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We cannot but think that at this time the return of Caesar was greatly feared at Rome by the party in the State to which Cicero belonged; and this party must now be understood as including Pompey.  Pompey had been nominally Proconsul in Spain since the year of his second Consulship, conjointly with Crassus, B.C. 55, but had remained in Rome and had taken upon himself the management of Roman affairs, considering himself to be the master of the irregular powers which the Triumvirate had created; and of this party was also Cicero, with Cato, Bibulus, Brutus, and all those who were proud to call themselves “optimates.”  They were now presumed to be desirous to maintain the old republican form of government, and were anxious with more or less sincerity according to the character of the men.  Cato and Brutus were thoroughly in earnest, not seeing, however, that the old form might be utterly devoid of the old spirit.  Pompey was disposed to take the same direction, thinking that all must be well in Rome as long as he was possessed of high office, grand names, and the appanages of Dictatorship.  Cicero, too, was anxious, loyally anxious, but anxious without confidence.  Something might perhaps be saved if these optimates could be aroused to some idea of their duty by the exercise of eloquence such as his own.

I will quote a few words from Mr. Froude’s Caesar:  “If Caesar came to Rome as Consul, the Senate knew too well what it might expect;” and then he adds, “Cicero had for some time seen what was coming." As to these assertions I quite agree with Mr. Froude; but I think that he has read wrongly both the history of the time and the character of the man when he goes on to state that “Cicero preferred characteristically to be out of the way at the moment when he expected that the storm should break, and had accepted the government of Cilicia and Cyprus.”  All the known details of Cicero’s life up to the period of his government of Cilicia, during his government, and after his return from that province, prove that he was characteristically wedded to a life in Rome.  This he declared by his distaste to that employment and his impatience of return while he was absent.  Nothing, I should say, could be more certain than that he went to Cilicia in obedience to new legal enactments which he could not avoid, but which, as they acted upon himself, were odious to him.  Mr. Froude tells us that he held the government but for two years. The period of these provincial governments had of late much varied.  The acknowledged legal duration was for one year.  They had been stretched by the governing party to three, as in the case of Verres in Sicily; to five, as with Pompey for his Spanish government; to ten for Caesar in Gaul.  This had been done with the view of increasing the opportunities for plunder and power, but had been efficacious of good in enabling governors to carry out work for which one year would not have sufficed.  It may be a question whether Cicero as Proconsul in Cilicia deserved blame for curtailing the period of his services to the Empire, or praise for abstaining from plunder and power; but the fact is that he remained in his province not two years but exactly one; and that he escaped from it with all the alacrity which we may presume to be expected by a prisoner when the bars of his jail have been opened for him.  Whether we blame him or praise him, we can hardly refrain from feeling that his impatience was grotesque.  There certainly was no desire on Cicero’s part either to go to Cilicia or to remain there, and of all his feelings that which prompted him never to be far absent from Rome was the most characteristic of the man.

Among various laws which Pompey had caused to be passed in the previous year, B.C. 52, and which had been enacted with views personal to himself and his own political views, had been one “de jure magistratuum” ­as to the way in which the magistrates of the Empire should be selected.  Among other clauses it contained one which declared that no Praetor and no Consul should succeed to a province till he had been five years out of office.  It would be useless here to point out how absolutely subversive of the old system of the Republic this new law would have been, had the new law and the old system attempted to live together.  The Propraetor would have been forced to abandon his aspirations either for the province or for the Consulship, and no consular governor would have been eligible for a province till after his fiftieth year.  But at this time Pompey was both consul and governor, and Caesar was governor for ten years with special exemption from another clause in the war which would otherwise have forbidden him to stand again for the Consulship during his absence. The law was wanted probably only for the moment; but it had the effect of forcing Cicero out of Rome.  As there would naturally come from it a dearth of candidates for the provinces it was further decreed by the Senate that the ex-Praetors and ex-Consuls who had not yet served as governors should now go forth and undertake the duties of government.  In compliance with this order, and probably as a specially intended consequence of it, Cicero was compelled to go to Cilicia.  Mr. Froude has said that “he preferred characteristically to be out of the way.”  I have here given what I think to be the more probable cause of his undertaking the government of Cilicia.

In April of this year Cicero before he started wrote the first of a series of letters which he addressed to Appius Claudius, who was his predecessor in the province.  This Appius was the brother of the Publius Clodius whom we have known for the last two or three years as Cicero’s pest and persecutor; but he addresses Appius as though they were dear friends:  “Since it has come to pass, in opposition to all my wishes and to my expectations, that I must take in hand the government of a province, I have this one consolation in my various troubles ­that no better friend to yourself than I am could follow you, and that I could take up the government from the hands of none more disposed to make the business pleasant to me than you will be." And then he goes on:  “You perceive that, in accordance with the decree of the Senate, the province has to be occupied.”  His next letter on the subject was written to Atticus while he was still in Italy, but when he had started on his journey.  “In your farewell to me,” he says, “I have seen the nature of your love to me.  I know well what is my own for you.  It must, then, be your peculiar care to see lest by any new arrangement this parting of ours should be prolonged beyond one year." Then he goes on to tell the story of a scene that had occurred at Arcanum, a house belonging to his brother Quintus, at which he had stopped on the road for a family farewell.  Pomponia was there, the wife of Quintus and the sister to Atticus.  There were a few words between the husband and the wife as to the giving of the invitation for the occasion, in which the lady behaved with much Christian perversity of temper.  “Alas,” says Quintus to his brother, “you see what it is that I have to suffer every day!” Knowing as we all do how great were the powers of the Roman paterfamilias, and how little woman’s rights had been ventilated in those days, we should have thought that an ex-Praetor might have managed his home more comfortably; but ladies, no doubt, have had the capacity to make themselves disagreeable in all ages.

I doubt whether we have any testimony whatever as to Cicero’s provincial government, except that which comes from himself and which is confined to the letters written by him at the time. Nevertheless, we have a clear record of his doings, so full and satisfactory are the letters which he then wrote.  The truth of his account of himself has never been questioned.  He draws a picture of his own integrity, his own humanity, and his own power of administration which is the more astonishing, because we cannot but compare it with the pictures which we have from the same hand of the rapacity, the cruelty, and the tyranny of other governors.  We have gone on learning from his speeches and his letters that these were habitual plunderers, tyrants, and malefactors, till we are taught to acknowledge that, in the low condition to which Roman nature had fallen, it was useless to expect any other conduct from a Roman governor; and then he gives us the account of how a man did govern, when, as by a miracle, a governor had been found honest, clear-headed, sympathetic, and benevolent.  That man was himself; and he gives this account of himself, as it were, without a blush!  He tells the story of himself, not as though it was remarkable!  That other governors should grind the bones of their subjects to make bread of them, and draw the blood from their veins for drink; but that Cicero should not condescend to take even the normal tribute when willingly offered, seems to Cicero to have been only what the world had a right to expect from him!  A wonderful testimony is this as to the man’s character; but surely the universal belief in his own account of his own governorship is more wonderful.  “The conduct of Cicero in his command was meritorious,” says De Quincey.  “His short career as Proconsul in Cilicia had procured for him well-merited honor,” says Dean Merivale. “He had managed his province well; no one ever suspected Cicero of being corrupt or unjust,” says Mr. Froude, who had, however, said (some pages before) that Cicero was “thinking as usual of himself first, and his duty afterward." Dio Cassius, who is never tired of telling disagreeable stories of Cicero’s life, says not a word of his Cilician government, from which we may, at any rate, argue that no stories detrimental to Cicero as a Proconsul had come in the way of Dio Cassius.  I have confirmed what I have said as to this episode in Cicero’s life by the corroborating testimony of writers who have not been generally favorable in their views of his character.  Nevertheless, we have no testimony but his own as to what Cicero did in Cilicia.

It has never occurred to any reader of Cicero’s letters to doubt a line in which he has spoken directly of his own conduct.  His letters have often been used against himself, but in a different manner.  He has been judged to give true testimony against himself, but not false testimony in his own favor.  His own record has been taken sometimes as meaning what it has not meant ­and sometimes as implying much more that the writer intended.  A word which has required for its elucidation an insight into the humor of the man has been read amiss, or some trembling admissions to a friend of shortcoming in the purpose of the moment has been presumed to refer to a continuity of weakness.  He has been injured, not by having his own words as to himself discredited, but by having them too well credited where they have been misunderstood.  It is at any rate the fact that his own account of his own proconsular doings has been accepted in full, and that the present reader may be encouraged to believe what extracts I may give to him by the fact that all other readers before him have believed them.

From his villa at Cumae on his journey he wrote to Atticus in high spirits.  Hortensius had been to see him ­his old rival, his old predecessor in the glory of the Forum ­Hortensius, whom he was fated never to see again.  His only request to Hortensius had been that he should assist in taking care that he, Cicero, should not be required to stay above one year in his province.  Atticus is to help him also; and another friend, Furnius, who may probably be the Tribune for the next year, has been canvassed for the same object.  In a further letter from Beneventum he alludes to a third marriage for his daughter Tullia, but seems to be aware that, as he is leaving Italy, he cannot interfere in that matter himself.  He writes again from Venusia, saying that he purports to see Pompey at Tarentum before he starts, and gives special instructions to Atticus as to the payment of a debt which is due by him to Caesar.  He has borrowed money of Caesar, and is specially anxious that the debt should be settled.  In another letter from Tarentum he presses the same matter.  He is anxious to be relieved from the obligation.

From Athens he wrote again to his friend a letter which is chiefly remarkable as telling us something of the quarrel between Marcus Claudius Marcellus, who was one of the Consuls for the year, and Caesar, who was still absent in Gaul.  This Marcellus, and others of his family who succeeded him in his office, were hotly opposed to Caesar, belonging to that party of the State to which Cicero was attached, and to which Pompey was returning. It seems to have been the desire of the Consul not only to injure but to insult Caesar.  He had endeavored to get a decree of the Senate for recalling Caesar at once, but had succeeded only in having his proposition postponed for consideration in the following year ­when Caesar would naturally return.  But to show how little was his regard to Caesar, he caused to be flogged in Rome a citizen from one of those towns of Cisalpine Gaul to which Caesar had assumed to give the privilege of Roman citizenship.  The man was present as a delegate from his town, Novocomum ­the present Como ­in furtherance of the colony’s claims, and the Consul had the man flogged to show thereby that he was not a Roman.  Marcellus was punished for his insolence by banishment, inflicted by Caesar when Caesar was powerful.  We shall learn before long how Cicero made an oration in his favor; but, in the letter written from Athens, he blames Marcellus much for flogging the man. “Fight in my behalf,” he says, in the course of this letter; “for if my government be prolonged, I shall fail and become mean.”  The idea of absence from Rome is intolerable to him.  From Athens also he wrote to his young friend Caelius, from whom he had requested information as to what was going on in Rome.  But Caelius has to be again instructed as to the nature of the subjects which are to be regarded as interesting.  “What! ­do you think that I have asked you to send me stories of gladiators, law-court adjournments, and the pilferings of Christus ­trash that no one would think of mentioning to me if I were in Rome?" But he does not finish his letter to Caelius without begging Caelius to assist in bringing about his speedy recall.  Caelius troubles him much afterward by renewed requests for Cilician panthers wanted for AEdilian shows.  Cicero becomes very sea-sick on his journey, and then reaches Ephesus, in Asia Minor, dating his arrival there on the five hundred and sixtieth day from the battle of Bovilla, showing how much the contest as to Milo still clung to his thoughts. Ephesus was not in his province, but at Ephesus all the magistrates came out to do him honor, as though he had come among them as their governor.  “Now has arrived,” he says, “the time to justify all those declarations which I have made as to my own conduct; but I trust I can practise the lessons which I have learned from you.”  Atticus, in his full admiration of his friend’s character, had doubtless said much to encourage and to instigate the virtue which it was Cicero’s purpose to employ.  We have none of the words ever written by Atticus to Cicero, but we have light enough to show us that the one friend was keenly alive to the honor of the other, and thoroughly appreciated its beauty.  “Do not let me be more than a year away,” he exclaims; “do not let even another month be added." Then there is a letter from Caelius praying for panthers. In passing through the province of Asia to his own province, he declares that the people everywhere receive him well.  “My coming,” he says, “has cost no man a shilling." His whole staff has now joined him except one Tullius, whom he speaks of as a friend of Atticus, but afterward tells us he had come to him from Titinius.  Then he again enjoins Atticus to have that money paid to Caesar.  From Tralles, still in the province of Asia, he writes to Appius, the outgoing governor, a letter full of courtesies, and expressing an anxious desire for a meeting.  He had offered before to go by any route which might suit Appius, but Appius, as appears afterward, was anxious for anything rather than to encounter the new governor within the province he was leaving.

On 31st July he reached Laodicea, within his own boundaries, having started on his journey on 10th May, and found all people glad to see him; but the little details of his office harass him sadly.  “The action of my mind, which you know so well, cannot find space enough.  All work worthy of my industry is at an end.  I have to preside at Laodicea while some Plotius is giving judgment at Rome. And then am I not regretting at every moment the life of Rome ­the Forum, the city itself, my own house?  Am I not always regretting you?  I will endeavor to bear it for a year; but if it be prolonged, then it will be all over with me. You ask me how I am getting on.  I am spending a fortune in carrying out this grand advice of yours.  I like it hugely; but when the time comes for paying you your debts I shall have to renew the bill. To make me do such work as this is putting a saddle upon a cow” ­cutting a block with a razor, as we should say ­“clearly I am not made for it; but I will bear it, so that it be only for one year."

From Laodicea, a town in Phrygia, he went west to Synnada.  His province, known as Cilicia, contained the districts named on the map of Asia Minor as Phrygia, Pisidia, Pamphylia, part of Cappadocia, Cilicia, and the island of Cyprus.  He soon found that his predecessors had ruined the people.  “Know that I have come into a province utterly and forever destroyed,” he says to Atticus. “We hear only of taxes that cannot be paid, of men’s chattels sold on all sides, of the groans from the cities, of lamentations, of horrors such as some wild beast might have produced rather than a human being.  There is no room for question.  Every man is tired of his life; and yet some relief is given now, because of me, and by my officers, and by my lieutenants.  No expense is imposed on any one.  We do not take even the hay which is allowed by the Julian law ­not even the wood.  Four beds to lie on is all we accept, and a roof over our heads.  In many places not even that, for we live in our tents.  Enormous crowds therefore come to us, and return, as it were, to life through the justice and moderation of your Cicero.  Appius, when he knew that I was come, ran away to Tarsus, the farthest point of the province.”  What a picture we have here of the state of a Roman dependency under a normal Roman governor, and of the good which a man could do who was able to abstain from plunder!  In his next letter his pride expresses itself so loudly that we have to remember that this man, after all, is writing only his own secret thoughts to his bosom friend.  “If I can get away from this quickly, the honors which will accrue to me from my justice will be all the greater, as happened to Scaevola, who was governor in Asia only for nine months." Then again he declares how Appius had escaped into the farthest corner of the province ­to Tarsus ­when he knew that Cicero was coming.

He writes again to Appius, complaining.  “When I compare my conduct to yours,” he says, “I own that I much prefer my own." He had taken every pains to meet Appius in a manner convenient to him, but had been deceived on every side.  Appius had, in a way unusual among Roman governors, carried on his authority in remote parts of the province, although he had known of his successor’s arrival.  Cicero assures him that he is quite indifferent to this.  If Appius will relieve him of one month’s labor out of the twelve he will be delighted.  But why has Appius taken away three of the fullest cohorts, seeing that in the entire province the number of soldiers left has been so small?  But he assures Appius that, as he makes his journey, neither good nor bad shall hear evil spoken by him of his predecessor.  “But as for you, you seem to have given to the dishonest reasons for thinking badly of me.”  Then he describes the exact course he means to take in his further journey, thus giving Appius full facility for avoiding him.

From Cybistra, in Cappadocia, he writes official letters to Caius Marcellus, who had been just chosen Consul, the brother of Marcus the existing Consul; to an older Caius Marcellus, who was their father, a colleague of his own in the College of Augurs, and to Marcus the existing Consul, with his congratulations, also to AEmilius Paulus, who had also been elected Consul for the next year.  He writes, also, a despatch to the Consuls, to the Praetors, to the Tribunes, and to the Senate, giving them a statement as to affairs in the province.  These are interesting, rather as showing the way in which these things were done, than by their own details.  When he reaches Cilicia proper he writes them another despatch, telling them that the Parthians had come across the Euphrates.  He writes as Wellington may have done from Torres Vedras.  He bids them look after the safety of their Eastern dominions.  Though they are too late in doing this, yet better now than never. “You know,” he says, “with what sort of an army you have supported me here; and you know also that I have undertaken this duty not in blind folly, but because in respect for the Republic I have not liked to refuse. As for our allies here in the province, because our rule here has been so severe and injurious, they are either too weak to help us, or so embittered against us that we dare not trust them.”

Then there is a long letter to Appius, respecting the embassy which was to be sent from the province to Rome, to carry the praises of the departing governor and declare his excellence as a Proconsul!  This was quite the usual thing to do!  The worse the governor the more necessary the embassy; and such was the terror inspired even by a departing Roman, and such the servility of the allies ­even of those who were about to escape from him ­that these embassies were a matter of course.  There had been a Sicilian embassy to praise Verres.  Appius had complained as though Cicero had impeded this legation by restricting the amount to be allowed for its expenses.  He rebukes Appius for bringing the charge against him.

The series of letters written this year by Caelius to Cicero is very interesting as giving us a specimen of continued correspondence other than Ciceronian.  We have among the eight hundred and eighty-five letters ten or twelve from Brutus, if those attributed to him were really written by him; ten or twelve from Decimus Brutus, and an equal number from Plancus; but these were written in the stirring moments of the last struggle, and are official or military rather than familiar.  We have a few from Quintus, but not of special interest unless we are to consider that treatise on the duties of a candidate as a letter.  But these from Caelius to his older friend are genuine and natural as those from Cicero himself.  There are seventeen.  They are scattered over three or four years, but most of them refer to the period of Cicero’s provincial government.

The marvel to me is that Caelius should have adopted a style so near akin to that of his master in literature.  Scholars who have studied the words can probably tell us of deficiencies in language; but the easy, graphic tone is to my ear Ciceronian.  Tiro, who was slave, secretary, freedman, and then literary executor, may have had the handling of these letters, and have done something toward producing their literary excellence.  The subjects selected were not always good, and must occasionally have produced in Cicero’s own mind a repetition of the reprimand which he once expressed as to the gladiatorial shows and law-court adjournments; but Caelius does communicate much of the political news from Rome.  In one letter, written in October of this year, he declares what the Senate has decreed as to the recall of Caesar from Gaul, and gives the words of the enactments made, with the names subscribed to them of the promoters ­and also the names of the Tribunes who had endeavored to oppose them. The purport of these decrees I have mentioned before.  The object was to recall Caesar, and the effect was to postpone any such recall till it would mean nothing; but Caelius specially declares that the intention of recalling Caesar was agreeable to Pompey, whereby we may know that the pact of the Triumvirate was already at an end.  In another letter he speaks of the coming of the Parthians, and of Cicero’s inability to fight with them because of the inadequate number of soldiers intrusted to him.  Had there been a real Roman army, then Caelius would have been afraid, he says, for his friend’s life.  As it is, he fears only for his reputation, lest men should speak ill of him for not fighting, when to fight was beyond his power. The language here is so pretty that I am tempted to think that Tiro must have had a hand in it.  At Rome, we must remember, the tidings as to Crassus were as yet uncertain.  We cannot, however, doubt that Caelius was in truth attached to Cicero.

But Cicero was forced to fight, not altogether unwillingly ­not with the Parthians, but with tribes which were revolting from Roman authority because of the Parthian success.  “It has turned out as you wished it,” he says to Caelius ­“a job just sufficient to give me a small coronet of laurel.”  Hearing that men had risen in the Taurus range of mountains, which divided his province from that of Syria, in which Bibulus was now governor, he had taken such an army as he was able to collect to the Amanus, a mountain belonging to that range, and was now writing from his camp at Pindenissum, a place beyond his own province.  Joking at his own soldiering, he tells Caelius that he had astonished those around him by his prowess.  “Is this he whom we used to know in the city?  Is this our talkative Senator?  You can understand the things they said. When I got to the Amanus I was glad enough to find our friend Cassius had beaten back the real Parthians from Antioch.”  But Cicero claims to have done some gallant things:  “I have harassed those men of Amanus who are always troubling us.  Many I have killed; some I have taken; the rest are dispersed.  I came suddenly upon their strongholds, and have got possession of them.  I was called ‘Imperator’ at the river Issus.”  It is hardly necessary to explain, yet once again, that this title belonged properly to no commander till it had been accorded to him by his own soldiers on the field of battle. He reminds Caelius that it was on the Issus that Alexander had conquered Darius.  Then he had sat down before Pindenissum with all the machinery of a siege ­with the turrets, covered ways, and ramparts.  He had not as yet quite taken the town.  When he had done so, he would send home his official account of it all; but the Parthians may yet come, and there may be danger.  “Therefore, O my Rufus” ­he was Caelius Rufus ­“see that I am not left here, lest, as you suspect, things should go badly with me.”  There is a mixture in all this of earnestness and of drollery, of boasting and of laughing at what he was doing, which is inimitable in its reality.  His next letter is to his other young friend, Curio, who has just been elected Tribune.  He gives much advice to Curio, who certainly always needed it. He carries on the joke when he tells Atticus that the “people of Pindenissum have surrendered.”  “Who the mischief are these Pindenissians? you will say.  I have not even heard the name before.  What would you have?  I cannot make an AEtolia out of Cilicia.  With such an army as this do you expect me to do things like a Macedonicus? I had my camp on the Issus, where Alexander had his ­a better soldier no doubt than you or I. I really have made a name for myself in Syria.  Then up comes Bibulus, determined to be as good as I am; but he loses his whole cohort.”  The failure made by Bibulus at soldiering is quite as much to him as his own success.  Then he goes back to Laodicea, leaving the army in winter-quarters, under the command of his brother Quintus.

But his heart is truly in other matters, and he bursts out, in the same letter, with enthusiastic praise of the line of conduct which Atticus has laid down for him:  “But that which is more to me than anything is that I should live so that even that fellow Cato cannot find fault with me.  May I die, if it could be done better.  Nor do I take praise for it as though I was doing something distasteful; I never was so happy as in practising this moderation.  The thing itself is better to me even than the reputation of it.  What would you have me say?  It was worth my while to be enabled thus to try myself, so that I might know myself as to what I could do.”

Then there is a long letter to Cato in which he repeats the story of his grand doings at Pindenissum.  The reader will be sure that a letter to Cato cannot be sincere and pleasant as are those to Atticus and Caelius.  “If there be one man far removed from the vulgar love of praise, it is I,” he says to Cato. He tells Cato that they two are alike in all things.  They two only have succeeded in carrying the true ancient philosophy into the practice of the Forum.  Never surely were two men more unlike than the stiff-necked Cato and the versatile Cicero.

Lucius AEmilius Paullus and C. Clodius Marcellus were Consuls for the next year.  Cicero writes to both of them with tenders of friendship; but from both of them he asks that they should take care to have a decree of the Senate passed praising his doings in Cilicia. With us, too, a returning governor is anxious enough for a good word from the Prime-minister; but he does not ask for it so openly.  The next letter from Caelius tells him that Appius has been accused as to malpractices in his government, and that Pompey is in favor of Appius.  Curio has gone over to Caesar.  But the important subject is the last handled:  “It will be mean in you if I should have no Greek panthers." The next refers to the marriages and divorces of certain ladies, and ends with an anecdote told as to a gentleman with just such ill-natured wit as is common in London.  No one could have suspected Ocella of looking after his neighbor’s wife unless he had been detected thrice in the fact.

From Laodicea he answers a querulous letter which his predecessor had written, complaining, among other things, that Cicero had failed to show him personal respect.  He proves that he had not done so, and then rises to a strain of indignation.  “Do you think that your grand old names will affect me who, even before I had become great in the service of my country, knew how to distinguish between titles and the men who bore them?"

The next letter to Appius is full of flattery, and asking for favors, but it begins with a sharp reproof.  “Now at last I have received an epistle worthy of Appius Claudius.  The sight of Rome has restored you to your good-humor.  Those I got from you in your journey were such that I could not read them without displeasure."

In February Cicero wrote a letter to Atticus which is, I think, more expressive in describing the mind of the man than any other which we have from him.  In it is commenced the telling of a story respecting Brutus ­the Brutus we all know so well ­and one Scaptius, of whom no one would have heard but for this story, which, as it deeply affects the character of Cicero, must occupy a page or two in our narrative; but I must first refer to his own account of his own government as again given here.  Nothing was ever so wonderful to the inhabitants of a province as that they should not have been put to a shilling of expense since he had entered it.  Not a penny had been taken on his own behalf or on that of the Republic by any belonging to him, except on one day by one Tullius, and by him indeed under cover of the law.  This dirty fellow was a follower with whom Titinius had furnished him.  When he was passing from Tarsus back into the centre of his province wondering crowds came out to him, the people not understanding how it had been that no letters had been sent to them exacting money, and that none of his staff had been quartered on them.  In former years during the winter months they had groaned under exactions.  Municipalities with money at their command had paid large sums to save themselves from the quartering of soldiers on them.  The island of Cyprus, which on a former occasion had been made to pay nearly L50,000 on this head, had been asked for nothing by him.  He had refused to have any honors paid to him in return for this conduct.  He had prohibited the erection of statues, shrines, and bronze chariots in his name ­compliments to Roman generals which had become common.  The harvest that year was bad; but so fully convinced were the people of his honest dealing, that they who had saved up corn ­the regraters ­brought it freely into market at his coming.  As some scourge from hell must have been the presence of such governors as Appius and his predecessors among a people timid but industrious like these Asiatic Greeks.  Like an unknown, unexpected blessing, direct from heaven, must have been the coming of a Cicero.

Now I will tell the story of Brutus and Scaptius and their money ­premising that it has been told by Mr. Forsyth with great accuracy and studied fairness.  Indeed, there is not a line in Mr. Forsyth’s volume which is not governed by a spirit of justice.  He, having thought that Cicero had been too highly praised by Middleton, and too harshly handled by subsequent critics, has apparently written his book with the object of setting right these exaggerations.  But in his comments on this matter of Brutus and Scaptius he seems to me not to have considered the difference in that standard of honor and honesty which governs himself, and that which prevailed in the time of Cicero.  Not seeing, as I think, how impossible it was for a Roman governor to have achieved that impartiality of justice with which a long course of fortunate training has imbued an English judge, he accuses Cicero of “trifling with equity.”  The marvel to me is that one man such as Cicero ­a man single in his purpose ­should have been able to raise his own ideas of justice so high above the level prevailing with the best of those around him.  It had become the nature of a Roman aristocrat to pillage an ally till hardly the skin should be left to cover the man’s bones.  Out of this nature Cicero elevated himself completely.  In his own conduct he was free altogether from stain.  The question here arose how far he could dare to go on offending the instincts, the habits, the nature, of other noble Romans, in protecting from their rapacity the poor subjects who were temporarily beneath his charge.  It is easy for a judge to stand indifferent between a great man and a little when the feelings of the world around him are in favor of such impartiality; but it must have been hard enough to do so when such conduct seemed to the noblest Romans of the day to be monstrous, fanatical, and pretentious.

In this case Brutus, our old friend whom all English readers have so much admired because he dared to tell his brother-in-law Cassius that he was

  “Much condemned to have an itching palm,”

appears before us in the guise of an usurious money-lender.  It would be hard in the history of usury to come across the well-ascertained details of a more grasping, griping usurer.  His practice had been of the kind which we may have been accustomed to hear rebuked with the scathing indignation of our just judges.  But yet Brutus was accounted one of the noblest Romans of the day, only second, if second, to Cato in general virtue and philosophy.  In this trade of money-lending the Roman nobleman had found no more lucrative business than that of dealing with the municipalities of the allies.  The cities were peopled by a money-making, commercial race, but they were subjected to the grinding impositions of their governors.  Under this affliction they were constantly driven to borrow money, and found the capitalists who supplied it among the class by whom they were persecuted and pillaged.  A Brutus lent the money which an Appius exacted ­and did not scruple to do so at forty-eight per cent., although twelve per cent. per annum, or one per cent. per month, was the rate of interest permitted by law.

But a noble Roman such as Brutus did not carry on his business of this nature altogether in his own name.  Brutus dealt with the municipality of Salamis in the island of Cyprus, and there had two agents, named Scaptius and Matinius, whom he specially recommended to Cicero as creditors of the city of Salamis, praying Cicero, as governor of the province, to assist these men in obtaining the payment of their debts. This was quite usual, but it was only late in the transaction that Cicero became aware that the man really looking for his money was the noble Roman who gave the recommendation.  Cicero’s letter tells us that Scaptius came to him, and that he promised that for Brutus’s sake he would take care that the people of Salamis should pay their debt. Scaptius thanked him, and asked for an official position in Salamis which would have given him the power of compelling the payment by force.  Cicero refused, explaining that he had determined to give no such offices in his province to persons engaged in trade.  He had refused such requests already ­even to Pompey and to Torquatus.  Appius had given the same man a military command in Salamis ­no doubt also at the instance of Brutus ­and the people of Salamis had been grievously harassed.  Cicero had heard of this, and had recalled the man from Cyprus.  Of this Scaptius had complained bitterly, and at last he and delegates from Salamis who were willing to pay their debt, if they could only do it without too great extortion, went together to Cicero who was then at Tarsus, in the most remote part of his province.  Here he was called upon to adjudicate in the matter, Scaptius trusting to the influence which Brutus would naturally have with his friend the governor, and the men of Salamis to the reputation for justice which Cicero had already created for himself in Cilicia.  The reader must also be made to understand that Cicero had been entreated by Atticus to oblige Brutus, who was specially the friend of Atticus.  He must remember also that this narrative is sent by Cicero to Atticus, who exhorted his correspondent, even with tears in his eyes, to be true to his honor in the government of his province. He is appealing from Atticus to Atticus.  I am bound to oblige you ­but how can I do so in opposition to your own lessons?  That is his argument to Atticus.

Then there arises a question as to the amount of money due.  The principal is not in dispute, but the interest.  The money has been manifestly lent on an understanding that four per cent. per month, or forty-eight per cent. per annum, should be charged on it.  But there has been a law passed that higher interest than one per cent. per month, or twelve per cent. per annum, shall not be legal.  There has, however, been a counter decree made in regard to these very Salaminians, and made apparently at the instigation of Brutus, saying that any contract with them shall be held in force, notwithstanding the law.  But Cicero again has made a decree that he will authorize no exaction above twelve per cent. in his province.  The exact condition of the legal claim is less clear to me than to Mr. Forsyth, who has the advantage of being a lawyer.  Be that as it may, Cicero decides that twelve per cent. shall be exacted, and orders the Salaminians to pay the amount.  To his request they demur, but at last agree to obey, alleging that they are enabled to do so by Cicero’s own forbearance to them, Cicero having declined to accept the presents which had been offered to him from the island. They will therefore pay this money in some sort, as they say, out of the governor’s own pocket.

But when the sum is fixed, Scaptius, finding that he cannot get it over-reckoned after some fraudulent scheme of his own, declines to receive it.  If with the assistance of a friendly governor he cannot do better than that for himself and his employer, things must be going badly with Roman noblemen.  But the delegates are now very anxious to pay this money, and offer to deposit it.  Scaptius begs that the affair shall go no farther at present, no doubt thinking that he may drive a better bargain with some less rigid future governor.  The delegates request to be allowed to place their money as paid in some temple, by doing which they would acquit themselves of all responsibility; but Cicero begs them to abstain.  “Impetravi ab Salaminiis ut silerent,” he says.  “I shall be grieved, indeed, that Brutus should be angry with me,” he writes; “but much more grieved that Brutus should have proved himself to be such as I shall have found him.”

Then comes the passage in his letter on the strength of which Mr. Forsyth has condemned Cicero, not without abstract truth in his condemnation:  “They, indeed, have consented” ­that is the Salaminians ­“but what will befall them if some such governor as Paulus should come here?  And all this I have done for the sake of Brutus!” AEmilius Paulus was the Consul, and might probably have Cilicia as a province, and would no doubt give over the Salaminians to Brutus and his myrmidons without any compunction.  In strictness ­with that assurance in the power of law by means of which our judges are enabled to see that their righteous decisions shall be carried out without detriment to themselves ­Cicero should have caused the delegates from Salamis instantly to have deposited their money in the temple.  Instead of doing so, he had only declared the amount due according to his idea of justice ­in opposition to all Romans, even to Atticus ­and had then consented to leave the matter, as for some further appeal.  Do we not know how impossible it is for a man to abide strictly by the right, when the strict right is so much in advance of all around him as to appear to other eyes than his own as straitlaced, unpractical, fantastic, and almost inhuman?  Brutus wanted his money sorely, and Brutus was becoming a great political power on the same side with Pompey, and Cato, and the other “optimates.”  Even Atticus was interfering for Brutus.  What other Roman governor of whom we have heard would have made a question on the subject?  Appius had lent a guard of horse-soldiers to this Scaptius with which he had outraged all humanity in Cyprus ­had caused the councillors of the city to be shut up till they would come to obedience, in doing which he had starved five of them to death!  Nothing had come of this, such being the way with the Romans in their provinces.  Yet Cicero, who had come among these poor wretches as an unheard-of blessing from heaven, is held up to scorn because he “trifled with equity!” Equity with us runs glibly on all fours.  With Appius in Cilicia it was utterly unknown.  What are we to say of the man who, by the strength of his own conscience and by the splendor of his own intellect, could advance so far out of the darkness of his own age, and bring himself so near to the light of ours!

Let us think for a moment of our own Francis Bacon, a man more like to Cicero than any other that I can remember in history.  They were both great lawyers, both statesmen, both men affecting the omne scibile, and coming nearer to it than perhaps any other whom we can name; both patriots, true to their conceived idea of government, each having risen from obscure position to great power, to wealth, and to rank; each from his own education and his nature prone to compromise, intimate with human nature, not over-scrupulous either as to others or as to himself.  They were men intellectually above those around them, to a height of which neither of them was himself aware.  To flattery, to admiration, to friendship, and to love each of them was peculiarly susceptible.  But one failed to see that it behooved him, because of his greatness, to abstain from taking what smaller men were grasping; while the other swore to himself from his very outset that he would abstain ­and kept the oath which he had sworn.  I am one who would fain forgive Bacon for doing what I believe that others did around him; but if I can find a man who never robbed, though all others around him did ­in whose heart the “auri sacra fames” had been absolutely quenched, while the men with whom he had to live were sickening and dying with an unnatural craving ­then I seem to have recognized a hero.

Another complaint is made against Cicero as to Ariobarzanes, the King of Cappadocia, and is founded, as are all complaints against Cicero, on Cicero’s own telling of the story in question.  Why there should have been complaint in this matter I have not been able to discover.  Ariobarzanes was one of those Eastern kings who became milch cows to the Roman nobles, and who, in their efforts to satisfy the Roman nobles, could only fleece their own subjects.  The power of this king to raise money seems to have been limited to about L8000 a month. Out of this he offered a part to Cicero as the Proconsul who was immediately over him.  This Cicero declined, but pressed the king to pay the money to the extortionate Brutus, who was a creditor, and who endeavored to get this money through Cicero.  But Pompey also was a creditor, and Pompey’s name was more dreadful to the king than that of Brutus.  Pompey, therefore, got it all, though we are told that it was not enough to pay him his interest; but Pompey, getting it all, was graciously pleased to be satisfied “Cnaeus noster clementer id fert.”  “Our Cicero puts up with that, and asks no questions about the capital,” says Cicero, ironically.  Pompey was too wise to kill the goose that laid such golden eggs.  Nevertheless, we are told that Cicero, in this case, abused his proconsular authority in favor of Brutus.  Cicero effected nothing for Brutus; but, when there was a certain amount of plunder to be divided among the Romans, refused any share for himself.  Pompey got it all, but not by Cicero’s aid.

There is another long letter, in which Cicero again, for the third time, tells the story of Brutus and Scaptius. I mention it, as he continues to describe his own mode of doing his work.  He has been at Laodicea from February to May, deciding questions that had been there brought before him from all parts of his province except Cilicia proper.  The cities which had been ground down by debt have been enabled to free themselves, and then to live under their own laws.  This he has done by taking nothing from them for his own expenses ­not a farthing.  It is marvellous to see how the municipalities have sprung again into life under this treatment.  “He has been enabled by this to carry on justice without obstruction and without severity.  Everybody has been allowed approach to him ­a custom which has been unknown in the provinces.  There has been no back-stairs influence.  He has walked openly in his own courts, as he used to do when a candidate at home.  All this has been grateful to the people, and much esteemed; nor has it been too laborious to himself, as he had learned the way of it in his former life.”  It was thus that Cicero governed Cilicia.

There are further letters to Appius and Caelius, written from various parts of the province, which cannot fail to displease us because we feel that Cicero is endeavoring to curry favor.  He wishes to stand well with those who might otherwise turn against him on his reappearance in Rome.  He is afraid lest Appius should be his enemy and lest Pompey should not be his friend.  The practice of justice and of virtue would, he knew, have much less effect in Rome than the friendship and enmity of such men.  But to Atticus he bursts out into honest passion against Brutus.  Brutus had recommended to him one Gavius, whom, to oblige Brutus, he appointed to some office.  Gavius was greedy, and insolent when his greed was not satisfied.  “You have made me a prefect,” said Gavius; “where am I to go for my rations?” Cicero tells him that as he has done no work he will get no pay; whereupon Gavius, quite unaccustomed to such treatment, goes off in a huff.  “If Brutus can be stirred by the anger of such a knave as this,” he says to Atticus, “you may love him, if you will, yourself; you will not find me a rival for his friendship." Brutus, however, became a favorite with Cicero, because he had devoted himself to literature.  In judging these two men we should not lean too heavily on Brutus, because he did no worse than his neighbors.  But then, how are we to judge of Cicero?

In the latter months of his government there began a new trouble, in which it is difficult to sympathize with him, because we are unable to produce in our own minds a Roman’s estimation of Roman things.  With true spirit he had laughed at his own military doings at Pindenissum; but not the less on that account was he anxious to enjoy the glories of a triumph, and to be dragged through the city on a chariot, with military trophies around him, as from time immemorial the Roman conquerors had been dragged when they returned from their victories.

For the old barbaric conquerors this had been fine enough.  A display of armor ­of helmets, of shields, and of swords ­a concourse of chariots, of trumpets, and of slaves, of victims kept for the Tarpeian rock, the spoils and rapine of battle, the self-asserting glory of the big fighting hero, the pride of bloodshed, and the boasting over fallen cities, had been fit for men who had in their hearts conceived nothing greater than military renown.  Our sympathies go along with a Camillus or a Scipio steeped in the blood of Rome’s enemies.  A Marius, a Pompey, and again a few years afterward a Caesar, were in their places as they were dragged along the Via Sacra up to the Capitol amid the plaudits of the city, in commemoration of their achievements in arms; but it could not be so with Cicero.  “Concedat laurea linguae” had been the watchword of his life.  “Let the ready tongue and the fertile brain be held in higher honor than the strong right arm.”  That had been the doctrine which he had practised successfully.  To him it had been given to know that the lawyer’s gown was raiment worthier of a man than the soldier’s breastplate.  How, then, could it be that he should ask for so small a thing as a triumph in reward for so small a deed as that done at Pindenissum?  But it had become the way with all Proconsuls who of late years had been sent forth from Rome into the provinces.  Men to whose provincial government a few cohorts were attached aspired to be called “Imperator” by their soldiers after mock battles, and thought that, as others had followed up their sham victories with sham triumphs, it should be given to them to do the same.  If Bibulus triumphed it would be a disgrace to Cicero not to triumph.  We measure our expected rewards not by our own merits but by the good things which have been conceded to others.  To have returned from Pindenissum and not to be allowed the glory of trumpets would be a disgrace, in accordance with the theory then prevailing in Rome on such matters; therefore Cicero demanded a triumph.

In such a matter it was in accordance with custom that the General should send an immediate account of his victorious doings, demand a “supplication,” and have the triumph to be decreed to him or not after his return home.  A supplication was in form a thanksgiving to the gods for the great favor shown by them to the State, but in fact took the guise of public praise bestowed upon the man by whose hands the good had been done.  It was usually a reward for military success, but in the affair of Catiline a supplication had been decreed to Cicero for saving the city, though the service rendered had been of a civil nature.  Cicero now applied for a supplication, and obtained it.  Cato opposed it, and wrote a letter to Cicero explaining his motives ­upon high republican principles.  Cicero might have endured this more easily had not Cato voted for a supplication in honor of Bibulus, whose military achievements had, as Cicero thought, been less than his own.  One Hirrus opposed it also, but in silence, having intended to allege that the numbers slain by Cicero in his battles were not sufficient to justify a supplication.  We learn that, according to strict rule, two thousand dead men should have been left on the field.  Cicero’s victims had probably been much fewer; nevertheless the supplication was granted, and Cicero presumed that the triumph would follow as a matter of course.  Alas, there came grievous causes to interfere with the triumph!

Of all that went on at Rome Caelius continued to send Cicero accounts.  The Triumvirate was now over.  Caelius says that Pompey will not attack Caesar openly, but that he does all he can to prevent Caesar from being elected Consul before he shall have given up his province and his army. For details Caelius refers him to a Commentarium ­a word which has been translated as meaning “newspaper” in this passage ­by Melmoth.  I think that there is no authority for this idea, and that the commentary was simply the compilation of Caelius, as were the commentaries we so well know the compilation of Caesar.  The Acta Diurna were published by authority, and formed an official gazette.  These no doubt reached Cicero, but were very different in their nature from the private record of things which he obtained from his friend.

There are passages in Greek, in two letters written about this time to Atticus, which refer to the matter from which probably arose his quarrel with his wife, and her divorce.  He makes no direct allusion to his wife, but only to a freedman of hers, Philotomus.  When Milo was convicted, his goods were confiscated and sold as a part of his punishment.  Philotomus is supposed to have been a purchaser, and to have made money out of the transaction ­taking advantage of his position to acquire cheap bargains ­as should not have been done by any one connected with Cicero, who had been Milo’s friend.  The cause of Cicero’s quarrel with his wife has never been absolutely known, but it is supposed to have arisen from her want of loyalty to him in regard to money.  She probably employed this freedman in filling her pockets at the expense of her husband’s character.

In his own letters he tells of preparations made for his return, and allusions are made as to his expected triumph.  He is grateful to Caelius as to what has been done as to the supplication, and expresses his confidence that all the rest will follow. He is so determined to hurry away that he will not wait for the nomination of a successor, and resolves to put the government into the hands of any one of his officers who may be least unfit to hold it.  His brother Quintus was his lieutenant, but if he left Quintus people would say of him that in doing so he was still keeping the emoluments in his own hands.  At last he determines to intrust it to a young Quaestor named C. Caelius ­no close connection of his friend Caelius, as Cicero finds himself obliged to apologize for the selection to his friend.  “Young, you will say.  No doubt; but he had been elected Quaestor, and is of noble birth." So he gives over the province to the young man, having no one else fitter.

Cicero tells us afterward, when at Athens on his way home, that he had considerable trouble with his own people on withholding certain plunder which was regarded by them as their perquisite.  He had boasted much of their conduct ­having taken exception to one Tullius, who had demanded only a little hay and a little wood.  But now there came to be pickings ­savings out of his own proconsular expenses ­to part with which at the last moment was too hard upon them.  “How difficult is virtue,” he exclaims; “how doubly difficult to pretend to act up to it when it is not felt!" There had been a certain sum saved which he had been proud to think that he would return to the treasury.  But the satellites were all in arms:  “Ingemuit nostra cohors.”  Nevertheless, he disregarded the “cohort,” and paid the money into the treasury.

As to the sum thus saved, there has been a dispute which has given rise to some most amusing literary vituperation.  The care with which mss. have been read now enables us to suppose that it was ten hundred thousand sesterces ­thus expressed, “H.S.X.” ­amounting to something over L8000.  We hear elsewhere, as will be mentioned again, that Cicero realized out of his own legitimate allowance in Cilicia a profit of about L18,000; and we may imagine that the “cohort” should think itself aggrieved in losing L8000 which they expected to have divided among them.  Middleton has made a mistake, having supposed the X to be CI or M ­a thousand instead of ten ­and quotes the sum saved as having amounted to eight hundred thousand instead of eight thousand pounds.  We who have had so much done for us by intervening research, and are but ill entitled to those excuses for error which may fairly be put forward on Middleton’s behalf, should be slow indeed in blaming him for an occasional mistake, seeing how he has relieved our labors by infinite toil on his part; but De Quincey, who has been very rancorous against Cicero, has risen to a fury of wrath in his denunciation of Cicero’s great biographer.  “Conyers Middleton,” he says, “is a name that cannot be mentioned without an expression of disgust.”  The cause of this was that Middleton, a beneficed clergyman of the Church of England, and a Cambridge man, differed from other Cambridge clergymen on controversial points and church questions.  Bentley was his great opponent ­and as Bentley was a stout fighter, so was Middleton.  Middleton, on the whole, got the worst of it, because Bentley was the stronger combatant; but he seems to have stood in good repute all his life, and when advanced in years was appointed Professor of Natural History.  He is known to us, however, only as the biographer of Cicero.  Of this book, Monk, the biographer of Middleton’s great opponent, Bentley, declares that, “for elegance, purity, and ease, Middleton’s style yields to none in the English language.”  De Quincey says of it that, by “weeding away from it whatever is colloquial, you would strip it of all that is characteristic” ­meaning, I suppose, that the work altogether wants dignity of composition.  This charge is, to my thinking, so absolutely contrary to the fact, that it needs only to be named to be confuted by the opinion of all who have read the work.  De Quincey pounces upon the above-named error with profoundest satisfaction, and tells us a pleasant little story about an old woman who thought that four million people had been once collected at Caernarvon.  Middleton had found the figure wrongly deciphered and wrongly copied for him, and had translated it as he found it, without much thought.  De Quincey thinks that the error is sufficient to throw over all faith in the book:  “It is in the light of an evidence against Middleton’s good-sense and thoughtfulness that I regard it as capital.”  That is De Quincey’s estimate of Middleton as a biographer.  I regard him as a laborer who spared himself no trouble, who was enabled by his nature to throw himself with enthusiasm into his subject, who knew his work as a writer of English, and who, by a combination of erudition, intelligence, and industry, has left us one of those books of which it may truly be said that no English library should be without it.

The last letter written by Cicero in Asia was sent to Atticus from Ephesus the day before he started ­on the last day, namely, of September.  He had been delayed by winds and by want of vessels large enough to carry him and his suite.  News here reached him from Rome ­news which was not true in its details, but true enough in its spirit.  In a letter to Atticus he speaks of “miros terrores Caesarianos" ­“dreadful reports as to outrages by Caesar;” that he would by no means dismiss his army; that he had with him the Praetors elect, one of the Tribunes, and even one of the Consuls; and that Pompey had resolved to leave the city.  Such were the first tidings presaging Pharsalia.  Then he adds a word about his triumph.  “Tell me what you think about this triumph, which my friends desire me to seek.  I should not care about it if Bibulus were not also asking for a triumph ­Bibulus, who never put a foot outside his own doors as long as there was an enemy in Syria!” Thus Cicero had to suffer untold misery because Bibulus was asking for a triumph!