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out pecuniary qualification.' Important as this change was, its necessity was so distinctly felt that it does not appear to have roused the decided opposition of the nobles. The proletaries of over-crowded Rome won the great victories over Jugurtha and the Cimbri ; but the new recruit, without home and acres, wife and family, transferred to his leader the devotion he owed to the state. The camp and not the city became the centre of his dearest interests. The names of the senate and people by which he was sworn were speedily forgotten, but be loved his centurion and he worshipped his eagles. Military service now became the profession of a life; the manners and sentiments of the paid swordsman corresponded with his occupation; the legionary was known in the Suburra by his gait and language, as surely as by his arms and accoutrements. Whenever an expedition was announced which promised booty, such as those to the opulent regions of the east, the ranks of the army were crowded with volunteers, unprincipled and imperious; the veteran despised the reward of a few acres of land, and quitted his plough to buckle on his sword, at the call of a favourite commander.' He claimed as his own the spoils of the conquered enemy, and, if baulked of his prey, refused to follow in the pursuit. A proconsul, such as Lucullus, who strove to temper the severities of war with clemency and moderation, was baffled by the mutinous spirit of his troops, and checked in the mid career of victory. The audacity of the private soldier was encouraged by the example of centurions and tribunes: the imperator found it, for the most part, easier and more profitable to give the rein to licence than to curb it. Meanwhile, the cohorts transplanted from the banks of the Tiber took root on the margin of the Nile and the Orontes. The garrisons of the Syrian frontier were transferred, through a series of years, to the command of each successive proconsul. The troops which Gabinius carried into Egypt fixed their
abodes there after his return to Rome.' The soldiers of the republic compared themselves with the regular battalions which guarded the thrones of Oriental monarchs; they envied the splendour of their equipments and the lavish profusion of their pay; above all, the honours rendered to them by nobles, and the fear they inspired in the people.
In the healthier days of the commonwealth the senate had been described as an assembly of kings: in dignity and
substantial power every member of that august Corruption of
order bad deemed himself the equal or the supegenerals.
rior of monarchs on their thrones. The consul who went forth from Rome at the head of his fellow-citizens to overthrow the dynasties of Greece and Asia, had returned to resume his place in the city with the proud simplicity of a private senator. But these antique virtues were rapidly corrupted by contact with the forms and shows of royalty. The series of years to which the proconsul's command became frequently extended, weaned him from his attachment to home, and accustomed him to pomp and power inconsistent with republican manners. Surrounded by officials whose fortunes depended on his favour, supported by a soldiery which acknowledged no law but his word, and fawned upon by courtiers and vassal potentates, he forgot the sentiments of his birth, and resigned himself to the charms of sovereignty. Sulla was fascinated, like the Spartan Pausanias, by the allurements of Asiatic pomp and the contagious example of despotism. Pompeius dreamed, in his Alban villa, of the guard of state and the robe of honour, and the silken canopies of Syria and Armenia. The East was the grave of many a great Roman virtue, and we have traced a change even in the character of Cæsar from the fatal seductions of the capital of Egypt.
Such was the general decay of principles and corruption of manners which marked the era of the foundation of the
· Cæs. B. C. iii. 110.; Duruy, Hist. des Romains, ii. 44. The vanquished legionaries of Crassus were content to take up their abode in Parthia.
imperial government. It contained, indeed, ele- Concluding ments both of good and evil, and the progress of this history will derive some of its chief interest from the attempt to discriminate between them. We have beheld a nation, still full of life, still instinct with energy, just arrived at the culminating point of its glories in the career most appropriate to its genius; the conquered world lies prostrate at its feet, and for a moment it seems to have achieved the second and greater triumph over its own passions. The task now lies before it of consolidating its acquisitions and imparting civilization to its subjects. In modern times all moral and political speculation is forward-looking, and is full of anticipations of new discoveries in happiness and knowledge. But the Roman statesmen and philosophers, with their strong practical instincts, took no such comprehensive survey of the destinies of their race. Cicero's writings may, I believe, be searched in vain for a single expression of reliance on the progressive improvement of mankind. The two poles of his philosophy, between which he wavers with perpetual oscillation, are regret for the past and resignation to the present. Cæsar, while the unseasoned fabric of his own institutions was tottering around him, derived no consolation from belief in a providential government of the world. At the moment of launching his country, as faith might have fondly persuaded him, on a career of tranquil expansion and comprehensive culture, the founder of the empire closed his eyes to the future and shrank from even guessing at the end. The old beliefs of the primitive ages, which had done something at least to temper prosperity and sweeten the ills of life, had perished to a poisonous core in a shrivelled husk. The science of ethics was apparently exhausted. It had finished its career in blank disappointment, and there was no faith or courage to commence it afresh. Alexander wept on the margin of the eastern Ocean that there were no more lands to conquer; Cæsar, from the furthest bourn of philosophic speculation, may have confessed with a sigh that within the visible horizon of human intuitions there were no more provinces for reason to invade. The Great Disposer had yet another leaf to turn in the book of His manifold dispensations; but the rise and progress of a new religion, with vigour to control the jarring prejudices of nations and classes, asserting supernatural facts, and claiming divine authority, appealing with equal boldness on the one hand to history, on the other to conscience, shaping an outward creed, and revealing inward ideas, the law of the simple and the science of the wise, exalting obedience in the place of ambition, and expanding patriotism into philanthropy, was the last offspring of the womb of Time that Cæsar could have imagined, or Cicero have ventured to anticipate.
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