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• There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we may.' The least interesting of his compositions to a modern reader are those dedicated to Augustus; for though he was too honest to sacrifice his independence by servile flattery, they abound with allusions to the virtues and genius of an emperor who acquiesced in the poet's claim of a divine origin for him, and in sentiments which could only be appreciated by his contemporary admirers.
From some of his later Epistles, we gather that he became prematurely grey, and that he was,
'In person small, one to whom warmth is life,
In temper hasty, yet averse from strife.' Also that he was a constant invalid, and had recourse to the cold water cure, until the emperor's nephew died under the treatment.
Of his disposition the following lines give us a general idea :
But I forbear ; sufficient 'tis to pray
That best of blessings—a contented mind ;' and the subjoined couplet, of his literary perseverance,
'I search and search, and where I find I lay
The wisdom up against a rainy day.' In one of his Epistles to Augustus, he thus intimates his estimate of a dramatic writer,
" That man I hold true master of his art
Bear me to Thebes, to Athens—where you will.'
. Of writing well, be sure the secret lies
(Conington), and in that to the Pisos, on the ‘Art of Poetry,' he gives us
most instructive hints for the formation of a sound taste and a pure style.
Soon after it was written he died; and perhaps the most remarkable of all his verses are those in which he anticipates his own future fame :
I've reared a monument, my own,
More durable than brass ;
In height it doth surpass.
Disturb its settled base,
Its symmetry deface.
Nor that a little-shall
And his grim festival.
Rome's Pontifex shall climb
DIED A.D. 17.
IVY of Padua was originally a professor of rhetoric,
and is supposed to have turned his attention to
history at the suggestion of the Emperor Augustus. His Annals' contained, in their entirety, the history of Rome from its foundation to within a few years of the Christian era ; but only about one-fourth of the books or decades of which they consisted are extant, and the missing portions are, unfortunately, those relating to the most interesting periods. Epitomes of some of the later books have been preserved, but they are mere skeletons of his compositions; and it seems certain that for the first five hundred years no authentic record of events was ever written, and that our knowledge of those days is based almost entirely on mythical or imaginary compilations, deduced either from scanty chronicles kept in the temples, or from ancient chants and lays transmitted orally from one generation to another.
The popular belief of the Romans, however, in their heroic descent was so strong, that Livy did not venture to question the current legend of Æneas having led a colony of Trojans to Latium after the destruction of their city; and the beginning of his history is, in fact, a continuation of the Æneid, with the exception that he represents Ascanius as the son of Lavinia, instead of Creusa, and that she ruled the kingdom established by Æneas during the boy's minority. Neither did he discredit the tradition respecting Romulus and Remus, for was not the fig-tree still standing under which they were suckled by the wolf? The story of the building of the city is next adopted; and, when it is filled with citizens from the neighbouring tribes, Romulus chose a senate of one hundred elders, assumed the white robe with a purple border, and instituted lictors with rods and axes as emblems of his executive power. Then follows the seizure of the daughters of the Sabines as wives for the new population, and the ultimate fusion of the two nations. The doings of the six successors of Romulus in the kingly office, during the next two centuries, are told with little variation from the legends which had been accepted as the history of those times, the prominent events being—the combat between the Horatii and the Curatii, the razing of the walls of Alba, the construction of public sewers, the recognition of the plebeians as a component part of the State, the erection of a temple to Jupiter, the death of Lucretia, and the expulsion of the Tarquins.
The early annals of the republican form of government, which succeeded that by kings, are also of legendary origin. The two chief magistrates elected by the people were first called prætors, and afterwards consuls. One of them, Brutus, we are told, sentenced his own sons to death for conspiring to restore the banished king, who then sought the aid of the Etruscans and other tribes; and Livy gives a romantic account of the enemy being kept at bay by one man whilst the bridge across the Tiber was being destroyed, as well as of the bravery of a youth in attempting to assassinate their leader Porsena in his tent, and thrusting his hand into the fire on the altar to show a Roman's indifference to pain.
In another effort for the restoration of the Tarquins, thirty nations, he says, were leagued against Rome, and a dictator, with absolute authority, was temporarily chosen. The Romans ultimately gained the victory in a battle fought at Lake Regillus, and a treaty was concluded between them and the Latins, the particulars of which were recorded on a brazen pillar. The next event of importance was a serious dissension between the lower orders and the patricians respecting the law of debtor and creditor, when
Menenius Agrippa effected a reconciliation by his celebrated exposition of “The belly and its members,' the moral of which was that neither section of the state could subsist without the other. At the same time Tribunes of the people were appointed to defend their rights, which constituted the first step in the progress of the middle classes to political power. Soon afterwards the Agrarian law, allotting certain unenclosed lands to the plebeians, was passed. A season of scarcity, however, produced further popular discontent, and the legions refused to be led against the enemies of the republic. At last the clan of the Fabii, numbering six hundred men, undertook to make Rome safe from the Veii; but, after maintaining their position on the frontier for two years, they were surprised and cut to pieces, only one lad escaping. Reverting to the contests between the two orders in the state, the historian records another charter of liberty conceded to the plebeians by the election of the tribunes being transferred from the citizens generally to them only. He next gives
account of several unsuccessful campaigns against neighbouring tribes, and of three severe visitations of pestilence. He also alludes to a night attack on the Capitol by exiles and slaves, in suppressing which the government, mistrusting the national troops, were aided by a strong force from Tusculum. Then follows the story of Cincinnatus being called from his plough to act as dictator in a war with the Æquians. A contest ensued for ten years respecting the preparation of a code of laws; and, three senators having been sent to Greece to examine the laws of Solon, a commission of ten was elected, by whom ten tables of statutes were framed, which Livy remarks remained to his time the main foundation of all public and private law. The ten were then re-elected to add two more tables to their work, upon which they arrogated supreme power, and, at the expiration of the two years for which they were to hold office, they declined to resign. At length one of them having given an iniquitous judgment, declaring the daughter of Virginius, a centurion, to be a slave, the father stabbed her in the market-place, saying, “Thus, my daughter, in the only way I can, I make