1The following year Caesar wished to gain the favour of the whole multitude, that he might make them his own to an even greater degree. But since he was anxious to seem to be advancing the interests also of the optimates, in order to avoid incurring their enmity, he often told them that he would propose no measure which should not also be to their advantage. 2And, indeed, he so framed a certain measure concerning the land, which he wished to assign to the whole populace, as not to incur the least censure for it; yet he pretended he would not introduce even this measure, unless it should be according to their wishes. So far as this law went, therefore, no one could find any fault with him. The swollen population of the city, 3which was chiefly responsible for the frequent rioting, would thus be turned toward labour and agriculture; and the greater part of Italy, now desolate, would be colonized afresh, so that not only those who had toiled in the campaigns, but all the rest as well, would have ample subsistence. And this would be accomplished without any expense on the part of the city itself or any loss to the optimates; on the contrary, many of them would gain both rank and office. 4He not only wished to distribute all the public land except Campania (which he advised them to keep distinct as the property of the state, because of its excellence), but he also bade them purchase the remainder from no one who was unwilling to sell nor yet for whatever price the land commissioners might wish, but, in the first place, from people who were willing to sell, and secondly, for the same price at which it had been assessed in the tax-lists. 5For they had a great deal of surplus money, he asserted, as a result of the booty which Pompey had captured, as well as from the new tributes and taxes just established, and they ought, inasmuch as it had been provided by the dangers that citizens had incurred, to expend it upon those same persons. 6Furthermore, he proposed that the land commission should not consist of a few members only, so as to seem like an oligarchy, or of men who were under indictment, lest somebody might be displeased, but that there should be, in the first place, twenty of them, so that many might share the honour, and secondly, that they should be the most suitable men. 7But he excepted himself from consideration, a point on which he strenuously insisted at the outset, in order that he might not be thought to be proposing a measure in his own interest. As for himself, he was satisfied with originating and proposing the matter; at least he said so, but clearly he was doing a favour to Pompey and Crassus and the rest.
2So far as his measure went, then, he could not be censured, and, indeed, no one ventured to open his mouth in opposition; for he had read it beforehand in the senate, and calling upon each one of the senators by name, had inquired whether he had any criticism to offer; and he promised to alter or even to strike out entirely any clause which might displease anybody. 2Nevertheless, practically all the optimates who were outside the league were greatly irritated; and they were grieved especially by the very fact that Caesar had drawn up such a measure as would admit of no censure, even while it embarrassed them all. 3For they suspected that by this measure he would attach the multitude to him and gain fame and power over all men; and this was, in fact, his very purpose. For this reason, even though no one spoke against him, no one expressed approval either. This sufficed for the majority, and while they kept promising him that they would pass the decree, they did nothing; on the contrary, fruitless delays and postponements kept arising. 3Marcus Cato, however, even though he had no fault to find with the measure, nevertheless urged them on general principles to abide by the existing system and to take no steps beyond it. He was a thoroughly upright man and disapproved of any innovation; yet he had no influence either as the result of natural gift or training. 2At this Caesar was on the point of dragging Cato out of the very senate-house and casting him into prison. But the other offered himself with the greatest readiness to be led away, and not a few of the rest followed him; and one of them, Marcus Petreius, upon being rebuked by Caesar because he was taking his departure before the senate was yet dismissed, replied: “I prefer to be with Cato in prison rather than here with you.” 3Abashed at this reply, Caesar let Cato go and adjourned the senate, merely remarking: “I have made you judges and masters of this law, so that if anything did not suit you, it should not be brought before the people; but since you are not willing to pass a preliminary decree, they shall decide for themselves.”
4After that he communicated nothing further to the senate during his year of office, but brought directly before the people whatever he desired. 2However, as he wished even under these circumstances to secure some of the foremost men as supporters in the assembly, hoping that they had now changed their minds and would have some fear of the plebs, he made a beginning with his colleague and asked him if he disapproved of the provisions of the law. 3When the other gave him no answer beyond saying that he would tolerate no innovations during his year of office, Caesar proceeded to entreat him and persuaded the multitude to join him in his request, saying: “You shall have the law, if only he wishes it.” Bibulus in a loud voice replied: “You shall not have this law this year, not even if you all wish it.” And having spoken thus he took his departure.
4Caesar did not address his inquiries to any other magistrates, fearing that some one of them also might oppose him; but he brought forward Pompey and Crassus, though they were private citizens, and bade them express their views concerning the measure. 5This was not because he was not acquainted with their view, for all their undertakings were in common; but he purposed both to honour these men, by calling them in as advisers about the law although they were holding no office, and also to frighten the others by securing the adherence of men who were admittedly the foremost in the city at that time and had the greatest influence with all. 6By this very move, also, he would please the populace, by giving proof that they were not striving for any unnatural or unjust end, but for objects which those leaders were willing both to approve and to praise.
5Pompey, accordingly, very gladly addressed them as follows: “It is not I alone, Quirites, who approve this measure, but the whole senate as well, inasmuch as it has voted for land to be given not only to my soldiers but to those also who once fought with Metellus. 2On the former occasion, to be sure, since the treasury had no great means, the granting of the land was naturally postponed; but at present, since it has become exceedingly rich through my efforts, it is but right that the promise made to the soldiers be fulfilled and that the rest also reap the fruit of the common toils.” 3After this preamble he went over in detail every feature of the measure and approved them all, so that the crowd was mightily pleased. Seeing this, Caesar asked him if he would willingly assist him against those who were working in opposition, and he also urged the populace to join in asking his aid for this purpose. 4When they had done so, Pompey felt elated over the fact that both the consul and the multitude had desired his help, although he was holding no position of command, and so, with an added opinion of his own worth, and assuming much dignity, he spoke at some length, finally declaring: “If any one dares to raise a sword, I also will snatch up my shield.” 5These words of Pompey were approved by Crassus too. Consequently, even if some of the rest were not pleased, they nevertheless favoured the passage of the law [when these men,] who were not only accounted good citizens in general but were also, as they supposed, hostile to Caesar, (for their reconciliation was not yet manifest,) joined in approving his measure.
6Bibulus, however, would not yield, but having gained the support of three tribunes, hindered the enactment of the law. Finally, when no other excuse for delay was any longer left him, he proclaimed a sacred period for all the remaining days of the year alike, during which the people could not legally even meet in their assembly. 2Caesar paid but slight attention to him and appointed a fixed day for the passage of the law. And when the populace had already occupied the Forum by night, Bibulus came up with the following he had got together and succeeded in forcing his way through to the temple of Castor, from which Caesar was delivering his speech. The men fell back before him, partly out of respect 3and partly because they thought he would not actually oppose them. But when he appeared above and attempted to speak in opposition to Caesar he was thrust down the steps, his fasces were broken to pieces, and the tribunes as well as others received blows and wounds.
4Thus the law was passed. Bibulus was for the moment satisfied to escape with his life, but on the next day tried in the senate to annul the act; nevertheless, he accomplished nothing, since all were under the spell of the multitude’s enthusiasm and would do nothing. 5Accordingly he retired to his home and did not appear in public again at all up to the last day of the year. Instead, he remained in his house, and whenever Caesar proposed any innovation, he sent formal notice to him through his attendants that it was a sacred period and that by the laws he could rightfully take no action during it. 6Publius Vatinius, a tribune, undertook to place Bibulus in prison for this, but was prevented from doing so by the opposition of his colleagues. Bibulus, however, held aloof from all business of state in the manner related, and the tribunes belonging to his party likewise no longer performed any public duty.
7Now Metellus Celer and Cato, and through him one Marcus Favonius, who imitated him in everything, for a time did not take the oath of obedience to the law (a custom which began, as I have stated, on an earlier occasion, and was then continued in the case of other preposterous measures) and stoutly refused to approve it, Metellus, for instance, referring to Numidicus as an example. 2When, however, the day [came] on which they were to incur the established penalties, they took the oath, perhaps because it is but human nature for many persons to utter promises and threats more easily than they actually carry them out, or else because they were going to be punished to no purpose, without helping the state at all by their obstinacy. 3So the law was passed, and in addition the land of Campania was given to those having three or more children. For this reason Capua was then for the first time considered a Roman colony.
4By this means Caesar attached the plebs to his cause; and he won over the knights by releasing them from a third part of the taxes for which they had contracted. For all collecting of taxes was done by them, and though they had often asked the senate for some satisfaction, they had not obtained it, because Cato, among others, had opposed it. 5When, then, he had conciliated this class also without any one’s protest, he first ratified all the acts of Pompey, meeting with no opposition either from Lucullus or any one else, and later he put through many other measures without encountering any resistance. 6Even Cato did not object, although during his praetorship a little later, he would never mention the title of the other’s laws, since they were called Julian laws; for although he followed their provisions in allotting the courts, he most absurdly suppressed their name.
As these laws, now, are very numerous and contribute nothing to this history, I will omit them; but one other I will mention. 8Quintus Fufius Calenus, finding that the votes of all were hopelessly confused, at least in party contests, since each of the orders attributed the good measures to itself and referred the preposterous ones to the others, proposed a law while praetor that each order should cast its vote separately. His purpose was that even if their individual opinions could not be revealed, by reason of their taking this vote secretly, yet it might become clear how the orders, at least, felt.
2In most matters Caesar himself proposed, advised, and arranged everything in the city once for all as if he were its sole ruler; hence some facetious persons totally suppressed the name of Bibulus, and in speaking or writing would name Caesar twice, stating that the consuls were Gaius Caesar and Julius Caesar. 3But matters that concerned himself he managed through others, for he was extremely careful to offer nothing to himself; and thus he the more easily accomplished everything that he desired. On his own part, he would declare that he needed nothing more, and claimed to be thoroughly satisfied with what he had; 4but others, believing him a necessary and useful factor in affairs, proposed whatever he wished and had it passed, not only by the populace but by the senate itself. 5Thus it was that the multitude granted him the government of Illyricum and of Cisalpine Gaul with three legions for five years, while the senate entrusted him in addition with Transalpine Gaul and another legion.
9But fearing even then that Pompey might make some change during his absence, inasmuch as Aulus Gabinius was to be consul, he attached to himself both Pompey and the other consul, Lucius Piso, by ties of kinship: upon the former he bestowed his daughter, in spite of having betrothed her to another man, while he himself married Piso’s daughter. 2Thus he strengthened himself on all sides. Cicero and Lucullus, however, little pleased at this, undertook to kill both Caesar and Pompey through the help of a certain Lucius Vettius; but they failed of their attempt and all but lost their own lives as well. For Vettius, upon being exposed and arrested before he had accomplished anything, denounced them; 3and had he not charged Bibulus also with being in the plot against the two, it would certainly have gone hard with them. But as it was, owing to the fact that in his defence he accused this man who had revealed the plan to Pompey, it was suspected that he was not speaking the truth in the case of the others either, but had been prompted in the matter as the result of a plot of the other side to calumniate their opponents. 4Concerning these matters various reports were current, since nothing was definitely proven. Vettius was brought before the populace, and after naming only those whom I have mentioned, was thrown into prison, where he was treacherously murdered a little later. 10In consequence of this affair, Cicero became suspected by Caesar and Pompey, and he confirmed their suspicion in his defence of Antonius.
The latter, while governor of Macedonia, had inflicted many injuries upon the subject territory as well as upon that which was in alliance with Rome, and had suffered many disasters in return. 2For after ravaging the possessions of the Dardanians and their neighbours, he did not dare to await their attack, but pretending to retire with his cavalry for some other purpose, took to flight; in this way the enemy surrounded his infantry and forcibly drove them out of the country, even taking away their plunder from them. 3When he tried the same tactics on the allies in Moesia, he was defeated near the city of the Istrians by the Bastarnian Scythians who came to their aid; and thereupon he ran away. It was not for this conduct, however, that he was accused, but he was indicted for complicity in Catiline’s conspiracy; yet he was convicted on the former charge, so that it was his fate to be found not guilty of the crime for which he was being tried, but to be punished for something of which he was not accused. 4That was the way he came off. But Cicero, who defended him at this time because Antonius had been his colleague, made a most bitter attack upon Caesar, whom he held responsible for the suit against him, and even went so far as to heap abuse upon him.
11Caesar was naturally indignant at this, but, although consul, refused to be the author of any insolent speech or act against him. He said that the multitude often purposely [cast] many idle [slurs] upon their superiors, in the effort to draw them into strife, so that they might seem to be their equals and of like importance with them, in case they should get anything similar said of themselves; and he did not see fit to make anybody his rival in this manner. 2This, then, was his attitude toward others who insulted him in any way, and so now, when he saw that Cicero was not so anxious to abuse him as to receive similar abuse in return, he paid little heed to his traducer, ignoring all he said; indeed, he allowed him to indulge in abuse without stint, as if it were so much praise showered upon him. 3Still, he did not disregard him entirely. For, although Caesar possessed in reality a rather mild nature, and was not at all easily moved to anger, he nevertheless punished many, since his interests were so numerous, 4yet in such wise that it was not done in anger nor always immediately. He did not indulge in wrath at all, but watched for his opportunity, and his vengeance pursued the majority of his foes without their knowing it. For he did not act in such a way as to seem to be defending himself against anybody, but so as to arrange everything to his own advantage while arousing the least hatred. Therefore he visited his retribution secretly and in places where one would least have expected it, 5both for the sake of his reputation, in order to avoid seeming to be of a wrathful disposition, and also to the end that no one should learn of it beforehand and so be on his guard, or try to inflict some serious injury upon him before being injured. For he was not so much concerned about what had already occurred as he was to prevent future attacks. 6As a result he would pardon many of those, even, who had vexed him greatly, or pursue them only to a limited extent, because he believed they would do no further injury; whereas upon many others he took vengeance, even beyond what was fitting, with an eye to his own safety. What was once done, he said, [he could] never [make] undone [by any penalty], but because of the severity of the punishment he would for the future at least suffer no harm.
12In view of these considerations he was inclined to do nothing on this occasion also; but when he ascertained that Clodius was willing to do him a favour in return for the fact that he had not accused him of adultery, he set this man secretly against Cicero. 2In the first place, in order that he might be lawfully excluded from the patricians, he transferred him with Pompey’s coöperation to the plebeian status once more, and then immediately had him appointed tribune. 3This Clodius, then, silenced Bibulus, when at the expiration of his office he entered the Forum and intended in connexion with taking the oath to deliver a speech about the existing state of affairs; and he attacked Cicero also. 4But since he decided that it was not easy to overthrow a man who had very great influence in the state by reason of his skill in speaking, he proceeded to conciliate not only the populace, but also the knights and the senate, by whom Cicero was held in the highest regard. His hope was that if he could make these men his own, he might easily cause the downfall of the orator, whose strength lay rather in the fear than in the good-will which he inspired. 5For Cicero annoyed great numbers by his speeches, and those whom he aided were not so thoroughly won to his side as those whom he injured were alienated; for most men are more ready to feel irritation at what displeases them than to feel grateful to any one for kindnesses, and they think that they have paid their advocates in full with their fee, while their chief concern is to get even with their opponents in some way or other. 6Cicero, moreover, made for himself very bitter enemies by always striving to get the better of even the most powerful men and by always employing an unbridled and excessive frankness of speech toward all alike; for he was in pursuit of a reputation for sagacity and eloquence such as no one else possessed, even in preference to being thought a good citizen. 7As a result of this and because he was the greatest boaster alive and regarded no one as equal to himself, but in his words and life alike looked down upon everybody and would not live as any one else did, he was wearisome and burdensome, and was consequently both disliked and hated even by those very persons whom he otherwise pleased.
13Clodius, therefore, hoped on this account that if he should first win over the senate and the knights and the populace he could quickly crush him. So he straightway went to distributing free corn; for when Gabinius and Piso had now become consuls, he had introduced his motion that it should be doled out to the needy; 2and he revived the associations called collegia in the native language, which had existed of old but had been abolished for some time. He also forbade the censors to remove anybody from any order or to censure any one, except as he should be tried and convicted before them both.
3After offering them this lure he proposed another law, concerning which it is necessary to speak at some length, so that it may become clearer to the general public. Public divination was obtained from the sky and from certain other sources, as I have said, but that of the sky had the greatest authority—so much so, in fact, that while the other auguries were many in number and were taken for each action, this one was taken but once and for the whole day. 4This was the most peculiar feature about it; but there was the further difference that whereas in reference to all other matters sky-divination either allowed things to be done, in which case they were carried out without consulting any individual augury further, or else would prevent and hinder something, yet it stopped the voting of the people altogether, serving always as a portent to check them, whether it was of a favourable or unfavourable nature. 5The cause of this custom I am unable to state, but I set down the common report. Accordingly, many persons who wished to obstruct either the proposal of laws or the appointment of magistrates that came before the popular assembly were in the habit of announcing that they would look for omens from the sky that day, so that during it the people would have no power to pass any measure. 6Clodius, now, was afraid that if he indicted Cicero some might adopt this means to secure the postponement or delay of the trial; and so he introduced a measure that none of the magistrates should observe the signs from heaven on the days when it was necessary for the people to vote on anything.
14Such were the measures which he then drew up with reference to Cicero. The latter understood what was afoot and induced Lucius Ninnius Quadratus, a tribune, to oppose every move; so Clodius, fearing that some disturbance and delay might arise as a result, outwitted him by deceit. 2He first made an agreement with Cicero to bring no indictment against him, if the other would not interfere with any of the measures he proposed; thereupon, while Cicero and Ninnius remained quiet, he secured the passage of the laws, and then made his attack upon the orator. 3And thus the latter, who thought himself extremely shrewd, was deceived on that occasion by Clodius—if, indeed, it is proper to speak here of Clodius and not rather of Caesar and the others who were in league with the two. 4Now the law that Clodius next proposed was not on its face enacted against Cicero, since it did not contain his name, but was directed against all, without exception, who should put to death or even had put to death any citizen without the condemnation of the people; yet in reality it was drawn up with especial reference to the orator. 5It brought within its scope, indeed, the entire senate, because that body had charged the consuls with the protection of the city, by which act it was permitted them to take such steps, and afterwards had condemned Lentulus and the others who were put to death at that time. 6Nevertheless, Cicero received the whole blame, or at least the greater part of it, since he had laid information against the men and had on each occasion made the motion and put the vote and finally had exacted the penalty of them through those entrusted with such business. 7For this reason he vigorously opposed Clodius’ measure in every way; in particular, he discarded his senatorial dress and went about in the garb of the knights, paying court meanwhile, as he went the rounds, day and night alike, to all who had any influence, not only of his friends but also of his opponents, and especially to Pompey and even Caesar, inasmuch as the latter concealed his enmity toward him.
15Now these men, indeed, did not wish to appear to have instigated Clodius themselves, or even to be pleased with his measures, and so they devised the following plan, involving no discredit to themselves but obscure to Cicero, for deceiving him. 2Caesar, for his part, advised him to yield, for fear he might lose his life if he remained in the city; and in order to have it believed the more readily that he was doing this through good-will, he promised to employ him as his lieutenant, so that he might retire out of Clodius’ way, not in disgrace, as if under investigation, but in a position of command and with honour. 3Pompey, however, tried to turn him aside from this course, calling the act outright desertion, and uttering insinuations against Caesar to the effect that through enmity he was not giving sound advice; as for himself, he advised him to remain and boldly defend both himself and the senate and thus avenge himself at once upon Clodius. 4The latter, he declared, would not be able to accomplish anything with Cicero present and confronting him, and would furthermore meet his deserts, since he, Pompey, would also coöperate to this end. Now when these two expressed themselves thus, not because their views were opposed, but for the purpose of deceiving their victim without arousing his suspicion, Cicero attached himself to Pompey. 5Of him he had no previous suspicion and was absolutely confident of being saved by his assistance. For in the first place, many respected and honoured him as one who saved numerous persons in grave peril, some from the judges and others from their very accusers; 6and Clodius, in particular, had formerly been a relative of Pompey’s and had long served under him, so that it seemed likely that he would do nothing that failed to accord with his wishes. As for Gabinius, Cicero supposed he could count on him absolutely as an adherent, since he was a good friend of his, and equally on Piso, because of his amiability as well as his kinship with Caesar. 16On the basis of these calculations, then, he hoped to win, since he was now unreasonably confident, even as he had before been unduly terrified; and fearing that his withdrawal from the city would seem to have been occasioned by a bad conscience, he listened to Pompey, though he said that he was considerably obliged to Caesar.
2And thus Cicero, deceived in this wise, was preparing as if for a great victory over his enemies. For, in addition to the grounds for hope already mentioned, the knights assembled on the Capitol and sent envoys in his behalf to the consuls and senate, some from their own number, 3and also the senators Quintus Hortensius and Gaius Curio. Ninnius, too, in addition to his assistance in other ways urged the populace to change their apparel, as if for a general calamity. And many of the senators also did this, and would not change back until the consuls rebuked them by an edict.
4The forces of his adversaries were more powerful, however. Clodius would not allow Ninnius to take any action in his behalf, and Gabinius would not grant the knights access to the senate; on the contrary, he drove one of them, who was very insistent, out of the city, and rebuked Hortensius and Curio for having been present in the assembly of the knights and for having undertaken the mission. 5Moreover, Clodius brought them before the populace, where they were soundly belaboured for their mission by some appointed agents. After this Piso, though he seemed well-disposed towards Cicero and had advised him, on seeing that it was impossible for him to attain safety by any other means, to slip away in time, nevertheless, when the other took offence at this counsel, 6came before the assembly at the first opportunity (he was too ill most of the time) and to the question of Clodius as to what opinion he held regarding the proposed measure said: “No deed of cruelty or sadness pleases me.” Gabinius, too, on being asked the same question, not only failed to praise Cicero but even accused both the knights and the senate.
17Caesar, however, who had already taken the field, and whom Clodius could therefore make arbiter of the measure only by assembling the populace outside the walls, condemned the illegality of the action taken in regard to Lentulus, but still did not approve the punishment proposed for it. 2Every one knew, he said, all that had been in his mind concerning the events of that time, as he had cast his vote in favour of sparing their lives, but it was not fitting for any such law to be drawn up with regard to events now past. 3This was Caesar’s advice. Crassus showed some favour to Cicero through his son, but himself took the side of the multitude. Pompey kept promising him assistance, but by making various excuses at different times and purposely arranging many journeys out of town, failed to defend him.
4Cicero, perceiving this, became afraid and again undertook to resort to arms, among other things even abusing Pompey openly; but he was stopped by Cato and Hortensius, for fear a civil war might result. Then at last he departed, against his will, and with the shame and ill-repute of having gone into exile voluntarily, as if conscience-stricken. 5But before leaving he ascended the Capitol and dedicated a little image of Minerva, whom he styled “Protectress.” And he set out secretly for Sicily; for he had once been governor there, and entertained a lively hope that he should be honoured among its towns and private citizens and by their governor. 6On his departure the law took effect; so far from meeting with any opposition, it was supported, as soon as he was once out of the way, by those very persons, among others, who had seemed to be the most active workers in Cicero’s behalf. His property was confiscated, his house was razed to the ground, as though it had been an enemy’s, and its site was dedicated for a temple of Liberty. 7Against Cicero himself a decree of exile was passed, and he was forbidden to tarry in Sicily; for he was banished five hundred miles from Rome, and it was further proclaimed that if he should ever appear within those limits, both he and those who harboured him might be slain with impunity.
18He accordingly went over to Macedonia and spent his time there in lamentations. But there met him a man named Philiscus, who had made his acquaintance in Athens and now by chance fell in with him again. “Are you not ashamed, Cicero,” he said, “to be weeping and behaving like a woman? Really, I should never have expected that you, who have enjoyed such an excellent and varied education, and who have acted as advocate to many, would grow so faint-hearted.”
2“But,” replied the other, “it is not at all the same thing, Philiscus, to speak for others as to advise one’s self. The words spoken in others’ behalf, proceeding from a mind that is firm and unshaken, are most opportune; but when some affliction overwhelms the spirit, it becomes turbid and darkened and cannot reason out anything that is opportune. For this reason, I suppose, it has been very well said that it is easier to counsel others than to be strong oneself under suffering.”
3“That is but human nature,” rejoined Philiscus. “I did not think, however, that you, who are gifted with so much sound sense and have practised so much wisdom, had failed to prepare yourself for all human possibilities, so that even if some unexpected accident should befall you, it would not find you unfortified at any point. 4But since, now, you are in this plight, . . . for I might be of some little assistance to you by rehearsing a few appropriate arguments. And thus, just as men who put a hand to other’s burdens relieve them, so I might lighten this misfortune of yours, and the more easily than they, inasmuch as I shall not take upon myself even the smallest part of it. 5Surely you will not deem it unbecoming, I trust, to receive some encouragement from another, since if you were sufficient for yourself, we should have no need of these words. As it is, you are in a like case to Hippocrates or Democedes or any of the other great physicians, if one of them had fallen ill of a disease hard to cure and had need of another’s aid to bring about his own recovery.”
19“Indeed,” said Cicero, “if you have any argument that will dispel this mist from my soul and restore me to the light of old, I am most ready to listen. For words, as drugs, are of many varieties, and divers potencies, so that it will not be surprising if you should be able to steep in some mixture of philosophy even me, for all my brilliant feats in the senate, the assemblies, and the law-courts.”
2“Come then,” continued Philiscus, “since you are ready to listen, let us consider first whether these conditions that surround you are actually bad, and next in what way we may cure them. First of all, now, I see you are in excellent physical health and strength, which is surely man’s chief natural blessing; and, next, that you have the necessities of life in sufficiency 3so as not to hunger or thirst or suffer cold or endure any other hardship through lack of means—which may appropriately be set down as the second natural blessing for man. For when one’s physical condition is good and one can live without anxiety, all the factors essential to happiness are enjoyed.”
20To this Cicero replied: “But not one of these things is of use when some grief is preying upon one’s mind; for mental cares cause one far more distress than bodily comforts cause pleasure. Even so, I also at present set no value on my physical health, because I am suffering in mind, nor yet on the abundance of necessaries; for my loss is great indeed.”
2“And does this grieve you?” replied the other. “Now if you were going to be in want of things needful, there would be some reason for your being annoyed at your loss. But since you have all the necessaries in full measure, why do you distress yourself because you do not possess more? For all that one has beyond one’s needs is superfluous, and amounts to the same thing whether present or absent; since surely you did not make use formerly of what was not necessary. 3Consider, therefore, either that then what you did not need you did not have, or else that you now have what you do not need. Most of these things, indeed, were not yours by inheritance, that you should be particularly exercised about them, but were acquired by your own tongue and by your own words—the very things which caused you to lose them. 4You should not, therefore, be vexed if things have been lost in the same manner in which they were won. Ship-masters, for example, do not take it greatly to heart when they suffer great losses; for they understand, I suspect, how to take the sensible view of it, namely, that the sea which gives them wealth takes it away again.
21“So much for the present point; for I think it should be enough for a man’s happiness to have a sufficiency and to lack nothing that the body requires, and I hold that everything in excess involves anxiety, trouble, and jealousy. 2As for your saying, now, that there is no enjoyment of physical blessings unless those of the spirit are also present, that is indeed true, since it is impossible, if the spirit is in a poor state, that the body should fail to share in its ailment; nevertheless, I think it much easier for one to look after his mental health than his physical. 3For the body, being of flesh, contains in itself many dangers and requires much assistance from the divine power; whereas the spirit, of a nature more divine, can easily be trained and prompted. Let us see here also, then, what spiritual blessing has abandoned you and what evil has come upon you that we may not shake off.
22“First, then, I see that you are a man of the greatest sagacity. The proof is that you so often persuaded both the senate and the people in cases where you gave them advice, and so often helped private citizens in cases where you acted as their advocate. And secondly, I see that you are a most just man. 2Certainly you have always been found contending for your country and for your friends against those who plotted their ruin. Indeed, this very misfortune which you have now suffered has befallen you for no other reason than that you continued to say and do everything in behalf of the laws and of the constitution. 3Again, that you have attained the highest degree of self-mastery is shown by your very course of life, since it is not possible for a man who is a slave to sensual pleasures to appear constantly in public and to go to and fro in the Forum, making his deeds by day witnesses of those by night. 4This being the case, I, for my part, supposed you were also very brave, enjoying, as you did, such force of intellect and such power of oratory. 5But it seems that, startled out of yourself through having failed contrary to your hopes and deserts, you have fallen a little short of true courage. But you will regain this immediately, and as you are thus equipped as I have pointed out, with a good physical endowment as well as mental, I cannot see what it is that is distressing you.”
23At the end of this speech of his Cicero replied: “There seems to you, then, to be no great evil in disfranchisement and exile and in not living at home or being with your friends, but, instead, being expelled with violence from your country, living in a foreign land, and wandering about with the name of exile, causing laughter to your enemies and disgrace to your friends?”
2“Not in the least, so far as I can see,” declared Philiscus. “There are two elements of which we are constituted, soul and body, and definite blessings and evils are given to each of the two by Nature herself. Now if there should be any defect in these two, it would properly be considered injurious and disgraceful; but if all should be right with them, it would be useful instead. 3This is your condition at the present moment. Those things which you mentioned, banishment and disfranchisement, and anything else of the sort, are disgraceful and evil only by convention and a certain popular opinion, and work no injury to either body or soul. What body could you cite that has fallen ill or perished and what spirit that has grown more unjust or even more ignorant through disfranchisement or exile or anything of that sort? I see none. 4And the reason is that no one of these things is by nature evil, just as neither citizenship nor residence in one’s country is in itself excellent, but whatever opinion each one of us holds about them, such they seem to be. 5For instance, men do not universally apply the penalty of disfranchisement to the same acts, but certain deeds which are reprehensible in some places are praised in others, and various actions honoured by one people are punished by another. Indeed, some do not so much as know the name, nor the thing which it implies. 6And naturally enough; for whatever does not touch that which belongs to man’s nature is thought to have no bearing upon him. Precisely in the same way, therefore, as it would be most ridiculous, surely, if some judgment or decree were to be rendered that So-and -so is sick or So-and -so is base, so does the case stand regarding disfranchisement.
24“The same thing I find to be true in regard to exile. It is a sojourn abroad involving disfranchisement; so that if disfranchisement in and of itself contains no evil, surely no evil can be attached to exile either. 2In fact, many live abroad anyway for very long periods, some unwillingly, but others willingly; and some even spend their whole life travelling about, just as if they were expelled from every place in turn; and yet they do not regard themselves as being injured in doing so. 3Nor does it make any difference whether a man does it voluntarily or not; the man who trains his body unwillingly is no less strong than he who does it willingly, and one who goes on a voyage unwillingly obtains no less benefit than another. And as regards this unwillingness itself, I do not see how it can exist with a man of sense. 4Accordingly, if the difference between being well and badly off is that we do some things readily and voluntarily, while we perform others unwillingly and grudgingly, the trouble can easily be remedied. For if we willingly endure all necessary things and allow none of them to conquer us, all those matters in which one might assume unwillingness have been done away with at a single stroke. 5There is, indeed, an old saying and a very good one, to the effect that we ought not to demand that whatever we wish should come to pass, but to wish for whatever does come to pass as the result of any necessity. For we neither have free choice in our manner of life nor are we our own masters; 6but according as it may suit chance, and according to the character of the fortune granted each one of us for the fulfilment of what is ordained, we must also shape our life.
25“Such is the nature of the case whether we like it or not. If, now, it is not disfranchisement in itself or exile in itself that troubles you, but the fact that you have not only done your country no injury but have actually benefited her greatly, and yet you have been disfranchised and expelled, look at it in this way—that, when once it was destined for you to have such an experience, it has surely been the noblest and the best fortune that could befall you to be despitefully used without having committed any wrong. 2For you advised and carried out all that was proper for the citizens, not as an individual but as consul, not meddling officiously in a private capacity but obeying the decrees of the senate, which were not passed as party measures but for the best ends. 3This and that person, on the contrary, out of their superior power and insolence devised everything against you; hence they ought to have trouble and sorrow for their injustice, but for you it is noble as well as necessary to bear bravely what Heaven has determined. 4Surely you would not prefer to have joined with Catiline and conspired with Lentulus, to have given your country the exact opposite of useful counsel, to have performed none of the duties laid upon you by her, and thus remain at home as the reward of wickedness, instead of saving your country and being exiled. 5Accordingly, if you care at all about your reputation, it is far preferable, I am sure, for you to have been driven out, after doing no wrong, than to have remained at home by performing some base act; for, apart from other considerations, the shame attaches to those who have unjustly cast a man forth, rather than to the man who has been wantonly expelled.
26“Moreover, the story, as I heard it, was that you did not depart unwillingly, nor after conviction, but of your own accord; that you hated to live with them, seeing that you could not make them better and would not endure to perish with them, and that you fled, not from your country, but from those who were plotting against her. Consequently it would be they who are dishonoured and banished, having cast out all that is good from their souls, 2and it would be you who are honoured and fortunate, as being nobody’s slave in unseemly fashion but possessing all that is needful, whether you choose to live in Sicily, or in Macedonia, or anywhere else in the world. For surely it is not places that give either success or misfortune of any sort, but each man creates his own country and his own happiness always and everywhere. 3This was the feeling of Camillus when he was fain to dwell in Ardea; this was the way Scipio reasoned when he spent his last days in Liternum without grieving. But why mention Aristides or Themistocles, men whom exile rendered more famous, or . . .or Solon, who of his own accord left home for ten years?
4“Therefore, do you likewise cease to consider irksome any such thing as pertains neither to our physical nor to our spiritual nature, and do not vex yourself at what has happened. For to us belongs no choice, as I told you, of living as we please, but it is absolutely necessary for us to endure what Heaven determines. 5If we do this voluntarily, we shall not be grieved; but if involuntarily, we shall not escape at all what is fated, and we shall at the same time acquire the greatest of ills—the distressing of our hearts to no purpose. 6The proof of this is that men who bear good-naturedly the most outrageous fortunes do not regard themselves as being in any very dreadful plight, while those who are disturbed at the lightest disappointments imagine that all human ills are theirs. And people in general, both those who manage favourable conditions badly and those who manage unfavourable conditions well, make their good or ill fortune appear to others to be just what they make it for themselves. 27Bear this in mind, then, and be not cast down by your present state, nor grieve if you learn that the men who exiled you are flourishing. For the successes of men are vain and ephemeral at best, and the higher a man climbs as a result of them, the more easily, like a breath, does he fall, especially in partisan strife. 2Borne along in the midst of troubled and unstable conditions they differ little, if at all, from sailors in a storm, but are tossed up and down, now hither, now thither; and if they make the slightest mistake, they are sure to sink. 3Not to mention Drusus, or Scipio, or the Gracchi, or certain others, remember how Camillus, the exile, later came off better than Capitolinus, and remember how greatly Aristides afterwards surpassed Themistocles.
4“Do you also, then, hope, first and foremost, for your restoration; for you have not been expelled on account of wrong-doing, and the very ones who drove you forth will, as I learn, seek for you, while all will miss you. But even if you continue in your present state, do not distress yourself at all about it. 28For if you will take my advice, you will be quite satisfied to pick out a little estate in some retired spot on the coast and there carry on at the same time farming and some historical writing, like Xenophon and like Thucydides. 2This form of learning is most enduring and best adapted to every man and to every state; and exile brings with it a kind of leisure that is more fruitful. If, then, you wish to become really immortal, like those historians, emulate them. 3You have the necessary means in sufficiency and you lack no distinction. For if there is any virtue in such honours, you have been consul; nothing more belongs to those who have held office a second, a third, or a fourth time, except an array of idle letters which benefit no man, living or dead. 4Hence you would not choose to be Corvinus, or Marius, the man seven times consul, rather than Cicero. Nor, again, are you anxious for any position of command, seeing that you withdrew from the one bestowed upon you, because you scorned the gains to be had from it, scorned a brief authority that was subject to the scrutiny of all who chose to practise blackmail. 5These matters I have mentioned, not because any one of them is requisite for happiness, but because, since it was necessary, you have occupied yourself sufficiently with public affairs to learn therefrom the difference in lives and to choose the one course and reject the other, to pursue the one and avoid the other. Our life is but short, and you ought not to live all yours for others, but by this time to grant a little to yourself. 6Consider how much better quiet is than turmoil, and tranquillity than tumults, freedom than slavery, and safety than dangers, that you may feel a desire to live as I am urging you to do. In this way you will be happy, and your name shall be great because of it—and that for evermore, whether you are living or dead.
29“If, however, you are eager for your restoration and aim at a brilliant political career, I do not wish to say anything unpleasant, but I fear, as I cast my eyes over the situation and call to mind your frankness of speech, and behold the power and numbers of your adversaries, that you may meet defeat once more. 2If then you should encounter exile, you will have merely to experience a change of heart; but if you should incur some fatal punishment, you will not be able even to repent. And yet is it not a dreadful and disgraceful thing to have one’s head cut off and set up in the Forum, for any man or woman, it may be, to insult? 3Do not hate me as one who prophesies evil to you, but pay heed to me as to one announcing a warning from Heaven. Do not let the fact that you have certain friends among the powerful deceive you. You will get no help against those who hate you from the men who seem to love you, as, indeed, you have learned by experience. 4For those who have a passion for power regard everything else as nothing in comparison with obtaining what they desire, and often give up their dearest friends and closest kin in exchange for their bitterest foes.”
30On hearing this Cicero grew somewhat easier in mind. His exile, however, did not last long, but he was recalled by Pompey himself, who had been chiefly responsible for his expulsion. The reason was this. Clodius had taken a bribe to deliver Tigranes the younger, who was still at that time in confinement at the house of Lucius Flavius, and had let him go; 2and when Pompey and Gabinius became indignant at this, he wantonly insulted them, inflicted blows and wounds upon their followers, broke to pieces the consul’s fasces, and devoted his property to the gods. 3Pompey, enraged at this, particularly because the authority which he himself had restored to the tribunes had been used against him by Clodius, desired to recall Cicero, and immediately began through Ninnius to work for his restoration. 4The latter waited for Clodius to be absent, and then introduced in the senate the motion in Cicero’s behalf. When another one of the tribunes opposed him, he not only posted up his measure, indicating that he would communicate it also to the people, but he furthermore set himself in unqualified opposition to Clodius at every point. From this there arose contentions and many wounds in consequence for both sides. 5But before matters reached that point Clodius wished to get Cato out of the way, so that he might more easily succeed with his schemes, and likewise to avenge himself upon Ptolemy, who then held Cyprus, because the latter had failed to ransom him from the pirates. Hence he declared the island the property of the state and despatched Cato, very much against the latter’s will, to attend to its administration.
31While this was going on in the city, Caesar found no hostility in Gaul, but everything was absolutely quiet. The state of peace, however, did not continue, but first one war broke out against him of its own accord, and then another was added, so that his greatest wish was fulfilled of waging war and winning success for the whole [period of his command (?)]. 2The Helvetii, who were strong in numbers and had not sufficient land for their large population, were unwilling to send out a part to form a colony for fear that if separated they might be more exposed to plots on the part of the tribes whom they had once injured; instead, they decided to migrate all together, with the intention of settling in some larger and better country, and they burned all their villages and cities, so that none should regret the migration. 3After adding to their numbers some others who felt the same needs, they set out with Orgetorix as their leader, intending to cross the Rhone and settle somewhere near the Alps. When Caesar destroyed the bridge and made other preparations to hinder them from crossing, they sent to him asking permission to cross and also promising to do no injury to the Roman territory. 4And though he had the greatest distrust of them and had not the slightest idea of allowing them to proceed, nevertheless, because he was not yet well prepared he answered that he wished to consult his lieutenants about their requests and would give them their reply on a stated day; in fact he held out some little hope that he would grant them the passage. Meanwhile he dug ditches and erected walls in the most commanding positions, so as to make the road impassable for them.
32Accordingly the barbarians waited for a time, and then, when they heard nothing as agreed, they set out and proceeded first through the country of the Allobroges, as they had begun. Then, encountering the obstacles, they turned aside into the territory of the Sequani 2and passed through their land as well as that of the Aedui, who gave them a free passage on condition that they should do no harm; but instead of abiding by the agreement, they went to plundering their country. Then the Sequani and Aedui sent to Caesar asking for assistance and begging him not to let them be ruined. 3Although their statements did not correspond at all with their past deeds, they nevertheless obtained their request. For Caesar was afraid the Helvetii might turn also against Tolosa, and chose to drive them back with the help of the other tribes, rather than to fight them all after they had come to an understanding, which it was clear they would otherwise do. 4Consequently he fell upon the Helvetii as they were crossing the Arar, annihilating at the very ford those who were bringing up the rear, and so alarming those who had gone ahead by the suddenness and swiftness of his pursuit and the report of their losses, that they desired to come to terms, on condition of receiving some land. 33They did not, however, reach any agreement; for when they were asked for hostages, they became offended, not because they were distrusted, but because they thought it unworthy of them to give hostages to anyone. So they disdained a truce and went forward again.
When Caesar’s cavalry galloped far ahead of the infantry and proceeded to harass their rear-guard, the enemy withstood them with their own cavalry and conquered them. 2Filled with pride in consequence, and thinking that he, too, had fled, both because of the defeat and because, owing to lack of provisions, he turned aside to a city that was off the road, they abandoned further progress and pursued after him. 3Caesar, seeing this and fearing the violence of their attack as well as their numbers, hurried with his infantry to some higher ground, but first threw forward his horsemen to bear the brunt of the fighting until he could marshal his forces in a suitable place. The barbarians routed them a second time and were making a spirited charge straight up the hill, when Caesar with his forces in battle-array dashed down upon them suddenly from his superior position, while they were scattered, and so repulsed them without difficulty. 4After these had been routed, some others who had not joined in the conflict—for owing to their multitude and their haste not all had arrived at the same time—attacked the pursuers in the rear and threw them into some confusion, but gained no advantage. 5For Caesar, leaving the fugitives to his cavalry, and turning himself with his heavy-armed troops to the others, defeated them and followed both bodies as they fled together to the waggons; and there, though from these vehicles they made a vigorous defence, he vanquished them again. After this reverse the barbarians divided into two parties. 6The one came to terms with him, and going back again to their native land, whence they had set out, they rebuilt and occupied their cities there. The others refused to surrender their arms, and, with the idea that they could get back again to their old home, set out for the Rhine; but being few in numbers and labouring under a defeat, they were easily annihilated by the allies of the Romans through whose territory they passed.
34Such was the first war that Caesar fought, and he did not remain quiet after this beginning; instead, he at the same time satisfied his own desire and did the allies a favour. For the Sequani and Aedui, who had marked his desire and had noticed that his deeds corresponded with his hopes, were willing at one stroke to bestow a benefit upon him and to take vengeance upon the Germans, who were their neighbours. 2The latter had at some time in the remote past crossed the Rhine, cut off portions of their territory, and rendered them tributaries, taking hostages from them. And because they happened to be asking what Caesar was anxious for, they easily persuaded him to assist them.
3Now Ariovistus was the ruler of those Germans; his authority had been confirmed by the Romans and he had been enrolled among their friends and allies by Caesar himself during his consulship. In comparison, however, with the glory to be derived from the war and the power which that glory would bring, the Roman general heeded none of these considerations, except in so far as he wished to get some excuse for the quarrel from the barbarian, so that he should not appear to be in any way the aggressor against Ariovistus. 4Therefore he sent for him, pretending that he wished to have a conference with him. Ariovistus, instead of obeying, replied: “If Caesar wishes to say anything to me, let him come to me himself. I am not inferior to him, anyway, and the man who has need of another should himself go to that person.” 5Thereupon Caesar became angry on the ground that he had thereby insulted all the Romans, and he immediately demanded of him the hostages of the allies and forbade him either to set foot on their land or to bring any reinforcements from home. 6This he did, not with the idea of scaring him, but because he hoped to enrage him and by that means to gain a good and plausible pretext for the war. And this was what happened. The barbarian, angered by these demands, made a long and harsh reply, so that Caesar no longer bandied words with him, but straightway, before any one was aware of his intentions, seized on Vesontio, the city of the Sequani.
35Meanwhile reports reached the soldiers that Ariovistus was making vigorous preparations, and also that many other Germans had either already crossed the Rhine to assist him or had collected on the very bank of the river to attack the Romans suddenly; hence they fell into deep dejection. 2Alarmed by the stature of their enemies, by their numbers, their boldness, and consequent ready threats, they were in such a mood as to feel that they were going to contend not against men, but against uncanny and ferocious wild beasts. And the talk was that they were undertaking a war which was none of their business and had not been decreed, merely on account of Caesar’s personal ambition; and they threatened also to desert him if he did not change his course. 3So he, when he heard of it, did not make any address to the common soldiers, since he thought it was not a good plan to discuss such matters before a crowd, and that if he did, these things would get out and reach the enemy, and since he feared his soldiers might perchance refuse obedience, raise a tumult, and do some harm, but he assembled his lieutenants and subalterns and spoke before them as follows:
36“My friends, we ought not, I think, to deliberate about public interests in the same way as about private. In fact, I do not see that the same goal is set for each man privately as for all together publicly. For though we may for ourselves take the course that is most expedient and safe, yet for the people we should both adopt and carry out only the measures that are best. 2Even in private matters it is necessary to be energetic; so only can a respectable position be maintained. Still, a man who is least occupied with affairs is thought to be also safest. 3But a state, especially if it holds sway over others, would be very quickly overthrown by such a course. These laws, not drawn up by man but enacted by Nature herself, always have existed, do exist, and will exist so long as the race of mortals endures.
“This being the case, no one of you at this juncture should have an eye to what is privately agreeable and safe so much as to what is creditable and advantageous to all the Romans. 4For, apart from the other considerations that may naturally arise, reflect in particular that we who are so many and of such rank—members of the senate and knights—have come here accompanied by a great multitude of soldiers and with money in abundance, 5not that we may take our ease or neglect our duties, but for the purpose of managing rightly the affairs of our subjects, preserving in safety the property of those bound to us by treaty, repelling any who undertake to do them wrong, and increasing our own possessions. 6For if it was not in this spirit that we came, why in the world did we take the field at all instead of contriving in some manner or other to stay at home attending to our own affairs? Surely it were better not to have undertaken the campaign than to give it up after being assigned to it. 7If, however, some of us are here because compelled by the laws to do what our country ordains, and the majority of us voluntarily, on account of the honours and rewards that come from the wars we wage, how could we either honourably or rightly cheat not only the hopes of the men who sent us forth but also our own? 8For no one can fare so well individually as not to be ruined with the republic, if it should fall; but if the state prospers, it sustains all the misfortunes of each individual citizen.
37“I do not say this with reference to you who are here, my comrades and friends; for you are not ignorant of these things, that you need to be instructed in them, nor are you indifferent toward them, that you require exhortation. I say it because I have ascertained that some of the soldiers are themselves noisily talking to the effect that this war we have undertaken is none of our business, and are stirring up the rest to sedition. 2My purpose is that you yourselves may as a result of my words make more unswerving the zeal you have for your country and may also teach the others their whole duty. For they will be benefited more by hearing it from you individually and repeatedly than they would from learning it but once from my lips. 3Tell them, then, that it was not by staying at home or shirking their campaigns or avoiding their wars or pursuing their ease that our ancestors made the city so great, but it was by bringing their minds to venture readily all that they ought to do and their bodies to work out eagerly all the plans they had determined upon; 4by risking their own possessions as if they belonged to others, but acquiring readily the possessions of their neighbours as their own, while they thought that happiness was nothing else than doing their duty, and held that misfortune was nothing else than resting inactive.
5“It was in consequence of these principles, therefore, that those men, who were in the beginning very few and dwelt in a city as small as any at first, conquered the Latins, subdued the Sabines, mastered the Etruscans, Volscians, Oscans, Lucanians and Samnites, in a word, subjugated the whole land south of the Alps, and repulsed all the foreign tribes that came against them. 38The later Romans, likewise, and our own fathers imitated them, not being satisfied with what they had nor content with what they had inherited, but regarding sloth as their sure destruction and hardship as their certain safety. They feared that if their treasures remained unaugmented they would waste away of themselves and wear out with age, and were ashamed after receiving so rich a heritage to add nothing to it; accordingly they effected much greater and more numerous conquests. 2But why mention individually Sardinia, Sicily, Macedonia, Illyria, Greece, Ionian Asia, Bithynia, Spain, and Africa? And yet the Carthaginians would have given them much money not to extend their voyages thither, and much would Philip and Perseus have given to keep them from making campaigns against them; Antiochus would have given much, his sons and grandsons would have given much, to have them remain in Europe. 3But those men in view of the glory and the greatness of the empire did not choose to be ignobly idle or to enjoy their wealth in security, nor did the older men of our own generation who even now are still alive; nay, as men who well knew that advantages are preserved by the same methods by which they are acquired, they made sure of many of their original possessions and also acquired many new ones. 4But here again, why catalogue in detail Crete, Pontus, Cyprus, Asiatic Iberia, Farther Albania, both Syrias, the two Armenias, Arabia, and Palestine? Countries whose very names we did not know precisely in former times we now rule, lording it over some ourselves and having bestowed others upon various persons, so that we have gained from them revenues and troops and honour and alliances.
39“With such examples before you, now, do not bring shame upon the deeds of the fathers nor let slip the empire which is already the greatest. We cannot even deliberate in like manner with the rest of mankind who have no possessions like ours. 2For them it suffices to live in ease and, with safety guaranteed, to be subject to others, but for us it is necessary to toil, to make campaigns, and to incur danger in guarding our existing prosperity. Against this prosperity many are plotting, since everything that lifts people above their fellows arouses both emulation and jealousy; and consequently an eternal warfare is waged by all inferiors against those who excel them in any way. 3Hence either we ought not in the first place to have grown powerful beyond other men, or else, since we have become so great and have gained so many possessions, it is fated for us either to rule our subjects firmly or to perish utterly ourselves. For it is impossible for men who have advanced to such distinction and to power so vast to live to themselves without danger. Let us therefore obey Fortune and not repel her, seeing that she voluntarily and at her own behest was present with our fathers and now abides with us. 4But this result will not be attained if we cast away our arms or desert or sit idly at home or even wander about visiting our allies; it will be attained if we keep our arms constantly in hand (this is the only way to preserve peace), practise the deeds of war by actual fighting (this is the only way we shall not be forever having war), 5aid unhesitatingly those of our allies who ask for aid (in this way we shall get many more), and do not indulge those of our enemies who are always turbulent (in this way no one will any longer care to wrong us).
40“What though some god had become our surety that even if we should fail to do all this, no one would plot against us and we should forever enjoy in safety all that we have won, it would still be disgraceful to say that we ought to keep quiet; yet those who are willing to do nothing that is requisite would then have some show of excuse. 2But if, as a matter of fact, it is inevitable that men who possess anything should be plotted against by many, and if it behooves them to anticipate their attacks; if those who hold quietly to their own possessions risk losing even these, while those who without any compulsion employ war to acquire the possessions also of others are protecting their own as well,— 3for no one who fears for his own goods covets those of his neighbour, since his fear concerning what he already has effectually deters him from meddling in what does not belong to him,—if all this be true, why, then, does any one say that we ought not always to be acquiring something more?
4“Do you not recall, partly from hearsay and partly from observation, that none of the Italian races stopped plotting against our country until our ancestors carried the wars into their territory, nor yet the Epirots until our fathers crossed over into Greece? 5Nor Philip, who intended to make a campaign even against Italy, until they harried his land first; nor Perseus, or Antiochus, or Mithridates, until they treated them in the same way? And why mention the other instances? 6But take the Carthaginians; so long as they suffered no disaster at our hands in Africa, they kept crossing into Italy, overrunning the country, sacking the towns, and almost captured the city itself; but when they began to have war made upon them, they fled altogether from our land. 7One might instance the same results in the case of the Gauls and Germans. For these peoples, while we remained on our side of the Alps, often crossed them and ravaged a large part of Italy; but when we ventured at last to make a campaign beyond our own borders and to bring the war home to them, and also took away a part of their territory, we never again saw any war begun by them in Italy, except once. 8When, accordingly, in the face of these facts, anybody declares that we ought not to make war, he simply says that we ought not to be rich, ought not to rule others, ought not to be free, ought not to be Romans. 9Therefore, just as you would not endure it if a man should say any of these things, but would kill him even as he stood before you, so now also, comrades, you must feel the same way toward those who make these other statements, judging their disposition not by their words but by their deeds.
“Therefore none of you will contend, I think, that this is not the right point of view to take. 41If, however, any one thinks that because no investigation has been made of this war in the senate and no vote has been passed in the assembly we need be less eager, let him reflect that while some, to be sure, of the many wars which have fallen to our lot, have come about as a result of preparation and previous announcement, yet others have occurred on the spur of the moment. 2For this reason all uprisings that are made while we are staying at home and keeping quiet, in which the beginning of the complaints arises from some embassy, both call for and demand an inquiry into their nature and the taking of a vote, after which the consuls and praetors must be assigned to them and the forces sent out; 3but all that come to light after commanders have already gone forth and taken the field are no longer to be brought up for decision, but to be taken in hand promptly, before they increase, as matters decreed and ratified by the very urgency of the crisis.
4Else for what reason did the people send you hither, for what reason did they send me immediately after my consulship? Why did they, on the one hand, elect me to hold command for five years at one time, as had never been done before, and on the other hand equip me with four legions, unless they believed that we should certainly be required to fight? 5Surely it was not that we might be supported in idleness, or that making visits to the allied cities and our subject territory, we should prove a worse bane to them even than their enemies. Nobody would make this assertion. It was rather that we might protect our own land, ravage that of the enemy, and accomplish something worthy both of our numbers and our expenditures. 6With this understanding, therefore, both this war and every other whatsoever have been assigned and entrusted to us. They acted very sensibly in leaving in our hands the decision as to whom we should fight, instead of voting for the war themselves. For they would not have been able to understand thoroughly the affairs of our allies, being at such a distance from them, and would not have taken measures with equal opportuneness against enemies who were already informed and prepared. 7So we, on whom has devolved at once the decision and the carrying out of the war, and who are turning our weapons promptly against foes actually in the field, shall not be waging the war without investigation or unjustly or incautiously.
42“But suppose, now, some one of you should answer me with this objection: ‘What wrong has Ariovistus done so great that he should have become an enemy of ours in place of a friend and ally?’ Let any such man consider the fact that one has to defend one’s self against those who are undertaking to do a wrong not merely on the basis of what they do, but also on the basis of what they intend, and has to check their growth promptly, before suffering any injury, instead of waiting until the wrong is actually done and then taking vengeance. 2Now how could it better be proved that he is hostile, nay, most hostile toward us than by what he has done? I sent to him in a friendly way to bid him come to us and consult with us about present conditions, and he neither came nor promised that he would appear. 3And yet what did I do that was unfair or unseemly or arrogant in summoning him as a friend and ally? What insolence and wantonness, on the other hand, has he failed to show in refusing to come! Is it not inevitable that he did this for one of two reasons—either that he suspected he should suffer some harm or that he felt contempt for us? 4Now if he felt any suspicion, he convicts himself most clearly of conspiring against us; for no one, when he has suffered no injury, is suspicious towards us, nor does one become so with an upright and guileless mind; rather, it is those who have prepared themselves to wrong others because of their own conscience that harbour suspicion against them. 5If, on the other hand, nothing of this sort was at the bottom of his action, but he merely looked down on us and insulted us with overweening words, what must we expect him to do when he lays hold of some real project? For when a man has shown such disdain in matters where he was not going to gain anything, does he not stand convicted from afar off of utter injustice both in thought and in deed?
“Not content, now, with this, he further bade me come to him, if I wanted anything of him. 43Do not, I beg of you, regard this addition as any light matter; for it is weighty as an indication of his disposition. As for his refusing to come to us, one speaking in his defence might ascribe this to hesitation, or infirmity, or fear; 2but his summoning me admits of no excuse, and furthermore proves that he acted in the first instance from no other motive than a determination to yield us obedience in nothing and furthermore to make corresponding demands in every case. 3And yet with what insolence and contumely does this very course of his teem! The proconsul of the Romans summons a man and he does not come; then some one summons the proconsul of the Romans—an Allobrogian! Do not regard it as a slight matter and of little moment that he failed to obey me, Caesar, or that he summoned me, Caesar. 4For it was not I who summoned him, but the Roman, the proconsul, the fasces, the authority, the legions; it was not I who was summoned by him, but all these. Privately I have no relations with him, but in common we have all spoken and acted, received his retort and suffered his scorn.
44“Therefore the more anybody asserts that he has been enrolled among our friends and among our allies, the more he will prove him to deserve our hatred. Why? Because deeds such as not even any of those who are avowedly our bitterest foes has ever ventured to do have been committed by Ariovistus under the names of friendship and of alliance, as if he had secured these for the very purpose of having a chance to wrong us with impunity. 2But it was not to be insulted and plotted against that we made our treaty with him at the time, nor will it be ourselves who now break the truce. For we sent envoys to him as to one who was still a friend and ally, but as to him—see how he has treated us! 3Accordingly, just as when he chose to benefit us and desired to be well treated in return, he justly obtained his wishes, so now, likewise, when he pursues the opposite course in everything, he would most justly be regarded in the light of a foe. Do not be surprised that I, who myself once looked after some of his interests both in the senate and in the assembly, now speak in this way. 4So far as I am concerned, I am of the same mind now as then, and am not changing. And what is that? To honour and reward the good and faithful, but to dishonour and punish the evil and unfaithful. It is he that is changing front, in that he does not make a fair and proper use of the privileges bestowed by us.
45“Therefore, that we should go to war with him most justly, no one I think will dispute. And that he is neither invincible nor even a difficult adversary, you can see both from the other members of his race, whom we have often conquered before and have recently conquered very easily, and you can reason further from what we learn about the man himself. 2For he has no force of his own at any time that is united and welded together, and at present, since he is looking for nothing serious, he is utterly unprepared. Hence, no one of his countrymen even would readily aid him, not even if he makes most tempting offers; 3for who would choose to be his ally and fight against us, if he had not received any injury at our hands? Would they not all, rather, coöperate with us, instead of with him, in the desire of overthrowing his despotic rule on their very borders, and of obtaining from us some share of his territory? 4And even if some should band together, they would not prove superior to us in any way. For, to omit other considerations,—our numbers, our age, our experience, our deeds,—who does not know that we have armour over all our body alike, whereas they are for the most part unprotected, and that we employ both reason and organization, whereas they are unorganized and rush at everything impulsively? 5Do not, then, fear their violence nor yet the magnitude either of their bodies or their shouting. For voice never yet killed any man, and their bodies, having the same hands as ours, can accomplish no more, but will be capable of much greater injury through being both large and unprotected. And though their charge is tremendous and headlong at first, it easily exhausts itself and is effective for but a short while. 46To you who have of course experienced what I mention and have conquered men like them I make these suggestions, so that you may not seem to have been misled by my words, but may really feel a most steadfast hope of victory as a result of your former exploits. 2However, a great many of the very Gauls who are like them will be our allies, so that even if these nations did have anything terrible about them, we shall possess that advantage in common with them.
“Do you, then, look at matters in this light yourselves, and also instruct the rest. For that matter, 3even if some of you do feel differently, I, for my part, will fight just the same and will never abandon the post to which I have been assigned by my country. The tenth legion will be enough for me; I am sure that, if there should be any need of it, they would readily go through fire naked. 4The rest of you be off, the quicker the better, and let me not see you wearing yourselves out here to no purpose, recklessly spending the public money, laying claim to other men’s labours, and appropriating the plunder gathered by others.”
47At the end of this speech of Caesar’s not only did no one raise an objection, even if some thought altogether the opposite, but they all agreed, especially those who were suspected by him, to spread the ideas they had heard. They had no difficulty in persuading the soldiers to yield obedience; some were eager to do so as a result of having been chosen in preference to others, and the rest were led to do the same through emulation of these. 2He had specially singled out the tenth legion because for some reason he always felt kindly toward it. This was the way the legions of the republic were named, according to the order of their enrolment; whence those of the present day have similar titles.
3When their enthusiasm had been thus aroused, Caesar, in order that they might not grow indifferent again through delay, no longer remained stationary, but immediately set out and marched against Ariovistus. By the suddenness of his approach he so alarmed the latter that he forced him to hold a conference with him regarding peace. 4They did not come to terms, however, since Caesar wished to make all the demands and Ariovistus refused to obey any of them. The war consequently broke out; and not only were the two sides themselves in anxious suspense, but likewise all the allies and enemies of both sides in that region, since they felt sure that the battle between them would take place in the shortest possible time and that all would have to serve those who once conquered. 5The barbarians were superior in numbers and in physical size, the Romans in experience and in armour. To some extent also Caesar’s prudence was found to counterbalance the fiery spirit of the Germans and their reckless and impetuous attack. As a result, then, of their being evenly matched in these respects, their hopes and their zeal based on these hopes were likewise in perfect balance.
48While they were encamped opposite each other, the women of the barbarians as the result of their divinations, forbade the men to engage in any battle before the new moon. 2For this reason Ariovistus, who always paid great heed to them whenever they took any such action, did not immediately join in conflict with his entire force, although the Romans were challenging them to battle. Instead, he sent out the cavalry alone, with only the foot-soldiers assigned to them, and did the other side severe injury. 3Then, becoming contemptuous of them, he undertook to occupy a position above the Romans’ entrenchments; this he seized, and his opponents occupied another in their turn. Then, although Caesar kept his army drawn up outside until noon, Ariovistus would not proceed to battle, but when, toward evening, the Romans retired, he suddenly attacked them and all but captured their rampart. 4Therefore, since affairs were turning out so well for him, he paid little heed any longer to the women; and on the following day, when the Romans had been drawn up in battle array, according to their daily custom, he led out his forces against them.
49The Romans on seeing them advancing from their tents did not remain quiet, but rushing forward, gave them no chance to form strictly in line, and by attacking with a charge and shout prevented them from hurling their javelins, in which they had especial confidence; 2in fact, they came to so close quarters with them that the enemy could not employ either their pikes or long swords. So the barbarians pushed and shoved, fighting more with their bodies than with their weapons, and struggled to overturn whomever they encountered and to knock down whoever withstood them. 3Many, deprived even of the use of their short swords, fought with hands and teeth instead, dragging down their opponents, and biting and tearing them, since they had a great advantage in the size of their bodies. 4The Romans, however, did not suffer any great injuries in consequence of this; they closed with their foes, and thanks to their armour and skill, somehow proved a match for them. At length, after carrying on that sort of battle for a very long time, they prevailed late in the day. For their daggers, which were smaller than the Gallic daggers and had steel points, proved most serviceable to them; 5moreover, the men themselves, accustomed to hold out for a long time with the same sustained effort lasted better than the barbarians, because the endurance of the latter was not of like quality with the vehemence of their attacks. The Germans were accordingly defeated, though they did not turn to flight—not that they lacked the wish, but simply because they were unable to flee through helplessness and exhaustion. 6Gathering, therefore, in groups of three hundred, more or less, they would hold their shields before them on all sides, and standing erect, they proved unassailable by reason of their solid front and difficult to dislodge on account of their denseness; thus they neither inflicted nor suffered any harm.
50The Romans, when their foes neither advanced against them nor yet fled, but stood immovable in the same spot, as if in towers, had likewise put aside their spears at the very outset, since these were of no use; 2and as they could not with their swords either fight in close combat or reach the others’ heads, where alone they were vulnerable, since they fought with their heads unprotected, they threw aside their shields and rushed upon the foe. Some by taking a running start and others from close at hand leaped up as it were upon the tower-like groups and rained blows upon them. 3Thereupon many fell immediately, victims of a single blow, and many died even before they fell; for they were kept upright even when dead by the closeness of their formation. 4In this way most of the infantry perished either there or near the waggons, back to which some had been driven; and with them perished their wives and children. Ariovistus with [a few] horsemen straightway left the country and set out for the Rhine. 5He was pursued, but not overtaken, and escaped on a boat ahead of his followers; of the rest some were killed by the Romans who advanced into the river, while others were seized and borne away by the river itself.