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or later overtake all tyranny and injustice. The man who abolished the right of appeal now appeals! The man who trampled on the rights of the People now implores the protection of the People ! And, finally, the man who used to call the prison the fitting domicile of the Roman commons shall now find that it was built for him also. Wherefore, Appius Claudius, though thou shouldst appeal, again and again, to me, the Tribune of the People, I will as often refer thee to a Judge, on the charge of having sentenced a free person to slavery. And since thou wilt not go before a Judge, well knowing that justice will condemn thee to death, I hereby order thee to be taken hence to prison, as one condemned.
20. CANULEIUS AGAINST PATRICIAN ARROGANCE.
Original Paraphrase from Livy. Tuis is not the first time, 0 Romans, that Patrician arrogance has denied to us the rights of a common humanity. What do we now demand? First, the right of intermarriage; and then, that the People may confer honors on whom they please. And why, in the name of Roman manhood, my countrymen, — why should these poor
be refused ? Why, for claiming them, was I near being assaulted, just now, in the senate-house? Will the city no longer stand, - - will the empire be dissolved, — because we claim that Plebeians shall no longer be excluded from the Consulship? Truly these Patricians will, by and by, begrudge us a participation in the light of day; they will be indignant that we breathe the same air ; that we share with them the faculty of speech; that we wear the forms of human beings ! But I cry them mercy. They tell us it is contrary to religion that a Plebeian should be made Consul! The ancient religion of Rome forbids it! Ah! verily? How will they reconcile this pretence to the facts ? Though not admitted to the archives, nor to the commentaries of the Pontiffs, there are some notorious facts, which, in common with the rest of the world, we well know. We know that there were Kings before there were Consuls in Rome. We know that Consuls possess no prerogative, no dignity, not formerly inherent in Kings. We know that Numa Pompilius was made King at Rome, who was not only not a Patrician, but not even a citizen ; that Lucius Tarquinius, who was not even of Italian extraction, was made King; that Servius Tullius, who was the son of a captive woman by an unknown father, was made King. And shall Plebeians, who formerly were not excluded from the Throne, now, on the juggling plea of religious objection, be debarred from the Consulship? But it is not enough that the offices of the State are withheld from
To keep pure their dainty blood, these Patricians would prevent, by law, all intermarriage of members of their order with Plebeians. Could there be a more marked indignity, a more humiliating insult, than this ? Why not legislate against our living in the same neighborhood, dwelling under the same skies, walking the same earth? Ignominy not to be endured! Was it for this we expelled Kings? Was it for this that we exchanged one master for many ? No! Let the rights we claim be admitted, or let the Patricians fight the battles of the State themselves. Let the public offices be open to all; let every invidious law in regard to marriage be abolished ; or, by the Gods of our fathers, let there be no levy of troops to achieve victories, in the benefits of which the People shall not most amply and equally partake!
21. CATILINE TO HIS ARMY, NEAR FÆSÜLE. - Ben Jonson. Born, 1574 ; died, 1637.
A paraphrase of the celebrated speech which Sallust attributes to Catiline, previous to the engagement which ended in the rout of his army, and his own death.
I NEVER yet knew, Soldiers, that in fight
Two armies wait us, Soldiers; one from Rome
You might have lived in servitude or exile,
Methinks I see Death and the Furies waiting
For the great spectacle. Draw, then, your swords ;
SPARTACUS TO THE GLADIATORS AT CAPỮA. — E. Kellogg. It had been a day of triumph in Capúa. Lentulus, returning with victorious eagles, had amused the populace with the sports of the amphitheatre to an extent hitherto unknown even in that luxurious city. The shouts of revelry had died away; the roar of the lion had ceased ; the last loiterer had retired from the banquet ; and the lights in the palace of the victor were extinguished. The moon, piercing the tissue of fleecy clouds, silvered the dew-drops on the corslet of the Roman sentinel, and tipped the dark waters of the Vulturnus with a wavy, tremulous light. No sound was heard, save the last sob of some retiring wave, telling its story to the smooth pebbles of the beach ; and then all was still as the breast when the spirit has departed. In the deep recesses of the amphitheatre, a band of gladiators were assembled; their muscles still knotted with the agony of conflict, the foam upon their lips, the scowl of battle yet lingering on their brows; when Spartăcus, starting forth from amid the throng, thus addressed them :
“Ye call me chief; and ye do well to call him chief who, for twelve long years, has met upon the arēna every shape of man or beast the broad empire of Rome could furnish, and who never yet lowered his arm. If there be one among you who can say, that ever, in public fight or private brawl, my actions did belie my tongue, let him stand forth, and say it. If there be three in all your company dare face me on the bloody sands, let them come on. And yet I was not always thus, - a hired butcher, a savage chief of still more savage men! My ancestors came from old Sparta, and settled among the vine-clad rocks and citron
groves of Syrasella. My early life ran quiet as the brooks by which I sported ; and when, at noon, I gathered the sheep beneath the shade, and played upon the shepherd's flute, there was a friend, the son of a neighbor, to join me in the pastime. We led our flocks to the same pasture, and partook together our rustic meal. One evening, after the sheep were folded, and we were all seated beneath the myrtle which shaded our cottage, my grandsire, an old man, was telling of Marăthon, and Leuctra ; and how, in ancient times, a little band of Spartans, in a defile of the mountains, had withstood a whole army. I did not then know what war was; but my cheeks burned, I knew not why, and I clasped the knees of that venerable man, until my mother, parting the hair from off my forehead, kissed my throbbing temples, and bade me go to rest, and think no more of those old tales and savage wars. night, the Romans landed on our coast. I saw the breast that had nourished me trampled by the hoof of the war-horse; the bleeding body of my father flung amidst the blazing rafters of our dwelling!
To-day I killed a man in the arēna ; and, when I broke his helmet-clasps, behold! he was my friend. He knew me, smiled faintly, gasped, and died; — the same sweet smile upon his lips that I had marked, when, in adventurous boyhood, we scaled the lofty cliff to pluck the first ripe grapes, and bear them home in childish triumph ! I told the prætor that the dead man had been my friend, generous and brave; and I begged that I might bear away the body, to burn it on a funeral pile, and mourn over its ashes. Ay! upon my knees, amid the dust and blood of the arēna, I begged that poor boon, while all the assembled maids and matrons, and the holy virgins they call Vestals, and the rabble, shouted in derision, deeming it rare sport, forsooth, to see Rome's fiercest gladiator turn pale and tremble at sight of that piece of bleeding clay! And the prætor drew back as I were pollution, and sternly said, — • Let the carrion rot; there are no noble men but Romans!' And so, fellow-gladiators, must you, and so must I, die like dogs. O, Rome! Rome! thou hast been a tender nurse to me. Ay! thou hast given, to that poor, gentle, timid shepherdlad, who never knew a harsher tone than a fute-note, muscles of iron and a heart of flint; taught him to drive the sword through plaited mail and links of rugged brass, and warm it in the marrow of his foe ;
to gaze into the glaring eye-balls of the fierce Numidian lion, even as a boy upon a laughing girl! And he shall pay thee back, until the yellow Tiber is red as frothing wine, and in its deepest ooze thy lifeblood lies curdled!
“Ye stand here now like giants, as ye are! The strength of brass is in your toughened sinews; but tomorrow some Roman Adonis, breathing sweet perfume from his curly locks, shall with his lily fingers pat your red brawn, and bet his sestérces upon your blood. Hark! hear ye yon lion roaring in his den? 'Tis three days since he tasted flesh ; but tomorrow he shall break his fast upon yours, and a dainty meal for him ye will be! If ye are beasts, then stand here like fat oxen, waiting for the butcher's knife! If ye are men, follow me! Strike down yon guard, gain the mountain passes, and there do bloody work, as did your sires at Old Thermopylæ! Is Sparta dead ? Is the old Grecian spirit frozen in your veins, that you do crouch and cower like a belabored hound beneath his master's lash ? O, comrades ! warriors! Thracians ! - if we must fight, let us fight for ourselves! If we must slaughter, let us slaughter our oppressors! If we must die, let it be under the clear sky, by the bright waters, in noble, honorable battle!”
23. SPARTACUS TO THE ROMAN ENVOYS IN ETRURIA.- Original. Envoys of Rome, the poor camp of Spartăcus is too much honored by your presence. And does Rome stoop to parley with the escaped gladiator, with the rebel ruffian, for whom heretofore no slight has been too scornful ? You have come, with steel in your right hand, and with gold in your left. What heed we give the former, ask Cossinius ; ask Claudius ; ask Varinius; ask the bones of your legions that fertilize the Lucanian plains. And for your gold — would ye know what we do with that, - go ask the laborer, the trodden poor, the helpless and the hopeless, on our route; ask all whom Roman tyranny had crushed, or Roman avarice plundered. Ye have seen me before ; but ye did not then shun my glance as now. Ye have seen me in the arēna, when I was Rome's pet ruffian, daily smeared with blood of men or beasts. One day — shall I forget it ever ? ye were present; I had fought long and well. Exhausted as I was, your mūnērātor, your lord of the games, bethought him, it were an equal match to set against me a new man, younger and lighter than I, but fresh and valiant. With Thracian sword and buckler, forth he came, a beautiful defiance on his brow! Bloody and brief the fight. " He has it !” cried the People ; “habet! habet !” But still he lowered not his arm, until, at length, I held him, gashed and fainting, in my power.
I looked around upon the Podium, where sat your Senators and men of State, to catch the signal of release, of
mercy. But not a thumb was reversed. To crown your sport, the vanquished man must die! Obedient brute that I was, I was about to slay him, when a few hurried words — rather a welcome to death than å plea for life — told me he was a Thracian. I stood transfixed. The arēna vanished. I was in Thrace, upon my native hills! The sword dropped from my hands. I raised the dying youth tenderly in my
O, the magnanimity of Rome! Your haughty leaders, enraged at being cheated of their death-show, hissed their disappointment, and shouted, “Kill!” I heeded them as I would heed the howl of wolves. Kill him? — They might better have asked the mother to kill the babe, smiling in her face. Ah! he was already wounded unto death ; and, amid the angry yells of the spectators, he died. That night I was scourged for disobedience. I shall not forget it. Should memory fail, there are scars here to quicken it.
Well; do not grow impatient. Some hours after, finding myself, with seventy fellow-gladiators, alone in the amphitheatre, the laboring thought broke forth in words. I said, — I know not what. I only know that, when I ceased, my comrades looked each other in the face and then burst forth the simultaneous cry— "Lead on! lead on, O Spartăcus !” Forth we rushed, -seized what rude weapons Chance threw in our way, and to the mountains speeded. There, day by day, our little band increased. Disdainful Rome sent after us a handful of her troops, with a scourge for the slave Spartăcus. Their weapons soon were ours. She sent an army; and down from old Vesuvius we poured, and slew three thousand. Now it was Spartăcus the dreaded rebel! A larger army, headed by the Prætor, was sent, and routed; then another still. And always I remembered that fierce cry, riving my heart, and calling me to “kill!” In three pitched battles, have I not obeyed it? And now affrighted Rome