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CHARACTER OF MARIUS.
THE birth of Marius was obscure, though some call it equestrian, and his education wholly in camps; where he learned the first rudiments of war, under the greatest master of that age, the younger Scipio, who destroyed Carthage; till by long service, distinguished valour, and a peculiar hardiness and patience of discipline, he advanced himself gradually through all the steps of military honour, with the reputation of a brave and complete soldier. The obscurity of his extraction, which depressed him with the nobility, made him the greater favourite of the people; who, on all occasions of danger, thought him the only man fit to be trusted with their lives and fortunes: or to have the command of a difficult and desperate war: and, in truth, he twice delivered them from the most desperate, with which they had been threatened by a foreign enemy. Scipio, from the observation of his martial talents, while he had yet but an inferior command in the army, gave a kind of prophetic testimony of his future glory; for being asked by some of his officers, who were supping with him at Numantia, what general the republic would have, in case of any accident to himself? 'that man,' replied he, pointing to Marius at the bottom of the table. In the field he was cautious and provident; and while he was watching the most favourable opportunities of action, affected to take all his measures from augurs and diviners; nor ever gave battle, till by pretended omens and divine admonitions he had inspired his soldiers with a confidence of victory; so that his enemies
dreaded him as something more than mortal; and both friends and foes believed him to act always by a peculiar impulse and direction from the gods, His merit however was wholly military, void of every accomplishment of learning, which he openly affected to despise; so that Arpinum had the singular felicity to produce the most glorious contemner, as well as the most illustrious improver, of the arts and eloquence of Rome. He made no figure, therefore, in the gown, nor had any other way of sustaining his authority in the city, than by cherishing the natural jealousy between the senate and the people; that by this declared enmity to the one he might always be at the head of the other; whose favour he managed, not with any view to the public good, for he had nothing in him of the statesman or the patriot, but to the advancement of his private interest and glory. In short, he was crafty, cruel, covetous, and perfidious; of a temper and talents greatly serviceable abroad, but turbulent and dangerous at home; an implacable enemy to the nobles, ever seeking oc casions to mortify them, and ready to sacrifice the republic, which he had saved, to his ambition and revenge. After a life spent in the perpetual toils of foreign or domestic wars, he died at last in his bed, in a good old age, and in his seventh consulship; an honour that no Roman before him ever attained. Middleton.
CHARACTER OF SYLLA.
SYLLA died after he had laid down the dictatorship, and restored liberty to the republic, and, with an uncommon greatness of mind, lived many months as a private senator, and with perfect security, in that city where he had exercised the most bloody tyranny; but nothing was thought to be greater in his character, than that, during the three years in which the Marians were masters of Italy, he neither dissembled his resolution of pursuing them by arms, nor neglected the war which he had upon his hands; but thought it his duty, first to chastise a foreign enemy, before he took his revenge upon citizens. His family was noble and patrician, which yet, through the indolence of his ancestors, had made no figure in the republic for many generations, and was almost sunk into obscurity, till he produced it again into light, by aspiring to the honours of the state. He was a lover and patron of polite letters, having been carefully instituted himself in all the learning of Greece and Rome; but from a peculiar gaiety of temper, and fondness for the company of mimics and players, was drawn, when young, into a life of luxury and pleasure; so that when he was sent quæstor to Marius, in the Jugurthine war, Marius complained, that in so rough and desperate a service chance had given him so soft and delicate a quæstor. But, whether roused by the example, or stung by the reproach of his general, he be haved himself in that charge with the greatest vigour and courage, suffering no man to outdo him in any part of military duty or labour, making
himself equal and familiar even to the lowest of the soldiers, and obliging them by all his good offices and his money: so that he soon acquired the favour of his army, with the character of a brave and skilful commander; and lived to drive Marius himself, banished and proscribed, into that very province where he had been contemned by him at first as his quæstor. He had a wonderful faculty of concealing his passions and purposes; and was so different from himself in different circumstances, that he seemed as it were to be two men in one: no man was ever more mild and moderate before victory; none more bloody and cruel after it. In war, he practised the same art that he had seen so successful to Marius, of raising a kind of enthusiasm and contempt of danger in his army, by the forgery of auspices and divine admonitions; for which end, he carried always about with him a little statue of Apollo, taken from the temple of Delphi; and whenever he had resolved to give battle, used to embrace it in sight of the soldiers, and beg the speedy confirmation of its promises to him. From an uninterrupted course of success and prosperity, he assumed a surname, unknown before to the Romans, of Felix, or the Fortunate; and would have been fortunate indeed, says Velleius, if his life had ended with his victories. Pliny calls it a wicked title, drawn from the blood and oppression of his country; for which posterity would think him more unfortunate, even than those whom he had put to death. He had one felicity, however, peculiar to himself, of being the only man in history, in whom the odium of the most barbarous cruelties was extinguished by the
glory of his great acts. Cicero, though he had a good opinion of his cause, yet detested the inhumanity of his victory, and never speaks of him with respect, nor of his government but as a proper tyranny; calling him, a master of three most pestilent vices, luxury, avarice, cruelty.' He was the first of his family whose dead body was burnt; for, having ordered Marius's remains to be taken out of his grave, and thrown into the river Anio, he was apprehensive of the same insult upon his own, if left to the usual way of burial. A little before his death, he made his own epitaph, the sum of which was, that no man had ever gone
beyond him, in doing good to his friends, or hurt to his enemies.'
CHARACTER OF POMPEY.
POMPEY had early acquired the surname of the Great, by that sort of merit which, from the constitution of the republic, necessarily made him great; a fame and success in war, superior to what Rome had ever known in the most celebrated of her generals. He had triumphed, at three several times, over the three different parts of the known world. Europe, Asia, Africa: and by his victories had almost doubled the extent, as well as the revenues of the Roman dominion; for, as he declared to the people on his return from the Mithridatic war, he had found the lesser Asia the boundary, but left it the middle of their empire. He was about six years older than Cæsar; and while Cæsar, immersed in pleasures, oppressed