incendiary at this time, was Cneius Piso, a young Man, nobly born, extremely bold, necessitous, turbulent, and urged both by his great Wants, and his licentious Morals, to embroil the State. He, Catiline, and Autronius, in pursuance of a Design formed amongst them about the fifth of December, determined to fall upon the then Consuls, Lucius Cotta, and Lucius Torquatus, and to murder them in the Capitol, on the first of January: Then Catiline and Autronius were to seize to themselves the Consular Ensigns and Authority, and to send away Piso with an Army to secure the Possession of both the Spains.

This their Design coming to be known, they shifted the intended Slaughter to the fifth of February. Then they formed a Scheme, besides the Blood of the Consuls, to shed that of a great Part of the Senate: So that, had not Catiline been too precipitate in giving the Signal to his Accomplices, at the assembling Edition: current; Page: [16] of the Senate, there had that Day been seen the most direful Tragedy since the Foundation of Rome. But as any considerable Number of them had not yet come together armed, the Attempt was frustrated.

Yet Piso, though invested only with the Office of Quæstor, was afterwards sent Proprætor into the Nether-Spain, a Command procured for him by the Weight and Influence of Crassus; for Crassus knew him to be an implacable Enemy to Pompey.

Nor, in truth, was the Senate averse to give him the Province; since they liked to have so pestilent a Citizen far removed from Rome. Add, that very many Romans, well affected to the Commonwealth, considered him as a Resource and Defence to the State, at a Time when the great Power of Pompey was become very terrible.

But Piso was slain, upon his March to his Province, by the Spanish Cavalry in his Army. His Death is by some ascribed to the Severity of his Government; as if it were accompanied with such Haughtiness, such Injustice, and such Cruelty, as the Barbarians could not bear. Others alledge, these Spanish Horse, old Followers of Pompey, and intirely attached to his Interest, to have, by Orders from him, fallen upon Piso. For the Spaniards had never, upon any Occasion, made such an Attempt upon the Persons of their Commanders and Governors, but had long and patiently endured numberless Excesses of Power without Mercy. For myself, I shall leave this disputed Account undecided. I have now abundantly opened the preceding Conspiracy.

Catiline, when he saw those whose Names I have above recounted, assembled together, though he had often treated largely with them one by one; yet, believing it conducible to his Purpose, to address and exhort them in a Body, withdrew with them into the most retired Part of the House; and there, far Edition: current; Page: [17] from the Hearing of any but the Conspirators, spoke to them in the following Strain:

‘Had I not already well proved your Faith and Bravery, the present Opportunity would have offered to no purpose; vain would have been all our mighty Hopes; in vain would the Power of seizing the Commonwealth have dropped into our Hands: Neither should I, trusting to impotent Assistants, or to Men unworthy of Trust, have risqued Certainties for Uncertainties. But since, upon very many, and very extraordinary Emergencies, I have known you undaunted in your Persons, and inseparably attached to mine, my Soul is daring enough to engage in an Adventure, at once of the highest Consequence, and of the highest Glory.

‘I have a farther Incitement, when I consider, that the same Lot which attends me, good or bad, attends you: And, to have the same Wishes, and the same Dislikes, is the solid Band of Amity.

‘What a Scheme I have projected, you have already been all, severally, informed. I now add, that my Ardour to pursue it increases daily, whilst I recollect what a sad Lot of Life abides us, if we do not rouse, and redeem our common Liberty. For, ever since the Commonwealth has fallen under the Rule and Controul of a few Grandees, to these few are Kings and Princes subject and tributary; to these few do Nations and People pay Taxes: Whilst all the rest of us Romans, however brave, however deserving, Noble, or Plebeian, have remained a forlorn Croud, destitute of Credit, secluded from Employments, and Slaves to these Men; Men, who, would the Commonwealth resume her own Frame and Vigour, would find us a Terror to them!

‘So that all Credit, all Sway, all Preferments and Riches are confined to Them, or to those whom they favour. To us, for our Portion, they have left Perils and Fears, the Infamy Edition: current; Page: [18] of Repulses from public Dignities, the rigorous Judgments of the Tribunals, and the Pangs of Indigence.

‘Such are our Grievances! How long will you bear them? You, who are valiant Men, extremely valiant? Is it not more eligible, to meet Death in a brave Attempt, than, holding our Life in Wretchedness and Dishonour, to bear the Scorn of insulting Men, and, even then, to lose it ignominiously?

‘Besides all this, I appeal to Gods and to Men, that Success and Victory are in our own Hands: We are in the Vigour of Life, and suitably brave. It is not so on the other Side: They are oppressed with Years and Opulence, and every way bereft of Force. Nothing further is wanting, than to make the Attempt. The rest, the natural Course of proceeding will execute.

‘In truth, what Mortal, who has the Spirit of a Man, can bear the unequal Lot, that, whilst they have Riches in Excess, even to lavish upon Structures in the Deep, nay, in levelling Mountains, our domestic Means are too narrow to procure us the Necessaries of Life? That, when they are adding Seat to Seat, and multiplying their Mansions, to us there remains not any certain Abode? Though they are purchasing Pictures, Statues, and curious Works of Sculpture; though they go on in building, then again pull down, and then rebuild; in short, though in every wasteful Way they dissipate, and restlesly confound their Treasure; yet, with all their wild Profusion, they are unable to master and exhaust their Wealth.

‘For us, we have pinching Poverty at home; abroad, Debts, and the Dread of Creditors: Our present Situation therefore is abundantly grievous; yet accompanied with Apprehensions of Evils still more alarming. To conclude, what remains to us but Life and Misery?

‘How then? Will you not rouse to Action? Behold the Objects, after which you have long yearned! Behold Liberty! And Edition: current; Page: [19] with it Riches, public Dignities, and Applause, all placed full in your View! All these Recompences Fortune has prepared for the Conquerors. You have indeed Motives to urge you, stronger than any Speech of mine; even the present Conjuncture and Opportunity, the Danger hanging over us, the Wants that press us, with the glorious Spoils of War.

‘For myself, use me how you list; as your Leader, or as a private Soldier: Neither in Council, nor in Execution, will I ever fail you. But I hope first to be Consul, and then concert with you how to conduct this our common Enterprize: Provided, after all, I be not mistaken about you, and you be not determined to prefer Bondage to Empire.’

After these his Followers had heard this Reasoning and Harangue, though they were Men pressed with manifold Miseries, destitute of all things, even bereft of every honest Hope, and being thus desperate, esteemed the Pleasure of overturning the State to be a mighty Recompence; yet very many of them insisted, that he would explain ‘the Grounds and Condition of their taking Arms; what were to be the Advantages and Rewards of their Warfare; upon what Resources they were to depend, and what Prospect of Success they had?’

Catiline, in Answer, promised them an authentic Abolition of all their Debts; the Proscription and Plunder of all that were wealthy; all public Dignities, civil and sacred; unbounded Spoil; with whatever else is produced by War, and the lawless Passions of Conquerors. He added, that Piso, and Publius Sitius Nucerinus, were both engaged in his Measures; the former at the Head of an Army in Spain, the other commanding one in Mauritania: That, as Caius Antonius sued for the Consulship, he hoped to have him for his Collegue, one intirely intimate with him, and desperately distressed in his Affairs; and that in Conjunction with him, as soon as they entered upon their Consulship, he would fall upon the Execution of the Design.

Edition: current; Page: [20]

He then poured Invectives upon all Men of Merit, extolled these his own Confederates, and, calling to every Individual by his Name, talked, to one, of his Wants; to another, of his Amours; to several, of their present Perils, and Marks of Disgrace; and to many, of their former Rapine, in consequence of the Victory and Settlement of Sylla. At last, seeing them all elate and resolute, he pressed them to forward zealously his Suit for the Consulship, and dismissed the Assembly.

There were at that time some, who reported, that Catiline, when he had concluded his Speech, and proceeded to tender his Accomplices an Oath, presented them all round with a Bowl of Wine mixed with human Blood; that then, when according to the Usages in Sacrifices, they had all sworn and tasted, he opened his whole Scheme; and that this Course he took, to bind them more firmly to mutual Faith and Secrecy, as each was privy to the Guilt of another in an Abomination so horrible. Some believe, that this, and much more, was forged by Cicero’s Friends; who, perceiving what public Hate followed the Execution of some of the Conspirators, thought to allay it by thus aggravating their Crimes. For myself, I can find but small Evidence for a Fact so hideous and extraordinary.

Now, one in this Conspiracy was Quintus Curius, a Man of no mean Birth, but immersed in Debauchery and Crimes, and (as a public Mark of Infamy upon him) degraded by the Censors from the Dignity of a Senator: As the Levity of this Man’s Temper was equal to his Audaciousness, whatever he heard, he was sure to disclose; nor could he even hide his own Enormities and Shame. In truth, in whatever he said, in whatever he did, he had neither Consideration nor Restraint.

Between him and Fulvia, a Woman of Quality, there had been a long Amour; and, as he perceived himself become less agreeable to her, since his Poverty had rendered him less liberal, at first he tempted her with magnificent Promises, boasting of Seas Edition: current; Page: [21] and Mountains of Wealth; then again he raged, threatening to kill her, unless she submitted to his Will. In a Word, he behaved more imperiously than ever he was wont.

As soon as Fulvia had learned the Ground of such haughty Strains, she kept not concealed such threatening Danger to the State, but discovered to many whatever she had heard of Catiline’s Conspiracy; suppressing nothing but the Name of her Author.

’Twas this Consideration, especially, that awakened the Minds of Men, and made them zealous to confer the Consulship upon Cicero. For, before, most of the Nobility stormed, through Envy, against that Choice; and thought the Consulship would suffer a sort of Profanation, were it once borne by one so newly risen, though one of celebrated Merit. But now, when general Peril was impending, personal Envy and Scorn subsided.

Upon holding therefore the Assembly for Elections, Cicero and Caius Antonius were declared Consuls: An Event which first shocked and disconcerted the Associates in the Conspiracy.

Yet such was the furious Spirit of Catiline, as to pursue his Treason with unabated Ardour: Nay, every Day he made fresh Efforts, provided Stores of Arms in all the most commodious Places of Italy; borrowed Money upon his own Credit, or that of his Friends; and transmitted it to one Manlius at the City of Fæsulæ, the same who afterwards first began the War.

He is moreover said, at this Juncture, to have gained to his Party Numbers of Men of all Conditions, as also several Women, those particularly, who had once made such great Gain of their Lewdness, as to support an immense Expence; but were afterwards involved in mighty Debts: For when Age had shortened the Measure of their Gain, they had neglected to shorten that of their Luxury. Through their Means Catiline hoped to draw Edition: current; Page: [22] over the City Bondmen; and by them to set Rome on Fire. These Women were likewise to engage their Husbands in the Conspiracy, or to kill them, if they refused.

Sempronia was one of the Ladies just mentioned; one who had performed various Adventures, that manifested a Spirit extremely daring and masculine. In her Person, and her Race, she was abundantly distinguished and happy; as also in her Husband and Children; was well instructed in the Greek and Roman Languages; and, in Music and Dancing, had more Charms and Address than suited a virtuous Woman; with many other Accomplishments, such as incite to Vice and Voluptuousness. Indeed, of all things upon Earth, she least regarded Modesty and Honour; and it is hard to determine, whether she was least sparing of, her Character, or her Money. In her lewd Pursuits she was so ardent, that she oftener made Advances to Men, than Men to her. She had been long since branded, for having forfeited her plighted Faith, and, by Perjury, evaded Debts and Demands of Trust; to have been privy to Assassinations; and, by a Course of Voluptuousness followed with Indigence, had plunged herself headlong into all the Excesses of Iniquity. With all these Blots, she had a Wit very pertinent and pleasing; could compose Verses; enliven Conversation; talk in any Strain, modest, or tender, or satirical. To conclude, she excelled in Humour and Gaiety, and had an engaging Manner.

Catiline, having taken these Measures, still persevered in his Suit for the Consulship, and declared himself a Candidate for the ensuing Year: For he hoped, if he were chosen, to govern Antonius as he pleased. Neither, during this Interval, did he remain unactive; but was contriving endless Plots for the Destruction of Cicero. Nor was Cicero wanting in Subtilty and Intrigues for his own Security: For, from the very Beginning of his Consulship, he had effectually employed Fulvia, with Offers of such vast Rewards to Quintus Curius, whom I lately mentioned, Edition: current; Page: [23] that he revealed to Cicero all the treasonable Devices of Catiline. Then, by the Promise of a Province to his Brother Consul, he had secured him against all Intention of disturbing the Republic. Besides, he had always about him a Number of his Friends and Followers, who were a real Guard, without the Name and Formality.

When the Day of Election came, Catiline, finding that neither his Suit for the chief Magistracy, nor his Plots to take away the Life of Cicero in the Field of Election, had at all succeeded, resolved upon open War, and to try the most daring and desperate Courses, since his secret Machinations had all ended in Anguish and Infamy.

With this View, he dispatched Caius Manlius to the City of Fæsulæ, and the adjacent Parts of Etruria; one Septimius (a Native of Camertes) to the Territory of Picenum; Caius Julius to Apulia; and others elsewhere, just as it conduced to his Purpose.

All this while he was making at Rome many Efforts together; laying new Snares against the Life of the Consul; contriving how to set Fire to the City; posting armed Men to secure the most commodious Places; he himself was always ready armed, always giving Orders to his Followers; urging them to be ever vigilant, ever prepared: Night and Day he hurried; lived without Sleep; and was utterly indefatigable under all Labour and Want of Repose.

At last, when he found, that, with all his many Attempts, he made no sort of Progress in any, he employed Porcius Læcca to call together once more the principal Conspirators, during the Dead of Night; and after many Complaints of their Want of Vigour, he informed them, ‘That he had sent forward Manlius to command a Number of Men, whom he had before provided, to take Arms; that to other proper Places he had sent other Officers, to begin the War; and that he himself longed exceedingly Edition: current; Page: [24] to proceed to the Army, provided he could first destroy Cicero; for that Cicero infinitely obstructed all their Schemes.’

Now, whilst all the rest of the Assembly continued mute, through Dread and Irresolution, Caius Cornelius, a Roman Knight, offered his Service; and Lucius Vargunteius, a Senator, joining with him, they agreed, immediately upon the approaching Morning, to furnish themselves with armed Assistants; and, repairing to Cicero, under Shew of paying their Respects, to fall upon him by Surprize, and assassinate him. Curius, finding what deadly Peril threatened the Consul, incontinently acquainted him, by Fulvia, with their black Contrivance. When therefore they came, they were denied Entrance, and saw themselves defeated in so desperate an Attempt.

During these Transactions, Manlius was inflaming the Populace in Etruria, of themselves passionate for Innovations, both from their present Poverty, and their Resentment of cruel Usage past: For, under the Usurpation of Sylla, they had been stripped of their Lands, and all that they had. He likewise engaged in his Party all the Thieves and Freebooters of every Kind, such as swarm in that Quarter; with some too of the Colonies settled by Sylla; Men who, having formerly gained infinite Spoil, had now, through Riot and Debauchery, seen an End of the Whole.

Cicero, when he had an Account of these Transactions, was sorely struck with an Evil so dangerous and distressing; since he could neither by his own single Management, longer secure the City against intestine Incendiaries, nor was as yet thoroughly apprised, either of the Strength, or of the Purposes of Manlius’s Army. He therefore assembled the Senate, and to them opened the Conspiracy, which had been already, for some time, much bandied in the Conversation of the Commonalty.

Thus the Senate, agreeably to common Usage in Conjunctures of great Peril and Alarm, ordained, ‘That the Consuls Edition: current; Page: [25] should take effectual Measures, that no Damage accrued to the State.’ Such is the supreme Authority, thus transferred by the Senate to the Magistrate, according to the Policy of the Roman Government. By it he is impowered to levy Forces, to make War, to exercise Jurisdiction without Bounds over the Confederates, and even over the Citizens, with the sovereign Administration and Command, both in the City and the Camp: Acts of Power, which are not, otherwise, included in the Consular Authority, unless by an Ordinance of the People in their Assemblies.

A few Days after this, there was read in the Senate, by Lucius Senius, one of that Order, a Letter brought to him, he said, from the Town of Fæsulæ; recounting, that, towards the latter End of October, Caius Manlius had taken up Arms, at the Head of a great Host of People. To this News some added (what is usual under such public Alarms) a Recital of portentous Spectacles, with marvellous and prophetic Prodigies: Others too related, what numerous Cabals were holden; what Quantities of Arms were carried, and whither; and that, at Capua, and likewise in Apulia, there were Bands of Slaves arming apace.

The Senate therefore ordered Quintus Marcius Rex to the Town of Fæsulæ; as also Quintus Metellus Creticus to Apulia, and the adjacent Country. These two Officers, lately Commanders of Armies, were then waiting without the City for the Honour of Triumph, which was refused them by the Management and malicious Representations of certain Citizens, whose Rule it was, to make Sale of all things, honourable or infamous. The Prætors too, Quintus Pompeius, and Quintus Metellus Celer, were sent, one to Capua, the other to the Territory of Picenum, with discretionary. Authority to raise Forces in proportion to the public Exigency and Peril.

It was likewise decreed, ‘That whoever of the Conspirators would make Discovery of the Conspiracy, should, if a Slave, Edition: current; Page: [26] have a Reward of one hundred thousand Sesterces*, and his Liberty; if a Freeman, double that Sum, and his Pardon.’ The Senate moreover ordained, ‘That the Bands of Gladiators should be distributed amongst the municipal Cities, Capua, and the rest, in proportion to the Strength and Power of each; and that, for the Security of Rome, Guards should be posted in every Quarter, under the Command of the subordinate Magistrates.’

The City was thoroughly affected by all these Symptoms of Peril, and assumed a new Face. From the highest general Festivity, and even Riot, such as resulted from a long Course of Tranquillity, in an Instant Sadness seized every Heart. Full of Restlessness, full of Affright, they were all equally insecure, and all distrustful of Places, and of Persons: They neither enjoyed Peace, nor yet were engaged in War; and each judged the Measure of Danger to correspond with that of his own Fears. The Women also were terribly alarmed with the unusual Apprehensions of a War, such as the mighty Power of the Commonwealth had hitherto secured them against: They gave themselves up to Lamentation and Anguish; supplicated the Gods with uplifted Hands; bewailed their tender Infants; were importunate for News; frightened at all things; and, quitting their Vanity and fond Delights, became anxious for themselves and their Country.

Yet still the sanguinary Spirit of Catiline persevered in the same inhuman Pursuit, although he saw Armies and Guards raised to defeat it; nay, though he himself stood arraigned by Lucius Paulus, upon the Law of Marcus Plautius against Treason and Assassination. He even appeared in the Senate, the better to dissemble his Purposes; as if, provoked by injurious Invectives, he only came there to vindicate his injured Character. Upon his Entrance, the Consul Cicero, either apprehending Edition: current; Page: [27] his Presence there to be of ill Effect, or prompted by Indignation, made that awakening Speech; (which he afterwards published) then so seasonable to the Commonwealth. Yet, as soon as he sat down, Catiline, who was determined to disavow every Article, accosted the Senate; and, with modest downcast Looks, and an humble supplicating Voice, besought the Fathers, ‘That they would not lightly receive any Charge against him: Such was the Race from whence he sprang, such too had been the Rule and Course of his Life from his Youth, that, from the Public, he hoped for every honourable, for every favourable Impression. They could not surely conceive, that he, a Patrician born, he, who had himself done, he, whose Progenitors had done, such numberless Services to the People of Rome, could find his Interest in the Destruction of the Commonwealth; whilst such an Upstart as Cicero, a Roman only by Admission, assumed the Defence of it.’

To these Invectives he was proceeding to add others; when the whole Senate, with Indignation, and a general Outcry, treated him as a Traitor and Parricide! Then abandoning himself to utter Rage, ‘Seeing (says he) I am oh every side beset by deadly Designs, and driven by my Enemies to Extremities, I will, by general Desolation, suppress the Flames kindled to devour me.’

Having so said, he rushed out, and went home. There, after having balanced by himself a thousand Schemes and Reflections; that not only his Devices against the Life of the Consul were still unsuccessful, but the Firing of the City was also defeated by Guards every-where placed; he judged it his wisest Course to reinforce his Army, and to anticipate the Legions, by catching all Advantages, and providing whatever was necessary to an Army, before these Legions were ready for the Field. He therefore retired in the Dead of Night, and, with a few in his Company, proceeded to the Camp of Manlius. He lest however Edition: current; Page: [28] a Charge with Cethegus and Lentulus, and with such others as he knew to be most forward and desperate, That, by all possible Methods, they should strengthen the Party; dispatch the Assassination of the Consul; then proceed to the intended Massaere; to fire Rome, and perform all the other gallant Feats of Warriors. For himself, he would, in a short time, advance to their Succour with a powerful Army.

During these Transactions at Rome, Caius Manlius dispatched Deputies to Quintus Marcius Rex, with Orders to accost him in the following Strain:

‘We appeal to the Testimony of Gods and Men, O General, that we have taken up Arms with no View either to hurt our Country, or to distress particular Men; but only to secure our own Persons from Outrages, wretched and indigent as we are, through the inhuman Violence of Usurers; most of us bereft of our Abodes; all of our Reputation and Fortune; not one of us allowed the Protection of the Laws, our Birthright by Inheritance; not one of us permitted to enjoy the Liberty of his Person, even when we have nothing else left us to enjoy. Such hath been the Cruelty of our Creditors, such that of the Prætorian Tribunals. Often have our Forefathers exercised their Commiseration towards the Roman People, and succoured them in Distress, by Ordinances of State. Nay, we have seen, in our own Times, a recent Instance, where, in Consideration of the universal Pressure of Debts, public Authority intervened; and, with the unanimous Voice of every good Citizen, the Creditors were obliged to take a Composition. Often too have the Roman People withdrawn, and separated themselves from the Senate, when either incited by a Passion for popular Rule, or urged to it for Self-defence against the Insolence of their Magistrates.

‘For us; our Pursuit is neither Wealth nor Power, though these be the two great Sources of all the Wars and Combustions Edition: current; Page: [29] amongst Men. What we seek is Liberty; that Liberty which no virtuous Man will lose, but together with his Life. We therefore conjure thee, O General, thee and the Senate, to espouse the Interest of forlorn Citizens; to restore us the Protection of the Laws, rent from us by the Violence of the Prætorian Tribunal; and not to reduce us to the desperate Necessity of only studying so to perish, as amply to avenge our own Blood upon such as shed it.’

To all this Marcius replied, ‘That, if they had any Request to the Senate, they should forthwith abandon their Arms, and repair as Supplicants to Rome: Since such had ever been the Clemency and Compassion of the Roman Senate and People, that to them no Man had ever sued in vain for Relief.’

Now Catiline, whilst yet upon the Road, sent Letters to many Senators of Consular Distinction, and indeed to every Citizen of principal Estimation, ‘That as his Life was sought by forged Crimes, and he could not resist the Combination of his Enemies, he yielded to his Fortune, and was retiring as an Exile to Marseilles; stung by no Guilt of the terrible imputed Treason, but only for the Tranquillity of the Commonwealth; lest, had he staid, and maintained his Innocence, public Tumults might have ensued.’

But the Letter which Quintus Catulus recited in the Senate, and declared to have received from Catiline, was conceived in a Style quite opposite. Here follows a Copy of it:

Lucius Catiline, to Quintus Catulus, Health.

‘SUCH hath been thy distinguished Faith and Friendship to me, and so abundantly proved upon Trial, whilst I was pressed by the highest Perils, that I am thence emboldened to make thee this Application. For this Reason, I wave offering thee any Defence of my present Proceedings: As I am conscious Edition: current; Page: [30] of no Guilt, I propose only to make thee a Declaration of my Innocence. How true this Declaration is, thou wilt be abundantly convinced: For this I appeal to the Gods.

‘Finding myself pursued by a Course of Injustice and false Accusations, and thence bereft of the Reward of my public Services and Zeal, and disappointed of the Dignity for which I sued, I am thus roused to undertake (as has ever been my Character and Practice) the common Cause of the Miserable; not because I am excited to it by any Distress or Debts of my own; since what I owe on my own Account, my own Fortune suffices to discharge; and Orestilla would, out of hers, and that of her Daughter, freely clear all my Engagements on Account of others; But perceiving Men of no Worth distinguished with the high Honours of the State, and seeing myself, by causless Jealousies, excluded from them, I have, under this Provocation, and for securing the Remains of my Rank and Dignity, had recourse to such Counsels, as in my present Situation will abundantly justify themselves.

‘I have much more to say; but at this Instant I am informed, that deadly Measures are taken against me. I therefore just recommend Orestilla to thee, and to thy faithful Protection: Defend her from Injustice, by thy dear Children I adjure thee. Farewel.’

Now, when he had staid a few Days with Caius Flaminius in the Territory belonging to Reate, just to furnish Arms to that Quarter already gained to his Party, he proceeded, with Rods and Axes, and all the other Badges of Consular Power, to the Camp of Manlius.

As soon as the News of this were verified at Rome, the Senate declared Catiline and Manlius public Enemies, with Pardon to all those of their Followers, who by a Day certain should quit their Arms, except only such who were under Sentence Edition: current; Page: [31] for capital Crimes. It was moreover decreed, That the Consuls should forthwith levy Forces; that Antonius should march in Pursuit of Catiline; and Cicero remain for the Defence of the City.

At this Juncture, the Condition of the Roman Commonwealth seems to me to have been infinitely deplorable; since, whilst every Region, from the rising to the setting Sun, (all subdued by her Arms) submitted to her Government; whilst, within her Walls, extreme Wealth, and all Tranquillity, reigned; things which pass with Men for sovereign Enjoyment and Bliss; there were yet some of her own Citizens, with desperate Spirits, bent upon the Destruction of the State, and even upon their own with it. For, notwithstanding two Decrees published by the Senate, not a Man was found, amongst all that Host of Traitors, to accept the promised Recompence, and discover the Conspiracy; not a Man of Catiline’s Army, to desert from him: Such an invincible Spirit of Disaffection had, like a Pestilence, generally seized the Minds of Men.

Neither was this angry Humour confined only to the Conspirators, and their Accomplices: The Commonalty too, in a Body, from a Passion for public Changes, approved the Pursuits of Catiline; and in this seemed but to follow their usual Bent.

For, in this our City, they who are destitute of Place and Substance, ever repine at the Enjoyments and Distinction of virtuous Men; ever extol the vicious; hate the old Ways; long for Novelties and Change; and, from Disgust to their own Condition, labour to introduce universal Confusion. In popular Commotions and Discord they find their Subsistence without Pains and Care; since Poverty has ever this Advantage, that it has nothing to lose.

From other Causes too, the Roman Populace were prompted to desperate Courses; chiefly, because from all Quarters there flocked into Rome, as into a common Sink, whoever surpassed in Villainy and Impudence at home, together with those Edition: current; Page: [32] who had wasted their Fortunes in Prodigality and Riot; in a Word, all they who were Fugitives for their Infamy or Crimes. Many were continually revolving upon the Usurpation of Sylla, whence they saw some raised from common Soldiers to the Dignity of Senators, and others to such excessive Wealth, that in Pomp and Magnificence they lived like Kings; and every Individual hoped, if he were but engaged in a civil War, to obtain Victory, and thence the same Advantages to himself.

Moreover the young Men from the Country, formerly accustomed to earn, by Agriculture, just enough to support Life, having been drawn to Rome by the Allurements of Largesses, some distributed by the State, some by particular Citizens, came to prefer Ease and Idleness in the City, to their penurious Toil in the Fields.

These, and all who resembled them, found their Support in the Calamities and Disorders of the State. Hence the less Wonder, that such Men as these, pressed with Wants, dissolute in their Manners, extravagant in their Views, should consult the Welfare of the Commonwealth, just as far as it conduced to their own.

They also whose Parents were proscribed, whose Estates were confiscated, and who had lost the Rights of Citizens, under the Usurpation of Sylla, had no other nor better Views in the Expectancy and Event of the present civil War.

Besides, whoever were of any Party whatsoever different from that of the Senate, wished rather to see the Commonwealth in Confusion, than themselves deprived of popular Sway: An old Evil! which, after an Interval of many Years, had again revived in the City.

For, after the Power of the Tribunes of the People was restored to its former Vigour, under the Consulship of Pompey and Crassus, certain young Men, acquiring that supreme popular Magistracy, in the Bloom of their Life, and flaming Edition: current; Page: [33] with turbulent Passions, began to rouse the People to Disaffection, first by criminal Imputations against the Senate; then by Liberalities, and flattering Promises, to heighten their Disaffection into a Flame; and thus gained to themselves signal Renown, and mighty Credit. To thwart them, and their Measures, the Generality of the Nobles made their utmost Efforts, in Shew, for Support of the Senate, in Reality, for that of their own Grandeur. In truth, to comprise all in a few Words, during all those Times, whoever raised civil Dissensions in the Commonwealth, used plausible Pretences; some to vindicate the Rights of the People, others to exalt the Authority of the Senate, both Sorts to pursue the public Good; yet all only striving severally to procure Weight and Power to themselves. Neither in these their civil Contests did any of them observe Moderation or Bounds: Whatever Party conquered, still used their Victory with Violence and Inhumanity.

Now, after Pompey was sent from home, as General in the War against the Pirates, then in that against Mithridates, the Power of the People sunk very low, and the whole Sway was engrossed by a few. These grasped the civil Administration, the Government of the Provinces, and all things. Thus, unaccountable and prosperous, they lived confident of their own Security, and fearless themselves; whilst, by the Terror of their Power and Decrees, they restrained the popular Magistrates from rousing the People. But, upon the first View of a Change in the State, the old Competition was instantly renewed, with infinite Animosity, in the Minds of the Commonalty.

Now, suppose Catiline had conquered in the first Engagement, or had even retired with equal Loss, surely very tragical Calamities must have overwhelmed the Commonwealth. Nor would the Conquerors have been suffered to enjoy their Victory long; since, when they were weakened and exhausted, whoever had superior Edition: current; Page: [34] Power, would have seized the Government, and oppressed public Liberty.

There were, however, several, who, though unengaged with the Conspirators, yet immediately followed Catiline. One of these was Aulus Fulvius, (the Son of a Senator) taken upon the Road, brought back, and slain by the Order of his Father.

Lentulus, at the same time, was pursuing the Directions of Catiline; and, by himself, or his Agents, gaining over all such as, either from their Characters or Fortune, he judged proper Instruments for a Revolution; not only Roman Citizens, but all Men of what sort soever, so they were fit for Arms.

Lentulus, therefore, employed one Publius Umbrenus to apply to the Deputies of the Allobrogians, and oblige them, if he could, to join in the War: For he fansied, that, as their State, as also the Members of the State, were universally oppressed with Debts, and as the whole People of Gaul were naturally fierce and warlike, they might be easily persuaded into such a Design. Umbrenus, having, as a Trader, been conversant in Gaul, was generally known to the leading Men in their several Communities, and acquainted with their Characters. So that, without Delay, the Moment he beheld the Deputies in the Forum, he began with certain Questions concerning the Condition of their Nation: Then, affecting great Grief for their Oppressions, proceeded to ask, ‘What Issue they hoped to their crying Calamities?’ Next, when he perceived, that they complained of the Rapaciousness of our Magistrates, that they reproached the Senate for yielding them no Succour or Protection, and expected from Death alone a Remedy to their many Miseries; he replied, ‘Provided you resolve to act like Men, I will present you with an Expedient to release yourselves from all these crying Calamities.’ Immediately the Allobrogians, raised to the highest Hopes by what he had said, conjured him, ‘to pity them: There was nothing so dangerous, (they said) nothing so difficult, but they would most heartily Edition: current; Page: [35] perform, if by it, whatever it were, their Nation might be redeemed from the Oppression of Debts.’

Umbrenus then carried them to the House of Decius Brutus; for it joined to the Forum, and was no improper Scene for such a Consultation, since Sempronia was an Accomplice, and Brutus was then from Rome. Moreover, to gain the greater Weight and Credit to what he had to say, he had Gabinius called to the Interview, and, before him, opened the whole Conspiracy, named all the Accomplices, and many others of all Stations, who were utterly guiltless; but mentioned by him to inspire the Deputies with the higher Hopes and Boldness. Having thus gained from them an Engagement for their Assistance; he let them retire.

The Deputies, however, wavered long what Counsel to chuse. Here, to induce them, were consuming Debts, a Passion for War, and mighty Spoil attending Victory: There, superior Puissance, Proceedings legal and sure, and, for uncertain Hope, Rewards solid and certain.

As they were thus in Suspense, the Fortune of the Roman Republic prevailed; so that they unfolded the whole Detail (just as they had learned it) to Quintus Fabius Sanga, upon whose Patronage their Nation chiefly relied. Cicero, who was apprised of the Design by Sanga, injoined the Deputies to feign a flaming Zeal for the Conspiracy; to apply assiduously to the rest of the Conspirators; to promise abundantly; and to study to bring them all under the clearest Conviction.

Near about the same Conjuncture there were Commotions in both the Gauls; as also in the Territory of Picenum, in Bruttium, and Apulia. For the Creatures of Catiline, sent by him into these several Quarters, behaved absurdly; and, as if Madness had possessed them, pushed, precipitately, all their Measures at once: So that, by all their nocturnal Consultations, by their conveying Armour and Weapons hither and thither, by their furious Haste and tumultuous Doings, they only caused more Affright than Danger: A Edition: current; Page: [36] great Number of these Quintus Metellus Celer, the Prætor, adjudged to Bonds, in Conformity to the Decree of Senate; as Caius Muræna did many others in Cisalpine Gaul; where he governed under the Character of Lieutenant-General.

At Rome, the while, Lentulus, in Concert with the other Heads of the Conspiracy, reckoning themselves now sure of abundant Force, determined, that, whenever Catiline arrived with his Army in the Territory of Fæsulæ, Lucius Bestia, one of the Tribunes, should assemble the People, purposely to incense them against Cicero, by popular Imputations upon his Conduct, and to fasten upon the excellent Consul the odious Blame of a War so afflicting and calamitous. This was to be the Signal to the whole Crowd of Conspirators, for resorting on the Night ensuing to the Discharge of their several Parts.

Now these Parts were said to be thus distributed: Statilius and Gabinius, assisted with a powerful Band, were to set Fire, at once, to Twelve select Quarters of the City; for that, in a Confusion so general, it were easier to reach the Person of the Consul, and those of all the rest, who were marked for Destruction. Cethegus was to force his Doors, and put him to Death. Others had, for their Share, the like bloody Work: Nay, there were Youths, yet under the Roof of their Parents, (most of them from amongst the Nobility) who were to butcher their own Fathers; and, when, by devouring Flames and Massacre, they had spread universal Fear and Anguish, they were to sally out in a Body to meet Catiline.

During the Debate of these Measures, now formed, and of these Resolutions, now fixed, Cethegus was always complaining ‘of Want of Spirit in his Associates; that, by eternal Ballancing and Procrastination, they abused many glorious Opportunities. In an Enterprize thus dating and perillous, Execution was more requisite than Deliberation. For himself; would but a few of them support him, he would, notwithstanding the Remissness of the rest, fall openly upon the Senate.’ As he was, by Nature, Edition: current; Page: [37] daring and determined, his Spirit impetuous, in his Person prompt and enterprising, he esteemed their best Measure to be Dispatch.

Now the Allobrogians, according to their Instructions from Cicero, had a Meeting, by the means of Gabinius, with the rest of the Conspirators. There they demanded the Security of an Oath, from Lentulus, Cethegus, Statilius, as also from Cassius, signed severally by them; such as they might carry to their Countrymen, who, without it, would not be easily engaged in Transactions of such high Moment. All, except Cassius, complied, without the least Apprehension. He, who, indeed, had promised to be with them presently, went out of Rome, a little sooner than the Deputies. In Company with these, Lentulus sent Titus Volturcius, one of Crotona, with Orders, that, before they proceeded home, they should repeat and confirm the League with Catiline, by reciprocal Ties. He also gave Volturcius a Letter for Catiline, of which I here subjoin a Copy:

‘Who it is that sends thee this, thou wilt learn from him who brings it. Besure to consider thy own desperate Situation, and remember, that thou art a Man. Recollect what thy Circumstances demand. Seek Assistance from all, even from the Lowest and Basest.’

He likewise sent by him verbal Instructions; namely, to expostulate, ‘With what View Catiline could reject the Succours of Slaves, when the Senate had already declared him a public Enemy:’ And to assure him, ‘That, in Rome, all Dispositions were now made conformable to his own Orders; and, on his part, he must not delay to advance.’

These things having thus passed, Cicero, on the Night appointed for the Departure of the Deputies, from whom he had learnt all, ordered the Prætors, Valerius Flaccus, and Caius Pomptinus, privately to secure the Milvian Bridge; and apprehend, as they passed, the Allobrogians, and their Train. He explained to them, Edition: current; Page: [38] at large, the Cause of thus employing them, and, allowing them a Band of Soldiers, left them to proceed as Exigencies required. They, therefore, posting their Guards without Noise or Shew, silently beset the Bridge. When the Deputies and Volturcius arrived, and Shouts arose on both Sides, the Allobrogians, who were soon apprised of the Design, surrendered themselves, without a Pause, to the Prætors. Volturcius, at first, boldly encouraged his Companions; and, with his Sword, defended himself, though Numbers encompassed him. Then, seeing himself abandoned by the Deputies, he began to adjure Pomptinus, as his Acquaintance, with many Arguments, to save his Life: At last, full of Dread, and void of Hope, he yielded to the Prætors, as to a foreign Enemy.

When all this was effected, Messengers were instantly dispatched, with an Account of the Whole, to Cicero. He, in truth, now found himself possessed, at once, with much Joy, and much Anxiety. He rejoiced to see the Republic snatched from Destruction by a full Discovery of the Conspiracy; but felt great Solicitude, from the Difficulty of proceeding against Citizens of such signal Power and Eminence, convicted of such enormous Treason. To punish them, he judged, would draw much heavy Enmity upon himself; to let them go unpunished, would bring Perdition upon the State.

Hence, rousing his Spirit to Resolution, he ordered Lentulus, Cethegus, Statilius, and Gabinius, to be brought before him, with Cæparius too of Terracina, who was upon the Point of repairing to Apulia, there to engage the Slaves to revolt. The others came without Hesitation; but Cæparius, who had but just gone from his House, having learnt that all was discovered, was fled out of Rome.

The Consul brought Lentulus into the Senate, which he had assembled in the Temple of Concord, himself leading him by the Hand; for Lentulus was then Prætor. The rest he ordered to Edition: current; Page: [39] be carried thither under Guard. Vast was the Appearance of Senators: Before them he ordered Volturcius and the Deputies to be produced; and directed Flaccus the Prætor to bring the Packet of Letters, which he had found upon them.

Volturcius, when he was examined about his Journey, and the Packet of Letters, and, lastly, what was his Purpose in it, upon what Advice and Motives he undertook it; returned, at first, Answers quite foreign and framed; and affected utter Ignorance of the Conspiracy. But, as soon as the Senate had secured his Pardon by tendering him the Public Faith, he divulged every Transaction, and shewed, that, ‘but a few Days before, Gabinius and Cæparius had adopted him for an Associate: That, besides this, he knew no more than the Deputies; only he used to hear Gabinius declare, that Publius Autronius, Servius Sylla, Lucius Vargunteius, were, with many others, Accomplices in the Conspiracy.’

The Deputies, in their Confession, agreed with him in his. They likewise clearly convicted Lentulus, (who was asserting his Innocence) not only by Writing under his Hand, but by his common Discourse, ‘That, by the Sibylline Prophecies, the Sovereignty of Rome was foredoomed to Three of the Cornelian Race; first to Cinna, then to Sylla; and he himself was now the third destined by Fate to sway the Empire: That, besides, the present Year was the twentieth since the Burning of the Capitol; a Period productive of mighty civil Slaughter, according to the Explanations frequently made of Prodigies by the Augurs.’

The Senate therefore, when the Letters were read, and after the Criminals had acknowledged their several Signets, past a Decree, that Lentulus should be divested of his Office, and, with the rest, holden in Custody, but not in Prison. Thus Lentulus was delivered to Publius Lentulus Spinther, then Ædile; Cethegus to Quintus Cornificius; Statilius to Caius Cæsar; Gabinius to Marcus Edition: current; Page: [40] Crassus; and Cæparius (just before seized in his Flight, and brought back) to Cneius Terentius the Senator.

In the mean while, the Commonalty, they who just before, from a Passion for public Changes, were but too fond of intestine War, suddenly altered their Sentiments, when the Conspiracy was thus publicly discovered. They all now cursed the Devices of Catiline; all extolled Cicero to the Skies; and, like People just snatched from Bondage, gave full Scope to their Festivity and Joy. For, though from the War, in its ordinary Course and Events, they thought to have found more Spoil than Loss; yet they esteemed the Burning of Rome an inhuman Attempt, horrible beyond measure, and utterly destructive to themselves; since their whole Substance consisted in what nourished them from Day to Day, and in what they daily wore.

On the next Day, when the Senate sat, there was brought before them one Lucius Tarquinius, charged with going to join Catiline, and seized by the Way. This Man, who offered to disclose the Particulars of the Conspiracy, under the Security of public Faith and Indemnity, was indulged in this by the Consul, and bid to testify what he knew. He then informed the Senate, very nearly as Volturcius had done, of the Design concerted to set Fire to the City, to murder all the best Citizens, and to march the Rebel Army to Rome. He added, ‘That he was dispatched by Crassus to Catiline, to warn him, in his Name, not to be dejected by the apprehending of Lentulus, and Cethegus, and some other Conspirators, but the rather to hasten his March to Rome; whence, besides reviving the Spirit of the Conspirators in general, they who were in Custody might be snatched from Vengeance.’

Now the Moment Tarquinius named Crassus, a Man of grand Quality, immense Wealth, mighty Influence and Credit; they all cried out, that he was a false Witness, and demanded to have it debated. Many indeed believed the Charge utterly incredible: Some, tho’ they accounted it true, yet thought in a Conjuncture Edition: current; Page: [41] so terrible, a Man of such prodigious Sway was rather to be courted than provoked. Besides that, the Generality of the Senators were engaged to Crassus by private Ties and Obligations. It was therefore decreed, in a full Senate, even Cicero proposing it, ‘that the Testimony of Tarquinius appeared to be forged, and that he should be confined in Irons, never to be delivered till he had disclosed by whose Advice he had framed so daring an Imposture.’ There were then those who supposed this Evidence to have been an Artifice of Publius Autronius, whence Crassus, finding himself involved in the same Danger with the Conspirators, might serve them for a common Sanctuary, and protect them all by his mighty Power.

Others alledged, that Tarquinius was tutored and prompted by Cicero, thus to disable Crassus from distressing the Commonwealth by espousing, as he was wont, the Defence of public Incendiaries. I have indeed heard Crassus himself aver, that this glaring Indignity was fastened upon him by Cicero.

Yet, at this very time, Quintus Catulus and Caius Piso could not prevail with Cicero, either by their great Interest, or by their Intreaties, or by any Offers, to procure Cæsar to be falsly accused by the Allobrogians, or any other Witness whatsoever. For both these great Men bore mortal Enmity to Cæsar; Piso, because Cæsar had procured Judgment against him for Bribery in passing Sentence of Death, unjustly, upon a Man beyond the Po; Catulus continued to hate him, ever since their Suit for the Office of supreme Pontiff, as he was enraged that Cæsar in his early Youth should gain it from him in his old Age, after he had sustained all the highest Dignities in the State. Now this Charge against him they concluded was probable and well-timed: For he had, both by his signal Munificence to Particulars, and by his boundless Largesses to the People, contracted prodigious Debts.

When therefore they failed to persuade the Consul to so black an Undertaking, they went themselves sedulously about from Man Edition: current; Page: [42] to Man, and by averring what they only feigned, how many Instances of his Guilt they themselves had heard from Volturcius, as well as from the Allobrogians, exposed him to extraordinary Jealousy and Hate; so that certain Roman Knights, attending in Arms at the Temple of Concord, as a Guard to the Senate, threatened him with their drawn Swords, as he went out of the Assembly; whether they were struck with the prodigious Horrour of the Conspiracy, or did it in a Fit of Bravery, thence the more to signalize their Zeal for the Commonweal.

Whilst these were the Transactions of the Senate, and whilst Recompences were decreeing there to the Deputies of the Allobrogians, and to Volturcius, whose several Discoveries were now verified and approved; the Freedmen of Lentulus, with some few of his Dependents, had divided themselves into several Quarters of the City; and whilst some of them were suborning the Slaves and common Artizans about the Streets, to deliver him by Force, the rest were searching after the Ringleaders of the Croud, such as are wont, for Hire, to raise popular Uproar and Sedition.

Cethegus, at the same time, had dispatched Messages to the Slaves of his Houshold, and to some of his Freedmen, such, especially, as were select Instruments, hardened and audacious in Feats of Violence, conjuring them to form an armed Band, and, by strong Hand, to deliver him.

The Consul, as soon as he learnt what Measures were pursuing, posted Guards in such Quarters, and in such Numbers, as the Time and Exigency required: Then, assembling the Senate, proposed to their Consideration, ‘What they would please finally to determine concerning the Conspirators, now in Custody by their own Order.’ Indeed a very full Senate had very lately adjudged them to be public Traitors.

Decius Junius Silanus, therefore, whose Opinion was first asked, as he was then Consul elect, declared for capital Punishment, to be inflicted, not upon the Prisoners only, but also upon Edition: current; Page: [43] Lucius Cassius, Publius Furius, Publius Umbrenus, and Quintus Annius, whenever they were apprehended: Tho’, afterwards, yielding to the Force of Cæsar’s Reasoning, he professed to acquiesce in the Opinion of Tiberius Nero, who had proposed to have the Guards increased, and the Result postponed to another Debate.

Cæsar himself, when asked by the Consul in his Turn, spoke in the following Strain:

‘It is incumbent upon all Men, Conscript Fathers, in their Deliberations upon every Subject of Tenderness and Difficulty, to be exempt from all Hate and Affection, from all Revenge and Compassion. The Soul, when such Passions ruffle it, can but ill exercise any just Discernment: Not hath any Man, whosoever, at once pursued his own headstrong Will, and yet served any laudable Purpose. Your Judgment, when you exert that only, hath all due Force and Success; but if Passion seize you, ’tis that which masters you; and then your rational Faculties avail you nothing.

‘Many are the Instances, which I could recount, of Kings, as well as of People, falling into unhappy Measures, by hastily yielding to the Impulses of Wrath, or to those of Commiseration. But I had rather relate, from the Examples of our Forefathers, what sort of Determinations they made, all in Opposition to any Heat and Commotion of Spirit, but all agreeable to good Policy and the Times.

‘During the War which we maintained against Perses King of Macedon, Rhodes, a mighty and opulent City, deriving too all her Grandeur from the Power and Aid of the Romans, yet forfeited her Faith to us, and took Part against us. But, upon the Issue of the War, when it came to be debated how to deal with the Rhodians, our Ancestors discharged them from all Punishment and Retribution; that no Man might alledge the Quarrel to have begun rather from Thirst after their Wealth, than from that of avenging Injuries. Thro’ the whole Series Edition: current; Page: [44] of our Wars with Carthage, though the Carthaginians, even during Intervals of Peace, even in the midst of a Truce, committed many and shocking Insults; still our Ancestors never sought or improved any Opportunity of returning Evil for Evil; since they inquired rather what was worthy of themselves to do, than what might, in Justice, be done against the Carthaginians.

‘This is what it behoves you also, Conscript Fathers, now to consider, and provide that the Iniquity of Lentulus, and of the rest, weigh not more with you, than your own Dignity ought to weigh; and that you gratify not your Resentment, at the Expence of your Fame. Indeed, if any Chastisement can be found worthy of their Deserts, I approve the Proposal, however new and extraordinary it be: But if their Crime be such, that it transcends the Wit of Man to find out an adequate Punishment for it, my Advice is for such as the Laws have already ordained.

‘Most of the Senators, who gave their Opinion before me, have, in high and affecting Strains, bewailed the Situation of the Commonwealth: They have displayed all the Cruelty of War, with the many Woes attending the Vanquished; Virgins ravished, Youths constuprated, Children torn from the Bosoms of their Parents, Matrons exposed to all the libidinous Insults of a victorious Soldiery; public Temples, and private Dwellings, equally abandoned to Plunder and Outrage, all devoured by one common Flame, and converted into Scenes of Slaughter; finally, all Places filled with Arms, Carcases, Blood, and Wailings.

‘But, for the sake of the immortal Deities, whither tends such tragical Representation? Is it to rouse you to a Detestation of the Conspiracy? As if he, whom a Design so alarming cannot move, could be animated by a Flow of Words.

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‘This is not the way; nor do any Injuries whatsoever appear light to him on whom they fall; and many are apt to magnify and resent such Injuries beyond Measure. But, according to the different Stations of Men, different Allowances are made, Conscript Fathers. When such, who, in an humble Station pass their Days in Obscurity, offend, thro’ Heat and Transport, few there are who know it; for their Name and Character are as low as their Fortune: But they who are invested with supreme Power, stand in an elevated Station, and every Step they take is, by every Eye, observed; so that to the highest Dignity the smallest Allowance is made. In such a Station there is no room allowed for Partiality; none for Aversion; least of all for Wrath and Animosity. That which in private Life bears only the Name of Passion, whenever it is observed in Men of Authority, is called Haughtiness and Cruelty.

‘For myself, Conscript Fathers, I esteem all Torments whatsoever to be short of the Guilt of these Offenders: But it is the Temper of human Kind, generally to remember best what happened last; and, forgetting the Crimes of suffering Parricides, to entertain themselves only about their Punishment, if it prove but unusually severe.

‘What Decius Silanus, a Man of great Honour and Spirit, has spoken, I am perfectly convinced he spoke from Zeal to the Commonwealth; and that, in an Affair of such mighty Consequence, he acts neither from Favour nor Enmity: Such is the Uprightness, such the Moderation which I have experienced in him. But what he proposes, tho’, to me, it appear no wise cruel, (for, to such Men, what Cruelty can be shewn?) yet, still, appears repugnant to the Genius of our State.

‘Doubtless, thou wast urged, either by Fear, or by an Iniquity so heinous, O Silanus, our Consul elect, to propose a Punishment altogether new. How vain such Fear is, it would be superfluous to argue; when, by the Vigilance of a Consul so Edition: current; Page: [46] signally able and distinguished as ours, so many and such powerful Forces are armed for our Security: And concerning their Punishment, we may, in truth, alledge, what, in reality, the Fact is; That, to such as live in Sorrow and Wretchedness, Death proves a Repose, not a Torment; that it is Death which closes all the Calamities incident to human Race; and that, beyond Death no Place remains, either for Anguish or Delight.

‘But, in the Name of the immortal Gods, why didst not thou add to this thy Proposal for capital Punishment, that they should be first lashed by the Executioner? Was it because the same is forbidden by the Porcian Law? And are there not other Laws too, which direct, that Roman Citizens, condemned, shall not be bereft of their Lives, but be indulged the Privilege of Banishment? Or was it, that Stripes seem a severer Punishment than Death? Now what can be deemed rigorous, or over-severe, to Men convicted of such terrible Treason? But if Stripes be a lighter Chastisement, where is the Consistence of being tender of the Law in a smaller Instance, and of violating it in one much greater?

‘Do you ask, Who will censure any Punishment whatever, pronounced upon Traitors to the Commonwealth? I answer, that Time may produce such Censure; so may sudden Conjunctures; so may Fortune, a fickle Deity, that blindly sways the Race of Men. Upon these Parricides whatever Doom falls, will fall justly. But be cautious, Conscript Fathers, how your Decrees to-day may affect others hereafter.

‘All pernicious Precedents are derived from laudable Beginnings; but when the Administration devolves upon unworthy and unskilful Men, those Precedents, at first just, are changed in the Application, from Objects that were proper and guilty, to such as are guiltless and improper.

‘The Lacædemonians, when they had subdued the Athenians, subjected that State to Thirty Governors. These began their Edition: current; Page: [47] Power, by executing, without Conviction, whomsoever they found notoriously wicked and obnoxious to all Men. For such Executions the People expressed great Joy, and declared them just and well deserved. Thenceforward, when, by degrees, they had strengthened their lawless Authority, they doomed to Death both Good and Bad, without Distinction; and thus held under Dread the whole Community. Such was the terrible Penalty, which these People, oppressed by Tyranny, paid for their ridiculous Joy.

‘We ourselves remember, when Sylla, after he found himself Master, ordered Damasippus, and other Incendiaries, who had raised themselves upon the Calamities of the Commonwealth, to be slaughtered, how all Men applauded the Fact: It was by all agreed, that such Instruments of Iniquity and Faction, the Authors of continual Disorders and Tumults in the State, were worthily cut off from it: Yet this very thing proved an Introduction to a mighty Series of Slaughter; since whoever coveted the Town-house, or Country-seat, or even any curious Vase, or precious Rayment of a Fellow-citizen, contrived to have the Possessor inserted in the List of the Proscribed.

‘Thus they, to whom the Death of Damasippus had administered such Joy, were themselves soon after dragged to the like Execution: Neither was there any End put to this raging Carnage, till Sylla had satiated his Followers with Riches.

‘It is true, that, from Marcus Tullius Cicero, I fear no such Precedents, nor from these our Times. But in a City so mighty and so populous as ours, various and different are the Spirits and Propensities of Men: In future Conjunctures, and under a future Consul, one who may likewise have an Army at his Devotion, any Forgeries may pass for Facts. When, hereafter, by a Decree of the Senate, in consequence of this very Example, the Consul shall draw the Sword, who is then to controul it? who to set Bounds to its Rage?

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‘Our Ancestors, Conscript Fathers, were at no time wanting to themselves, either in Counsel or in Bravery; neither did they deem it below them, to adopt the Usages of other Nations, provided such Usages were wholsome and laudable. The Exercise of Arms, and their Weapons of War, they borrowed from the Samnites; their Ensigns of Magistracy, in a great measure, from the Tuscans: In truth, whatever appeared to them pertinent and valuable, either amongst their Confederates, or their Enemies, they assumed and practised at home, with notable Application; as they judged it more eligible to imitate, than to envy, any Excellence any-where.

‘In those Days, therefore, following the Custom of Greece, they subjected the offending Citizens to Stripes; and, upon such as were condemned, inflicted capital Punishment. Afterwards, when the Commonwealth was found greatly augmented, and, through the vast Multitude of Citizens, Factions grew prevailing, whence the Innocent were often circumvented and punished, and such Oppressions and Excesses began to grow common; then the Porcian and other Laws were made; Laws which, to the highest Offence, allowed no higher Punishment than Exile.

‘These Considerations, Conscript Fathers, and such Authority, seem to me of the utmost Force against our pursuing any Resolution new and extraordinary. Surely, much greater Virtue, much greater Wisdom, was found in such, who, from small Means and Beginnings, raised an Empire so mighty, than in us, who with Difficulty retain what they so worthily acquired.

‘For what, therefore, do I plead? Is it, that the Conspirators be discharged, and the Army of Catiline reinforced by them? By no means. But this is my Proposition; That their Effects be confiscated; their Persons be kept in Bonds, apart in several of the most powerful Cities of Italy; that no Application shall ever be made to the Senate on their Behalf, nor to the People; Edition: current; Page: [49] and that whoever disobeys this Decree, the Senate now declare him an Enemy to the Commonwealth, and to all its Members.’

When Cæsar had done speaking, and the rest of the Senate were, either in Words, or by Signs, approving or opposing what had been differently proposed, Cato was demanded his Opinion, and he delivered it in the following Speech:

‘My Spirit feels very different Impressions upon this Occasion, Conscript Fathers: First, when I attend to our present Situation, with the Perils which surround us; and then consider within myself the Counsel offered by certain Senators, they seem only to reason about settling the Punishment of such, who are combined to make War upon their Country, upon their Parents and Kindred, upon Religion and private Property; whereas our present Situation warns us to have another Point in View, and rather to concert Means for securing ourselves from them, than what Punishment ought to be inflicted upon them. For other Enormities you may take Vengeance after they are committed; but if you provide not against the Perpetration of this, in vain, when once it is accomplished, will be your Appeal to the Tribunals. When the City is once taken, nothing further remains to the poor Citizens.

‘Now, by the immortal Deities, I conjure and exhort you, You, who have ever had more at Heart your Houses, your Retirements, your Statues, and your Pictures, than the Interest of the Commonwealth; if you would but preserve these your Enjoyments, which, whatever be their Value, you thus cherish; if you would but enjoy your Pleasures in Ease, and without Interruption, rouse yourselves for once, and assume the Protection of the Commonwealth. This is no Debate about Tribute and Revenue; none about Injuries done to our Confederates. No: Our common Liberty, our very Lives, are, at this Instant, precarious.

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‘I have often, Conscript Fathers discoursed in this Assembly; I have often bewailed the prevailing Luxury and Rapaciousness of our Fellow-citizens; and, for this Cause, I bear the Despight of many: But, as I never gratified myself in Vice, nor suffered my Soul to harbour it, neither could I humour the Debauchery of others, by countenancing their Excesses. Yet, however you slighted these my Complaints, still the Commonwealth stood firm and secure: Such was her native Potency, as to bear with the Defects of her Rulers. But the present Conjuncture admits no Debate about the Pravity or Amendment of our Morals; none about the Might or Splendor of the Roman Empire. The Debate is, whether this our State, whatever it be, continue our own, or, together with our Persons, become the Prey of Parricides.

‘Will any one now interpose, and mention Gentleness and Commiseration? Surely we have long lost the genuine Names of Things. It is called Liberality, to be free of the Property of others; Fortitude, to be daring in Iniquity: Such is our Degeneracy, and thence the desperate Situation of our Commonwealth! Let them, if they will, since such is the present Mode, let them be liberal of the Wealth taken from our Confederates, merciful to the Plunderers of the public Treasure: But let them not make a Present of our Blood; nor, out of their Tenderness to a few Parricides, consign to Destruction every worthy, every guiltless Roman.

Cæsar has just now, in his Place, reasoned, with great Elegance and Accuracy, concerning Life and Death: Nor, do I doubt but he holds for Fables, all the received Traditions about an infernal World; where the Wicked, far apart from the Virtuous, are confined to dreary and dismal Mansions, full of Darkness and Horror. From this Principle his Counsel is, That their Estates be confiscated, and their Persons kept in Bonds, apart, in the several great Cities of Italy; from an Apprehension, I presume, Edition: current; Page: [51] that, were they to be kept in Rome, they might be released, either by the Efforts of their Fellow-traitors, or by the Violence of the mercenary Multitude: As if evil and profligate Men were only to be found in this City, and not all over Italy; or, as if such a desperate Attempt were not most likely to succeed, where there is least Force to oppose it.

‘If, therefore, he really apprehend any Peril from these Criminals, his Counsel is airy and unsolid: But if, under so much general Terror possessing the Hearts of all Men, he alone dreads nothing, so much the greater Cause do I find of Dread, both for myself, and for you.

‘Be therefore assured, that your Decree concerning the Fate of Lentulus, and the other Prisoners, will comprize in it that of Catiline, and the whole Body of Conspirators. The more Vigour you shew, just so much the less Spirit will animate them: But if they perceive you ever so little relenting, they are, to a Man, ready to fall upon you with terrible Confidence.

‘Deceive not yourselves with an Opinion, that it was by Arms our Ancestors raised this our State, originally very small, to such Might and Grandeur. Were this the Cause, we should now possess it in its highest Degree of Lustre and Perfection; since we far surpass them, both in the Number of Confederates and Citizens, as well as in Horses and Arms. But it was from other Sources that their Greatness arose; such Sources as utterly fail us. They exercised Industry and Vigilance at Home, with righteous Government Abroad: They had Minds sound and free in Council, and in Judgment biassed by no Guilt or Crime, swayed by no evil Passion.

‘Instead of such Virtues as these, amongst us, Rapaciousness and Debauchery take Place; great Poverty in the State, profuse Wealth in private Families: We admire Riches, we are resigned to Sloth, make no Distinction between the Virtuous and the Wicked; and all the Rewards of Merit and Worth are ingrossed Edition: current; Page: [52] by Ambition. Nor, whilst, in all your public Councils, each of you intends only himself separately from the Whole; whilst, at home, you are inslaved to your Pleasures, and, here in the Senate, to sordid Interest, or Partiality and Favour, is the Result at all strange, that such alarming Attacks are made upon the Commonwealth, when thus deserted and forlorn. But I drop these Considerations.

‘Certain Romans, the most illustrious amongst us, have conspired to lay waste their native Country with Fire and Sword, and engaged the Gauls, ever inveterate Foes to the Roman Name, to join in the Conspiracy. He who has the Command of the Enemy, is with his Army, as it were, hovering over our Heads; and, even at this dreadful Conjuncture, you linger and hesitate how to deal with such of these unnatural Rebels. as you have seized within your Walls.

‘Would you shew them Pity? Let it be so: They are young Men, and have transgressed thro’ Ambition: Nay, dismiss them too, and even dismiss them with their Arms. What would follow? Even that this Mildness of yours, this Mercy towards them, whenever they were free and armed, would end in your Perdition.

‘Our Situation, in truth, is threatening and direful: But you fear it not. Yes, you do fear it; fear it exceedingly; and it is only from Impotence of Spirit, and Effeminacy, that you are thus in Suspense, every one looking and depending upon another.

‘Perhaps you trust for Deliverance to the immortal Gods, who have often preserved this Commonwealth from the highest Dangers: But it is not by Vows, nor by Supplications, and devout Wailings, like those of Women, that Succour is procured from the Gods: It is by Vigilance, by active Measures, and provident Counsel, that all Difficulties, are vanquished, and all Pursuits succeed: When once you have abandoned yourself to Sloth and Indolence, in vain afterwards you will implore the Gods; the Gods will be provoked, and make you feel their Wrath.

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‘In the Days of our Forefathers, Aulus Manlius Torquatus, in a War with the Gauls, doomed his own Son to die, because he had engaged with the Enemy without Orders; so that a young Man of signal Hopes, died to atone for an Excess of Bravery. And do you now doubt and linger about the Doom of the most bloody of all Parricides?

‘Perhaps their present Treason is unsuitable to the Course of their Lives past: Well then; be tender of the great Dignity of Lentulus, if you find that ever he was tender of the Purity of his own Person, or of his Character and Fame, or of what concerned the Gods, or of what concerned Men, in any one Instance. Pardon also Cethegus, in Pity to his Youth, if this prove not the second time of his making War against his native Country. For why should I at all mention Gabinius, Statilius, and Cæparius? Men who, had they possessed the least Grain of Reflection or Virtue, would never have harboured such pestilent Purposes against the Commonwealth.

‘To conclude, Conscript Fathers, were it not, that an erroneous Step must, at this time, prove fatal, I should readily leave you to be corrected by the Consequences, seeing you slight my Reasoning. But we are beset and exposed on every Side. Catiline, at the Head of an Army, advances thro’ the Passes to assail us: We have Enemies within our Walls, Enemies in the very Heart of Rome: No Preparation which we make can be kept secret, nor any Counsel which we take: Hence the greater Cause of Vigour and Dispatch.

‘This, therefore, is my Counsel, That since, by a horrible Combination of blood-thirsty Citizens, the Commonwealth has been reduced to the most imminent Danger; and since they stand convicted, by the Evidence of Titus Volturcius, and that of the Allobrogian Deputies, as also by their own Confession, to have formed a Conspiracy, by Slaughter and Conflagration, and other direful Cruelties, to destroy their Fellow-citizens, Edition: current; Page: [54] and native State; they be treated like guilty Criminals, condemned by their own Mouth, and doomed to die, according to the primitive Usage.’

When Cato had ended his Speech, all those of Consular Rank, indeed, the greatest Part of the Senate, assented to his Opinion, with loud Applause; exalting to the Skies the Virtue and Firmness of his Soul, and reproaching one another with Timidity. Cato passed for a great and glorious Patriot, and just as he proposed, the Senate decreed.

Now as I had learned much by Reading, much by Report, concerning the glorious Actions of the Romans, in War and in Peace, by Sea and Land, I was exceedingly curious to discover, by what principal Cause such stupendous Events were accomplished. I knew, that with a Handful of Men, they have combated mighty Hosts: I was apprised, that, with small Forces, they have maintained War against mighty Monarchs; that they have often borne, and even braved, the Storms and Traverses of Fortune; that, in Eloquence, they were surpassed by the Greeks, in military Renown by the Gauls.

So that, having canvased every Cause, it appeared manifest to me, that only to the signal Virtue of some particular Romans, all our Superiority was owing. It was thus that great Wealth was vanquished by Poverty, great Multitudes by a small Number. Even when Rome became depraved by Voluptuousness and Effeminacy, still such was the surpassing Power of the Commonwealth, that she was thence able to support herself under all the Faults and Excesses of her Magistrates and Generals: Even when, like a Mother superannuated, she forbore, for long Intervals, to produce any Citizen of transcendent Virtue. Two I myself remember, Cato and Cæsar; different indeed in their Pursuits, but both of surprising Abilities: And since it here fell naturally in my Way, I would not omit displaying, according to my best Ability, the Temper and Accomplishments of each.

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In their Race, Years, and Eloquence, they were nigh equal. Both possessed the same Greatness of Spirit; both enjoyed the same Degree of Glory, but in different Ways: Cæsar was celebrated for his Generosity and Munificence; Cato, for his unvaried Integrity of Life. The former gained Renown by his Complacency and Acts of Compassion; the latter heightened his Dignity by an inflexible Severity. Cæsar derived Fame from his Readiness to give, to relieve, and to pardon; as did Cato from his Austerity in bestowing nothing. In one was found a sure Refuge to the Wretched, in the other, certain Vengeance to the Guilty. Cæsar was extolled for his Flexibility; Cato for his Firmness. Cæsar, in short, had intirely turned himself to active Life, to a Habit of Pains and Care, Night and Day; was zealous to advance the Interest of his Friends, regardless of his own; and refused to grant nothing worthy to be granted. His own ardent Aim was to command in Chief, to lead Armies, and to be engaged in new Wars, thence to signalize his military Virtue: Whilst the whole Bent of Cato was to Simplicity of Life, to regular Conduct, and, above all, to invincible Strictness. He contended not in Wealth with the Wealthy, nor with the Factious in Practices of Faction; but yielded not in Bravery to the most undaunted; nor in Temperance, to the most reserved; nor in Purity of Morals, to the most upright; and aimed not so much to appear, as to be, a virtuous Man: So that the less he courted Renown, the faster it followed him.

After the Senate had, as I have related, concurred with the Proposition of Cato, the Consul judged it the securest Way, to snatch the instant Opportunity, without staying for Night, though it approached; lest any Time should be given for new Attempts. He, therefore, ordered the Triumvirate of Justice to accelerate all Measures necessary for the Execution; and, having posted proper Guards, conducted, in Person, Lentulus to the Prison, as the Prætors, by his Orders, did the rest.

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In the Prison, after a small Descent towards the Left, there is a Place called the Dungeon of Tullus, sunk about Twelve Feet under-ground, fortified round with strong Walls, above with an Arch of Stone; a sad Solitude, full of Stench and Darkness, loathsome and hideous to behold! As soon as Lentulus was thrust down into this Place, the Executioners strangled him, as they were ordered.

Thus this noble Patrician, he who sprang from the Cornelian Race, a Race of the first Eminence and Lustre, he who, as Consul, had borne the supreme Magistracy of Rome, suffered a Death worthy of his Life and Crimes. Upon Cethegus, Statilius, Gabinius and Cæparius, the same Execution was done.

Whilst these things passed at Rome, Catiline formed two Legions out of the whole Forces, either brought by himself, or commanded before by Manlius: He filled the several Cohorts in proportion to the Number of his Men; and, by distributing equally amongst them all the Volunteers, with all who were sent him by the other Conspirators, he soon saw the Complement of his Legions full; though at first he had but Two thousand Men. But of all these Troops, about a fourth Part only was completely armed. All the rest were furnished as Chance directed; some with Sticks, some with Darts, others with sharp Stakes,

Now when Antonius advanced with his Army, Catiline repaired to the Mountains; and, whilst he marched only amongst them, moving sometimes towards Rome, sometimes towards Gaul, deprived his Enemies of the Means to attack him. He was, indeed, daily expecting powerful Reinforcements, as soon as ever his Associates had perpetrated their Designs at Rome. In the mean time he refused to enlist the Slaves, who, from the Moment he had declared himself, crouded to him in great Numbers; for he trusted to the great Strength of the Conspiracy, and conceived it, moreover, unsuitable to his Drift and Politics, should he appear to have Edition: current; Page: [57] blended the Cause of free Romans with that of their fugitive Slaves.

But, when Tidings came to the Camp, that the Conspiracy was discovered at Rome, and that Lentulus, Cethegus, and the rest, whom I have lately mentioned, were executed there, he became presently deserted by the Generality of those, whom Hopes of Rapine, or Passion for Changes in the State, had tempted to take Arms. With the Remainder he retired by mighty Marches, over steep Mountains, into the Territory of Pistorium, with a View to escape, by obscure Roads, into Cisalpine Gaul.

Now Quintus Metellus Celer, then commanding Three Legions in the Territory of Picenum, judged, that Catiline, in his present Streights, would pursue these very Measures. Hence, having learned from Deserters what Course he took, he instantly decamped, and, advancing to the Foot of the Mountains, there pitched his Camp; just where it behoved Catiline to pass in his Flight into Gaul. Neither was Antonius far behind the flying Rebels, at the Head of a great Army, advancing after them through Ways more open and level.

As to Catiline; when he perceived himself quite beset, here with Mountains, there with hostile Armies; all his Resources at Rome destroyed; no Hopes of escaping, none of Refuge or Succour; he thought it his best Course, in his present Distress, to risque the Fortune of a Battle, and determined forthwith to prepare for an Encounter with Antonius. So that, assembling his Forces, he spoke to them in the following Strain.

‘I have found by Experience, Fellow-Soldiers, that Words increase not Bravery; that a spiritless Army is neither rendered hardy, nor a dastardly Army valiant, by a Speech from the Commander. Whatever Portion of Courage any Man possesses from Nature or Habit, just so much will he display in Battle. Vain it is to exhort that Man, whom neither Glory nor Danger can animate. The Force of Fear deprives him of his Hearing. Edition: current; Page: [58] My Motive for calling you together, Fellow-Soldiers, was to furnish you with a few Points of Instruction; as also to communicate to you my last Result, and the Ground of it.

‘You already know, what a terrible Calamity Lentulus has brought at once upon himself and us, by his Slowness and lifeless Conduct: You know how, by waiting for Succours from Rome, I was prevented from marching into Gaul. At present all of you see, as well as I, our sad Situation. Two Armies of the Enemy press us, and obstruct our Motions; one from Rome, another from Gaul. To abide any longer in our present Station, were it ever so much our Choice, is utterly denied us, by our Scarcity of Provision, and of other Necessaries; and whithersoever you chuse to remove, you must open yourselves a Passage with your Swords.

‘Hence I warn and conjure you to exert your Courage, like Men determined and undaunted; and to remember, when you engage, that in your Hands you carry Wealth, Dignity, and Glory, nay, your Liberty, and your Country. If we overcome, we shall ascertain our own Safety on every Side; we shall have Store of Provisions; the municipal Cities and Colonies will be all open to receive us. But if we shrink, through Fear, we shall in all these Particulars see ourselves utterly crossed and distressed: Nor will they, whom their Arms could not defend, find Defence from any Station, or any Friends.

‘You are, besides, to remember, that you, my Fellow-Soldiers, and the opposite Army, are by no means urged to engage by the same or equal Motives. Our native Country, our common Liberty, nay, our Lives, are the Prizes for which we combat. Their Task is idle and uninteresting, whilst they fight to support the lordly Dominion of a few. Let this rouse you to attack them the more undauntedly, still remembering your former Valour and Atchievements.

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‘We might, indeed, have passed our Days, with infinite Infamy, in Banishment. Some of you might have staid at Rome, reduced to Beggary, and to be Dependents upon the Affluence of others. As such wretched Conditions of Life appeared intolerable to brave Men, you determined to follow the present Course. If you desire to forsake this Course, still you must exert your Courage undauntedly: In War, he only who conquers can change it for Peace. In truth, to hope for Safety from Flight, is downright Madness; for then you turn from the Enemy those very Arms, which serve for your Defence against him. During Battle, he who is in most Fear, is ever in most Danger: Courage serves for a Wall of Defence.

‘When I consider your Characters, my Fellow Soldiers, and recollect your past Exploits, high are the Hopes which I entertain of Victory; encouraged as I am by your Resolution, your Age, your heroic Virtue, and even by our common Necessity; that Necessity which makes Cowards brave. The Streightness of our Situation secures us from being encompassed by our Enemies, however numerous. Should Fortune desert you, in Envy to your Bravery; be sure not to lose your Lives, without ample Vengeance upon your Foes; nor suffer yourselves to be taken and slaughtered like Cattle: Rather die fighting like Men, and thus leave to the Enemy a bloody and mournful Victory.’

When he had thus spoken, he paused a little; then gave Orders to sound to Battle, and led down his Forces, in their proper Ranks, into the level Ground. Next, sending away the Horses, thence the more to animate the Whole by making the Danger equal to All, he himself, on Foot, formed his Army suitably to the Number of Men, and the Nature of the Place: For, as on his Left there stretched a Plain, bounded by the Mountains, and close on his Right stood a Precipice of Rocks, he ranged Eight Cohorts in his Front. To support them, he posted the rest of his Troops in closer Order. From these, in order to strengthen his Front, he detached Edition: current; Page: [60] all the select Centurions, and resumed Veterans, and even all the common Soldiers, who were bravest and best armed. He ordered Caius Manlius to command the Right, and a Native of Fæsulæ the Left. He himself, at the Head of his Freedmen, and Supplies from the Colonies, kept close to the Eagle; one reported to have been that of Caius Marius, when he commanded against the Cimbrians.

Caius Antonius, who commanded the opposite Forces, and was disabled, by the Gout, from attending the Combat, transferred the Command to his Lieutenant General, Marcus Petreius. He, who had, upon this alarming Conspiracy, raised a Number of veteran Cohorts, ranged them in the Front. The rest of his Troops he placed, as Bodies of Reserve, behind them. He himself, riding round from Rank to Rank, and applying familiarly to the Men by their particular Names, pressed, and prayed, and conjured them, ‘to remember well against whom they were to engage; even against Robbers ill armed; and in Defence of their Country, of their Children, of their Religion, and their Property.’ As he was himself an experienced Officer, who, for more than Thirty Years, had served in Armies, whether as Tribune, or occasional Commander, or Lieutenant General, or Prætor, and in every Station, with exceeding high Renown; and as he personally knew the Generality of his Men, and all their brave Actions; whilst he laid before them the Remembrance of these, he set the Spirit of the Soldiers on Fire.

Now Petreius, after all possible Precautions taken, sounded to Battle, and ordered the Cohorts to advance with a slow Pace. So did the opposite Army. But when they approached so near, that the Soldiers, lightly armed, might have begun the Onset by Flight of Darts; at once, with a mighty Shout, they furiously rushed into a close Encounter, threw aside their Javelins, and, with their Swords only, disputed the Victory. The Veterans, ever piqued with their old Bravery, pressed the Foe with great Vigour: The latter failed not resolutely to withstand them; and Edition: current; Page: [61] mighty and violent was the Struggle. Catiline, at the Head of a Band lightly armed, was all the while busy in the foremost Rank; he succoured such as were sorely pressed, supplied fresh Men in the Room of the Wounded, provided for every Exigence; every where met Danger, every where assailed the Foe, and at once performed the Duty of a stout Soldier, and an able General.

Petreius, when he perceived that Catiline pressed on with terrible Efforts, beyond what he imagined, advanced at the Head of the Prætorian Cohort against the main Body, forced their Ranks, and put them to the Sword; as he did, next, others, who yet maintained their Ground elsewhere. Such as remained he assailed at once on both Flanks. Manlius, and the other Commander from Fæsulæ, fell Sword in hand in the foremost Rank. Catiline, beholding his Forces routed, and himself left with a few about him, still mindful of his illustrious Birth, and pristine Dignity, rushing into the thickest of the Enemy, there fell fighting, and covered with Wounds.

It now chiefly appeared, upon surveying the Field, when the Battle was over, with what desperate Resolution, with what invincible Spirit, the whole Army of Catiline was animated. For the Body of every Man was found to cover, when breathless, the same Post, which, during the Combat, he had occupied, and fought to defend; except the few who were driven from their Station by the Prætorian Cohort: And even these, though they fell a little out of their Ranks, fell with their Faces to the Foe. Catiline was indeed found, far from his own Forces, amidst the Carcases of the Enemy, even still breathing a little; nay, still retaining in his Face an Air of the same stern and haughty Spirit, which possessed him when alive.

Upon the whole, in all his Army not one free Roman was taken Prisoner, either during the Combat, or in the Rout. So equal a Hand had they all shewn, in sparing their own Lives just as little as those of their Enemies. The Victory, indeed, fell to the Army of Edition: current; Page: [62] the Commonwealth, but was accompanied with Loss and Bloodshed enough to check their Joy; since the Bravest amongst them were either killed in the Fight, or left it, grievously wounded. Nay, as there were many who visited the Field, whether for Curiosity or Spoil, and turned over the Carcases of the Rebels, some discovered a Friend, some a Kinsman, others a Guest: There were, too, such as there found their particular Enemies: So that thro’ the whole Army was seen a various Display of contrary Passions, Gladness and Sorrow, Mourning and Rejoicing.

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THE ORATIONS OF CICERO AGAINST CATILINE.

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TO Mr. DODDINGTON.

SIR,

YOUR perfect Taste and Knowledge of Cicero, in his own Language, does by no means discourage me from presenting you with the following Orations in English. The most discerning Reader is always the least rigorous; and such as are least apt to err, make the most Allowances for Error. No well-bred Man will censure harshly, no cool Man hastily, no candid Man injuriously. Conceit and Ignorance pronounce the loudest, as well as the rudest, Censures: Shallow Men are often the most forward Critics; and Ill-nature, dressed up in spiteful and undelicate Language, is called Criticism.

Such Criticism is, indeed, the least formidable, but the most unanswerable. Rancour and Ill-Manners ought to have equal Enemies, or none. The same Disregard is due to Misrepresentation, to forced and malicious Construction. So that few Answerers deserve any Answer; few Critics any Notice; foolish and malevolent Critics Edition: current; Page: [66] and Answerers never do. To me it seems as great Weakness, to take notice of Faults foolishly found, and maliciously imputed, as it would be Rudeness, and Ill Morals, not to own Blemishes and Mistakes, fairly discovered, and decently displayed.

These have always been my Sentiments concerning Criticism, and Critics. I hope they are not ill-grounded: But as I would willingly be able to give a very good Reason even for being in the right, I am ambitious to have You for my Voucher; and then I need give no other Reason, nor produce any more Vouchers.

You perceive how ready I am to bespeak your Partiality to me, and my Writings; if I can be said to bespeak what I have so long experienced. You see, too, how willing I am to let all the World know, that I have experienced it. You have been, many Years, acquainted with this Undertaking: You have, many Years ago, perused some of the Discourses prefixed; you have had long Warning of my Ambition, to join Your Name, upon this Occasion, to mine; a very natural Ambition in an Author, solicitous thus to gain Notice and Credit to his Works. Could I, by it, derive any additional Lustre upon Your Character, it would be a Demonstration, how judiciously I consulted my own. If the Plea and Merit of long Acquaintance were not sufficient to recommend me, I should presume, that the Name and Eloquence of Cicero would; unless I Edition: current; Page: [67] marred such Recommendation by my awkward Manner of offering it, not in His Words, but my own. This I however leave to the Judgment of the World; or, to what I equally esteem, Yours.

These Orations have been translated many Years, (you know that they have) as a Supplement to the History of Catiline’s Conspiracy. In them the Whole is almost as clearly, and, except the Issue of it, almost as minutely recounted, as in Sallust; with some curious Incidents not found in Sallust. The Orator and the Historian illustrate each other: I have, therefore, joined them together, and I do it the rather, because Sallust has not done Cicero Justice; at least, not full Justice. He speaks of him more out of Necessity than Choice, and with very restrained Praise; and, even in that, his Heart seems to have little Share. Yet the Praise of no Man fell so naturally in his Way, neither of Cæsar, nor even of Cato; tho’ he be so copious and elaborate upon that of both. He might have particularly spared that of Cæsar, as Cæsar was, notoriously, an Associate in that very Conspiracy, the most sanguinary and threatening that ever was framed by the Heart of Man. He tells us how much Cato was applauded for his Speech; which is, indeed, a very honest, a very manly one, in Answer to Cæsar’s; which must be owned to be a very artful one; but studiously avoids, what more required his Notice and Testimony, the Detail of public Honours, all very illustrious, some of them very singular, Edition: current; Page: [68] witnessing and crowning the glorious Conduct, and matchless Merit, of Cicero, for having saved his Country; namely “The public Festival decreed to the Gods, and solemnized in his Name; the Thanks of the Senate presented to him, in Strains full of Warmth and Dignity; the Compliment of the Civic Crown; the Golden Statue at Capua; with the Divine Title of Father of his Country.

To all this, which I do not pretend to tell you as News, any more than what follows, give me Leave to add the Declaration of Pompey, upon his Return from the Mithridatic War, when he was complimented upon his great Victories in it: “To small Purpose, said that great Conqueror, should I have acquired Glory by Arms, to small Purpose merited a Third Triumph, had not Cicero, by his Vigilance and Address, preserved from Destruction this our Republic, from which I receive both my Triumph and my Glory.”

I have not only ever loved, ever admired Cicero, but always considered him as one of the first Characters amongst Men; in some Instances superior to all Characters; the great Luminary of the human Mind, the great Ornament of human Nature. He had some Faults, and many Fault-finders; and they who are inclined to find Faults, will sometimes make Faults; at best never lessen them. His Ambition was not one: He sought his own Glory in the general Good; in every public Station Edition: current; Page: [69] advanced the public Interest, and, in his Consulship saved the Public itself, with such high Capacity as was hardly ever equalled, surely, never exceeded, by that of any Statesman; and with such high Courage, as was never surpassed by that of any Hero.

I think no Roman but himself could have defeated the Conspiracy of Catiline. The wisest and best Men in Rome thought so; and, for that Reason, joined in raising him to the supreme Magistracy, and afterwards in investing him with the sovereign Power of the State: A noble Proof of their high Opinion, not only of his Ability, but of his Veracity! For, no sooner had he acquainted the Senate with the public Peril, but the Senate, without Scruple or Reserve, and upon his bare Word, committed the Care and whole Power of the State into his Hands. Even the People, as partial as they were to the Conspiracy, and as passionate for civil Discord and Innovations, took his Word, upon his explaining to them the desperate Designs of the Conspirators; and then readily acquiesced in all his Measures to defeat them. So universally was his Probity known, as well as his Sufficiency! And his Reputation had an equal Share with his Conduct in saving the State.

I question whether Pompey could, in Cicero’s Place, have done what Cicero did: I even question whether he would have ventured upon doing it. He was shy and slow in Deliberations of State, and timid in Council, Edition: current; Page: [70] however brave in the Field. Neither were his Talents, any more than his Probity, equal to those of Cicero. He wanted the same Frankness as well as the same Force of Spirit, the same Ardour for public Liberty, with those generous public Views, which filled and warmed the Heart of Cicero. Pompey was a wary and distrustful Man; a Quality commonly joined to limited Parts: He was likewise a selfish Man, making all his public Proceedings subservient to personal Ends, often pursuing these Ends at the Expence, and even at the Peril, of the Public.

Besides, had Pompey been at home, and trusted by the State to deal with the Conspirators, Catiline, who had really superior Parts and Resolution, might, probably, have had superior Success. He, surely, was a bold Man; had infinite Spirit, and infinite Art. Pompey too had Art, but it was of a tamer Sort; and tho’ he had Spirit, it was perplexed and irresolute. Whilst Pompey would have been pausing and deliberating, weighing all Difficulties and Dangers, and how the Issue of every Step might affect himself; Catiline, who never stopped nor hesitated, never entertained Scruples, nor feared Consequences, would have bid fair for destroying Pompey and Rome. Cæsar too, who was in the Conspiracy, and always Master of the Spirit of Pompey, would, probably, have cajoled and duped him upon that Occasion, as he did upon every Occasion: Edition: current; Page: [71] He had, indeed, long vanquished him in Council, by Address; else he never could have been in a Condition to have vanquished him afterwards, by Force, in the Field.

To say the Truth, it was almost a desperate Undertaking, to grapple with that desperate Conspiracy; such was the great Quality, as well as the great Power and Number of the Conspirators, many of them of the first Families, and first Stations in the Commonwealth: What could be greater Merit, what shew more undaunted Courage, than to encounter them all, and to save the Commonwealth from impending Perdition? Cicero loved Rome, he loved Roman Citizens; not from Fanaticism, as the Mahometans value the Lives of Mahometans, because they think them dear to their Prophet; but as the Life of every Roman was valuable to his Country, because every Roman was supposed to love his Country. He therefore submitted to the Risque of perishing himself, that Rome might not perish; a Risque which not a Man amongst so many great Men, in that great State, was equally willing, at least equally able, to run. If, in that perilous Conjuncture, he escaped all the dark, all the bloody Snares against his Life, he still perceived himself exposed to inveterate Vengeance, equally threatening to his Person, and Family, and Fortune, from many Enemies, all too ready, as well as too powerful, to execute it.

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The Consequence is well known: He saw himself banished from the State, for having saved it. His Dejection upon so trying an Occasion, might have been excused by, what caused it, his Tenderness for the Public, his Tenderness for his Family, and the Impressions of such singular and unnatural Ingratitude. Few Men are equal to all Trials: Cicero shewed himself brave in the Field, both when young and old; singularly so in his Administration; wonderfully so in Opposition to bold and potent Usurpers, Sylla, Cæsar, Antony, and to all public Disturbers; nor did any, the most celebrated Hero, ever meet Death, violent or natural, with more Firmness and Unconcern.

As an Orator, and a Writer, he had no Equal: Nor is the Strength and Elegance of his Works more to be admired, than their Morality: They contain nothing but what is noble and benevolent, as well as beautiful and charming; Vice and Baseness exposed; Virtue and virtuous Men recommended and adorned; public Spirit, the Love of Mankind, and a friendly Heart; fine Illustrations, curious Pieces of History, remarkable Characters and Events; and are, indeed, the great Repertory of the Roman Policy and Laws. His Writings, like his Administration, are full of Morality, full of Dignity, of sublime Sense, and delightful Instruction.

You will please to observe, that I am not acquainting You with the Merit of Cicero, and his Writeings; Edition: current; Page: [73] but, through You, my less-knowing Readers; and this Address to You, serves for a Preface to Them. No Man is abler than You to compare the Original and the English together: Yet, for this very Reason, I am far from inviting, or even encouraging you to take that Trouble. Perhaps, in Friendship to me, you might think the Translation tolerable; but the Original is inimitable. Men of lively Parts and Taste, let them be ever so candid, have piercing Eyes: Men of great Observation and Experience in the World, know best what the World likes; at least what the World ought to like best. Men of great Capacity will always have great Regard paid to their Judgment.

To You, however, and to the World, I commit the following Sheets; to You with Hope; to the World, though with no great Confidence, yet without Fear. I have been accustomed to Censure: I can bear it; I can even reverence it, when it is just and decent: Where it is absurd, rancorous, gross, petulant, and childish, I take even Contempt to be too great a Distinction for it: For Contempt implies Notice.

If you think this to be a very long, a very patched and rambling Address, so do I: But I claim the Privilege, as I do the Title, of a Friend, to write to you, as I talk to you, without fearing to tire you. A Letter is not confined to Exactness and Method: And what is a Dedication but a Letter, confessing, like most other Edition: current; Page: [74] Letters, that it gives a great deal of Trouble (though it hopes not to be believed); and offering many tedious Excuses, which give at least as much? You may thank Dr. Middleton, that you have not had ten times more. I once intended to have considered Cicero at large, in Three Lights; as a Statesman, an Orator, and a Writer. But the Doctor has prevented me; perhaps happily for me. Do you not find yourself inclined to thank him upon a double Account? I do, very heartily, for the Justice, which he has done to the Character of that Divine Roman, as well as to his own. He hath, in this, as in his other Performances, shewn himself an able, an honest, and a well-bred Man: A Character particularly proper for Controversy and Criticism; and from that Character he hath reaped just Reputation and Success.

Here I intend to break off abruptly; afraid of touching any other Topic: If I did, I know not when I should have done. I always loved to converse with you; now I think I have shewn it to every body: It is too much to my Credit to be kept a Secret from any. You see, Sir, that I conclude with a very interesting Reason for thus troubling you; and publish your Name for my own private Advantage. Can an Author offer a better Reason for a Dedication? Or will the World find a better for him, though he did not own it, as I do? By Edition: current; Page: [75] this Time, perhaps, you are glad to find, that I conclude at all: For your Ease, therefore, and, indeed, for my own, I only add these very few, but very true Words, That I am, with perfect Respect,

SIR,
Your most Obedient
and most Humble Servant,
T. Gordon.
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THE FIRST ORATION OF CICERO AGAINST CATILINE. Spoken in the SENATE.

HOW far, Catiline, wilt thou persist in abusing our Patience? How much longer, too, is that headlong Rage of thine to brave and deride us? What Period wilt thou set to thy boasted and desperate Guilt? Art thou in no degree struck with the Guards, posted by Night to secure the Palace? In no degree by the Watch placed all over the City? In none by the terrible Apprehensions possessing the People? Not struck by the Concurrence and Unanimity of all worthy Romans? Nor by the Assembling of the Senate in this Place of Strength? Nor by the Countenances and Looks of the Assembly itself? Perceivest thou not, that all thy guilty Counsels are disclosed? Dost thou not see the Senators apprised of thy Conspiracy, and, thence, Edition: current; Page: [78] its Efforts marred and restrained? To which of us all dost thou suppose it remains a Secret, what were thy Doings this last Night, what those of the Night before; or whom of the Associates thou didst call together, or the Place where, or what Measures thou didst then concert?

Alas, what Times! Alas, the Degeneracy of Men! All this the Senate knows; all this the Consul beholds. Yet this Parricide still lives! Lives? He even assumes his Seat in the Senate, takes Part in the public Debates, nay, marks us our severally to Vengeance with his Looks, and destines us all to the Slaughter: Whilst we, magnanimous Persons! judge, that we acquit ourselves to the Commonwealth, if, in our own Persons, we can escape his Fury and murdering Sword. In Justice, Catiline, the Consul should, long ere now, have doomed thee to Execution, and inflicted upon thy own Head that bloody Destruction, which thou hast been long framing against us all.

Is it indeed true, that Publius Scipio, Chief Pontiff, a celebrated Roman, but invested with no Magistracy, caused Tiberius Gracchus to be slain, for discomposing the then Government, tho’ by ways void of Force? And shall we, who bear the supreme Consular Office, tamely suffer Catiline to live; a Traitor bent to lay waste the World, by Carnage and Conflagration? I pass over, as too remote, the Example of Quintus Servilius Ahala, who, with his own Hand, slew Spurius Melius, for attempting a Revolution in the State. There once was, I say, there once was, in this our Commonwealth, a Spirit so virtuous, as to animate brave Patriots to pursue a pestilent Citizen to capital Punishment, with more Rigour than the most implacable public Enemy. Against thee, Catiline, we are furnished with an awful and solemn Decree of the Senate: The Commonwealth wants not sound Counsel, nor this Body due Authority. We only, I speak it aloud, we Consuls fail in not executing that Decree.

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Formerly, when the Senate had ordered the Consul Lucius Opimius, to provide, ‘that no Detriment accrued to the State;’ not a Day intervened between that Order, and the Death of Caius Gracchus, who was fallen only under the Suspicion of seditious Proceedings; Gracchus, who was sprung from a Father, Grandfather, and Ancestors, all very glorious in our State. In like manner Marcus Fulvius, a Man of Consular Dignity, was cut off, he, and both his Sons.

When, by such another Ordinance, the immediate Care of the Commonwealth was committed to the then Consuls, Caius Marius, and Lucius Valerius; did the high Station of Lucius Saturninus, Tribune of the People, and of Caius Servilius Prætor, avail to retard their Execution, and the Vengeance of the Public, for a single Day? But we have now suffered the Spirit of the Senatorian Authority to droop and deaden for the Space of Twenty Days. For we too are armed with an Ordinance like the former; but leave it to rest amongst the Archives, like a Weapon in the Sheath; tho’, by that Ordinance, thou, Catiline, art justly doomed forthwith to perish. Thou still dost live; and livest not to banish thy outrageous Cruelty, but to harden thyself in it.

I am, Conscript Fathers, sincerely disposed to Mercy: I am disposed too, whilst Perils so mighty threaten the State, not to appear to act remisly for it. Yet I already condemn myself for my Inactivity and Neglect. An Army is already in Italy, encamped upon the Borders of Etruria, breathing open War against the State: The Number of the Enemy increases daily: The Leader of the Enemy is within our Walls; nay, you see him amongst you in the Senate, still continually occupied in pestilent Devices to destroy the Commonwealth. If, therefore, I should order thee, Catiline, to be forthwith seized, nay, order thee to be instantly executed; I guess I have rather the Censure of all Edition: current; Page: [80] worthy Men to fear, for having been too slow, than Blame from any Man, for being cruel.

Yet this very Deed, which ought long since to have been done, I have certain Reasons, moving me, for some Time, not to do. I will then doom thee to die, when not a Soul shall be possibly found so wicked, so abandoned, so resembling thyself, as not to acknowledge such Death to be thy Due: So long as one Man is left, who will venture to defend thee, thou shalt live: But live, as thou now livest, beset with Restraints, powerful and manifold, all of my providing; such as utterly disable thee from annoying the Commonwealth. Many will have their Eyes, many their Ears, employed about thee, all watching and guarding thee; as hitherto they have done, though thou perceivest it not.

In truth, what further Success, O Catiline, hast thou yet in View, when neither the Shades of Night can conceal thy traiterous Cabals, nor thy domestic Walls confine the Accents of thy Treason? If all thy Proceedings are thus glaring, all thus exposed; trust to my Advice, forsake thy desperate Purposes, forego thy Schemes of Conflagrations and Massacre. Thou art, on every side, firmly beset: Thy Devices are all clearer than the Day; and since I know them, thou hadst best avow them.

Thou rememberest well, what I declared to the whole Senate (on the Kalends of November) that on the fourth Day following precisely Caius Manlius, the Implement and Champion of thy desperate Designs would be in open Arms. Have I been deceived, Catiline, in my Presage, not only of an Attempt so enormous, so shocking, and so incredible, but, what is yet more marvellous, of the very Day which was to produce it? I declared too, at the same time, that thou hadst assigned a particular Day, even the Twenty-sixth of the same Month, for the Massacre of the chief Men of Rome; a Day, when many Romans of principal Rank were already fled out of Rome, not so much for securing their own Lives, as to defeat thy pernicious Designs. Canst thou disown, Edition: current; Page: [81] that, on that very Day thou wast so narrowly surrounded by Stratagems of my contriving, and by Guards of my placing, as to be utterly disabled from making any Effort against the Commonwealth, even when thou hadst avowed, that, tho’ the rest had, by retiring, escaped thee, thou wouldst still go on, and content thyself with the Slaughter of us, who chose to remain? Nay, when, even during the Kalends of November, thou hadst conceived an Assurance of having Præneste seized by Surprize in the Night, didst thou not learn, that, by my Orders, by my Reinforcements, by my Vigilance and Precautions, that Colony was secured?

Thou actest nothing, thou attemptest nothing, nay thou meditatest nothing, but what I not only am apprised of, but what I even perceive, and evidently know. Look, moreover, back with me upon what passed during this last Night; thou wilt thence discover, that I watch with more Vigour for the Preservation of the Commonwealth, than thou dost for her Destruction. I say then, thou camest this last Night to the House of Marcus Lecca, in the Street called the Reapers (I speak explicitly); whither, likewise, resorted many of the Associates in the same Phrensy and Treason. Darest thou deny this? Why art thou silent? I will convince thee, if thou disavowest it; for I see here amongst us some Senators, who then accompanied thee.

Immortal Deities! In what Region of the Earth are we placed? Under what Government do we live? In what City have we our Abode? Here, even here, there are now sitting amongst us some of our own Rank, Conscript Fathers, and common Members of this Great Council, the most venerable and awful in the whole Earth, yet studying to bring Perdition upon you, upon me, nay, upon this our State, and, consequently, upon the World itself. These Men I now behold; behold them, whilst I bear the Character of Consul; nay, I, as Consul, call upon them to propose their Sentiments, as Senators, concerning the Public: And I, who ought to Edition: current; Page: [82] have subjected these Men to a bloody Doom, as yet forbear personally to wound them, even with Words.

It is then true, Catiline, that thou heldest a Meeting last Night at the House of Lecca; there didst canton out, and assign, the several Districts of Italy to thy Lieutenants; didst declare thy Pleasure to what Quarter each was to repair; didst chuse such as were to remain in Rome, reserve others to accompany thee in thy Progress; mark out what Parts of the City were destined to the Flames; assure them of thy Purpose presently to leave it; and add, that thou must still defer going a little while, for that I was yet alive. Instantly two Roman Knights undertook to relieve thee from that Source of Anguish, and offered to assassinate me in my Bed that very Night, at least before Dawn.

All these Passages I learnt, almost before thou and thy Cabal had parted. I immediately strengthened my House, and guarded it with an additional Force: I caused Entrance to be denied to such as then came from thee, with a Compliment to me; and they proved to be the very Men, who, I had just foretold to many eminent Persons about me, would come at that same Instant.

In this Situation of Things, Catiline, proceed forward, according to thy Purpose. Depart out of Rome. The Time is come. The Gates stand open for thee: March forth. Thy Forces, encamped under Manlius, have too long expected thee to command them in chief: Lead along with thee, at once, thy whole Party; or, if not the Whole, at least as many as possible. Thus purge the City: Thou wilt then have delivered me from very terrible Apprehensions, when I find myself secured from thee by the Interposition of our Walls. With us, here, thou canst not any longer mix; it is what I will never allow, never bear, never acquiesce in.

Mighty, surely, and solemn Thanksgiving is due from us to the immortal Deities; particularly to Jupiter, there represented by his Statue in this his Temple; Jupiter, the antient Guardian of Edition: current; Page: [83] this our City; for having now so often delivered us from a Calamity so dismal, so horrible, so pestilent to the Commonwealth. Doubtless the Destruction of the whole State is not to be again and again risqued for the sake of one of its Subjects.

All the Time thou wast framing Devices against my Life, whilst I was Consul elect, I guarded myself against thee, Catiline, by no Defence borrowed from the Public, but by my own private Circumspection. When, in the last Assembly held by me in the Field of Mars, for chusing my Successors, thou didst strive to assassinate both me, and thy Competitors, I defeated thy bloody Efforts, by the Aid and Force of my Friends, without alarming the Public in my Behalf. In a Word, to all thy private Assaults I have opposed private Defence; though I foresaw the utter Perdition of the Public inseparably linked to mine. Thou dost now openly assail the whole State; the Temples of the immortal Gods; all the Dwellings in our City, together with the Lives of thy Fellow-citizens; nay, thou dost destine all Italy to Carnage and Desolation.

Seeing, therefore, I dare not have Recourse to the most decisive Expedients, and what most corresponds with primitive Rigour, and the Genius of our State, I will exercise Justice less severe, but more conducing to public Safety. For, should I now sentence thee to be executed, thy Band of Conspirators will still continue in the Bosom of the State; but, if thou dost withdraw, as I now exhort, and have long exhorted thee, since many too of thy Associates will follow thee; that Sink of Profligates, so noisome and destructive to the Commonwealth, will be drained from it.

What thinkest thou, Catiline? Dost thou hesitate to pursue at my Command, what thou wast ready of thyself to pursue? It is the Consul who orders an Enemy to go out of the City. Dost thou ask me, whether into Banishment? I do not order it; but, if thou desirest my Opinion, I advise it.

In truth, Catiline, what is there, that can contribute to thy Pleasure in Rome, where, excepting only thy own abandoned Edition: current; Page: [84] Train of Traitors and Outlaws, not a Man is found, who does not dread, not a Man, who does not abhor thee? What new Note of Infamy can be added, further to blacken thy private and domestic Life? What personal Abomination is not already stamped and glaring upon thy Character? In what one Instance hast thou ever guarded thy Eyes from lewd Objects, or thy Hands from base Actions, or thy Person in general from foul Reproach? Of all the numerous Youth, such as thou hadst once entangled in the Snares of Pollution and Debauchery, whom hast thou forborne to animate and arm for bloody Deeds, when they were found desperate; or with Incentives to Sensuality, when they appeared voluptuous?

What can be said for thee? thee, who, lately, upon the Death of thy former Wife, having, by procuring it, made room in thy House for the Reception of a second, didst aggravate and complete that Crime by another, most incredible and shocking? What it was, I omit to explain, and willingly leave it to be buried under Silence; that, of an Iniquity so monstrous, no Traces may remain in Rome, or, at least, of its having escaped due Vengeance there. I also omit to represent the utter Ruin of thy Fortune, which, thou art aware, is to be intirely assigned over by the Law to thy Creditors the very next Month. I proceed to other Particulars, not such as concern thy infamous Vices, or thy domestic Reproach and Distresses; but such as affect the very Being of the Commonwealth, together with the Lives and Safety of us all.

Is it possible, Catiline, that the Light of the Day, or the Air thou dost breathe, can yield thee Delight? since thou art aware, that not a Man here is ignorant, how, on the last Day of December, during the Consulship of Lepidus and Tullus, thou didst come into the Assembly, (then held) armed with a murdering Dagger? That thou hadst engaged with thee a Band of Assassins, to have then dispatched both the Consuls, with other distinguished Romans; an Effort of thy Rage and Treason, disappointed by no Edition: current; Page: [85] Awe, no Tenderness, in thee, but by the good Destiny of the Roman State.

But I leave these Passages, some of late Date, others that are older, all well known. I ask, How often hast thou attempted to murder me, whilst I was yet only Consul elect? how often, since I became Consul? How many Blows from thee have I escaped, by slightly shifting myself out of their Reach, even when they seemed so well aimed as to threaten inevitable Execution? Of all thy Doings, of all thy Pursuits, of all thy Machinations, not a Tittle can escape my immediate Intelligence. Yet thou droppest nothing of thy bloody Purposes, and terrible Efforts. How often has that bloody Dagger been wrung out of thy Hands? How often too has it fallen thence by Accident, and therefore missed Execution? Thou canst not, however, be a Moment without resuming it. I am at a Loss, in what holy Place thou hast consecrated that fatal Weapon, which thou holdest thus devoted to pierce the Heart of the Consul.

What, now, is thy present Situation of Life? For I will here reason with thee, without any Emotion of Hate, for which I have such just Causes; nay, I will do it with Compassion, to which thou hast no Title. Upon thy coming into the Senate just now, who was the Man, that, in all this Assembly, so numerous and full, once offered thee, nay, who, of all thy Friends and Relations here, offered thee the Civility of a Salute? If there be no Trace, in Memory or Records, of such an Indignity ever happening to any Man before, what Treatment dost thou next expect here? Not, surely, to be assaulted with explicit Scorn, when thou hast already incurred thy Doom from such awful Silence? Dost thou not see, how, upon thy Entrance, all the Benches round thee were instantly deserted? Didst thou not perceive, how, the Moment thou hadst taken thy Seat, all the Senators of Consular Quality, such as thou hadst marked for Assassination, to avoid being so near thee, forsook theirs; nor have yet resumed them?

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With what Temper of Mind canst thou bear such Marks of Abhorrence! For myself, I avow, that did my Slaves dread me as much, as all thy Fellow-citizens dread thee; I should judge it my best Course to relinquish my Habitation: Believest thou not that thou shouldest thus consider, and thus relinquish Rome? Or, if I perceived myself, however unjustly, exposed to such flaming Distrust and Aversion of my Fellow-citizens, I would rather chuse to retire from seeing them, than thus be seen by all of them with Eyes full of Acrimony and Vengeance. As against thee thy own Heart bears Testimony of thy Guilt and Enormities, and obliges thee to own thyself to have been long subject to the just Antipathy of all Men, dost thou hesitate to fly from the Looks and Presence of the Roman People; thou who dost thus wound their Senses, thus shock their Spirit?

Suppose thy natural Parents so feared and hated thee, as upon no Terms to be reconciled to thee; I imagine thou wouldst withdraw somewhere far from their Sight. At present, thy Country hates and fears thee; that Country which is the common Parent of us all, and which has long considered thee as a Parricide, studying her final Overthrow. Wilt thou neither reverence the Authority, nor submit to the Judgment, nor be awed by the Power, of thy Country? Thy Country, therefore, seems to reason thus with thee:

‘Not an Enormity has happened for so many Years, but what began from thee; not one crying Crime been committed without thee. By thee alone so many of our Citizens have been butchered; by thee alone our Confederates have been oppressed, with Impunity, and plundered, without Restraint. Thou not only hast succeeded in defying the Laws and Tribunals, but even in utterly crushing and overturning them. All these Excesses past, so flagrant, and beyond all Bearing, I have yet borne, with what Patience I was able; but it is now utterly insupportable to me, to live in continual Dread of thee only; to see, upon Edition: current; Page: [87] every Alarm, whencesoever it comes, Catiline to be the constant Object of public Terror; and that no treasonable Machination seems possible to be formed against me, but some such as resembles thine. Depart, therefore, and release me from all this Dread; that, if it be well grounded, I may escape Destruction; if groundless, I may, however, for once, cease to live in Fear.’

If thy Country were thus to accost thee, ought she not to prevail with thee, even tho’ she wanted Power to force thee? How do I say, prevail with thee? Thee, who didst offer thyself to be kept in Restraint? Thee, who didst declare, that, in order to remove the common Suspicions, thou wast content to live confined in the House of Marcus Lepidus? Thee, who, being refused by him, hadst the Assurance to come even to me, and besought me to secure thee in my House? When, from me too, thou hadst received thy Answer, that I could by no means be safe under the same Roof with thee, whilst I was in such eminent Peril from living with thee in the same City; thou didst then repair with the like Request to Quintus Metellus the Prætor. As He rejected it, thou didst retire to the House of Marcus Marcellus, thy close Companion; doubtless, a trusty Person, one who, thou didst guess, would prove exceeding vigilant in guarding thee, equally sagacious in discovering thy Designs, and most resolute, withal, in bringing thee to Vengeance! Now, how far removed from a Dungeon and Chains should that Man be, who hath already adjudged himself worthy to be in Custody?

In this Situation, Catiline, since thou canst not bring thyself to suffer Death here with Courage and Acquiescence, dost thou still hesitate to withdraw to another Country; and to commit the Remainder of thy Life to Banishment and Solitude; a Life thus frequently snatched from its just Fate, even capital Vengeance, and a bloody End? But, sayst thou, propose it to be debated by the Senate. This thou claimest, and declarest thyself disposed to obey, Edition: current; Page: [88] if they decree thee to be banished. This is what I shall not propose; it is repugnant to my Temper and Conduct: Yet I will so manage, as fully to apprise thee, what Sentiments this awful Assembly entertains of thee. Mind me then, when I say, ‘Depart out of Rome, Catiline; relieve the Commonwealth from so much Dread. Go into Exile; if thou wilt needs have that Word pronounced.’

How dost thou now conceive Things, Catiline? Dost thou, in any Degree, observe the Temper of the Senate? What Inference dost thou make from the profound Silence of the Senators? They hear me patiently, whilst I thus urge thee to depart: They hear me, and are silent. By their Silence thou dost plainly perceive their Inclinations: Why then dost thou expect Judgment from their Mouths?

Had I applied in the same Strain to this excellent young Senator, Publius Sextius, or to the brave Marcus Marcellus, tho’ I bear the Dignity of Consul, I should, doubtless, have already felt the Indignation and Vengeance of the Senate, agreeably to all the Rules of Justice, even in this very Temple, however sacred. But, when I thus attack thee, Catiline, by their Silence they shew their Approbation; their Acquiescence is equivalent to a verbal Decree; and, whilst they are mute, they cry aloud.

Nor is this the Spirit of the Senators only, those Senators whose Authority thou dost affect to reverence, whilst thou makest no Account of their Blood and Lives: It is also the Spirit of the brave and worthy Roman Knights, and of other magnanimous Citizens, who now guard and surround the Senate; Men whose Concourse thou mightest just now have beheld, observed their warm Attachment to the Commonwealth, heard their honest Acclamations; Men, who would, long since, have inflicted upon thee mortal Vengeance, had I not, with much Difficulty, restrained them. With all these I will, however, prevail to attend thee quite to the Gates, when they see thee quitting this their City, and these Edition: current; Page: [89] their Habitations, which thou hast so long destined to Plunder and Desolation.

But why do I waste Words? Art thou to be softened by any Consideration? Is it possible, that thou shouldst ever reform? Art thou to be persuaded to meditate any Retreat, or once to think of Exile? May the immortal Gods inspire thee with such a Purpose! Though shouldst thou indeed prove so terrified with my Discourse, as to reconcile thy Spirit to Banishment, I clearly foresee with what a Tempest of Party Rage I am threatened, if not during the present Conjuncture, whilst the Impressions of thy Crimes are still fresh, yet, surely, in Times to come. Yet even the Rage of Party is worth incurring on such Terms, if upon myself only I draw all the Woe and Smart, without involving the Public in them. But to bring thee to Compunction for thy Wickedness, to be awed by the Frowns and Coercion of the Laws, to comply with the Exigencies of the Commonwealth, are Conditions not to be required of thee: For thou art not so formed, Catiline, as to be reclaimed by Shame from infamous Courses, or by Fear from desperate ones, or by right Reason from Madness and Fury.

To repeat, therefore, what I have already so often said, Depart. If I be thy Enemy, as thou dost loudly aver, and if thou wouldst load me with public Indignation, go directly into Exile: If thou dost, I shall scarce be able to bear all the popular Censures attending it. The Weight of public Indignation upon me, if thou retirest into Banishment, by my Order, as Consul, will be such, as I shall hardly support. But, if thou studiest rather to advance my Glory and Fame, march forth at the Head of thy fell Band of Profligates; proceed to join Manlius; rouse all the abandoned Subjects of the State to take Arms against it; separate thyself from all worthy Citizens; make War upon thy Country in Person; glory in thy unhallowed Depredations and Havock. It will then fully appear, that, instead of being doomed by me an Edition: current; Page: [90] Exile to Nations unknown, thou art only invited out to join thy Fellow Conspirators.

Indeed, what Occasion have I to incite thee to this Choice? when I know, that thou hast already sent forward a Number of Accomplices, as far as the Aurelian Village, there, under Arms, to await thy coming? When I know the Day of Conjunction fixed, by Consent, between thee and Manlius? When I know, that thou hast conveyed before thee, to Manlius, that boasted silver Eagle, so much revered by thee, as to be kept consecrated at home in a peculiar Sanctuary, where thou wast wont devoutly to recommend and hallow all thy crying Enormities; whence I trust, that that Standard will prove pernicious and fatal to thee, and all thy Followers? How canst thou be so long bereft of such a precious Pledge? Thou, who art always wont first to pay thy Devotions to it, just when thou art going about any bloody Undertaking? Nay, thou hast often laid thy impious Hands solemnly upon that thy domestic Altar; then instantly employed them to butcher Roman Citizens.

Thus thou wilt, at last, repair to a Scene, whither thy desperate and raging Spirit hath been long hurrying thee: There, far from feeling any Anguish, thou wilt find Delight inexpressible. For such wild Adventures as these, Nature hath formed thee, thy Inclinations hardened thee, thy Fate reserved thee. Quiet and Recess thou hast never sought; nay, thou hast never longed even after any War, but such as was murdering and baneful. The Forces thou hast amassed are guilty and profligate Men, Sons of Perdition, abandoned by Fortune, nay, even by Hope. Amongst these, with what Joys must thou be filled! What Pleasure must ravish thee! How voluptuously must thou revel! For in so huge a Multitude, all thy own Creatures, thou wilt be safe from seeing, safe from hearing, any one worthy Man. To qualify thyself for this kind of Life, thou hast performed the surprising Exploits, called, proverbially, Catiline’s Labours; such as, lying in wait Edition: current; Page: [91] upon the Ground, not only to seize impure Pleasures, but to compass Acts of Rapine; such too as watching Opportunities to dishonour the sleeping Husband, and to spoil the wealthy and secure Citizen.

There, likewise, an Occasion presents for displaying at large thy distinguished Talent, of bearing Hunger and Cold, with the Want of all the Necessaries of Life; Distresses with which thou wilt quickly perceive thyself overwhelmed. It was a great Point that I gained, when I defeated thy Endeavours to obtain the Consulship: Instead of afflicting the Commonwealth, as Consul, thou canst now only assail it as an Exile: So that what thou hast impiously undertaken, is not, so properly, to be named a War, as the Effort of a Robber.

Here, Conscript Fathers, that I may avert and extinguish a Complaint, which my Country might exhibit against me, upon probable Grounds, attend closely, I beseech you, to what I am going to advance, and rivet it deeply in your Hearts and Thoughts. For were my Country, I say my Country, ever much dearer to me than my Life, were all Italy, and the whole Commonwealth, to accost me in the following Strain; ‘Cicero, what art thou doing? Wilt thou then suffer Catiline to escape out of Rome? him whom thou hast discovered to be a public Enemy? him whom thou seest just about to conduct the War against the State? him whom thou knowest to be expected as Commander in chief in the Camp of our Foes? the Author of all this Treason and Revolt? the Head and Manager of the Conspiracy? the Traitor who debauches, and enlists, every abandoned Citizen and Slave? Wilt thou indeed suffer him to escape, when, by doing it, thou seemest not so much to drive him out of Rome, as to furnish him with Forces to enter it? Wilt thou not order such a one to be thrown into Irons, not adjudge him to present Death, not doom him to the most rigorous Execution? What is it that hath thus long restrained thee? Was it the Edition: current; Page: [92] Institutions of our Ancestors, when it is known, that, in this our City, private Persons have frequently inflicted capital Vengeance upon pestilent Citizens? Was it the Law which limits the corporal Chastisement of Roman Citizens, when, in this our City, they who proved Traitors to the Commonwealth, were never intituled to the Rights of Citizens? Art thou afraid of incensing Posterity against thee? Surely thou makest glorious Retribution to the Roman People, who, having carried thee thro’ all the Stages of public Dignities, raised thee so suddenly to the highest of all, tho’ known to them only by thy personal Qualities, recommended by no Lustre or Merit of thy Ancestors; if, yet, from Fear of public Censure, or from any Fear or Danger whatsoever, thou foregoest the Care and Protection of thy Fellow-citizens. Now, if there be any Danger of such Censure, is it more terribly to be apprehended from a Conduct full of Justice and Magnanimity, than from Timidity and Desertion of Duty? When Italy shall be laid waste by the Ravages of War, her municipal Cities oppressed, her Dwellings all on a Blaze, thinkest thou to escape the consuming Flames of public Indignation?’

To all this Reasoning, so hallowed and venerable, from the Commonwealth, as, likewise, to all such particular Persons who are under the same Impressions, I shall return a short Answer: Had I once judged it the wholsomest Course to have subjected Catiline to the Pains of Death, I should not have spared, no, not for an Hour, the Life of this Son of Blood. Indeed, if Roman Citizens, of the highest Rank and Dignity, derived not only no Stain, but even notable Lustre, upon their Characters, from shedding the Blood of Saturninus, Flaccus, and the two Gracchi, with many others, in former Times; I too, doubtless, ought to have reckoned myself secure from any Share of Reproach from Ages to come, for having adjudged to Execution this Traitor, the common Assassin of Roman Citizens. But, suppose Edition: current; Page: [93] I were ever so severely exposed to such Reproach, it has been always my Principle, To esteem popular Censure procured by righteous Actions, to be rather Glory than Censure.

But we have amongst us, in this Assembly, some, who either perceive not our impending Destruction, or disown that they do; some, who have fed the Hopes of Catiline by too tender Notions and Overtures about him; nay, have added Strength to the Conspiracy, from the very Beginning, by giving no Credit to it. Their Authority is blindly followed by many others, not only the Vicious and Corrupt, but the Weak and Credulous, who would readily join in a heavy Charge upon me, of terrible Cruelty and Tyranny, should I pass Sentence even upon this Criminal. Hence I am convinced, that, when once he has conveyed himself, whither he is bent, into the Camp of Manlius, none will be so stupid, as not to see, that the Conspiracy is formed and existing, none so abandoned as not to confess it. I am likewise convinced, that, by the Execution of Catiline alone, this pestilent Malady in the State might, indeed, be somewhat checked, but never finally crushed and eradicated. But if he relinquish Rome, if he carry with him his Followers here, and with them draw together, into one Body, all his other forlorn Castaways from every Quarter; this direful Distemper in the State, however inveterate, will not only be quelled and extirpated, but with it the Seeds and Materials of all our public Disorders and Misfortunes.

For, surely, Conscript Fathers, we have been long surrounded with all the Terrors, and dark Devices, of this deadly Conspiracy; though I know not by what means it hath happened, that all these Treasons, with other furious and desperate Designs, long before concerted, have been reserved to appear in their full Light and Maturity during my Consulship. Now if, out of so formidable a Host of Robbers, this single one only were snatched away, we should, perhaps, for some small Interval, seem released from our present Anxiety and Dread: But the dangerous Disease would Edition: current; Page: [94] still pursue us, as it is intimately attached to the very Blood and Vitals of the Commonwealth; like the Condition of Men in the Rage of a Fever, who, under the Pangs of Heat and Thirst, if they drink cold Water, appear at first refreshed, but are thenceforward more keenly and more cruelly tormented. It is thus with the Commonwealth, under her present Disorder: For, should it abate upon the Execution of Catiline, it would rage with fresh Ardour, as his Accomplices would be still left alive.

For these Reasons, Conscript Fathers, let the Guilty retire; let them separate themselves from the Innocent and Worthy; let them assemble in one Place. In short, to repeat what I have already often said, let the Walls of Rome stand between us and them; let them drop their bloody Snares against the Consul in his own House; let them no longer beset and insult the Tribunal of Justice, no longer invest the Senate with their armed Emissaries, and employ themselves no longer in amassing Firebrands and Combustibles to destroy the City by Flames. In a Word, let it be read in the Face of every Citizen, what are his Thoughts, what his Wishes, concerning the Commonwealth. Thus much I undertake, Conscript Fathers; that such shall be the Vigilance found in us the Consuls, such the Authority of your Proceedings in the Senate, so much Resolution in the Equestrian Order, with such hearty Unanimity in all good Citizens, that, immediately upon the Departure of Catiline, the whole detestable Scheme will appear under Evidence as glaring as the Day; nay, will prove fully defeated, and even fully punished.

From all these Considerations, Catiline, Be-gone: Go; and conduct that impious, that inhuman War: Go, for the certain Preservation of the Commonwealth; for thy own Curse and Perdition, and for the final Destruction of those, who have combined with thee in all thy black Treasons, and unnatural Attempts to destroy their Common Country.

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It is then, O Jupiter, that Thou, who wast chosen Guardian of this City by Romulus, as early as its Foundation; and, under the same Auspices, Thou, whom We truly call the Preserver of our City and Empire; it is then that Thou wilt defend our public Walls, our private Dwellings, with the Lives and Fortunes of all our Citizens, against the Cruelty of this Parricide, and those associated with him: Thou wilt then also inflict dreadful Chastisement upon all who afflict the Just, upon all the Enemies of their Country, upon all barbarous Free-booters throughout Italy, such as are combined together by the Ties of brutal Crimes, and still subsist by that guilty Union: All these, O Jupiter, thou wilt doom, both Living and Dead, as proper Victims, to present and eternal Vengeance.

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THE SECOND ORATION OF CICERO AGAINST CATILINE. Addressed to the PEOPLE.

AT length, Citizens, we have freed ourselves from Catiline. However raging he be with desperate Designs, however breathing Cruelty and Vengeance, labouring to bring Perdition upon his native State, threatening you with Massacre, your City with Flames; yet we have driven him out of Rome; at least constrained him to go, or hastened his going, though by no other Power than that of Speech. He is departed; he is withdrawn; he has fled; he has rushed away.

We shall no longer have this mighty Monster, this prodigious Parricide, employed within our Walls in Schemes for public Destruction. We have, without Dispute, already conquered this Leader, this great Leader of our Tumults and Insurrections in Rome; Edition: current; Page: [97] since we shall not, now, see our Breasts daily exposed to his murdering Dagger: We shall not have him henceforth to alarm us in the Field of Elections, nor in the Place of public Business, nor in the Senate, nor, finally, in our private Dwellings. He was then deprived of his most formidable Situation, when he was forced out of the City. We shall thus be able to make regular War against the Enemy, openly in the Field, since he remains not now to obstruct us in the City.

Doubtless we confounded the Man, and gloriously defeated him; when, from his treasonable Devices in secret, we drove him hence into the avowed Practice of a public Robber. He has missed his Aim, of leaving Rome behind him in Ashes, the Citizens berest of their Lives, and the Consul murdered: He could not first brandish, as he intended, his Sword besmeared with my Blood; nay, he saw his Sword wrested out of his Hands: Judge, therefore, what infinite Mortification and Anguish must have astonished and overwhelmed him: He now lies prostrate and groveling, O Citizens; he perceives himself crushed and forlorn: Surely he looks back, often, and wishfully, to this City, and bewails to see it snatched from his ravening Jaws: Whilst the City, in her turn, seems to exult, that she has disgorged, and, finally, cast out, so pestilent a Citizen.

Now, if any one, possessed with a Spirit becoming every Roman, brings a Charge against me, in the Warmth of his Zeal, that I thus triumph and rejoice in the Style of Victory, for having rather forced away such a pestilent Enemy, than secured him in Bonds; know, Citizens, that such Blame is not imputable to me, but to the Temper of the Times. It has long since become a Duty to the Public to have doomed Catiline to the most exemplary Pains and Death; nay, this Duty was incumbent upon me, as what the primitive Institutions of our State, what the Severity of the Consular Power, what the injured Commonwealth, all at once require of me. But can you conjecture how many, how very many Edition: current; Page: [98] there were, all ready to disbelieve whatever Charges I had to produce against him? how many so silly, as not to conceive it probable? how many bent even to vindicate and defend him? how many mischievously disposed to espouse his Cause?

If, indeed, I had conceived, that, by sentencing him to die, I could have perfectly delivered you from the impending Peril, I should have long since so sentenced him, at the Peril not only of popular Censure, but even of my own Life. Now when I perceived, that tho’ I had even first convinced you all of his Guilt, yet, were I to order him to Execution, as he deserved, the Consequence would be such a Weight of Hate and Despite falling upon me, as to disable me from bringing his Associates to Judgment; I therefore directed all my Measures to this Point, that, when you once saw him an Enemy declared, you would then openly attack him. How formidable an Enemy I esteem him abroad, you may infer, my Countrymen, from hence, that I am sincerely concerned to see so small a Train of Followers accompanying him out of Rome: I wish from my Soul, that he had drawn forth with him his whole Force. I must own, he hath deprived us of Tongillus, (the Darling of his unnatural Passion, when yet a Boy) together with Publicius and Munatius; Men, whose long Reckonings, due at Brothels, could have involved the Commonwealth in no dangerous Insurrections. Behind him he hath left, what Men indeed! how oppressed with Debts! how puissant! how illustrious!

Whilst, therefore, we are furnished with such an Army, consisting of the Legions from Gaul, of Detachments from the Troops under Quintus Metellus in the Territory of Picenum, and of the Recruits daily raised for our Defence, I utterly despise all his Forces whatsoever; some of them antient Men, desperate and undone; some of them Debauchees from the Country; some vagabond Rustics; some Spendthrifts, and Runaways from their Creditors and Sureties: such who would rather follow this medley Host, than return and be just; such too, who, the Instant I present Edition: current; Page: [99] them with the Sight not only of our Army, but even of an Order from the Prætorian Tribunal, will shrink and fly.

I wish he had rather taken along with him for Soldiers many whom I still behold here at Rome, behold hurrying about the Forum, haunting the Court before the Senate, nay, some of them taking their Place in the Senate itself: I behold them besmeared with sweet Ointments, and glaring in all the Pride of the Senatorian Purple. If these continue here, remember my Warning! they, who thus live as Deserters from their Army, are more to be dreaded, than their Army itself. Another Consideration too renders them the more dreadful; for that they know me to be perfectly acquainted with all their secret Purposes, yet are not in the least dismayed. I behold their several Leaders, and Men of Trust; I perceive to whom it is that Apulia is assigned, to whom Etruria, to whom the Territory of Picenum, to whom the neighbouring District of Gaul; I behold the Men, who, for their Share, have besought the Direction of the Design to commit Rome to Massacre and Flames.

They are aware, that all their Deliberations, on the Night before last, were minutely recounted to me: I communicated them Yesterday to the Senate: Dread seized even Catiline, such Dread as drove him to fly. To what do these Associates trust? They are grievously deceived, if they presume, that I shall still persevere in the same Strain of Tenderness. My Views in it are now fully answered; namely, to have made it as clear to you as the Light of the Sun, that a Conspiracy is notoriously carried on against the Commonwealth; unless there be any, who imagine, that such as in all things imitate and resemble Catiline, concur not with the Designs of Catiline.

There now remains no room for gentle Dealings. Our Situation, as it is full of Danger, exacts Methods full of Severity. One Concession there is, which I will still make them; namely, To leave us, to go hence, and not suffer Catiline to pine in Edition: current; Page: [100] Wretchedness for their Company. I will direct them the Way: He went along the Aurelian Road: If they travel speedily, they will overtake him in the Evening.

Oh happy Roman State, if she had once finally purified herself from such a beneful Sink of Nuisances! Verily to me the Commonwealth seems to have derived Vigour and Refreshment from the Expulsion only of Catiline: For, indeed, what Instance of Wickedness and Enormity can be feigned or devised, that he hath not pursued? Where, where through all Italy, is there to be found one Poisoner, one infamous Fencer, one Robber, one Murderer, one Parricide, one Forger of Wills, one common Cheat, one Voluptuary, one extravagant Heir, one Adulterer, one Harlot, what one given to debauch Youth, what one Youth debauched, or what one abandoned Criminal whatsoever, who will not acknowledge, that he has lived in a Course of the highest Familiarity with Catiline? What one Assassination hath been committed for some Years past without him? What heinous Act of Lewdness, but by him?

I ask further, did ever mortal Man employ so many and such powerful Incentives as he, to gain and debauch young Men? He, who, with some of them, committed beastly Defilements, and bore withal such beastly Defilements from others? To many of them he promised Recompences for their Prostitution; to many the sudden Death of their Fathers, not only prompting, but even aiding them, in Person, to procure it. At present how incredibly soon hath he amassed together an immense Band of desperate and abandoned Men, not out of the City only, but also from the Country! For was it possible to find, not only in Rome, but in any one Corner of Italy, one Individual oppressed with Debts, whom Catiline hath not linked fast with him in this marvellous Bond of Treason? As a Proof of his various Talents in different Pursuits, there is not a Fencer in any of the public Schools, who, if he be but resolute in Mischief, avows not himself a close Intimate Edition: current; Page: [101] of Catiline; not a Retainer to the Stage, remarkably impudent and profligate, but proclaims himself Catiline’s Bosom Friend: Yet this very Catiline, however immersed in Habits of Lewdness and Cruelty, has been by these his Companions always extolled as a Man very hardy and brave, able to bear Hunger, Thirst, and Cold, with Want of Sleep and Rest; though they saw him wasting in Debauchery, and Acts of Violence, whatever Abilities he had for Affairs, whatever Genius for brave Actions.

Such is the Man! and were all his Partizans to follow him, would but this guilty and implacable Herd relinquish the City; O how happy should we all be! how fortunate the Commonwealth! what deathless Glory crowning my Consulship!

For, surely, the vicious Sallies and Passions of Men are no longer confined to any Bounds or Restraint, but are grown too monstrous for human Nature to produce, or, indeed, to bear. They breathe nothing but domestic Slaughter, public Conflagration, universal Havock and Spoil. Some have lavished their Estates, others their Money, all sacrificed to Sensuality and Riot. First their Means failed them; anon their Credit: Yet still the same Spirit of Debauchery and Waste, which possessed them during Affluence, prompts them in Poverty.

In truth, though, during the Course of their Intoxication with Wine and Gaming, they had only pursued Objects of Lewdness, and voluptuous Repasts, they would even then have been lost to all Hope, yet still to have been borne withal: But it is beyond all bearing, that the Sons of Sloth and Voluptuousness should be thus devising deadly Snares against the Warlike and Brave; the Rash and Foolish against the Sagacious and Wary; Drunkards against the Sober; Sluggards against the most Vigilant: that such as they, whilst resigned to Banquets, lolling in the Arms of Harlots, enervated by Wine, surfeited by Gluttony, effeminately decked with Flowers, recking with sweet Ointments, and utterly enfeebled with impure Pleasures, dare yet loudly bellow their Threats, to Edition: current; Page: [102] butcher all worthy Citizens, and to commit the City itself to Flames.

Over them, I firmly trust, there hangs some terrible Fate: I trust, that the direful Vengeance so long due to their flagitious Dealings, to their Perfidiousness, their Barbarities, their sensual Pursuits, is actually falling upon them; at least, just about to fall. Now, if, by my Consular Power, I can exterminate these Men, whom by it I cannot cure, I shall not only save the Commonwealth for a short Period, but prolong it for many Ages. No Nation now subsists, that we need to dread, no Monarch able to attack the Roman People. Abroad universal Tranquillity is established by Sea and Land, all through the Valour and Conduct of one Man: Only intestine Commotions remain to be quelled: A Conspiracy against the State subsists in the Bowels of the State; within our own Walls Ruin threatens us; within our Walls the Enemy assails us. It is against domestic Riot, against lawless Phrensy, against civil Violence, and Outrages, that we must arm.

In this War I present myself to you, Citizens, for your Leader: I frankly undertake to incur all the Enmity and Rage of desperate Traitors. Whatever is possible to be cured, I will employ any Means to cure; whatever must be cut off, shall be cut off, rather than suffered to spread, to the utter Extinction of the State.

Upon the Whole, therefore, let them either leave us, or cease to annoy us: Or, if they will needs remain in this City, and breathe the same hostile Spirit, let them prepare to suffer the Doom which they deserve.

I know, Citizens, there are those who allege, that Catiline hath been, by me alone, driven into Banishment. My Answer is; Were I able, by Words only, to procure such an Event, I would banish these very Persons, who make such Declarations. Probable, indeed! that Catiline, in his Nature so very shy and over-modest, could not resist the Language of the Consul; but, as soon as, by it, he heard himself ordered to depart into Exile, instantly Edition: current; Page: [103] obeyed and departed! How suits this, O Citizens, with what happened but Yesterday; when, having, with great Difficulty, escaped being murdered in my own House, I assembled the Senate in the Temple of Jupiter the Guardian, and there laid open the whole Conspiracy? Upon Catiline’s Entrance, what one Senator deigned to speak to him? What one Senator to salute him? Which of them all did not behold him, not only as a Member of the State altogether desperate and forlorn, but rather as a raging and implacable Enemy and Parricide? Nay, the several Senators of principal Dignity, quitting their Seats where he advanced, lest all the Benches round him empty.

It was then that I, that very impetuous Consul, who, by just uttering a Word, force Roman Citizens into Banishment, examined Catiline, whether or not he had held a Meeting, the preceding Night, at the House of Marcus Lecca? As he, who, of all Men, is the most hardened in Boldness and Front, hitherto answered nothing, (for his guilty Conscience smote him) I proceeded to disclose the Particulars of my Discovery; to disclose where-ever else he had been that Night, whatever else he had transacted, with what was reserved for the Night following: To all this I added, how minute a Plan had been drawn, and then exhibited, for conducting the War in all its Parts. When he still paused, struck dumb, indeed, with Conviction, I asked him, what retarded him from proceeding to the Place, where he had so long purposed to go, when he had, already, to my Knowlege, conveyed thither before him Quantities of Arms, nay, Rods and Axes, nay, Trumpets and Ensigns of War, and even that silver Eagle, to which he had assigned a Sanctuary in his House, a Sanctuary, where he constantly consecrated all his barbarous Exploits?

Was it I, who forced this Man into Banishment? a Man whom I saw already invading us at the Head of an Army? But if he be truly an Exile, then I must own, that it is only Manlius, a small Centurion, who has encamped the Forces in the Territory of Edition: current; Page: [104] Fesulæ; it is this Centurion, who, acting for himself, hath, in his own Name, declared War against the Roman People; that these Forces by no means await the Arrival of Catiline to assume the supreme Command; for that he, they say, thus thrust out as an Exile, will retire to Marseilles, without entering that Camp.

O the miserable Terms, not only of administring the State, but even of saving it from Perdition! If Catiline, by seeing himself quite entangled and disabled by my Counsels, by my unwearied Efforts, by my constantly exposing my Life, had been seized by sudden Dread, changed his Purpose, forsaken his Followers, dropped all his Schemes of War, and even now, at last, deserting his usual Pursuits of Arms and Outrages, had chosen to retire into Banishment; what would be the Cry, and common Construction, then? Not that he was bereft by me of all Means of advancing his desperate Enterprize, nor overcome with Astonishment and Dismay, by my Vigour and Vigilance, nor driven by Force from all his Machinations, and even from all his Hopes: On the contrary, it would be asserted, That, only by the Threats and Violence of the Consul, he was cast into Banishment, altogether innocent, because not formally convicted, and condemned: Yes, there will be these, who, if he should yet take this Course, will consider him as a Man not justly punished, but unjustly persecuted; and me, not as a vigilant Consul, but as a barbarous Tyrant.

It is an abundant Recompence to me, Citizens, for exposing myself to a Torrent of Reproach so groundless and injurious, if, by it, I can rescue You from the Calamity of so tragical and detestable a War. Let it be reported, that I drove him hence: I agree to it, on condition, that he withdraw into Banishment. But, thither, believe me, he intends not to go. I shall never petition the Gods to case me of popular Reproach, at the Price of any Surprize to you, Citizens, from the Tidings of Catiline’s furiously advancing to assail you at the Head of a hostile Army. Yet, within Three Days, this is what you will see: So that what Edition: current; Page: [105] I dread at present most, is, that, in a short time, I shall be rather upbraided for suffering, than for forcing, him to depart.

Now, since there are such Men, who, because he withdrew, alledge, that I obliged him to withdraw; what would the same Men say, if he had been doomed to die? The Truth is, they who are loudest in averring, that Catiline is proceeding to Marseilles, do not so much lament his going, as fear that he will go: And, of all these Men professing this great Compassion for him, there is not one, who has so much real Compassion, as not to wish, that his Progress may be rather to Manlius, than to Marseilles. Such, too, is the Spirit of the Man, that, tho’ he had never before entertained a Thought of what he now pursues, yet, rather than live an Exile, he would prefer the Fate of being slain as a Traitor and Robber. As Things are, since nothing hath hitherto befallen him, inconsistent with his own Schemes and Pursuits, except that we survive his Departure from Rome, let us rather wish, that he may go into Banishment, than complain, that he is gone.

But why do I bestow so much Discourse upon one Enemy? such an Enemy too, as owns himself to be one? nay, an Enemy whom I fear not; since our City-Walls now stand, as I ever wished they might, between us and him? Concerning the rest, who dissemble their Enmity, who still continue in Rome, and are interspersed amongst us, do we attempt to say nothing? These are such, upon whom, truly, I aim not so much to take Vengeance, as to recover them from their Disaffection, if, by any Remedy whatsoever, it could be accomplished; and, finally, to reconcile them to the Commonwealth: Neither can I conceive, why it should not be accomplished, if they will listen to what I say. I therefore proceed, first, To represent to you, Citizens, of what different Sorts of Men these Forces consist: Next, I shall offer to each Sort some Cure; such as my Reasoning, my Counsel, and Persuasion, is able to recommend.

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The first Class is of those, who, under great Debts, are yet Masters of greater Possessions; but Possessions, of which they are so inordinately fond, as on no Account to diminish them. This Class, as they are abundantly wealthy, bear the Face of more honourable Debtors than the rest; but, in their Principles and Conduct, are, doubtless, the most shameless of all. Art thou, indeed, furnished with large Demesnes? Thou with many Villas? Thou abounding in Money? Thou in numerous Slaves and Attendants? Art Thou covered with Splendor? Dost Thou riot in the Affluence of all Things? Yet, dost Thou hesitate to pare off any Portion of thy Affluence, thence to retrieve thy plighted Faith, and to purchase Esteem? What, indeed, hast thou in View? Is it War? How! Dost Thou conclude, that, during universal Uproar and Desolation, Thy Possessions will escape, as if they were sacred and inviolable? Dost Thou hope for new Regulations about Debts and Usury? They deceive themselves, who expect such from Catiline. It is by my Interest and Procurement, that new Regulations will be proposed: But mine will be limited Regulations, and attended with public Auctions; since they, who have Possessions, can never be secured by any other means whatsoever. If they would have consented to it sooner, and not, through extreme Blindness, struggled, absurdly, with the Usurers, about the Rents of their mortgaged Lands, the State would have been happy in many richer, as well as in many better Members. However, from all this Class of Men, in my Opinion, very little Danger is to be apprehended: For they may be either weaned from their present Bent and Impressions; or, if they persist, they seem, to me, rather qualified to assault their Country with Imprecations, than with Arms.

A second Sort is composed of such, who, however oppressed with Debts, aspire to supreme Rule, and will needs sway the State: They conjecture, that, during the Convulsions of the Edition: current; Page: [107] Commonwealth, they shall be able to obtain such public Dignities, as they despair of in its Calm. Upon these, and, indeed, upon all the rest, this Principle is, chiefly and singly, to be over and over inculcated, that they must for ever despair of thus gaining what they labour after; first, Because I am always in their Way; I, who incessantly watch over the Commonwealth; I, who am ever present to assist her; I, who am ever ready to provide for her in every Exigency. Next, All worthy Men are combined to oppose them; a mighty Multitude, all of undaunted Resolution, all firmly united! We abound too in military Forces. Finally, The immortal Deities will not fail powerfully to aid this invincible People, this Empire, so glorious and renowned, this City, so fair and flourishing beyond all others, against an Attempt so destructive and bloody.

But what would it avail them, if they gained what they pursue with such headlong Fury? Do these Men hope, that, in the Ruins of Rome, and in the Massacre of the Citizens, they shall find their black and inhuman Wishes accomplished? such Wishes, as they had ever fostered? Find themselves raised to Consular, or Dictatorial, and even to Royal Sway? They perceive not, that they are earnest for a Thing, which, if obtained, they would be forced to surrender to some upstart Fugitive or Fencer.

The third Class is that of Men, indeed, stricken in Years, but trained in War, and still robust: Manlius himself is one of them; he, whose Place Catiline has now assumed. These are Men derived from the Colonies founded by Sylla at Fesulæ; Colonies, which I really think to have been filled with the best Citizens, and bravest Men: These are, however, such Members of those Colonies, as, being transported with sudden and unexpected Riches, fell into all Courses of Vanity and Extravagance: Whilst, from a Persuasion, that their Wealth and Happiness would never end, they raised fine Mansions, rioted in their Villas, in the Edition: current; Page: [108] Luxury of Litters, in mighty Trains of Slaves, in magnificent Banquets, in gay Equipages, and Splendor, they became involved in Debts, so mighty, and so many, that no possible Method is left to discharge them; unless they can recal Sylia from the Mansions of the Dead. These, too, have tempted over to their Party some starving and beggarly Rustics, by the Hopes of a common Share, when the late Course of public Rapine shall be revived. I, indeed, Citizens, range both Sorts under the same Class of Thieves and Plunderers. This Admonition, however, I will give them, To drop their outrageous Views, with all Dreams of future Proscriptions and Dictatorships: Since, such is the Horror of those terrible Times, still cleaving to the Hearts of Citizens, that, in my Opinion, even the Beasts of the Field would not endure, much less would Men, the same Outrages repeated.

The fourth is a Class strangely various and dissimilar; Sons of Sedition and Despair; all long undone; all doomed never to recover; Men, who, partly through Idleness, partly through ill Management, partly, too, by Profusion, are crushed with old and immoderate Debts; Men worried with judicial Process and Decrees, their Persons threatened with Durance, their Effects condemned to Sale, and all said to be repairing, in great Numbers, both from Rome, and the Country, to the same Camp. These I consider not as brave Soldiers, but rather as impotent Fugitives from Debts and Justice. Such Men, since they cannot support Life, let them agree to fall; but so, as their Fall disturb not the State, nor even their next Neighbours. For I cannot conceive, when they cannot subsist with Honesty, why they will lose their Lives with Infamy; or fansy it less painful to perish with many, than to perish by themselves.

The fifth is a Band filled with Parricides, with Murderers; in truth, with Criminals of every Kind and Degree. These are such as I urge not to return from Catiline: For, besides that nothing Edition: current; Page: [109] can wrest them from him, it is fit, that they perish in the Exercise of their public Felony; since they are so many, that the Prisons cannot hold them.

The last Sort, not only in Course, but even in Character and Demeanour, are Catiline’s peculiar Train; a Troop of his own raising; nay, nurtured in his Bosom, and even enured to his fond Embraces; such as you see with their Locks curiously sprinkled, and combed; some soft and beardless; some with Beards nicely trimmed; all arrayed in long flowing Vests; not in Robes, but in Veils; Soldiers these, who bestow the Labour of their Lives, all their Fatigue and Watchings, upon nightly Banquets, always prolonged till Day!

With this Herd are mixed all Gamesters, all Adulterers, all Pathics, all the Prostitute and Lewd. These Boys, so blithe and engaging, of a Frame so lovely and tender, have not been confined to the common Instructions, how to love, and be beloved; how to dance, and how to sing: They are formed to higher Strains; to wield the Assassins Knife, and to administer Poison with Address. Now, be assured, that these evil Instruments, unless they all retire from us, nay, unless they all perish, will prove a Seminary of Catilines in the State, though Catiline himself should perish.

In the mean time, what Course do these Wretches mean to take? To carry their Harlots along with them to the Camp? Indeed, how can they suffer themselves to be bereft of them? especially during these cold Winter Nights? Yet how will they themselves bear the Rigours of the Apennine Mountains, the keen Frosts, and mighty Snows there? Unless they imagine themselves qualified more easily to support the Fierceness of Winter, because they have learned to dance naked at their nocturnal Banquetings.

O what a formidable War we have to apprehend, when Catiline is to have for his Guard such a Prætorian Band, all chosen out of Brothels, and taken from the Arms of Harlots!

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Strait apply yourselves, therefore, Citizens, to array your powerful Forces, your several Armies, against this hopeful and renowned Host of Catiline. First, direct your Two Consuls, direct the Leaders of your Troops, to encounter that traiterous Fencer, already sunk and maimed: Then lead forth the Flower and Strength of all Italy against the cast-away and impotent Crew, his Followers; for, to defeat all his Crouds of Rustics, our Colonies and municipal Cities will furnish abundant Force. Your other Resources of Strength, your other Marks of Superiority and Grandeur, your many Guards, and Means of Defence, it becomes me not to set in Opposition to the Wants and Weakness of that detestable Robber.

But, were we to omit to mention all the Advantages, which he wants, and in which we, by enjoying them, surpass him, namely, the Senate, the Roman Knights, the City of Rome, and the Roman People, the Treasury, the public Revenue, all Italy, all the Provinces, and all foreign Nations; I say, were we to drop this whole Detail, and try both Parties by the particular Merits of each, by this alone we may perceive, how low and forlorn they lie. On one Side Modesty struggles against Insolence on the other: Here is chaste Behaviour; there all Pollution: Here strict Faith; there Treachery: Here Mercy; there Cruelty: Here Fortitude; there Fury: Here Honour; there Infamy: Here Restraint; there unbridled Passion: In short, Justice, Moderation, Magnanimity, Prudence, all in a Contest with Iniquity, with Debauchery, with Effeminacy, with Rashness; that is, every Virtue with every Vice. To conclude, it is a Quarrel between Wealth and Penury, right Reason and Phrensy; sound Sense and Extravagance; lastly, between sure Hope, and Fortunes utterly desperate. This is a Conflict, this a Battle, of such a Kind, where, though the Ardour of Men should cool, would not the immortal Deities impower all these divine Virtues to triumph over such a detestable Train of Vices?

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Under these Circumstances, Citizens, be it your Care, as I have before said to you, to watch and defend your several Dwellings. For the City in general, I have taken all due Precautions, all proper Measures, by guarding her effectually, without leaving you subject to any Commotion or Alarm. As I have sent to acquaint all the Colonies, and municipal Cities, with Catiline’s sudden Departure from hence in the Night, their Inhabitants will easily defend them. I shall, by my Authority, secure the Gladiators from moving; a Force upon which he has reckoned as the most powerful, and most surely attached to him; though they be, in reality, better affected than some of the Patricians. Quintus Metellus, whom, in View of Catiline’s withdrawing, I dispatched before him into the Territory of Picenum, and Limits of Gaul, will either at once crush the Traitor, or, at least, frustrate all his Motions and Attempts. In order to concert, and hasten, and execute further Measures, I am now going to take the Advice of the Senate, whom you perceive to be called together.

Concerning his Accomplices, who remain in the City, and were by him left in it, on purpose to bring Perdition upon it, and upon you all, though they be Enemies, yet, as they are born Citizens, my Intention is, kindly to advise and warn them, again and again. The Purpose of my Lenity past, though, to some, it may seem rather Remissness, was, whilst the Plot was yet dark, to await a full Disclosure. It is now time to consider, what I never can forget, that is, my Country; that I am chief Magistrate of these Citizens; and that I must either live with them, or die with them. If there be any, who want to retire from amongst us, they are free to take their own Course: There is not a single Guard at the Gates to obstruct them; not a Man lying in wait upon the Road to surprise them: But if any, staying here, try to raise any Commotion whatsoever in the City, the Moment I detect them, not only in actual Practices against their Country, but Edition: current; Page: [112] even in any Design to disturb it, they shall effectually feel, that Rome is supplied with Consuls full of Vigilance; with admirable Magistrates in general, with a magnanimous Senate, with Store, too, of Arms, nay, with Irons and Dungeons, such as are derived to us from our Ancestors, who instituted them for taking Vengeance on notorious Criminals and Traitors.

Moreover, Citizens, the Whole shall be so conducted, that, in executing the highest Counsels of State, not the least popular Consternation shall happen; in quelling the most terrible Conspiracy, no Sort of Uproar ensue; nay, a Civil War, the most powerful, and most cruel, that has been known within the Memory of Men, shall be extinguished, by me alone, without once putting off my Civil Robe: I will quell it, Citizens, in such a manner, that not even a single guilty Man in Rome shall incur the Penalty of his Treason, if there be any Possibility of preventing it. If, by their own daring and open Insolence, if, by the Dangers threatening my Country, I am driven to forego this Gentleness of Temper, thus much, surely, I shall bring to pass, that not an innocent Man shall perish; an Exemption scarce to be hoped in a domestic War so widely extended, and so closely conducted! So that, by the Execution of a few guilty Men, you may still be all secure.

These are Things, O Citizens, which I engage not to you to accomplish from a Confidence in my own Wisdom, or, indeed, in any human Counsel whatever, but only in the propitious Purposes of the immortal Deities, manifested to me by many and sure Presages: It is by them that I am inspired with such high Assurance, by them with this my Determination. They are not now at a Distance, as formerly they were wont, aiding us against Enemies foreign and remote; they are, at this very time, in Rome, by their own divine Presence and Aid, defending their own Temples; as also the Dwellings of the City: It is to them, Citizens, Edition: current; Page: [113] that you ought to pay your Veneration, and your Vows; to them address your Complaints and Petitions; that, since, by their own Decree, this City should be thus of all others the fairest, the most flourishing, and the most puissant, they will defend her against certain of her abandoned Citizens, execrably combined to destroy her, even when she had, every-where, routed and subdued all the Armies of her Enemies both by Land and by Sea.

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THE THIRD ORATION OF CICERO AGAINST CATILINE. Addressed to the PEOPLE.

TO-DAY, Citizens, you behold the Commonwealth, with all your Lives, your Estates and Fortunes, your Wives and Children, nay, Rome itself, the Seat of this resplendent Empire, a City the most flourishing and fair, rescued from the Fury of Fire and Sword, snatched from the Jaws of Perdition, and intirely secured and restored, through the superlative Love of the immortal Deities towards you, and by the Success of my Counsels, and Perils, and Efforts. If the Days from whence we date our Preservation, be distinguished with no less Joy than the Days which give us Birth, because Life saved yields certain Joy; but when we are born, our Lot of Life is uncertain; add, that, though we Edition: current; Page: [115] receive our first Breath without Reflection, we feel Delight in our Deliverance from Death; surely, therefore, when our Zeal for Romulus was such, as to rank and adore him amongst the Deities, for founding this City, signal Respect from you, and your Descendants, is due to the Man who hath preserved the City so founded, and, since, so gloriously inlarged. When the Flames had surrounded you, when they were seizing, and ready to devour, the whole City, with all her Temples and Sanctuaries, all her Bulwarks and Dwellings, I quenched those Flames: I foiled the Arms wielded against the Commonwealth: I repelled the Weapons ready to pierce your Hearts.

As I have disclosed the Whole to the Senate, and there amply proved and explained it, I will now present you, Citizens, with a short Account of it, that you may learn what you yet know not, but claim to know, what dreadful, what manifest Destruction threatened you; as also by what Methods it was discovered and laid open.

When Catiline was fled from Rome, as I found some Days after, that there yet remained behind him the Accomplices of his Treason, and the City still harboured the keenest Champions of this impious War; I constantly watched, and studied, by what means we could possibly secure ourselves against a Train of Machinations so desperate, yet so dark. For, that I drove Catiline out of the City, is an Imputation which I fear not so much, as that he was suffered to leave it alive: I, indeed, presumed, that, upon his Expulsion, either the rest of his Brethren in the Conspiracy would depart with him; or, at least, the Efforts of such as remained, if they made any, would, without Him, be faint and fruitless: But, when I perceived the most Outrageous, the most Ardent for Blood and Mischief, still remaining in the City, still intermixed with us; I then bent my intire Care, Night and Day, to trace and discover all their Transactions and Devices: For, as no Speech of mine might be powerful enough to convince you of a Treason Edition: current; Page: [116] so shocking and incredible, I meant so fully to sift and illustrate the whole Proceeding, that, when your own Eyes beheld the Doom which threatened your very Lives, you would then, at last, employ your Thoughts how to preserve them.

When, therefore, I had discovered, that the Deputies of the Allobrogians had been suborned by Publius Lentulus, to excite a War beyond the Alps, and Insurrections in those Parts of Gaul; that they were withal charged with Letters to those of their own Community, with other Letters and Instructions to Catiline, to be delivered to him in their Way home; that Volturcius, too, was appointed to accompany them, and intrusted with more Letters for Catiline; I inferred, that an Opportunity offered to do what hitherto seemed of insuperable Difficulty, (such as I had ever besought the immortal Gods to remove) namely, to unravel and display the whole Combination to the ample Satisfaction not of myself only, but of the Senate, and of You the Roman People.

For this Purpose, I, Yesterday, had called to me the Two Prætors, Lucius Flaccus, and Caius Pomptinus, gallant Men, and zealous for the Commonwealth: To them I recounted the Whole, and explained what Course I judged best to be taken: The Prætors, whose Notions concerning the Public are all noble and disinterested, complied without Scruple; nay, undertook the Execution without Delay. When the Evening began to close, they reached, unobserved, to the Milvian Bridge: There they parted, and posted themselves in the Villages on each Side the Tiber, so that the Bridge stood between them; for they had led along with them, too, and lodged in the same Stations, several brave Men, without the least Alarm or Suspicion. Besides, in order to strengthen them, I had dispatched, from the Precinct of Reate, a Number of chosen young Men well armed; such as I myself never fail to employ upon all public Exigencies.

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Towards the End of the third Watch, as the Allobrogian Deputies, with a great Train, and accompanied by Volturcius, began to pass the Bridge, suddenly an Onset was made upon them, and, on both Sides, Swords were drawn. The Prætors only were trusted with the Design; to all their Followers it was a Secret. Presently, as Pomptinus and Flaccus advanced and appeared, the Conflict, thus begun, was at once appeased: Whatever Letters were found amongst the Retinue of the Deputies, were consigned, unopened, into the Hands of the Prætors; the Deputies themselves were brought before me, at the Dawn of Day. I forthwith sent for Gabinius Cimber, a pestilent Manager in their Treason, but now under no Apprehensions. Then I sent for Lucius Statilius; next, for Cethegus: Lentulus came too, but much slower than the rest; for, I presume, he passed the Night, contrary to Custom, without Sleep, in dispatching Letters to his Correspondents.

Now, though Numbers of the first and most illustrious Persons in the Commonwealth, having heard what passed, came early to me, and offered their Opinion, ‘That the several Letters should be first opened, before I presented them to the Senate; lest, if nothing of Moment were found in them, I should appear to have too precipitately raised such a terrible Alarm in the State;’ yet I refused to take any other Course, than, in a Matter of public Danger, to refer the Whole to the Senate, which was the public Council. The Truth is, Citizens, though the Informations brought to me should have failed, I still supposed, that I needed not fear being over-sedulous, when such Perils threatened the Commonwealth.

Immediately I assembled, as you saw, a full Senate. In the mean time, from a Hint given me by the Allobrogian Deputies, I strait dispatched Caius Sulpicius the Prætor, a brave Man, to bring away what Arms he could find in the House of Cethegus. From thence Sulpicius brought great Store of Swords and Daggers. Edition: current; Page: [118] I introduced Volturcius, without the Gauls, into the Senate; and, for his Security, by their Order, gave him the public Faith: I encouraged him, without all Fear, to reveal whatever he knew: He, hardly yet able to recover himself from his great Affright, declared, that he had received, from Publius Lentulus, Letters for Catiline; as also verbal Instructions, ‘To strengthen himself, by arming the Slaves; as also to advance as fast as possible with his Army towards Rome; that, when they had set the City on Fire in all its Quarters, agreeably to the Plan, and the several Assignments already settled, and when they had made withal an infinite Slaughter of Citizens, he might be at hand, not only to intercept all who strove to escape, but to join the Leaders there.’

The Gauls, when they were introduced, declared, that Publius Lentulus, Cethegus, and Statilius, had delivered Letters to them, for their Nation; together with an Oath of Fidelity, with Orders added by the same Three, in Conjunction with Lucius Cassius, to dispatch a Body of Horse, as soon as possible, into Italy; for of Infantry they should find no Scarcity: That Lentulus had given them Assurances, from the prophetic Records of the Sibyls, and from the Reports and Interpretation of the Augurs, that he was the Third of the Cornelian Race destined by Fate to sway the Sovereignty of this City and Empire; for Cornelius Cinna had already done it; so had Cornelius Sylla: For Confirmation, he had alledged, that this Year of Rome was to prove fatal to her Government, as it was the Tenth Year since the Acquittal of the polluted Vestals, the Twentieth since the Burning of the Capitol. They added, that there was a Contest between Cethegus and his Accomplices; for Lentulus, and the others, chose to have the general Massacre, and Firing of Rome, executed during the Festival of Saturn; and this seemed, to Cethegus, to be too great Delay.

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Not to be tedious, O Citizens, I ordered the Letters to be produced severally, according to the Hands from whence they were said to have come. First, I shewed Cethegus his Signet: He owned it. I then cut the Bandage, and read the Letter. It was written with his own Hand, directed to the Allobrogian Senate and People: In it he confirmed his Assurances to their Deputies, to fulfil whatever he had promised them; and besought them to perform, in their turn, whatever the Deputies had undertaken in their Name. Cethegus, who, a little before, had accounted for the Swords and Daggers seized in his Possession, and alledged, that he had always been fond of fine Arms, was now, upon hearing his Letter read, quite dispirited and cast down; he was smitten by his guilty Conscience, and instantly silent. Statilius, who was next introduced, owned both his Signet and his Hand. When his Letter, written almost in the same Strain with the former, was read, he readily acknowledged all.

I then applied to Lentulus, and shewed him his: I asked him, If he avowed the Signet? He assented. It is, in truth, said I to him, a very noted Signet; the Head of thy Grandfather, a celebrated Roman, who cordially loved his Country, and his Fellow-citizens; a Picture which, however mute it be, ought to have restrained thee from such horrible Iniquity. Then his Letter to the Senate and Community of the Allobrogians was recited, in the same Style. I gave him leave to make his Defence, if he had any to make: He, at first, refused: Presently, when the whole Evidence was opened, and appeared undeniable, he rose up, and asked the Gauls, What Commerce he had ever had with them? and for what Cause they had come to his House? He proposed the same Questions to Volturcius. As soon as they had given him a short and resolute Answer, how often they had been there, and by whom introduced, and then desired him to answer, whether he had never entertained them with the Sibylline Oracles in his Edition: current; Page: [120] Behalf? And as he was now, on a sudden, confounded with Remorse, he shewed an Example of the mighty Power of Conscience over the Soul of Man! For, when he might have confidently denied any such Conversation, in a Moment, he disappointed the Opinion of all Men, and confessed it: So intirely was he forsaken, not only by his great Talents, and that Habit of Eloquence in which he always excelled, but even by his bad Heart, and that inimitable Impudence, in which he surpassed all Men: Such was the Effect of conscious Guilt exposed!

Now Volturcius strait caused to be presented and opened the Letter, which, he said, had been given him by Lentulus for Catiline. This proved a dreadful Shock to Lentulus! yet he owned the Signet, and his Hand-writing. It was subscribed by no Name, in the following Style: ‘Who it is that sends thee this, thou wilt learn from him who brings it. Consider thy own desperate Situation, and be sure to acquit thyself like a Man. Recollect what thy Circumstances demand, and seek Assistance from All, even from the Lowest and Basest.’

Gabinius was next introduced. At first he began to answer with notable Assurance: At length he denied not a Tittle of whatever the Gauls accused him.

The Truth is, Citizens, though, to me, their Letters, their Signets, their Hand-writing, nay, the voluntary Confession of each, appeared glaring Proofs of their Treason; yet I found Demonstrations of their Guilt still more sure, in their Eyes, in their changing Colour, in their Looks, and Silence: Indeed, such was their Stupefaction, such their downcast Looks, such the guilty Glances, which, from time to time, they stole at one another, that they appeared not so much to be detected by others, as to detect and arraign themselves.

When all this Evidence was thus exhibited, and appeared thus clear, I applied to the Senate, O Citizens, to know what Resolutions they would please to take, for the Preservation of the Edition: current; Page: [121] State. The leading Senators strait offered several Propositions full of Vigour and Magnanimity; such as the Senate received without any Variation.

Now, seeing that Ordinance of theirs is not yet inrolled, I will, upon Memory, recount to you, O Citizens, all that they then ordained. First of all, they decree their public Thanks to be presented to me in the strongest and most solemn Terms; for that, by my undaunted Conduct, by my Foresight and Counsels, the Commonwealth was rescued from the highest Perils. Next, they heap just and well-merited Commendations upon the Prætors Lucius Flaccus and Caius Pomptinus, for the brave and faithful Assistance which they had given to me. Moreover, they extol the Merit of Caius Antonius, my valiant Collegue, for having kept the Associates in the Conspiracy from all Part in the public Measures, and in his own Measures for the Public. Then they proceed and ordain, that Lentulus (having first divested himself of the Dignity of Prætor) should be committed to Custody; as also Caius Cethegus, Lucius Statilius, and Publius Gabinius, all Three then present.

The like Sentence was passed upon Lucius Cassius, the Man who had required to himself the Task of setting Rome on Fire; upon Marcus Cæparius, who, as it was proved, had Apulia assigned to him, in order to engage the Boors there to revolt; upon Publius Furius, a Member of the disaffected Colonies transplanted to Fesulæ by Sylla; upon Quintus Manlius Chilo, who had a constant Share with this Furius in suborning the Allobrogian Deputies; lastly, upon Publius Umbrenus, the Son of a Freedman, who plainly appeared to have first introduced these Deputies to Gabinius.

Such, O Citizens, was the extreme Lenity now exercised by the Senate, who, under a Conspiracy so mighty, threatening such Outrage and Desolation, judged, that out of such a Multitude of intestine Enemies, by punishing Nine only, and these Edition: current; Page: [122] the most desperate and abandoned of all, they should be able to secure the Commonwealth, and reclaim the Hearts of all the rest. The same Decree likewise injoined the Celebration of public Thanksgiving, in my Name, to the immortal Deities, for their singular Benignity towards the Republic; a Distinction, Citizens, which, as I still-wore the Civil Robe, fell to me to reap, the first of all Romans since the Founding of Rome: It was expressed in these Words: Because I had saved the City from Flames, the Citizens from Slaughter, and Italy from War. The present public Thanksgiving, Citizens, compared with others past, claims this Difference, that these were appointed for such Romans as had well administered the Commonwealth; this for me, for having preserved the Commonwealth itself.

The Senate also, adhering to strict Rules, saw the Step which required Precedence, first taken. For, though Publius Lentulus, thus convicted by full Evidence, as well as by his own Confession, had, by the Determination of the Senate, not only lost his Right to the Prætorship, but even that of a Roman Citizen; yet he in form divested himself of his Magistracy: So that, in punishing Lentulus as a private Person, we of the Senate scrupulously acquitted ourselves of a Ceremony quite slighted by Caius Marius, a Roman of very high Lustre, who caused Caius Glaucia to be slain whilst yet Prætor, although against his Person in particular no judicial Sentence had passed.

At present, Citizens, since you have thus seized and secured in Bonds the execrable Leaders of a most sanguinary and most dreadful Civil War, you ought to conclude, that all the Forces of Catiline, all his Hopes, all his Resources, are vanished, now that the Dangers threatening the City are repressed. Indeed, whilst I was labouring to drive him from Rome, the Advantage which I foresaw from it, Citizens, was, that when he was gone, there remained to me no Cause of Dread from the vain Dreams of Publius Lentulus, nor from the unwieldy Bulk of Lucius Cassius, Edition: current; Page: [123] nor from the frantic Rage of Cethegus. Catiline alone, of all of them, deserved to be dreaded, but only so long as he resided within our Walls. He was acquainted with all Things, and all Men; he had secured himself Access every-where; he knew how to apply to Men, how to try them, how to tempt and rouse them: All this he knew, all this he dared. He had ready Schemes to facilitate every Enterprize; with Eloquence and Activity to execute every Scheme. Besides, he had several Classes of Men, all properly chosen and qualified for performing several Tasks. Nor did he, therefore, reckon a Thing done, because he had ordered it to be done; there was nothing which he did not attend to in Person, pushing this, obviating that, still vigilant, still making new Efforts. He too had Vigour to undergo Cold, and Thirst, and Hunger.

Such was the Man! and had I not driven this Man from his treasonable Machinations at Rome, into his Camp of Free-booters, a Man so keen, so quick, so determined, one so artful, so vigilant to do mighty Mischief, so indefatigable in his desperate Pursuits, I will tell you what I sincerely think, Citizens, that I should not easily have averted a Calamity so tragical from falling upon your Heads. He, had he been here, would not have fixed the Execution of his Design on the Festival of Saturn, nor assigned a Day for the final Perdition of the State, so long before it was to take place; neither would he have so managed, that his very Signet, that a Letter written with his own Hand, nay, that living Evidence against him, should be all seized and secured, thus undeniably to manifest his Guilt: But such hath been the Management of his Party without him, that no Theft in any private Family was ever so notoriously detected, as this mighty Conspiracy against the Commonwealth has been detected and exposed.

Now, suppose Catiline had continued in the City to this time; though, as long as he continued in it, I still obviated, still marred all his Devices; yet, to say the least that can be said, we must Edition: current; Page: [124] have been engaged in a constant Conflict with him; nor, so long as he remained in Rome, could we have relieved the Commonwealth from such mighty Perils, in a Manner so peaceable, or with so much Leisure, or in so much Silence.

Assuredly, Citizens, upon all my Proceedings on this Occasion, there appear such Traces of divine Direction, as if the Whole had been concerted and executed by the Premonition and Counsel of the Deities; since we cannot conceive how any human Wisdom could be able to controul Transactions of such infinite Darkness and Difficulty. Indeed, during all this Conjuncture, the Gods have been so manifestly with us, that we might almost behold them in Person encompassing us with their Aid and Protection. For, to omit what has been lately perceived, blazing Meteors by Night from the West, the Firmament all on Fire, roaring Thunder, Earthquakes, and all the other Prodigies which happened under my Consulship, in such Numbers, that thence the immortal Deities seemed prophetically to reveal to us all that is now in Agitation amongst us; surely, what I am now about to recount to you, Citizens, is neither to be suppressed nor slighted.

In truth, you cannot but remember, how, during the Consulship of Cotta and Torquatus, divers Towers upon the Capitol were shattered with Lightning, the Figures of the Gods overthrown, the Statues of antient Heroes cast down, the brazen Tables of the Laws dissolved; nay, the Image of him who founded this our City, was struck, even the Image of Romulus, whose gilt Figure you remember, placed in the Capitol, representing him as a Child sucking a Wolf. When, upon this Occasion, a Consultation was held of Soothsayers assembled from all Parts of Etruria, they foretold public Slaughter and Conflagration, the Extinction of the Laws, Civil Discord, intestine Wars, with the intire Overthrow of this our State and Empire; Calamities all ripe and approaching, unless the immortal Deities could be, by all Sorts of Edition: current; Page: [125] Means and Applications, so appeased, as to interpose their Almighty Power, and divert even the Course of Fate itself.

In Compliance with these their Reports, public Games were solemnized during Ten Days, nor was aught omitted which tended to pacify the Gods. These Soothsayers likewise ordered the Statue of Jupiter to be made larger than before, to be placed on high, and, contrary to his former Position, with his Face to the East. They declared withal their Hopes, if his Statue, which you yonder perceive, O Citizens, stood so as to behold the rising Sun, the Place of public Resort, and Court of the Senate, the Effect would be, that all Machinations secretly framed against the Well-being of this City and Empire, would be so effectually brought to Light, as to be clearly perceived by the Senate and People of Rome: The then Consuls, therefore, undertook so to place it; but such has been the Slowness of the Work, that it was neither executed under the late Consulship, nor under mine, till this very Day.

Now, Citizens, can there be a Man here so prejudiced against Truth, so abandoned, so berest of Reason, as to deny this whole visible World, particularly this State, to be controuled by the Pleasure and Power of the immortal Deities? For, as the Report of the Soothsayers was express, that public Slaughter, Conflagration, and the utter Overthrow of the Republic, were at hand, all concerted by Members of the Republic, (Events, which, from the amazing Size of such Iniquities, seemed to some incredible) you have yet beheld these Iniquities to be not only devised by detestable Citizens, but even pushed towards Execution.

Is it not, therefore, apparent to you, that the sovereign Will of Jupiter, all-great, all-good, interposes in your Behalf; when, as the Conspirators, and the Discoverers of the Conspiracy, were this very Morning led, by my Order, through the Forum to the Temple of Concord, during that very Juncture, his Statue was erected and fixed? By its being thus placed with his Face turned Edition: current; Page: [126] towards you and the Senate, both the Senate and you have seen all the secret Mischiefs, devised for the Perdition of you all, discovered and exposed to open Day. Hence the Guilty merit the greater Abhorrence, and severer Doom, they who endeavoured to subject, not only your Houses and Dwellings, but even the Temples and Seats of the Deities, to diabolical and devouring Flames. Were I to tell you, that I alone quenched those Flames, I should assume too much, and my Vanity would be insupportable. It was He, it was Jupiter himself, who quenched them: It was He, who interposed to save the Capitol; He, to save all these Temples; He, to save this City; He, to save you all. By the Inspiration of the immortal Gods only, I gained so much Spirit, and such Resolution: By their Guidance only, Citizens, I procured such surprising Discoveries. Lentulus and his Accomplices could not have thus ventured to tempt and corrupt the Allobrogian Deputies; nor could Designs of such infinite Moment have been by them wildly imparted to Strangers and Barbarians; nor surely would Letters, under their Hands, have ever been trusted to such Conveyance, unless the immortal Gods had purposely bereft these daring Traitors of all Understanding and Precaution. Who indeed can gainsay it? When warlike Gauls, Men of a Nation scarce yet reduced to Terms of Peace; and the only People left, who seem at once able, and not averse, to wage War with the Romans, yet rejected the Temptation of independent Rule, with all the Baits of Affluence and Grandeur offered them, without asking, by powerful Patricians; when these Gauls thus preferred your Safety to their own Ease and Abundance; can you judge all this to proceed from aught but a Power altogether divine; especially as they might have vanquished us, without Arms, only by keeping Silence?

Now, therefore, Citizens, as public Thanksgiving is appointed at the Shrines of all the Gods, zealously solemnize the Festival; you, and your Wives, and your Children. For, though many Solemnities have been frequently performed to the Deities, all Edition: current; Page: [127] justly due, therefore all very reasonable; surely none were ever more reasonable than now: Since by them you are snatched from the most merciless and most tragical Doom; snatched from it without Slaughter, even without Bloodshed; without an Army, nay, without one Conflict. Whilst you were yet cloathed in the peaceable Habit of Citizens, you proved Conquerors, with me only for your Leader, a Conqueror too, still wearing the City Robe!

Here, O Citizens, take a Review of all our civil Ruptures and Dissensions past, not only those of which you have heard, but such too as you yourselves remember, and have seen. Lucius Sylla subdued Publius Sulpicius, drove Marius out of Rome, (Marius, who had been the Preserver of this our State) forced many other brave Romans into Exile, and slaughtered many. Cneius Octavius, when Consul, by Force of Arms, expulsed Cinna his Collegue out of the City; and all this great Space, where we now stand, was filled with Piles of Carcases, and flowed with the Blood of Citizens. Next, Cinna proved Conqueror, aided by Marius; a Revolution accompanied with the Butchery of so many Romans of principal Lustre and Fame, that the great Luminaries of the State were thence extinguished. For this cruel Victory of theirs, Sylla took Vengeance; with what infinite Havock of Citizens, and what crying Calamity to the State, I need not recount. Marcus Lepidus quarrelled with Quintus Catulus, that very illustrious, very magnanimous Roman; and met his Fate, a Fate not so deplorable to the Commonwealth, as that of others, who perished with him.

Yet all these civil Broils, O Citizens, were such as tended, not so much to abolish the State, as to change the Government of the State. The Authors meant not, that there should be no Commonwealth, but that, the Commonwealth continuing, they should controul it; not to burn Rome to Ashes, but to bear Sway in Rome. The Result, however, of all such Dissensions Edition: current; Page: [128] was, that, though none of them aimed at the Overthrow of the Republic, yet they never terminated in the Reconcilement and Union of Parties, but ever in the Massacre of Citizens.

It is far otherwise in this present War against the Public; a War the most tremendous and merciless ever remembered; such a War as the greatest Barbarians never once waged with those of their own Nation; a War, where it was an essential Rule, settled by Lentulus, Catiline, Cassius, and Cethegus, that all, who for their own Safety were interested in saving the City, were deemed to be Enemies. In this War, Citizens, I have so acquitted myself, as to have preserved you all: At a Conjuncture when these your Enemies had concluded, that no more of you should survive, than could escape their unlimited Massacre; and that just so much of Rome should remain as universal Flames could not devour; I have preserved both City and Citizens safe and intire.

For all these signal Services, I ask of you, Citizens, no Compensation, as due to the Merit of them; no other Distinction of Honour, no other Monument of Applause, than the perpetual Remembrance of this Day. It is in your Affections I study to found and establish all my Triumphs, all the Trappings of my Glory, all my Fame and Splendor. No Monument void of Life, nothing passive and mute, indeed nothing of this sort attainable by Men of mean Merit, can bring me Delight. My Story and Deserts shall be for ever cherished in your Memories, O Citizens; be for ever flourishing in popular Fame, and confirmed and eternized in your Annals. I consider, therefore, this Anniversary, which I hope will prove eternal, as the joint Commemoration of the Deliverance of the State, and of my Consulship; together with the Merit of two Citizens contemporary in the Commonwealth; one who carried the Limits of your Empire as far as those of the Earth, and left it bounded only by the Skies; another who preserved the Seat and Capital of that very Empire.

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But, since the same Lot and Advantages, attending those who have conducted foreign Wars, attend not my Conduct and Proceedings at home; because I am obliged to live amongst Men whom I have overcome and reduced; whilst the former leave the Enemy either utterly cut off, or utterly crushed; it is your Part, Citizens, to provide, that, as the worthy Services of others turn to their Benefit, mine may at no time tend to my Detriment. It has been my Care, that the bloody and execrable Purposes of the most determined Criminals should not possibly annoy you: It rests upon you to take care, that they hurt not me. In truth, to me in particular, Citizens, no Hurt can accrue from these Men. For, surely, powerful is the Protection of worthy Men, a Protection which is for ever assured to me; powerful is my Authority in the Commonwealth, such as, without uttering a Word, will always defend me; powerful is the Controul of Conscience; so powerful, that they, who despise it, when they would assault me, will betray themselves. Such, too, Citizens, is the Vigour of my own Spirit, that I not only never shrink in my Pursuit of the most desperate Criminal, but even voluntarily pursue all the Guilty to Justice.

Now, suppose the whole Rage of our domestic Enemies, after I have diverted it from you, should recoil upon me alone; it will belong to you, Citizens, to consider, in what Situation you will, for the future, leave those, who, for your Preservation, expose themselves to personal Hate, and all kinds of Danger.

To myself, what further remains to be now attained, to heighten the Enjoyment of Life? For, when you have thus honoured me with this high Dignity, when such Glory too crowns the Merit of my Administration, can I possibly behold any thing yet nobler to tempt me to aspire still higher?

One thing, Citizens, I shall certainly do; I shall in a private Station maintain and dignify all my Proceedings in the Consulship; that if I have incurred any Rancour by preserving the Commonwealth, Edition: current; Page: [130] it may only serve to gall the Rancorous, and to heighten my Praise. To sum up all; in all my future Conduct in the State, I shall ever have before my Eyes my past Services to it, and so behave, that they may appear to have been the Effects of public Spirit, and not produced at random.

As it is now Night, Citizens, be it your Part to pay your Adorations to Jupiter, (yonder represented) the Guardian of this City, and your Guardian; then depart to your several Abodes; and, though all Danger be already averted, yet secure them with the same Watch and Guard as on the Night past. That you be not longer obliged to that Task, nay, that, for the future, you continue in uninterrupted Repose, I, Citizens, undertake to provide.

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THE FOURTH ORATION OF CICERO AGAINST CATILINE. Spoken in the SENATE.

I PERCEIVE all your Faces turned towards me, Conscript Fathers, all your Eyes fixed upon me. I perceive you all anxious, not only for your own and the public Peril, but, though that were already dissipated, still anxious for mine also. Such Affection to me exhilarates me even in Distress, and yields me Pleasure under Anguish. But, by the immortal Gods I beseech you, divest yourselves of such partial Concern; think not of my Security; study your own, and that of your Children. Since, by the Terms and Circumstances of my Consulship, I am exposed to bear all Adversities, all Afflictions, and the keenest Sufferings, I will bear them all, not only undauntedly, but frankly, if by all my Labours I can but ascertain the Dignity of the Roman State, and Edition: current; Page: [132] your particular Saferies. Such, Conscript Fathers, hath been my Lot as Consul, as to have been no-where exempt from deadly Snares, and the Pursuits of Assassins; not amidst the Tribunals, where all Right and Justice is dispensed; not in the Field of Mars, a Place hallowed by solemn Auspices for the Election of Consuls; not in the Senate, the highest and common Refuge of all Nations; not at Home, the common Retreat of all Men; not in my Bed, ever sacred to Repose; not, finally, in this Vehicle of Dignity, the Chair of State.

In many Instances I have dissembled what I knew; in many I have exercised Patience; in many, Compliance; and in many, to case you of your Fears, I have undergone real Pain myself. If, indeed, the immortal Deities have determined, that I shall conclude my Consulship by rescuing you, Conscript Fathers, and the whole Roman People, from tragical Carnage; your Wives and Children, and the venerable Vestals, from Barbarity and Woe; the Temples and Tabernacles of the Gods, nay, this our glorious Country, alike interesting to us all, from horrible Conflagration, with all Italy from War and Desolation; I am ready to yield to any Lot, which Fortune shall assign me. For, if Publius Lentulus, convinced by the Augurs, believed that his Name was destined to bring Perdition upon the Commonwealth; have not I cause to rejoice to find my Consulship reserved, as it were, by Fate, for the Preservation of the Commonwealth?

Take care, therefore, of yourselves, Conscript Fathers; study the Welfare of your Country; secure your own Lives, your Wives, your Children, and your Fortunes; defend the Persons and Dignity of the Roman People; and relinquish your Tenderness, drop your Anxiety, for me. For, first, I have Cause to hope, that the Gods, who preside over this City, will all concur to reward me according to the Measure of my Services to it. Next, if any Fate unforeseen should befal me, I shall die with a Spirit altogether Edition: current; Page: [133] firm and resigned. Indeed, no brave Man can ever die ignominiously; no Man, who has borne the Consulship, prematurely; no wise Man, meanly. Not that I am hardened against Nature; far otherwise: I am sensibly touched with the Sorrow of a very dear, a very affectionate Brother here present; and with that of those, whom you now behold, all in Tears, surrounding me. My Soul, too, is often dragged back to my Family, by a Wife expiring under Pangs, by a Daughter crushed with Dread and Woe, by a little Son, whom, methinks, I see the Commonwealth clasping in her Arms, as a Pledge for my faithful Ministry; as also by my Daughter’s Husband, now standing in my View, and awaiting here the Issue of this Day. All these Thoughts affect me: Yet I yield to the better Choice, that all these Objects of my Tenderness escape safe with you, though I should fall a Victim to Violence; rather than that they, and all of us, be swallowed up in the final Overthrow of the Republic.

Exert, therefore, Conscript Fathers, your Endeavours for the Safety of the Commonwealth: Cast your Eyes around you; watch on every Side against approaching Storms, such as, without your special Precaution, will overwhelm you. For the Objects of your present Deliberations you have not a Tiberius Gracchus aiming to be a second time chosen Tribune of the People; not a Caius Gracchus, striving to excite Commotions, in order to carry the Agrarian Law; not a Lucius Saturninus, under Prosecution for killing Caius Memmius, and subjected to the Severity of your Judgment. Higher Criminals await your Sentence, Criminals already in Bonds, Accomplices of Catiline, such, who remained here behind him, on purpose to restore him, by reduceing Rome to Ashes, and by butchering you all. The Proofs against them are in your Possession, their Signets, their Letters under their own Hands, and indeed their several Confessions, that they had urged the Allobrogians to revolt, animated the Slaves to rebel, pressed Catiline, with his Army, to advance; Edition: current; Page: [134] and formed a Scheme so effectually to murder all without Exception, that not a Soul should be left to mourn over the Ashes and late Grandeur of the Commonwealth; none to bewail the dreadful Catastrophe of so glorious an Empire.

All these Facts the Witnesses have verified, all these Facts the Parties have owned; and upon them you have already founded many Determinations. First, you have unanimously presented me your Thanks in solemn Strains; nay, you have testified, that, by my Courage, and unwearied Pains, a Conspiracy formed by abandoned Men was disclosed. Next, you have compelled Publius Lentulus to relinquish the Office of Prætor. Then you have given Orders to have him and the rest, whom you tried, committed to Custody: What likewise is chiefly remarkable, as it is an Honour which never was bestowed upon any Roman in Civil Office before me, you have ordained Days of public Thanksgiving to be solemnized in my Name. Lastly, you Yesterday awarded grand Recompences to the Allobrogian Deputies, and to Titus Volturcius. All which Proceedings tend directly to shew, that those, whom you have by Name ordered into Durance, are already judged by you, without any Scruple, worthy of Condemnation. I determined, however, to represent it to you anew, Conscript Fathers; that you may both comprehend the Fact, and ascertain the Measure of Punishment. What Information is due from me as Consul, I will freely give you.

I long since perceived many Instances of raging Licentiousness in the Commonwealth; these, too, daily increased, and inflamed by an Accession and Mixture of fresh Corruptions and Violence: But that a Conspiracy so dreadful, so deadly, was framed against Rome by Roman Citizens, I never once conjectured. Time and Danger press you: Which Way soever your Inclinations and Propositions tend, you must finally determine and declare them before Night. By the Evidence produced before you, you perceive the prodigious Strength and Size of the Treason. If you Edition: current; Page: [135] suppose, that in it there are but few Co-operators, you are grievously deceived. The Source of this Evil is spread beyond all Conception: It hath not only flowed over all Italy, but even passed over the Alps, and, by silently gliding into many Provinces, still prevails in them. It is an Evil not to be crushed by a Course of Sufferance and Procrastinations. Whatever Method of Punishment you determine, the Punishment itself must be forthwith inflicted.

Hitherto I see but two Propositions offered, one by Decius Silanus, for dooming to Death those who endeavoured to destroy the Commonwealth; the other by Caius Cæsar, exempting them from Death, but subjecting them to all the Rigour and Anguish of every other terrible Punishment. Both of them, acting suitably to their great public Dignity, and to the Importance of the Question, contend for a Sentence extremely severe. Silanus judges, that it behoves us not to allow the Conspirators a Moment to live, and breathe common Air; Conspirators, who laboured to bereave us all of Life, us and the Roman People; Conspirators, who strove to extinguish the Empire and Sovereignty of Rome, nay, the Name and Memory of Romans. He recounts, too, how frequent a Practice it was in this Commonwealth to inflict such Doom upon guilty Citizens.

Cæsar conceives, that the immortal Deities have not instituted Death as a Punishment, but either as the necessary Condition of Nature, or as an everlasting Deliverance from all Fatigues and Woe: Hence wise Men never encounter it with Regret; brave Men frequently with Pleasure. He, therefore, consigns the Criminals over to Chains, nay, to endless Chains; and, under such, to be committed apart to the municipal Cities: A new Chastisement, yet, in truth, suitably grievous for their diabolical Crimes.

This Scheme, however, infers Violence offered to these Cities, if you oblige them to be answerable for the Prisoners; at least, infers a Difficulty upon them how to secure the Prisoners, if you Edition: current; Page: [136] make it but a Request to the Cities. You may determine this Point how you please: For I will undertake to convince Cæsar, by such Arguments as, I hope, will weigh with him, that it suits not with his great Figure in the State, to oppose what you think proper to ordain for the common Preservation of all Men.

To his Proposition he adds a heavy Penalty upon the Citizens of these municipal Towns, if any of the Prisoners escape. He adjudges them to be dreadfully guarded, and offers rigorous Sanctions, (all worthy of such blood-thirsty Profligates) that no Man may be able, by Application either to the Senate, or to the People, to alleviate their Sufferings. He even divests them of Hope, the sole, the common Consolation of Men under the forest Misery. He likewise advises their Estates and Fortunes to be confiscated, and publicly sold, and leaves these guilty Men their Life only; since, were he to bereave them of that, he should, by one short Pang, deliver them from a Train of Afflictions, both in Body and Spirit, and from all the lasting Sufferings due to their Cruelties. Thus it was, that, to awe and restrain wicked Men in the Course of their Lives, the Antients contended, that future Torments were ordained for the Impious; as they conceived, that, if the Dread of such were taken away, Death itself would not be dreaded.

Here, Conscript Fathers, I perceive which Way my own particular Advantage lies. If you take the Proposition of Cæsar, who in it has taken what is reckoned the popular Part in the Commonwealth; I perhaps have less to apprehend from any popular Outrage, after he shall be known to have offered and defended such a Proposition: Whereas, if you take that of Silanus, I doubt I shall incur great Difficulty. But let all Considerations of Dangers to myself yield to the Interest of the Commonwealth. For, from Cæsar too we have had, what well became his own Dignity, and the great Lustre of his Ancestors, such a Proposition, as abundantly assures us of his unalterable Edition: current; Page: [137] Zeal for the Commonwealth. It is, in truth, well known, what Difference there is between the Lenity affected in popular Harangues, and a Spirit truly anxious for the People, and employed for their Preservation. Some, I observe, are now absent; such, who, aiming at a popular Character, would avoid joining in Judgment against the Life of a Roman Citizen.

He, Cæsar, the other Day, declared for committing Roman Citizens to Prison, declared for solemnizing Days of Thanksgiving, in Honour of me; nay, Yesterday declared for distinguishing the Witnesses with grand Recompences. It, therefore, can be a Mystery to none, what Sentiments he has all along entertained concerning this Prosecution, and the whole Affair; He, who hath already adjudged Imprisonment to the Criminals, public Thanks to the Impleader, and Rewards to the Witnesses. Yet still Cæsar is aware, that the Sempronian Law secures the Lives of Roman Citizens: But he is likewise aware, that whoever is an Enemy to the Roman Commonwealth, can by no means be a Roman Citizen; nay, that the Author of the Sempronian Law paid his Life as an Atonement to the Commonwealth, even by an Ordinance of the People.

Neither can such a Man even as Lentulus, however signal for Largesses, and profuse Expence, pass with Cæsar for a popular Man, especially when, with a Spirit so pestilent and blood-thirsty, he had devised to butcher the Roman People, and reduce Rome itself to Ashes. Thus Cæsar, the mildest and most moderate of all Men, never once pauses about consigning Publius Lentulus to Bonds and Darkness, without Redemption or End; nay, he annexes a penal Restriction, without Limitation of Time, that no Man shall venture to mitigate such Punishment, lest such a Man may thence boast his popular Merit, or hereafter grow popular by a Step so ruinous to the Roman People. Besides, he subjoins the Confiscation of their Possessions, whence, as their Souls Edition: current; Page: [138] may be gnawed with Torments and Anguish, so may their Bodies with Want and Beggary.

Thus, therefore, it is; if you adopt this Proposition of Cæsar’s, I shall, in recounting it to an Assembly of the People, be furnished by you with a Companion, who is very amiable and dear to them: If you prefer that of Silanus, you will still find it easy to defend yourselves and me from the Imputation of Cruelty; nay, I will procure it to be approved, as implying the lighter Punishment. Though, to say Truth, Conscript Fathers, how is it possible to commit Cruelty in punishing such black and stupendous Treason? For, my declared Judgment about it, is what my Spirit really dictates. Neither doth my Ardour on this Occasion arise from any Barbarity of Heart, (for who is more humane than I?) but even from uncommon Mildness and Mercy, from pure Zeal to secure our Commonwealth, that I may continue to enjoy, with you, all its Blessings and Privileges.

For, methinks, I behold this Imperial City, the Light and Glory of the Earth, the Refuge of all Nations, finally swallowed up in one sudden Blaze. My Soul presents me with a View of my Country buried under her own Ruins; with the deplorable Piles of Citizens butchered and unburied! Full in my Eye appears Cethegus, flaming with frantic Vengeance, and quenching it in your Blood. When my Imagination, next, represents Lentulus exercising lawless Sway, a Lot for which he avows to have trusted to the Fates; under him, the Traitor Gabinius, adorned with Purple; then Catiline, arrived with his Army; I shrink with the Horror of what follows; Matrons wailing, Virgins and tender Youths frighted and flying, and even the holy Vestals violated.

These are affecting Calamities, and full of Woe; and, because they appear very sensibly such to me, I therefore act with Acrimony and Fervour towards the Men, who laboured to introduce these affecting Calamities. Suppose the Father of a Family found his Children butchered, his Wife murdered, and his House burnt Edition: current; Page: [139] by a Slave; whether would he, in adjudging that Slave to the most rigid and painful Doom, be accounted merciful and tender, or very inhuman, and very barbarous? To me he would appear altogether savage and absurd, if he forbore to mitigate his own Pangs and Sufferings, by the Sufferings and Pangs of his guilty Slave.

Thus, in our Proceedings with these Criminals of State, Criminals, who purposed to slaughter us all, us, our Wives, and our Children; Criminals, who strove utterly to raze our several Dwellings, without Exception, and this our City, the great Head and Centre of our Commonwealth; Criminals, who intended to have settled the Nation of the Allobrogians upon the Ruins of Rome; to have brought Barbarians into their native Country, first laid desolate by Fire; if we treat them with the utmost Rigour, we shall be esteemed compassionate; if we be sparing of Rigour, we can never escape the everlasting Reproach of the most comprehensive Cruelty, in exposing to Perdition our native State, and all our Fellow-Citizens.

Will any one impute Cruelty to Lucius Cæsar, that very brave Man, and very affectionate to the Commonwealth, for publicly declaring the other Day, in the Senate, that Publius Lentulus, though Husband to his Sister, a Lady of shining Character, ought unquestionably to suffer Death; nay, for declaring it in the Presence and Hearing of Lentulus? He alledged the Example and Fate of his own Grandfather, slain by Order of the Consul, who caused even his Son, yet a Youth, to be executed in Prison, though purposely sent to him on Commission from his Father. What Offence had they committed, resembling the present? In what Scheme had they engaged for the utter Destruction of the Commonwealth? There then prevailed in the Commonwealth a Spirit of Popularity for courting the People by public Grants: Thence followed a Struggle of Parties; and, upon that Occasion, the Grandfather of this very Lentulus, an illustrious Roman, took Arms, Edition: current; Page: [140] and fell upon Gracchus; nay, was even grievously wounded; all to prevent the least Concussion to the State. The present Lentulus applies himself to extirpate the very Foundations of the State, invites an Invasion from the Gauls, rouses the Slaves to rebel, calls home Catiline, consigns us Senators to be butchered by Cethegus, all the other Citizens to be massacred by Gabinius, the City to be set on Fire by Cassius, all Italy to be ravaged and plundered by Catiline.

Here is Barbarity indeed, tremendous in its Nature, prodigious in its Size! Nor can I conceive, how, in your Proceedings against it, you should possibly fear to have passed any Resolution too rigorous. Surely, you have much more Cause to fear having appeared cruel towards our common Country, by too tender a Punishment, than thought unrelenting by the Asperity of whatever Doom we pass upon such determined and implacable Enemies. I cannot, however, smother what I hear: A Rumour which flies abroad, hath reached my Ear, raised by such as seem to apprehend, that I am not furnished with sufficient Power and Assistance to execute what you are this Day about to ordain.

All Precautions, Conscript Fathers, are taken, all necessary Strength provided, all Measures of Safety concerted, not only with my utmost Circumspection and Vigilance, but rather by the superior Ardour of the Roman People, all zealous to preserve the Roman Empire in its intire Splendour, and their own Persons and Fortunes in full Security. All Men attend to assist us, those of every Rank, and every Age: They throng all the great Forum; throng all the Temples round the Forum; nay, all the Avenues to this very Quarter, and this Temple. Indeed, ever since the Founding of Rome, this Cause is the only one yet known, where the Opinions and Wishes of all intirely agree: I except those Men, who, finding themselves destined to perish, were resolved rather to involve the whole Community in their Doom, than perish by themselves. Such Men I freely except, and distinguish from the Edition: current; Page: [141] rest; since I am persuaded, that they are not to be numbered even amongst bad Citizens, but only amongst the most cruel and pestilent Enemies. As to all the others, immortal Deities! in what Multitudes, with what Zeal, with how much Vigour, do they all concur to maintain the public Dignity and Welfare!

What need is there to mention the Roman Knights, Men, who, whilst they consent, that you preside in the public Councils, and excel in Rank, yet vie with you in Affection to the Commonwealth? They are now, after many Years, recovered, from their antient Rupture, to Union and Reconcilement with this our Body; and, on this Day, by this interesting Cause, unanimously attached to us. This is a Conjunction of such Moment, that, if we can but always maintain it, as it is now confirmed under my Consulship, I here undertake to you, that no intestine or domestic Harm shall henceforth, in any Instance, embroil the State.

I perceive, that the same Zeal hath animated these very brave Men, the Tribunes of the Exchequer, to assemble for the Defence of the Commonwealth; with the whole Body, too, of Scribes, who, happening to meet in great Numbers there, forsook their Pursuit of Debts, and Attendance for Gain, all watchful for the common Safety. We have here, with all the rest, to aid us, the whole Body of such as are free-born Romans, even the most young and tender. In truth, who is the Man, to whom these. Temples of the Gods, the Aspect of the City, the Enjoyment of Liberty, nay, the common Light and Air, and even the very Soil, of our common Country, do not prove, not only very dear, but even lovely and delightful?

What, next, deserves our Consideration, Conscript Fathers, is the public Spirit of such as were not born, but made free; Men, who, having, by their Merit, obtained the Right of Citizens, sincerely hold this to be their native Country; a Country, which some, who were born in it, nay, born to all the Lustre and Edition: current; Page: [142] superior Privileges in it, hold, not for their Country, but for a State full of Enemies.

But why need I recount the several Ranks of Men, who, either from their private Fortunes, or from their common Engagements to the Public, or for their Love of Liberty, (a Blessing so charming!) are all roused to exert themselves, in Defence of their Common Welfare? There is not a Slave, who, if his Lot of Servitude be but supportable, does not see the bold Disloyalty of natural Citizens with Abhorrence; does not wish the Continuance of our Establishment; does not manifest as much Zeal as he dares, and is allowed, towards the public Security.

If, therefore, any of you chance to be alarmed with the Report, that a prostitute Instrument of Lentulus is running from Shop to Shop, in hopes, by Bribes, to corrupt the Minds of the Indigent and Unwary; this Expedient is, indeed, devised and tried: But none are found, either so wretched in their Condition, or so utterly depraved in their Inclinations, as to comply: They are, on the contrary, desirous to preserve their humble Habitations, their slender Fare, the Product of their daily Earnings and Labour, with their mean Lodging, and little Bed; and, finally, their present Course of Life, endeared to them by Freedom and Indolence. Indeed, by far the greatest Part of such who live in Shops, or, rather, as we must needs own, all of them in general, are zealous for public Tranquility: Since their whole Stock, their whole Industry and Gain, is supported by the Resort of Citizens; the Whole thrives by public Quiet. Now, if such their Gain be subject to be reduced and impaired by keeping their Shops shut, what must be the Consequence, if they were burnt?

From the Roman People, therefore, Conscript Fathers, no Aid or Defence will be wanting. To You it belongs, so to act, that you may not seem wanting to the Roman People. You have a Consul, who, surviving numberless Dangers, and bloody Snares, nay, delivered out of the very Jaws of Death, is still reserved for Edition: current; Page: [143] your Preservation, rather than that of his own Life. All Orders of Men agree to secure and protect the Commonwealth: To this great End they all contrive; all exert their best Zeal and Wishes; all express their Vigour and Testimony. Your Common Country, beset by diabolical Conspirators, armed with Fire and Sword, applies to You in a supplicant Posture: To You, as her Protectors, she recommends herself; to You the Lives of all the Citizens; to You the Castle and Capitol; to You the Altars of the Houshold Gods; to You the Fire of the Vestals; that holy Fire, never to be extinguished; to You all the Temples and Tabernacles of the Deities; to You the Walls of Rome, and all her Dwellings.

You are, moreover, this important Day, to pass Judgment upon your own Lives, upon those of your Children and Wives, upon the Fortunes of all, upon your Mansions, and domestic Hearths. You have a Leader, intirely vigilant for you, intirely thoughtless about himself; a Qualification which does not always occurr. You have all Ranks, all Men, indeed, the Roman People, universally concurring in the same Sentiment; a Union, such as, in any public Proceeding, was never seen, till this very Juncture.

Recollect what a Tragedy one single Night had well-nigh produced, even the final Overthrow of this Empire, founded by such a painful Succession of Struggles and Fatigues; the Extinction of public Liberty, established by a long Course of heroic Actions; with the utter Dissipation of all Wealth and Treasure, all procured and accumulated by the signal Bounty of the Gods! That no room be henceforth left, not only for accomplishing such dreadful Treason, but even for devising it, is the Business of your present Deliberations. Observe, that I have not offered these Considerations to fire your Zeal, (for, in Zeal, you almost surpass me) but to let my Voice, which ought to be the foremost in the State; testify, that I had spoken what became the Duty of a Consul.

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Here, Conscript Fathers, before I come to my concluding Inference, I shall offer a few Particulars concerning myself. You perceive the Band of Conspirators to be extremely numerous; as I do, that, let their Number be ever so great, I have incurred the mortal Enmity of just so many Men, as there are Conspirators; a Band, however, which I hold for base, impotent, contemptible, and forlorn. But, suppose, that, in time to come, these Conspirators, animated by the Fury and Villainy of some successful Parricide, should prevail against your Authority, and that of the State; still, Conscript Fathers, I shall never be sorry for the Course of my Conduct and Counsels. Perhaps they threaten me with Death; a Lot appointed to all Men: And, in this Life, no Man ever attained to so much Applause, as, by your Decrees, you have honoured me withal. To others you have decreed public Festivals, for having well served the Commonwealth: To me, for having saved it.

Let Scipio be still renowned; He by whose Conduct and Bravery Hannibal was driven out of Italy into Africa again. Let the other Scipio, called the Second Africanus, be complimented with high Fame; He who overthrew Carthage and Numantia, Two Cities bearing implacable Enmity to this our Empire. Let the Praise of a signal Commander ever follow Lucius Paulus Æmilius; who, to honour his Triumph, made King Perses, in Chains, accompany his Chariot; a Prince, formerly, so very powerful, and so very splendid. Let Marius be covered with eternal Glory; he, who twice delivered Italy from Invasion, and the Dread of Thraldom. Be Pompey yet preferred to all others whomsoever; a Roman whose Virtues and Atchievements are bounded only by the utmost Regions visited by the Sun.

Surely, amidst the Praises of all these, some room will be left for mine! Unless it be judged a nobler Task to conquer distant Provinces, whither we may afterwards have recourse, than so to guard the State, whilst they are absent, that, the City being safe, they may have a Place whither to bring back their Laurels. One Edition: current; Page: [145] Advantage, indeed, attends conquering Abroad, more than at Home; for foreign Enemies, when quite subdued, either become Slaves, or, when received into Grace, judge themselves under the Tie of Gratitude: But when those of the same Community are so smitten with any Phrensy, as once to entertain Enmity against their Country, though you may defeat their Purposes to destroy the Commonwealth, you can never after restrain them by Force, nor pacify them by Favours.

Hence I perceive myself involved in an everlasting War with reprobate Citizens. Their utmost Violence, however, I trust easily to repulse from me and from mine: Such is my Confidence in your Support, and that of all worthy Men, and in your and their remembering what dreadful Perils surrounded us; Remembrance which will for ever cleave to the Minds and Conversation, not only of this People, who have felt the Deliverance, but even to those of all Nations. Neither will any Violence, wheresoever, be able to break the Union between You and the Roman Knights, or dissolve the Conjunction of all good Citizens.

In this Situation, Conscript Fathers, all that I request of you, in place of the Command of the Army, in place of the Province, both which I slighted and resigned; in place of the Triumph, which, with the other Displays of Honour, I rejected, purposely here to guard the City, and your Lives; in place of all Dependencies, and Claims of Hospitality in the Provinces; Advantages, which, as Consul, I employ the public Aid to maintain, with as much Labour as I do to acquire: For all these Considerations; for all the Instances of my singular Attachment to you; for all the Proofs which you see of my indesatigable Assiduity to save the State; I request nothing else of you, but only to retain the Impression of this Period of Time, and of the Transactions throughout my Consulship. As long as such Impressions continue rivetted in your Minds, I shall think myself surrounded with a Bulwark. Should the Violence of wicked Edition: current; Page: [146] Men frustrate my Hopes, and prevail against me, to You I recommend my little Son: It will prove abundant Security to him; not only to his Person, but even to his Reputation, that you remember him to be the Son of that Citizen, who, at his own single Peril, preserved this our whole City and Empire.

As you, therefore, tender your very Lives, Conscript Fathers, with those of the Roman People, your Wives and Children; as you tender your Sanctuaries, your Temples, and holy Places, your Habitations, and all the Dwellings in Rome; as you tender your Empire, the public Liberty, and the Preservation of Italy, and, indeed, the whole Commonwealth; attend to what you do, and decree, as you have determined to decree, with Circumspection, and with Vigour. You have a Consul, who, without pausing, will not only fulfil your Decrees, but, whilst his Life lasts, will set himself, with all his Might, to maintain and execute whatever you shall decree.

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THE WAR AGAINST JUGURTHA.

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To the Right Honourable the Earl of CHOLMONDELEY.

My Lord,

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 Edition: current; Page: [150] 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.

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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.

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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. Edition: current; Page: [153] 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 Edition: current; Page: [154] 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,

My Lord,
Your most Humble,
and most Obedient Servant,
T. Gordon.
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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, Edition: current; Page: [156] 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 Edition: current; Page: [157] 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 Edition: current; Page: [158] 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.

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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 Edition: current; Page: [160] 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 Edition: current; Page: [161] 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 Edition: current; Page: [162] 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 Edition: current; Page: [163] 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 Edition: current; Page: [164] 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, Edition: current; Page: [165] 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; Edition: current; Page: [166] 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 Edition: current; Page: [167] 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 Edition: current; Page: [168] 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.

Edition: current; Page: [169]

‘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 Edition: current; Page: [170] 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 Edition: current; Page: [171] 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, Edition: current; Page: [172] 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 Edition: current; Page: [173] 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 Edition: current; Page: [174] 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 Edition: current; Page: [175] Intermarriages, with the Getulians; and, because they rambled continually hither and thither, seeking out and trying fresh Pasture, they called themselves* Numidians. 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; Edition: current; Page: [176] 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 Edition: current; Page: [177] 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 Edition: current; Page: [178] 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 Edition: current; Page: [179] 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:

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‘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 Edition: current; Page: [181] 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 Edition: current; Page: [182] 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 Edition: current; Page: [183] 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 Edition: current; Page: [184] 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,