Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

II. Iaitur initio reges (nam in terris nomen imperii id primum fuit) diversi, pars ingenium, alii corpus exercebant : et jam tum vita hominum sine cupiditate agitabatur ; sua cuique satis placebant. Postea vero quam in Asia Cyrus, in Graecia Lacedaemonii et Athenienses coepêre urbes atque nationes subigere, lubidinem dominandi caussam belli habere, maxumam gloriam in maxumo imperio putare ; tum demum periculo atque negotiisó compertum est, in bello plurimum ingenium posse. Quod si regum atque imperatorum animi virtus. in pace ita, uti in bello, valeret," aequabilius atque constantius sese res humanae haberent ;8 neque aliud alio ferri, neque mutari ac misceri omnia cerneres. Nam imperium facile his artibuso retinetur, quibus initio partum est. Verum, ubi pro labore desidia, pro continential et aequitate lubido atque superbia invasêre, fortuna simul cum moribus immutatur. Ita imperium semper ad optumum" quemque a minus bono transfertur. Quae homines'2 arant, navigant, aedificant, virtuti omnia parent. Sed multi mortales, dediti ventri13 atque somno, indocti incultique" vitam, sicuti peregrinantes, transegêre ; quibus, profecto contra naturam, corpus voluptati, anima oneri fuit. Eorum ego vitam mortemque juxtałe aestumo, quoniam de utraque siletur." Verum enim vero is demum18 mihi vivere atque frui anima videtur, qui, aliquo negotio intentus, praeclari facinoris, aut artis bonae 19

1 Diversi, pursuing different courses.- Exercebant, cultivated. 3 Cyrus, the founder of the Persian monarchy, born B. c. 575, died B.c. 530.

Lubidinem &c., to regard a thirst of power a sufficient motive for war. -6 Periculo atque negotiis, by trial and actual experience in the field.

-6 Plurimum &c., that the mind exercised most influence. Ita," valeret, were as powerfully exerted. Aequabilius sese haberent, would proceed more uniforinly.-His artibus, by the same means.—_10 Labore-continentia, industry-self-restraint. Optumum, most deserve ing. 12 Quae homines &c., all the operations of mankind in agriculture, navigation, and architecture, depend for their success on the faculties of the mind.-13 Ventri, to sensuality.-- 14 Inculti, unimproved. 16 Contra naturam, contrary to the design of nature.-16 Juxta, alike, equally uninteresting. 17 De utraque siletur, silence is observed, that is, both pass away without leaving any record behind them.18 is des mum, he and he alone. - 19 Artis bonae, of an honourable profession

famam quaerit. Sed, in magna copia rerum,' aliud alii natura iter ostendit.

III. PULCHRUM est bene facere reipublicae : etiam bene dicere? haud absurdum est. Vel pace, vel bello, clarum fieri licet : et qui fecêre, et qui facta aliorum scripsere, multi laudantur. Ac mihi quidem, tamen etsi haudquaquam par gloria sequatur scriptorem et auctorem rerum, tamen in primis arduum videtur res gestas scribere : primum, quod facta dictisó sunt exaequanda : dehinc, quia plerique, quae delicta reprehenderis, malivolentia et invidia putant : ubi de magna virtute et gloria bonorum memores, quae sibi quisque facilia factu putat, aequo animo accipit ;8 supra ea, veluti ficta, pro falsis ducit. Sed ego adolescentulus initio, sicuti plerique, studio ad rempublicam latus sum ; ibique mihi advorsa multa fuêre. Nam pro pudore, pro abstinentia,10 pro virtute, audacia, largitio, avaritia vigebant. Quae tametsi animus aspernabatur, insolens malarum artium ;11 tamen, inter tanta vitia, imbecilla aetas ambitione corrupta tenebatur: ac me, cum ab reliquorum malis moribus dissentirem, nihilo minus honoris cupido, eadem, quae ceteros, fama atque invidia vexabat.12

IV. IGITUR, ubi animus ex multis miseriis atque periculis requievit,13 et mihi reliquam aetatem a republica! procul habendam decrevi, non fuit consilium, secordia atque desidia bonum otium conterere; neque vero agrum colendo, aut venando, servilibus officiis intentum, aetatem agere : sed, a quo incepto studio me ambitio mala, detinuerat, eodem regressus,' statui res gestas populi Romani carptim, ut quaeque memoria digna’ videbantur, perscribere; eo magis, quod mihi a spe, metu, partibus reipublicae,* animus liber erat. Igitur de Catilinae conjuratione, quam verissume potero, paucis absolvam :5 nam id facinus in primis ego memorabile existumo sceleris atque periculi novitate. De cujus hominis moribus? pauca prius explananda sunt, quamø initium narrandi faciam.

1 Copia rerum, variety of pursuits.—2 Bene dicere &c., eloquence is no despicable attainment.- - 3 Scriptorem et auctorem rerum, the historian and the hero. Res gestas, history.- -5 Dictis, by the style.4. Putant, supply te reprehendisse. - Virtute, merit.- Aequo animo accipit, readily admits. Studio &c., was led by youthful ardour to engage in the turmoil of political life.-10 Abstinentia, self-denial. 1 Insolens malarum artium, unpractised in evil habits.-12 Ac me, cum

exabat, and although I disapproved of the bad practices of others, never theless, a desire of preferment in the state, the same love of fame, and jealousy (of the advancement of political rivals), which disquieted the rest, disquieted me. 13 Requievit, obtained relief.- -14 A republica, from political life. 16 Bonum otium, a valuable retirement. 16 Servilibus officiis, in slavish occupations.

V. Lucius CATILINA, nobili genere natus, magna vi et animi et corporis, sed ingenio malo pravoque. Huic ab adolescentiało bella intestina, caedes, rapinae, discordia civilis, grata fuêre ; ibique juventutem" suam exercuit. Corpus patiens inediae, vigiliae, algoris, supra quam" cuique credibile est : animus audax, subdolus, varius, 13 cujus rei libet simulator4 ac dissimulator: alieni appetens, sui profusus, ardens in cupiditatibus : satis loquentiae, sapientiae parum. Vastus animus immoderata, incredibilia, nimis alta,15 semper cupiebat.16 Hunc, post dominationem"Lucii Sullae, lubido maxuma invaserat reipublicae capiundae ; neque, id quibus modis adse queretur, dum sibi regnum pararet, quidquam pensi habebat. 19 Agitabatur magis magisque in dies animus , forox inopia rei familiaris, et conscientia scelerum ; quae utraque his artibus auxerat, quas supra memoravi. Incitabant praeterea corrupti civitatis mores, quos pessuma ac diversa' inter se mala, luxuria atque avaritia, vexabant. Res’ ipsa hortari videtur, quoniam de moribus civitatis tempus admonuit, supra repetere, ac paucis instituta majorum domi militiaeque ; quomodo rempublicam habuerint, quantamque reliquerint; ut, paullatim immutata, ex pulcherruma pessuma ac flagitiosissuma? facta sit, disserere.

1 A quo-regressus, returning (eodem for ad idem studium) to the same pursuit from which a depraved ambition had withdrawn me.-? Carpa tim, by detached parts, selecting portions here and there.- Memoria digna, worthy of being recorded. - Partibus reipublicae, the factions which distracted the state.-5 Paucis absolvam, I shall give a brief account. –6 Novitate, from the unusualness.- Moribus,

character. 8 Prius quam initium &c., before I begin my narrative._ Lucius Ser. gius Catilina, born about B. c. 109; prætor, B. C. 68; conspired with Piso and Autronius, B. C. 66 (see chap. 18); entered upon his great design, B. C. 65; died in battle B. c. 63.- -10 Adolescentia, youth. - n Juventutem, prime.-.12 Supra quam, more than.-13 Varius, versatile. 1: Simulator, one who pretends to virtues which he does not possess ; dissimulator, one who endeavours to conceal his vices; a pretender and dissembler.

-16 Nimis alta, projects far beyond his reach.16 Cupie bat, grasped or aimed at. -17 Post dominationem, since the usurpation of L. Sulla (which he commenced as dictator, B. c. 81, resigned 79, died 78).-18 Regnum, the supreme power. 19 Neque quilquam pensi hubebat, nor did he regard.

VI. URBEM Romam, sicuti ego accepi, condidêre atque habuêre initio Trojani, qui, Aenea duce, profugi, sedibus incertisë vagabantur; cumque his Aborigines, genus hominum agreste, sine legibus, sine imperio, lo liberum atque solutum. Hi postquam in una moenia convenêre, dispari genere," dissimili lingua, alii alio more viventes; incredibile memoratu est quam facile coaluerint.1? Sed, postquam res eorum, civibus,'moribus, agris aucta, satis prospera satisque pollens videbatur, sicuti pleraque? mortalium habentur, invidia ex opulentia orta est. Igitur reges populique finitumi bello tentare : pauci ex amicis auxilio esse nam ceteri, metu percussi, a periculis aberant. 16 At Romani, domi militiaeque intenti, festinare, parare, alius alium hortari ; hostibus obviam ire; libertatem, patriam, parentesque, armis te

.15

1 Quos pessuma ac diversa &c., which extravagance and avarice, vices of the worst tendency, and diametrically opposite to each other, aggravated - Res, the subject.- Hortari, to invite me. Supra repetere, to take a review of our early history. Habuerint, managed.

6 'Pulcherruma, most virtuous. — Flagitiosissuma, most debased.

* Sedibus incertis, without any fixed habitations. -9 Aborigines were the original possessors of a country, in Greek Aúróxboves. The date of the presumed settlement of the Trojans in Italy was s.c. 1184.10 Sine imperio, without any settled form of government.11 Dispari genere, though different in extraction. - iz Coaluerint, they incorporated. — 13 Res eorum, civibus &c., their state, being improved in number of citizens, in manners, and extent of territory.- 14 Sicuti pleraque &c., as is the case with most human affairs. - 15 Tentare-esse, the historical infinitive for tentabanterant, or supply coeperunt: see below, festinare &c. -16 Aberant, kept aloof.

gere : post, ubi pericula virtute propulerant, sociis atque amicis auxilia portabant; magisque dandis, quam accipiundis, beneficiis amicitias parabant. Imperium legitimunn,“ nomen imperii regium habebant : delecti, quibus corpus annis infirmum, ingenium sapientia validum, reipublicae consultabant :* hi vel aetate, vel curae similitudine, PATREs appellabantur. Post, ubi regium imperium, quod initios conservandae libertatis, atque augendae reipublicae, fuerat, in superbiam dominationemque convertit ;' immutato more, annua imperia binosque imperatores sibi fecêre : eo modo minume posse putabant per licentiam insolescere animum humanum.

VII. SED ea tempestate coepere se quisque extollere, magisque ingenium in promptu habere. Nam regibus boni, quam mali,10 suspectiores sunt, semperque his aliena virtus formidolosa est. Sed civitas, incredibile memoratu est, adepta libertate, quantum brevi creverit: tanta cupido gloriae incesserat. Jam primum juventus, simul laboris ac belli patiens erat,"2 in castris per usum militiam discebat ; magisque in decoris armis et militaribus equis, quam in scortis atque conviviis, lubidinem habebant." Igitur talibus viris non labos insolitus, non locus ullus asper aut arduus erat, non armatus hostis formidolosus : virtus omnia domuerat. Sed gloriae maxumum certamen inter ipsos erat : sesels quisque hostem ferire, murum adscendere, conspici dum tale facinus

13

14

i Amicitias parabant, secured alliances.--2 Imperium legitimum, a form of government limited by law. - Regium, monarchical. Reipublicae consultabant, formed the council of the state. Quod initio

c., which had originally been conducive to the preservation of liberty and the enlargement of the state. Convertit, supply se, changed itself, degenerated. - More, the constitution or form of government. 8 Per licentiam insolescere, to become haughty by excess of power. (The regal form of government was abolished B.c. 509.). 9 Se extollere &c., to push himself forward and to display his talents more openly (than he had ventured to do during the monarchy.)- 10 Boni quam mali, the able,

than men of inferior talents.- Virtus, merit. _11 Simul (for simul ac) laboris patiens erat, as soon as they were able to endure hardship.13 Usum, practice or experience.- 14 Lubidinem habebant, took delight.

-16 Sese, intensive, as in chap. 1.

« IndietroContinua »