« AnteriorContinuar »
or of another, unless I think the received conjecture is almost demonstrably wrong. I have given in Introd. iï. § 2 a list of the most important changes which I have either suggested or introduced. An estimate of the value of the different sources of our knowledge of the text will be found in Introd. ü. § 1.
I have quoted from the works of Cicero by reference to the sections, not to the chapters. In my notes I found myself compelled to quote passages from the letters not included in the present instalment by reference to their place in the letters ad Att., ad Fam., and ad Q. Fr., and therefore, for uniformity, I have so designated letters included in the present instalment.
I wish to express my deep sense of the kindness of Dr. Ingram, Librarian of Trinity College, Dublin, and Editor of the literary side of the Dublin Series, in supervising these sheets as they passed through the press; and of the value of the suggestions which he has made.
Mr. Froude's work on CAESAR has just appeared. My Introduction had gone to press some weeks before its publication ; so that I have not been able to make any use of it. I have now read the book, and I do not see reason to modify any of my views. The work seems to me to derive its claim to attention chiefly from the eminence of its author. Most of the difficulties which beset the years 686-697 (b. c. 68–57), Mr. Froude shirks or shelves. He confidently asserts that Cicero did defend Catiline when charged with malversation in Africa, without giving any reasons for holding this view, or noticing any of the objections which have been urged against it.* He dismisses with
* Soe note on Ep. xii. $ 8, where the evidence on this matter is set forth.
out examination the charge of complicity with Catiline which has been well nigh proved against Caesar by Mommsen. ·Cicero', he says, 'was too honourable to lend himself to an accusation which he knew to be false'. A reference to my Introduction, pp. 17-20, will show what Cicero really thought about this matter, and to which side, the innocence or the guilt of Caesar, the evidence points. Mr. Froude seems to think that Caesar did utter all those rhetorical commonplaces on the text mors ultima linea rerum est, which Sallust puts into his mouth, and that Cicero matched his thesis with the antithesis letum non omnia finit. He hardly seems to understand Clodia—the belle dame sans merci who broke the heart of Catullus, poisoned her husband, intrigued with her brother, and prostituted herself to all the 'great-hearted sons of Remus'. Mr. Froude thinks that it may have been through her influence that Cicero took a lenient view of the Clodian violation of the mysteries of the Bona Dea, and that it may have been Cicero's intimacy with his sister which led Clodius to that course of conduct which ended in the exile of Cicero. Ego illam odi are the words in which Cicero describes his feelings towards Clodia. The story of an intimacy between Cicero and Clodia is utterly inconsistent with the character of Cicero, and with his expressed opinions. Moreover, even if it were true, plainly it would not by any means account for the conduct of Cicero or of Clodius. Pulchellus would not concern himself about the question whether Bowriç had one lover more or less. Cicero's conduct in taking a lenient view of Clodius' sacrilege does not need to be accounted for; it was the optimate policy to stand aloof from the trial. What really calls for an explanation is the fact that he ultimately threw himself violently into the anti-Clodian ranks ; and this I think I have explained. Mr. Froude represents Clodius as acting in the interests of Caesar in his early attacks on Cicero. He neglects the significant fact that Clodius sought the tribunate as an avowed opponent of Caesar, and that Caesar sought in every
way to protect Cicero from his persecution, and he slurs over the difficulty by a maxim new to me that ‘Politics, like love, makes strange bedfellows'.
Caesar's endeavours to befriend Cicero seem to me to be more naturally ascribed to personal feelings of admiration for the splendid abilities of Cicero, and a belief in him as a power in the state, than to 'a desire to work with the existing methods till the inadequacy of them has been proved beyond a doubt'. That the former theory is more consistent, not only with the evidence which has come down to us, but also with the character of Caesar himself, I have attempted to show (Introd., pp. 10-15). Mr. Froude has not been very accurate in his account of the trial of Clodius ; and I should be glad to know in what old-world commentary he found that the words nosti enim marinas (Att. i. 16, 10) have reference to an adventure among the pirates, from which he (Clodius) came of with nameless infamy.' The words are not even addressed to Clodius, and could not possibly bear the meaning ascribed to them.
I am glad to see that Mr. Froude admits that Cicero never coquetted with Democracy. Yet he afterwards speaks of Cicero as 'trimming between the two parties’; and his view seems finally to resolve itself into Mr. Beesly's charge that Cicero 'took the wrong side'. The theory that Cicero would have thrown in his lot with Caesar, but that he feared that he should be eclipsed by the paramount genius of the latter, rests on a misconception which I have tried clearly to point out. Until long after Cicero had definitely chosen his side in politics, the paramount figure in his eyes and his countrymen's was not Caesar but Pompeius. If any jealousy such as this had actuated Cicero, it would have effectually withheld him from embracing the party of the Optimates, who looked to Pompeius as their champion, and finally espoused his cause against Caesar.
Mommsen has finely remarked that in the soul of Caesar there was room for much beside the statesman. If Mr. Froude had told how the soul of Caesar was large enough to harbour a true appreciation of what was really good and great, even in a pronounced political opponent-large enough to hold an enthusiastic admiration for the unsurpassed intellectual powers of Cicero—he would have been able, without resorting to fiction, to place in & really beautiful light the nature of his hero ; and he might perhaps have dispensed with the futile attempt to wash the stains from the moral character of this extraordinary man. Yet we see how such an attempt was forced upon Mr. Froude when we arrive at the whimsical 'parallel' with which he has thought it fitting to close his sketch. It seems that after so many years the sacred admonition must still be urged: ‘Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's'.