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Nec in caede principum clementiorem hunc fore quam Cinna fuerit, nec moderatiorem quam Sulla in pecuniis locupletum. (Att. vii. 7, 7.)
Numquam improbi cives habuerunt paratiorem ducem. (Fam. xvi. 11, 3.)
Mirus invaserat furor non solum improbis sed etiam his qui boni habentur ut pugnare cuperent. (Fam. xvi. 12, 2.)
Foedissima causa. (Att. vii. 9, 3.)
Qui hic potest se gerere non perdite ? Vetant vita, mores, ante facta, ratio suscepti negotii, socii, vires bonorum aut etiam constantia ? (Att. ix. 2a, 2.)
Ardet furore et scelere . . . nec iam recusat sed quodammodo postulat ut, gemadmodum est, sic etiam appelletur tyrannus. (Att. x. 4, 2.)
(2). Caesar is called perditus civis (Att. vii. 13); perditissimus (Att. viii. 2); tyrannus (Att. vii. 20, and passim). His conduct is furor (Att. vii. 14), and scelus (passim).
(3). He could not face the odium of such a course.
aidéouai Tpwas, nec solum civis sed etiam amici officio revocor. (Att. vii. 12, 3.)
Audio . . hanc cunctationem nostram non probari, multaque in me et severe in conviviis tempestivis quidem disputari; cedamus igitur (Att. ix. 1, 3.)
Nec enim ferre potero sermones istorum quicunque sunt-non sunt enim certe ut appellantur boni. (Att. ix. 2a, 3.)
(4). To join Caesar would be dishonourable.
Fac posse tuto; multi enim hortantur. Num etiam honeste? Nullo modo. (Att. vii. 22, fin.)
Cautior certe est mansio; honestior existimatur traiectio. Malo interdum multime non caute, quam pauci non honeste, fecisse existiment. (Att. viii. 15, 2.)
Quid rectum sit apparet; quid expediat obscurum est. (Fam. v. 19, 2.)
As Cicero is not blind to the weaknesses of Pompeius and his side, so he clearly discerns the strong points in Caesar's conduct and character, as, for instance, his tolerance and wise moderation. • Si mehercule neminem occiderit, nec cuiquam quidquam ademerit, ab his qui eum maxime timuerant maxime diligetur. (Att. viii. 13, 1.)
So that it was not through a mere recoil from Caesar that Cicero threw himself into the cause of Pompeius.
Max Budinger, in an able article on Cicero und der Patriciat, which will afterwards be referred to at greater length, has shown what cordial feelings existed both before and after the outbreak of the civil war between Cicero and Caesar, not as politicians, but as men of the world. A few references will be sufficient here. For a favourable view of Caesar
see Orat de prov. cons. (delivered 698 = 56), § 40 ff.; in Vatin, $$ 16, 22 (delivered same year); pro Sest., $S 16, 132 (delivered same year); Fam. iv. 4, SS 3 & 4 (written 707 = 47); Fam. iv. 6, 3 (written 709 = 45); Fam. vi. 6, SS 8, 9, 10, 13 (written 708 = 46). See also the fine eulogy in Phil. ii. § 116. Caesar dedicated the De Analogia to Cicero (Brut. $ 253).
In Att. vii. 20, 2, Cicero writes that the considerations which urge him to fly from Rome to the camp of Pompeius are ‘his friendship with Gnaeus, the Optimate cause, the shamefulness of making common cause with a tyrant, about whom one could not be sure whether he was destined to prove a Phalaris or a Pisistratus. A reference to a letter of Cicero to Sulpicius (Fam. iv. 4, 3 and 4) will show how conspicuously Caesar proved himself to be not a Phalaris, but a Pisistratus, and something far more than a Pisistratus.
Accordingly, the whole state of Cicero's mind before the outbreak of the civil war may thus be summed up :- What Cicero hoped for was an arrangement (compositio, concordia). Anything should be surrendered rather than have war.* War will bring the tyrannis. Therefore Cicero hesitates, and does not openly. join Pompeius, whose flight from Italy he condemns, while he despises the incapacity, dilatoriness, cowardice (almost) of his supporters. Moreover, peace is what Cicero most desires : now peace Pompeius will not have: † he even fears it. Yet Cicero hopes he will be able to influence Pompeius. On the other hand, Caesar is very powerful, very active, and very conciliatory. But Cicero says he is running a-muck' (ruit); he is perditus ; he is a tyrannus ; his acts are furor, scelus. If war is unavoidable, Cicero must join Pompeius; not to do so would be inglorious, dishonourable, ungrateful. Yet, again, to think of the recklessness of the Optimates and the violence which would follow their victory. No matter: Pompeius alone mores Cicero; the acts of him and his side have been a tissue of blunders ; but his side is the right one. Mihi okápos,' he writes, Att. vii. 3, 5, ‘unum erit quod a Pompeio gubernabitur.'
• Ego is sum qui illi concedi putem utilius esse quod postulat, quam signa conferri. (Att. vii. 5, 5.)
+ Quod quaeris ecquae spes pacificationis sit quantum ex Pompeii multo et accurato sermone perspexi, ne voluntas quidem est. (Att. vii. 8, 4.)
Non modo non expetere pacem istam sed etiam timere visus est. (Att. vii. 8, 5.) Ipsum Pompeium separatim ad concordiam hortabor. (Att. vii. 3, 5.)
CICERO AND TIRO.
Having touched upon the lesser stains which have been deemed to tarnish the character of Cicero, it would be inconsistent not to notice a passage in the letters of Pliny, in which he seems to be charged with that crime which it is a shame even to speak of. It is very remarkable how this passage has been ignored by the biographers of Cicero. With one accord they hold him up as an example of purity of life quite singular in his licentious age. “Il ne mérite pas moins d'éloges,' says Boissier, pour avoir été honnête et rangé dans sa vie de famille. C'étaient encore là des vertus dont ses contemporains ne lui donnaient pas l'exemple.' Such is the unanimous verdict of the writers about Cicero, and such is my own opinion on the subject. But surely such an opinion needs to be reconciled with the testimony of Pliny. As I think, it can be so reconciled. Here is the letter, the evidence of which is by some (e.g. Mr. Allies, Formation of Christendom, Pt. i. p. 100) held to be incompatible with a belief in the purity of Rome's least mortal mind':
'Ais legisse te hendecasyllabos meos; requiris etiam, quemadmodum coeperim scribere, homo, ut tibi videor, severus, ut ipse fateor, non ineptus. Nunquam a poëtice (altius enim repetam) alienus fui; quinetiam quatuordecim natus annos Graecam tragoediam scripsi. Qualem ? inquis. Nescio: tragoedia vocabatur. Mox cum, e militia rediens, in Icaria insula ventis detinerer, Latinos elegos in illud ipsum mare ipsamque insulam feci. Expertus sum me aliquando et heroico : hendecasyllabis nunc primum; quorum hic natalis, haec caussa est. Legebantur in Laurentino mihi libri Asinü Galli de comparatione patris et Ciceronis : incidit epigramma Ciceronis in Tironem suum. Dein, cum meridie (erat enim aestas) dormiturus me recepissem, nec obreperet somnus, coepi reputare, maximos oratores hoc studii genus et in oblectationibus habuisse et in laude posuisse. Intendi animum, contraque opinionem meam, post longam desuetudi. nem, perquam exiguo temporis momento id ipsum, quod me ad scribendum solicitaverat, his versibus exaravi:
Cum libros Galli legerem, quibus ille parenti
Transü ad elegos; hos quoque non minus celeriter explicui : addidi alios, facilitate corruptus. Deinde in urbem reversus, sodalibus legi. Probaverunt. Dein plura metra, si quid otii, maxime in itinere, tentavi. Postremo placuit exemplo multorum unum separatim hendecasyllaborum volumen absolvere : nec paenitet.'—Plin. Epp. vii. 4.
It cannot be denied that the natural sense of this passage is that ascribed to it by Mr. Allies, and all the commentators on Pliny and his translators, except perhaps the French translator in Didot's series. But how can this view of the meaning of the passage be reconciled with everything else that we know about Cicero ?
Cicero carried on a long correspondence with Tiro. He had no anticipation that this would ever be published. Yet we do not find a hint of any improper relation subsisting between the correspondents. It is true that, if Tiro was the editor, compromising letters would probably have been omitted. But there remains the whole tone of the correspondence. which distinctly reveals the enlightened patron who is keenly alive to the literary merits of his freedman, and his invaluable qualities as a critic,* perhaps even a collaborateur. The letters to Tiro are mainly reiterated adjurations that he should take care of his health, which seems to have been weak, and which was so indispensable to the due execution of Cicero's literary projects. These repeated cautions were, apparently, fruitful in result, for we are told that Tiro attained an age of more than 100 years. Innumerabilia tua sunt in me officia, domestica, forensia, urbana, provincialia, in re privata, in publica, in studiis, in litteris nostris : omnia riceris, si, ut spero, te validum videro; t-this is a fair sample of the tone of Cicero towards Tiro. On the occasion of the manumission of Tiro (about 700) Quintus congratulates his brother on having lost in Tiro a slave, and gained a friend to the whole family, and adds, si enim mihi Statii fidelitas et frugalitas est tantae voluptati, quanti esse in isto haec eadem bona debent, additis litteris et sermonibus et humanitate, quae sunt iis ipsis commodis potiora. I In another place & Cicero addresses a letter to him headed Tullius Tironi Sal. This omission of the praenomen was a mark of close intimacy and familiarity.|| Tiro seems to have taken exception to the phrase as unsuited to their respective positions. Cicero replies, quid igitur ? non sic oportet ? equidem censeo sic; addendum etiam “Suo. Sed, si placet, invidia ritetur. Surely this passage reveals clearly in what a deferential and graceful manner Tiro received the generosity of Cicero,
• Qui kavdy esse meorum scriptorum soles.-Fam. xvi. 17, 1.
Fam. xvi. 16, 2.
shown in according to his freedman his intimacy. In another passage Tiro appears as a sort of majordomo, whose duty it is to see that the guests are suitable to each other, de triclinio cura, ut facis ; Tertia aderit, modo ne Publius rogatus sit.*
In fine, there is not in the whole extant correspondence a single phrase which even the most perverted ingenuity could misconstrue, unless we regard as impure a passage in a letter from Quintus (Fam. xvi. 27, 2) to Tiro, in which, in urging Tiro to come to Rome, Quintus says tuosque oculos, etiamsi te veniens in medio foro videro, dissuaviabor. But this phrase should not for a moment excite our suspicion, when we remember the differences of manner between ancient and modern times. If a sovereign should now receive a victorious general on his return with a kiss, it would excite some astonishment; yet when the victorious Agricola returned from Britain, the subject of general remark was, not that the Emperor kissed him, but that the kiss was but a slight one' (exceptus brevi osculo). Because the kiss was not such a kiss as Quintus here promises to Tiro, the reception of Agricola was held to be cold, and the displeasure of Domitian was inferred.
Another strong reason for not accepting the received interpretation of Pliny's words is the absolute want of ancient testimony in support of the charge. It is very significant that Pseudo-Sallust, in the Invectiva in Ciceronem, though he runs through the whole gamut of opprobrium, ascribing to Cicero in due rhetorical fashion all possible and impossible impurities and enormities, never hints at any improper relations with Tiro. And this omission is as marked and as significant in the long tirade against Cicero which Dio Cassius puts into the mouth of Q. Fufius Calenus (xlvi. 1-28).
Moreover, Cicero never speaks of the crime but in terms of abhorrence.t In pro Mil. 9, he records as a signal instance of justifiable homicide a case in which a private soldier slew his superior officer for attempting it.
I believe, therefore, that in view of these facts we should reject the received interpretation of the letter of Pliny, and take one of two courses to
* Fam. xvi. 22, 1, Tertius and Publius are, I think, imaginary characters. “Mrs. Brown will not come, if Mr. Jones is invited.' However the passage is very obscure, and susceptible of various interpretations.
+ Certain passages in Cicero (e. g. De Officiis I. 144, and De Natura Deorum I. 79 speak of boyish beauty in a tone which would not now be held to be in good taste. In the latter passage Cicero seems to say he was, to a certain extent, influenced by his dramatic and antiquarian sense in making philosophers discourse on such subjects. But passages like these cannot for a moment turn the scale against a passage like that in the pro Milone referred to in the text.