Page images
PDF
EPUB

tears and funeral dirges with the triumphal pæans and songs of victory.

XXXVI. Yet Æmilius, rightly thinking that courago is as valuable in supporting misfortunes as it is against the Macedonian phalanx, so arranged matters as to show that for him the evil was overshadowed by the good, and that his private sorrows were eclipsed by the successes of the state, lest he should detract from the importance and glory of the victory. He buried the first child, and immediately afterwards triumphed, as we have said : and when the second died after the triumph, he assembled the people and addressed them, not so much in the words of one who needs consolation, as of one who would console his countrymen, who were grieved at his misfortunes. Ho said, that ho never had feared what man could do to him, but always had feared Fortune, the most fickle and variable of all deities; and in the late war she had been 80 constantly present with him, like a favouring gale, that he expected now to meet with some roverse by way of retribution. “In one day," said ho, “I crossed the Ionian sea from Brundisium to Corcyra; on tho fifth day I sacrificed at Delphi ; in five more I entered upon my command in Macedonia, performed the usual lustration of the army; and, at once beginning active operations, in fifteen days more I brought the war to a most glorious end. I did not trust in my good fortuno as lasting, because every thing favoured me, and there was no danger to be feared from the enemy, but it was during my voyago that I especially feared that the change of fortune would befall mo, after I had conquered so great a host, and was bearing with me such spoils and even kings as my captives. However, I reached you safe, and saw the city full of gladness and admiration and thanksgiving, but still I had my suspicions about Fortune, knowing that she never bestows any great kindness unalloyed and without exacte ing retribution for it. And no sooner had I dismissed this foreboding about some misfortune being about to happen to the state, than I met with this calamity in my own household, having during these holydays had to bury my noble sons, one after the other, who, bad they lived, would alone have borne my name.

“ Now therefore I fear no further great mischanco, and am of good cheer; for a sufficient retribution has been exacted from me for my successcs, and the triumpher has been made as notable an example of tho uncertainty of human life as the victim : except that Porscus, though conquered, still has his children, whilo Æmilius, his conqueror, has lost his.”

XXXVII. Such was the noble discourse which they say Æmilius from his simple and true heart pronounced before the people. As to Perseus, though ho piticd his fallen fortunes and was most anxious to help him, all he could do was to get him removed from the common prison, called Carcer by the Romans, to a clean and habitable lodging, where, in confinement, according to most authors, he starved himself to death; but somo give a strango and extraordinary account of how he died, saying that the soldiers who guarded him became angry with him, and not being able to vex him by any other means, they provented his going to sleep, watching him by turns, and so carefully keeping him from rest by all manner of devices, that at last he was worn out and died. Two of his children died also; but the third, Alexander, they say became accomplished in repoussé work and other arts. He learned to speak and write the Roman language well, and was employed by the magistrates as a clerk, in which profession he was much esteemed.

XXXVIII. The most popular thing which Æmilius did in connection with Macedonia was that he brought back so much money that the people were not obliged to pay any taxes till the consulship of Hirtius and Pausa, during the first war between Antony and Augustus Cæsar. This was remarkable about Æmilius, that he was peculiarly respected and loved by the people, though of the aristocratical party; and though he never said or did anything to make himself popular, but always in politics acted with the party of tho nobles. Scipio Africanus was afterwards reproached with this by Appius. These were the leading men in the city, and wero candidates for the office of Consor: the one with the Senate and nobles to support him, that being the hereditary party of the Appii; the other boing a man of mark in himself, and one who over

enjoyed the greatest love and favour with the people. So when Appius saw Scipio coming into the forum surronnded by men of low birth and freed men, yet men who knew the forum, and who could collect a mob and by their influence and noiso could get any measure passed, he called out, “O Paulus Æmilius, groan in your grave, at your son being brought into the Censorship by Æmilius the crier and Licinius Philonicus." But Scipio kept the people in good humour by constantly augmenting their privileges, whereas Æmilius, though of tho aristocratic party, was no less loved by the people than those who courted their favour and caressed them. They showed this by electing him, amongst other dignities, to the Censorship; which office is most sacred, and confers great power, especially in examining men's lives; for the Censor can expel a scnator of evil life from his place, and elect the President of the Senato, and punish licentious young men by taking away their horses. They also register the value of property, and tho census of the people. In his time they amounted to three hundred and thirty-seven thousand four hundred and fifty-two. Ho appointed Marcus Æmilius Lepidus l’resident of the Senatc, who four times already had enjoyed that dignity, and ho expelled three scnators, not men of mark. With regard to the Equites, ho and his colleague Marcius Philippus showed equal moderation.

XXXIX. After most of tho labours of his life were accomplished, he fell sick of a disorder which at first scemed dangerous, but as time went on appeared not to be mortal, but wearisomo and hard to cure.

At length ho followed the advice of his physicians, and sailed to Pæstum, in Italy. There he passed his time chiefly in the peaceful mcadows near the sca-shore ; but the peoplo of Romo regretted his alsonce, and in the publio theatro often would pray for his return, and speak of their longing to sco him.

When the time for some religious ceremony at which he had to be present approached, and ho also considered himself sufficiently strong, ho returned to Rome. He performed the sacrifice, with the other priests, the people surrounding him with congratulations. On the next day he again officiated. offering a thank-offering to the gods for his recovery. When this sacrifice was finished, he went homo and lay down, and boforo any ono noticed how changod ho was, lio foll into a delirious tranco, and died in thrco dnys, having in his lifo wantod nono of thoso things which aro thought to render men happy. Even his funeral procession was admirable and enviable, and a noble tribute to his valour and goodness. I do not mean gold, ivory, and other exponsivo and vain-glorious apparatus, but lovo, honour, and respect, not only shown by his own countrymon, but also by forciynors. For of tho Iberians, Ligurians, and Macedonians who happonoil to bo in Romo, tho strongest carriod tho bior, whilo tho cldur mon followod after, pruising Æmilius as the saviour and benefactor of their countries. For he not only during his poriod of conquest had treatod them mildly and humanely, but throughout the rest of his lifo was always bestowing bonefits upon them as persons poculiarly connected with himself. His estato, they say, scarcely amounted to threo hundred and seventy thousand scstorces, which he left to be shared between his two sons ; but Scipio, tho younger, cousontod to give up his sharo to his brother, as he was a member of a rich family, that of Africanus. Such is said to have boon the life and character of Æmilius Paulus.

• Little more than £3000.

COMPARISON OF PAULUS ÆMILIUS AND

TIMOLEON.

I. Tue characters of these inon being such as is shown in their historick, it is uvidont that in comparing thom we shall find fow difforunccs and points of varinnco. Even their wars were in both cases wayed against notable antagonists, tho ono with tho Macedonians, the other with the Carthabinians : whilo their conquests were glorious, as the one took Macedonia, and crushed tho dynasty of Antigonus in tho juorson of its soventh king, wliilo tho other drove all tho despots from Sicily and set the island frco. Unless inuced any one should insinuate that Amilius attacked Perseus when ho was in great strength and had conquered the Romans beforo, whereas Timoleon fell upon Dionysius when he was quito worn out and helpless : though again it might bo urged on behalf of Timolcon that he overcamo many despots and tho great power of Carthage, with an army hastily collected from all sources, not, like Æmilius, commanding men who were inured to war and know how to obey, but making use of disorderly mercenary soldiers who only fought when it pleased them to do so. An equal success, gained with such unequal mcans, reflects tho greater credit on the general.

II. Both were just and incorruptible in their conduct: but Æmilius scems to have had the advantage of the customs and state of fccling among his countrymen, by which he was trained to integrity, while Timoleon without any such encouragement acted virtuously, from his üwn nature. This is proved by the fact that the Romans of that period were all submissive to authority, and carried out the traditions of the state, respecting the laws and the opinions of their countrymen : whereas, except Dion,

« PreviousContinue »