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NOTES.

THE FOUR ORATIONS AGAINST CATILINE.

GENERAL INTRODUCTION.

CATILINA, L. SERGIUS,* the descendant of an ancient patrician family which had sunk into poverty, first appears in history as a zealous partisan of Sulla. During the horrors of the great proscription, among many other victims, he killed, with his own hand, his brother-in-law, Q. Cæcilius, described as a quiet, inoffensive man, and having seized and tortured the well-known and popular M. Marius Gratidianus, the kinsman and fellow-townsman of Cicero, cut off his head, and bore it in triumph through the city. Plutarch accuses him in two places (Sull. 32, Cic. 10) of having murdered his own brother at the same period, under circumstances of peculiar atrocity, but there is probably some confusion here between the brother and the brother-in-law; for Sallust, when enumerating the crimes of Catiline, would scarcely have failed to add such a monstrous deed as this to the black catalogue. Although his youth was spent in the most reckless extravagance, and in the open indulgence of every vice; although he was known to have been guilty of various acts of the foulest and most revolting debauchery; although he had incurred the suspicion of an intrigue with the vestal Fabia, sister of Terentia; and although it was said and believed that he had made away with his first wife and afterwards with his son, in order that he might wed the fair and rich but worthless Aurelia Orestilla, who objected to the presence of a grown-up step-child, yet this complicated infamy appears to have formed no bar to his regular political advancement,-for he attained to the dignity of prætor in B. C. 68, was governor of Africa during the following year, and returned to Rome in 66, in order to press his suit for the consulship. The election for 65 was carried by P. Autronius Pætus and P. Cornelius Sulla, both of whom were soon after convicted of bribery, and their places supplied by their competitors and accusers, L. Aurelius Cotta and L. Manlius Torquatus; Catiline, who was desirous of becoming a candidate, having been disqualified in consequence of an impeachment for oppression in his province, preferred by P. Clodius Pulcher, afterwards so celebrated as the implacable enemy of Cicero. Exasperated by their disappointment, Autronius and Catiline forthwith formed a project along with a certain Cn. Calpurnius Piso, a young man of high family, but turbulent, needy, and profligate, to murder the new consuls upon the first of January, when offering up their vows in the Capitol, after which Autronius and Catiline were to seize the fasces, and Piso was to be dispatched with an army to occupy the Spains. Some rumors of what was in contemplation having been spread abroad, such precautions were taken that the conspirators were induced to delay the execution of their plan until the 5th of February, resolving at the same time to include many of the leading men of the state in the proposed massacre. This extraordinary design is said to have been frustrated solely by the impatience of Catiline, who, upon the appointed day, gave the signal prematurely, before the whole of the armed agents had assembled,

This account of the career of Catiline is the article under that head in the "Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology."

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with himself for the following year, having formed a coalition with him for the purpose of excluding Cicero. The votes of the people, however, in some measure deranged these calculations. Cicero and C. Antonius were returned, the former nearly unanimously, the latter by a small majority over Catiline. This disappointment, while it increased if possible the bitterness of his animosity towards the dominant party among the aristocracy and the independent portion of the middle ranks, rendered him more vigorous in the prosecution of his designs. Large sums of money were raised upon his own security, or on the credit of his friends; magazines of arms and other warlike stores were secretly formed; troops were levied in various parts of Italy, especially in the neighborhood of Fæsulæ, under the superintendence of C. Manlius, an experienced commander, one of the veteran centurions of Sulla (Dion Cass. xxxvii. 30), and numerous adherents were enrolled from the most desperate classes, including not a few women of ruined reputation; attempts also were made in various quarters to gain over the slaves, and it was determined, when the critical moment should arrive for an open demonstration, to set fire to the city in many different places at the same instant, and to slaughter the well-disposed portion of the population in the tumult. Meanwhile, in the midst of these extensive preparations, Catiline again (63) stood candidate for the consulship, and used every effort to get rid of Cicero, who met him at every turn and thwarted all his best-contrived machinations. Nor was this wonderful, for he was countermined from a quarter whence he apprehended no danger. One of the most high-born, abandoned, but, at the same time, weak and vacillating, among the conspirators, was a certain Q. Curius, who had been expelled from the senate by the censors on account of the infamy of his life. This man had long consorted with a noble mistress named Fulvia, who appears to have acquired complete control over his mind, and to have been made the depositary of all his secrets. Fulvia, alarmed by the intelligence obtained from her lover, divulged what she had learned to several of her acquaintances, and, through them, opened a correspondence with Cicero, to whom she regularly communicated all the particulars she could collect, and at length persuaded Curius himself to turn traitor and betray his comrades. Thus the consul was at once put in possession of every circumstance as soon as it occurred, and was enabled to keep vigilant watch over the conduct of every individual from whom danger was to be apprehended. By imparting to a certain extent his fears and suspicions to the senators and moneyed men, he excited a general feeling of distrust and suspicion towards Catiline, and bound firmly together, by the tie of common interest, all who having property to lose looked forward with dread to confusion and anarchy; Antonius, whose good faith was more than doubtful, he gained over by at once resigning to him the province of Macedonia, while he protected his own person by a numerous body of friends and dependents who surrounded him whenever he appeared in public. These preliminary measures being completed, he now ventured to speak more openly; prevailed upon the senate to defer the consular elections in order that the state of public affairs might be fully investigated; and at length, on the 21st of October, openly denounced Catiline, charged him broadly with treason, predicted that in six days from that time Manlius would take the field in open war, and that the 28th was the period fixed for the murder of the leading men in the commonwealth. Such was the consternation produced by these disclosures, that many of those who considered themselves - peculiarly obnoxious instantly fled from Rome, and the senate being now thoroughly roused, passed the decretum ultimum, in virtue of which the consuls were invested for the time being with absolute power, both civil and military. Thus supported, Cicero took such precautions that the Comitia passed off without any outbreak or even attempt at violence, although an at

tack upon the magistrates had been meditated. Catiline was again rejected; was forthwith impeached of sedition, under the Plautian law, by L. Æmilius Paullus; was forced to abandon the expectation he had entertained of surprising the strong fortress of Præneste, which would have formed an admirable base for his warlike operations; and found himself every hour more and more closely confined and pressed by the net in which he was entangled through the activity of Cicero. Driven to despair by this accumulation of disappointments and dangers, he resolved at once to bring matters to a crisis, and no longer to waste time by persevering in a course of policy in which he had been so repeatedly foiled. Accordingly, while he still endeavored to keep up appearances by loud protestations of innocence, and by offering to place himself under the control and surveillance of M. Lepidus; of Q. Metellus, the prætor; or of M. Marcellus, in whose house he actually took up his abode; or even of Cicero himself; on the night of the 6th of November he met the ringleaders at the dwelling of M. Porcius Læca, and after complaining of their backwardness and inactivity, informed them that he had dispatched Manlius to Etruria, Septimius of Camerinum, to Picenum, C. Julius to Apulia, and others of less note to different parts of Italy to raise open war, and to organize a general revolt of the slave population. He added that he was desirous to place himself at the head of his troops, but that it was absolutely necessary in the first place to remove Cicero, whose vigilance was most injurious to their cause. Upon this L. Vargunteius, a senator, and C. Cornelius, a knight, undertook to repair at an early hour the following morning to the house of the consul, to make their way into his chamber as if for the purpose of paying their respects, and then to stab him on the spot. The whole of these proceedings were instantly reported to their intended victim; the assassins, when they presented themselves, were refused admission, and certain intelligence having been now received that the rebellion had actually broken out, on the 27th of October, in Etruria, Cicero, on the 8th of November, went down to the senate, which, for greater security, had been summoned to meet in the temple of Jupiter Stator, and there delivered his celebrated oration, "Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra ?" which paralyzed the traitor, not so much by the vehemence of the invective, as by the intimate acquaintance which it displayed with all his most hidden contrivances. Catiline, who upon his entrance had been avoided by all, and was sitting alone upon a bench from which every one had shrunk, rose to reply with downcast countenance, and in humble accents implored the fathers not to listen to the malignant calumnies of an upstart foreigner against the noblest blood in Rome; but scarcely had he commenced when his words were drowned by the shouts of "enemy" and "parricide" which burst from the whole assembly, and he rushed forth with threats and curses on his lips. On his return home, perceiving that there was now no hope of destroying his hated foe, and that the strict watch kept throughout the city rendered tumult and fire-raising difficult if not impossible for the present, he resolved to strike some decisive blow before troops could be levied to oppose him, and accordingly leaving the chief control of affairs at Rome in the hands of Lentulus and Cethegus, with the promise at the same time to march with all speed to their support at the head of a powerful army, set forth in the dead of night (8th-9th November), and after remaining for a few days with his adherents in the neighborhood of Arretium, where he assumed the fasces and other ensigns of lawful military command, proceeded to the camp of Manlius, having previously addressed letters to the most distinguished consulars and others, solemnly protesting his innocence, and declaring that, unable to resist the cabal formed among his enemies, he had determined to retire to Marseilles, that he might preserve his country from agitation and disturbance.

On the 9th, when the flight of Catiline was known, Cicero delivered his second speech, which was addressed to the people in the forum. The senate proceeded to declare Catiline and Manlius public enemies, dispatched officers of high standing to Etruria, Picenum, Campania, Apulia, and the different districts from which danger was apprehended, directed the consuls to hold a levy with all speed, decreed that Antonius should go forth to the war, and that Cicero should remain to guard the city; offering at the same time an amnesty to all who should quit the rebels, and free pardon and great rewards to any who should give such information as might lead to the discovery and conviction of the conspirators within the walls. It is a remarkable fact, and one which indicates most strongly the disaffection of the lower classes to the existing order of things, that not one man could be found to take advantage of this proclamation, and that not a single soldier deserted from the rebel standard. This circumstance threatened to prove a source of most serious embarrassment. Although the existence of the conspiracy and the names of the leading conspirators were known, not only to the magistrates but to the public at large, yet there was no legal evidence against any individual; for Curius, while he faithfully supplied secret intelligence, could not come forward openly without blasting himself forever, and at the same time depriving the government of its most powerful auxiliary. But such steadfastness of purpose did not extend to certain foreigners belonging to a race proverbial in ancient times for the lightness of their faith. There was at Rome at this period a party of Allobroges, deputies dispatched by their nation to seek relief from certain real or alleged grievances. Their suit, however, had not prospered, and their complaints of the cupidity of the magistrates and of the indifference of the senate were open and loud. Lentulus, conceiving that their discontent might be made available for his own purposes, opened a negotiation through the medium of P. Umbrenus, a freedman, who, in the course of mercantile transactions, had become acquainted with most of the Gaulish chiefs, and who now assuming a tone of warm sympathy with their wrongs, undertook to point out an easy method by which they might obtain ample redress. Finding that these mysterious hints were greedily caught up, he gradually disclosed the nature of the plot, and invited them to co-operate by stimulating their countrymen to insurrection. The men for a long while hesitated, but prudence prevailed. After calculating and balancing the chances, they resolved to secure a certain and immediate recompense, rather than to speculate upon doubtful and distant advantages. Accordingly, they revealed all to Q. Fabius Sanga, the patron of their state, who in his turn acquainted Cicero, and by the instructions of the latter enjoined the ambassadors to affect great zeal in the undertaking, and if possible to gain possession of some tangible documentary proof. The Gauls played well the part assigned to them. A written agreement, signed by Lentulus, Cethegus, and Statilius, was placed in their hands, and they quitted Rome soon after midnight on the 3d of December, accompanied by T. Volturcius, of Crotona, who was charged with dispatches for Catiline, it being arranged that the Allobroges were to visit his camp on their way homewards for the double purpose of receiving his orders and obtaining a ratification of the pledges given by his agents. The whole cavalcade was surrounded and seized as it was crossing the Milvian bridge, by two of the prætors who had been stationed in ambush to intercept them. The Gauls quietly surrendered; Volturcius, after having vainly endeavored to resist, was overpowered and forced to yield.

Cicero, when informed of the complete success of his plan, instantly summoned Lentulus, Cethegus, Statilius, and Gabinius to his presence. Lentulus being prætor, the consul led him by the hand to the fane of Concord, where the senate was already met; the rest of the accused followed closely guarded. The prætor Flaccus was also in attendance, bearing the portfolio with the

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