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it to be amid the laws and administration of a well-constituted government ?
XII. It appears to me, that not only among the Medes, as we are told by Herodotus, but by our own ancestors, men of the best principles were constituted kings, for the benefit of their just government. For when the helpless people were oppressed by those who had greater power, they betook themselves to some one man who was distinguished by his virtue, who not only protected the weakest from oppression, but by setting up an equitable system of government, united highest and lowest in equal rights. The cause of the institution of laws was the same as that of kings; for equality of rights has ever been the object of desire ; nor otherwise can there be any rights at all.
When mankind could enjoy it under one just and good man, they were satisfied with that; but when that was not the case, laws were invented, which perpetually spoke to all men with one and the same voice. It is therefore undeniable that the men whose reputation among the people was the highest for their justice, were commonly chosen to bear rule. But when the same were likewise regarded as wise men, there was nothing the people did not think themselves capable of attaining under such authority. Justice, therefore, is by all manner of means to be reverenced and practiced; both for its own sake (for otherwise it would not be justice), and for the enlargement of our own dignity and popularity. But as there is a system not only for the acquisition of money but also for its investment, so that it may supply ever-recurring expenses, not only the needful but the liberal; so popularity must be both acquired and maintained by system.
It was finely said by Socrates that the shortest and most direct road to popularity, is “ for a man to be the same that he wishes to be taken for.” People are egregiously mistaken if they think they ever can attain to permanent popularity by hypocrisy, by mere outside appearances, and by disguising not only their language but their looks. True popularity takes deep root and spreads itself wide; but the false falls away like blossoms; for nothing that is false can be lasting, I could bring many instances of both kinds : but for the sake of liberty, I will confine myself to one family. While there is a memorial of Roman history remaining, the memory of Tiberius Gracchus, the son of Publius, will be held in honor; but his sons even in life were not approved of by the good, and, being dead, they are ranked among those who were deservedly put to death.
XIII. Let the man therefore who aspires after true popularity, perform the duties of justice. What these are has been laid down in the former book. But although we may most easily seem to be just what we are (though in this of itself there is very great importance), yet some precepts require to be given ns to how we may be such men as we desire to be considered. For if any one from early youth has the elements of celebrity and reputation, either derived from his father (which I fancy, my dear Cicero has happened to you), or by some other cause or accident; the eyes of all mankind are turned toward him, and they make it their business to inquire what he does and how he lives; and, as if he were set up in the strongest point of light, no word or deed of his can be private.
Now those whose early life, through their mean and obscure rank, is passed unnoticed by the public, when they come to be young men, ought to contemplate important purposes, and pursue them by the most direct means, which they will do with a firmer resolution, because not only is no envy felt, but favor rather is shown toward that period of life. The chief recommendation then of a young man to fame is derived from military exploits. Of this we have many ex
1 "Perhaps it will afford to some men new ideas, if we inquire what the real nature of the military virtues is. They receive more of applause than virtues of any other kind. How does this happen? We must seek a solution in the seeming paradox that their pretensions to the characters of virtues are few and small. They receive much applause because they merit little. They could not subsist without it; and if men resolve to practice war, and consequently to require the conduct which gives success to war, they must decorate that conduct with glittering fictions, and extol the military virtues, though they be neither good nor great. Of every species of real excellence it is the general characteristic that it is not anxious for applause. The more elevated the virtue the less the desire, and the less is the public voice a motive to action. What should we say of that man's benevolence who would not relieve a neighbor in distress, unless the donation would be praised in a newspaper? What should we say of that man's piety, who prayed only when he was 'seen of men ?' But the military virtues live upon applause; it is their vital element and their food, their great pervading motive and reward. Are there, then, among the respective virtues such discordances of char
amples among our ancestors, for they were almost always waging wars. Your youth however has fallen upon the time of a war, in which one party incurred too much guilt and the other too little success. But when in that war Pompey gorg you the command of a squadron, you gained the praise of that great man and of his army by your horsemanship, your darting the javelin, and your tolerance of all military labor. But this honor of yours ceased with the constitution of our country. My discourse however has not been undertaken with reference to you singly, but to the general subject. Let me therefore proceed to what remains.
As in other matters the powers of the mind are far more important than those of the body, so the objects we pursue by intelligence and reason are more important than those we effect by bodily strength. The most early recommendation, therefore, is modesty, obedience to parents, and affection for relations. Young men are likewise most easily and best known, who attach themselves to wise and illustrious men who benefit their country by their counsels. Their frequenting such company gives mankind a notion of their one day resembling those whom they choose for imitation.
The frequenting of the house of Publius Marcus commended the early life of Publius Rutilius to a reputation for integrity and knowledge of the law. Lucius Crassus indeed, when very young, was indebted to no extrinsic source, but by himself acquired the highest honor from that noble and celebrated prosecution he undertook; at an age when even those who exercise themselves are highly applauded (as we are told in the case of Demosthenes), Crassus, I say, at that age showed that he could already do that most successfully in the forum, which at that time he would have gained praise had he attempted at home.
XIV. But as there are two methods of speaking ; the one proper for conversation, the other for debate, there can be no doubt but the disputative style of speech is of the greatest efficacy with regard to fame; for that is what we properly term eloquence. Yet it is difficult to describe how great
acter, such total contrariety of nature and essence ? No, no. But how then do you account for the fact, that while all other great virtues are independent of public praise and stand aloof from it, the military virtues cap scarcely exist without it?”—Dymond's “Essay on Morals.
power, affability and politeness in conversation have to win the affections of mankind. There are extant letters from Philip, from Antipater, and from Antigonus, three of the wisest men we meet with in history, to their sons Alexander, Cassander, and Philip, recommending to them to draw the minds of the people to kindly sentiments by a generous style of discourse, and to engage their soldiers by a winning address. But the speech which is pronounced in debate before a multitude often carries away a whole assembly. For great is their admiration of an eloquent and sensible speaker, that when they hear him, they are convinced he has both greater abilities and more wisdom than the rest of mankind. But should this eloquence have in it dignity combined with modesty, nothing can be more admirable, especially should those properties meet in a young man.
Various are the causes that require the practice of eloquence; and many young men in our state have attained distinction before the judges and in the senate ; but there is the greatest admiration for judicial harangues, the nature of which is twofold, for it consists of accusation and defense. Of those, though the latter is preferable in point of honor; yet the other has often been approved. I have spoken a little before of Crassus; Marcus Antonius when a youth did the same. An accusation also displayed the eloquence of Publius Sulpicius, when he brought to trial Caius Norbanus, a seditious and worthless citizen.
But in truth, we ought not to do this frequently nor everexcept for the sake of our country, as in the cases I have mentioned; or for the purpose of revenge,' as the two Lu
The direct approbation and inculcation of revenge on the part of ancient moralists, constitutes the point at which the authorities on Christian ethics most widely diverge from them. Paley lays down the following principles on this subject: “It is highly probable, from the light of nature, that a passion, which seeks its gratification immediately and expressly in giving pain, is disagreeable to the benevolent will and counsels of the Creator. Other passions and pleasures may, and often do, produce pain to some one; but then pain is not, as it is here, the object of the passion, and the direct cause of the pleasure. This probability is converted into certainty, if we give credit to the authority which dictated the several passages of the Christian scriptures that condemn revenge, or, what is the same thing, which enjoins forgiveness. The forgiveness of an enemy is not inconsistent with the proceedings against him as a public offender; and that the discipline established in religious
culli did; or by way of patronage, as I did on behalf of the Sicilians, or as Julius did in the case of Albucius on behalf of the Sardians. The diligence of Lucius Fufius was displayed in the impeachment of Manius Aquillius. For once therefore it may be done ; or at all events not often. But if a man should be under a necessity of doing it oftener, let him perform it as a duty to his country, for it is by no means blameworthy to carry on repeated prosecutions against her
or civil societies, for the restraint or punishment of criminals, ought to be upholden. If the magistrate be pot tied down with these prohibitions from the execution of his office, neither is the prosecutor; for the office of the prosecutor is as necessary as that of the magistrate. Nor, by parity of reason, are private persons withholden from the correction of vice, when it is in their power to exercise it, provided they be assured that it is the guilt which provokes them, and not the injury; and that their motives are pure from all mixture and every particle of that spirit which delights and triumphs in the humiliation of an adversary."Paley's Moral and Political Philosophy, book iii. ch. viii.
Sir Thomas Browne, in his “Christian Morals," has the following striking reflections on revenge: “Too many there be to whom a dead enemy smells well, and who find musk and amber in revenge. Tho ferity of such minds holds no rule in retaliations, requiring too often a head for a tooth, and the supreme revenge for trespasses which a night's rest should obliterate. But patient meekness takes injuries like pills, not chewing but swallowing them down, laconically suffering, and silently passing them over; while angered pride makes a poise, liko Homerican Mars, at every scratch of offenses. Since women do most delight in revenge, it may seem but feminine manhood to be vindictive. If thou must needs have thy revenge of thine enemy, with a soft tonguo break his bones, heap coals of fire on his head, forgive him and enjoy it. To forgive our enemies is a charming way of revenge, and a short Cæsarian conquest, overcoming without a blow; laying our enemies at our feet. under sorrow, shame, and repentance; leaving our foes our friends, and solicitously inclined to grateful retaliations. Thus to return upon our adversaries is a healing way of revenge; and to do good for evil a soft and melting ultion, a method taught from heaven to keep all smooth on earth. Common forcible ways make not an end of evil, but leave hatred and malice behind them. An enemy thus reconciled is little to be trusted, as wanting the foundation of love and charity, and but for a time restrained by disadvantage or inability. If thou hast not mercy for others, yet bo not cruel unto thyself. To ruminate upon evils, to make critical notes upon injuries, and be too acute in their apprehensions, is to add unto our own tortures, to feather the arrows of our enemies, to lash ourselves with the scorpions of our foes, and to resolvo to sleep no more. For injuries long dreamt on take away at last all rest, and he sleeps but like Regulus who busieth his head about them.", Christian Morals, chapter xii.