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find you disposed to honour bravery, you shall obtain from me by kindness what threats could not extort. Know then, that three hundred of us, the principal youths in Rome, have bound ourselves to each other by an oath, to attack you in this manner. My lot happened to be first. The others will be with you, each in his turn, as the lot may place him foremost, until fortune shall furnish an opportunity of succeeding against you."

Mucius was then dismissed, and was followed to Rome by ambassadors from Porsena. The king had been deeply affected, not only by the action, but by the asseveration, that Rome possessed many such resolute devotees. He had before experienced the existence of a similar spirit. Horatius Cocles, Horace with the Single-eye, had alone stopped the same Porsena from passing the Sublician bridge, till it was broken down behind him. Though wounded, he swam across the river to his friends. He was lame ever after : but he used to say, that every step he took gave him joy of his triumph. The occasion of the peace also converted Porsena's anger into admiration. He spoke of Clelia's exploit as superior even to those of Cocles and Mucius. He therefore proposed the following alternative. Should the hostage not be given up, he would consider the treaty as broken off; should she be surrendered, he would send her back to her friends in safety.

There is something very noble in the character of Porsena. His engagement with the Tarquins, , and natural predilection in favour of royalty, placed him in the wrong: but he was open to conviction; and the extraordinary accidents which had happened to himself gave him an opportunity of extricating himself with a good grace, and of leaving that liberty to the Romans, which they knew so well how to defend.

The loss of his right hand by burning procured for Mucius, or Mutius, the surname of Scævola, the Left-handed. We see here, in the case of Horatius Cocles, and in a thousand others, that the Roman surnames ran much on personal peculiarities or defects, as in the case of Cicero.

The senate gave a tract of ground on the other side of the Tiber to Caius Mucius, as a reward of his valour. These lands were afterwards called the Mucian meadows. The honour thus paid to courage seems to have excited even the other sex to merit public distinctions, which were so amply given to Clælia.

Martial has two epigrams on this subject. The first is in lib. i.:


Cum peteret regem, decepta satellite, dextra

Ingessit sacris se peritura focis.
Sed tam sæva pius miracula non tulit hostis,

Et raptum flammis jussit abire virum.
Urere quam potuit contemto Mucius igne,

Hunc spectare manum Porsena non potuit.
Major deceptæ fama est et gloria dextræ:

Si non errasset, fecerat illa minus.

The other is in lib. X. The point of it is not so obvious as in the former :


In matutina nuper spectatus arena

Mucius, imposuit qui sua membra focis,
Si patiens fortisque tibi durusque videtur,

Abderitanæ pectora plebis habes.

Nam, cum dicatur, tunica præsente molesta,

Ure manum; plus est dicere, Non facio.

It is to be understood that Martial was no friend to violence, and least of all to self-violence. He was not ambitious to think with the sages of Abdera, a city of Thrace, whose very air was thought to teem with stupidity or madness. He therefore pronounces it less bold spontaneously to burn a limb, than to refuse to do so: especially where the torturing tunic, lined with various combustibles, must be expected as the immediate consequence. The last word of the epigram, which the elliptic idiom of the Latin language uses in the sense of sacrificing, has given rise to the conjecture that Martial alludes to some Christian criminal, admired even by enemies, and placed on a higher pinnacle of self-devotion than Mucius, for refusing facere, to offer incense to the heathen deities. At all events, the drift is philosophical, in raising passive above active courage.


There is no work of more universal acceptance, from the time of its publication down to this period, than Dr. Middleton's History of Cicero's Life, which is, in fact, the history of Cicero's times. Nor could it be otherwise. From the first ad. vancement of that eminent man to public magistracies, there was not any thing of moment transacted in the state, in which he did not bear an eminent part. From the very time of his birth, the crisis of the Roman affairs was preparing; and for sixty years, the events which passed in succession were the most important; the characters of the persons who conducted, or were affected by them, the most dignified and interesting to be met with in the annals of Rome, or perhaps of the world.

Dr. Middleton had an honourable object in view ; to rescue the character of Cicero from the obloquy cast on it by the writers who curried favour in the court of the emperors by misrepresenting the characters and motives of all the great patriots. Thus Dio opens his forty-fourth book in the following

manner :

Ο μεν ούν Καίσαρ ταυθ' ούτως ώς και επί τους Πάρθους γρατεύσων έπραξεν οίςρος δε τισιν αληριώδης, φθόνω τε του προσήκονloς, και μίσει του προτετιμημένου σφών, προσπεσών, έχεινόν, τε ανόμως απέκλεινε, καινόν ανοσίου δόξης όνομα προσλαβών, και τα ψηφισθέντα διασκέδασε φάσεις τε αύθις εξ ομονοίας, και σολέμους έμφυλίους τους Ρωμαίοις σαρεσκεύασεν.

The opposition of Dio's character and principles to those of the republican party is evident throughout his work, and so clearly to be accounted for, that his testimony becomes of none effect. He flourished under the most tyrannical of the emperors, by whom he was advanced to great dignity. He was the creature of despotic power, and endeavoured to prove his gratitude by blasting every name connected with the interests of patriotism. The writings of Cicero, if allowed their fair influence, were likely to revive the ancient zeal and spirit of liberty, so long the peculiar characteristic of the Romans. The entire bearing of Dio's history is to establish the preference of absolute monarchy, rather than a free government on the principles of democracy, as most in unison with the interests of the Roman state.

The character of Cicero, as a moral writer, cannot be mistaken. In point of style, we find an elegance, a spirit, and a dignity, which render the form of virtue visible, and therefore amiable; and the sentiments which that style embodies are such as prove that he was sincerely inspired with the love of that intrinsic excellence his pencil could so well delineate.

Nothing in all ancient literature gives so clear an insight into the history of the times in question as Cicero's letters to Atticus. They render the intrigues of the crisis obvious, the motives and interests of the parties intelligible: they illustrate what we learn from other authors, and explain what other authors have left in uncertainty, or tell

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