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abstained from the slaughter of Antony, which was indispensably necessary to the accomplishment of their design. We have been told how dangerous is a little bloodshed. Their abstinence, as regards Antony, who in a special manner had been Caesar's friend, was suicidal. "Twas in vain that they attempted, as did the Girondists, to allay the passions of men by logical deductions and well turned sentences.

Antony came forward with a rough tale which went to the hearts of the Romans, and backed his talking with histrionic art, and, where necessary, with the swords of his soldiery. The conspirators were obliged to abandon Italy, and strengthen themselves as they best could in such of the provinces as were under their control.

Octavius had been left by Cæsar as his heir. By this it is presumed that he meant to name him as successor to his power in the state. This, we think, has never yet been made sufficiently clear. The portion of his private inheritance which Cæsar left to his grand nephew has been named, and probably with accuracy. This portion, however, Antony had seized, and squandered before the heir was able to claim it. That Cæsar-who was as it were but a parvenu despot, a dictator of a day's making, a tyrant whose throne had as yet scarce supported his own weight, a governor who could hardly yet have taught himself to look on his own power as permanent that Caesar should have ventured to leave the empire to an heir, and have attempted to invest him with it by the mere strength of a testamentary document, as a private man does with his house and chattels, we cannot think probable. That he had recommended him to the Romans as the heir of his love and the adopted child of his house, is not only probable, but we presume certain.

When Octavius, in his Grecian academy, heard accurate tidings of what had occurred in Rome, and that Cæsar's will, naming him his heir, had been read to the people, he at once resolved to make the utmost use of the legacy. He resolved to throw for a great stake and play a mighty game. It seems that those around him endeavoured to dissuade him from going to Italy; they thought that the

chances of success were much against

him; that he would find the unscrupulous Antony possessed of imperial power and of the people's voices; and that the contest of an untried youth with such a man as Antony could not fail of being ruinous. The boy Octavius, however, thought otherwise

"And it is difficult," says Mr. Merivale, "to pronounce a harsh judgment on his ambition. The security that was promised to him he felt to be illusory. His lot was cast in an age of revolution, in which Cæsar's nephew must be the mark for all the bolts of fortune. The fearful alternative was manifestly forced upon him; he must grasp Casar's power to secure himself from Cæsar's fate."

We will agree with our author that it is difficult to blame his ambition; we may, perhaps, also acknowledge that after having entered on his ambitious career, it became impossible for him to save his own head without taking those of thousands of his countrymen; we may even have to declare that Rome required a despotic ruler, and that there was no one then on the world's stage so fit to rule as the young Octavius; but arguments such as these will not reconcile the English reader to the character of the man. We will leave it to casuists and divines to say whether or no Octavius was wrong, and if wrong, when first he commenced his fault; but we want no casuists or divines to tell us that his character was odious to humanity and unworthy of sympathy. But what Roman ever required the sympathy of any one?

Octavius came to Rome, and every step which he took there is marked by a policy supreme in its worldly wisdom. He made no single false step in his intricate path. And intricate as his path was, one false step might have plunged him into destruction. He met Antony at Rome, and outwitted the wily veteran at his own game. Antony had declared to the people what was Caesar's will, but he had omitted to pay to them that portion, of which they were the inheritors; he not only omitted to do this, but himself used the wealth with which he might have done it. Octavius, on his return to Rome, found nothing but ransacked coffers, and yet with such help as he got from his friends, he contrived to pay to the riopulace the legacies of his uncle. It

is needless to say who would thus become the popular favorite.

It does not appear, however, that the two candidates had at this time any serious quarrel; they were as yet too necessary to each other; they had as yet to bathe in Roman blood before they could divide between them the Roman empire, or decide to which the whole prize should be allotted. Autony soon left Rome, with the object of putting himself in eommand of the province which had been allotted by Caesar to Decimus Brutus, and which was now held by him. This province was called Cisalpine Gaul, but comprised, in fact, that portion of Italy which now lies north of the Papal States and Tuscany; such was not the exact boundary, but it was sufliciently nearly so for our present purpose.

Octavius remained in Rome, and armed himself and his adherents on the side of the senators, who resolved to support Decimus against the pretensions of Antony. The command of the senatorial forces was in the hands not of Octavius, but of the two consuls. The battle, or rather battles of Mutina were fought, and the consuls, though victorious, were killed in action. Octavius had no wish to press matters against his cuemy, and refused indeed to do so. It was by no means the gaol of his ambition to be the servant of an effete senate, in their vain endeavour to resuscitate a cause already dead. It was not thus that he intended to fulfil his mission as Cesar's heir. Instead of following Antony over the Alps, as he was desired, he turned with his army towards Rome, and ordered the fluttered senators to give him the consulship. What could a fluttered senate do but obey? Octavius marched, or rather straggled, into Rome with his army, and the senators having formally forbade his approach, having put on their military garb, fortified a part of the city, and gone through the acknowledged paraphernalia of patriotic preparation, Jumbly put their necks beneath his feet; such, at least, was the conduct of the majority. One, we are told, slew himself instead; but so hacknied a sacrifice now palls on the reader, who cannot stop to think whether this Cornutus might not have done better with his life, by sticking to his colors.

The majority of them hurried to the young warrior's camp, and declared themselves to be his very humble


Octavius knew that he was not yet sufficient, in himself, to occupy the great place of Master of the Roman Empire, and he therefore summoned Antony to his aid; and now that league was formed which is called in history the second triumvirate. Could any word be found which would signify a union between two men and one old woman, it would be more appropriate; for Lepidus, who was joined in it with the two great Romans of the day, was little more than an old woman; nor was it ever intended that he should be more. When Cæsar and Pompey coalesced, they had found it necessary to include a Crassus in the arrangement, each thereby hoping to qualify the supremacy of his great antagonist. Thus was the first triumvirate formed, and the second was of the same nature. Nominally and by agreement, the three were to divide the world between them; the true question was, however, this: to which of two of them should the world hereafter belong.

It was no easy thing for men so circumstanced to meet. Ench, of course, had at his heels his own army, and equally, of course, neither could trust himself within the ranks of his rival; nor could either dare to remove himself far from his own protecting eagles: the meeting, however, was managed. They were in the vicinity of Bologna, and had advanced with their forces on opposite sides of a river; in this river was a small island, and on this island the triumviri agreed to carve the world in pieces. So many men were to accompany each hero to such a distance; from thence each was to advance alone; each was to put his foot on the bridge at the same moment, the insignificant Lepidus having first entered the trysting place; when they got near to each other they made a scrutiny, each of the other, to see that his ally had no dagger beneath his robe. 'Twas a pity, perhaps, that none had been so hidden. Could Octavius have put an end to Antony in that little islet, what seas of blood would have been saved! what foul disgrace at Actium! what foul disgrace in Egypt! But then we should have lost a play

of Shakespere's, and one of the finest passages in the Eneid.

Such speculations, however, are useless. There was no such dagger ready, and the three sat down calmly to the work in hand. The partition of the empire, as Mr. Merivale observes, was an easy task. A province or two more or less, an outlying kingdom here or there, was a matter of small moment to men, each of whom was determined ultimately to have the whole. That matter caused small difference among them; but there was another which sat closer to their hearts. How was each to obtain the privilege of slaughtering the adherents of his rival? We will let Mr. Merivale describe how they did so. We should find it difficult to improve the narrative :—

"The associates, thus prepared for the work of slaughter, sate with a list of the noblest citizens before them, and each in turn pricked the name of him whom he destined to perish. Each claimed to be ridded of his personal enemies, and to save his own friends. But when they found their wishes clash, they resorted without compunction to mutual coneessions. Octavius could easily permit Antonius to proscribe the detested author of the Philippies. Antonius surrendered to him in return his own uncle by the mother's side, Lucius Cæsar. It is uncertain whether Lepidus claimed the slaughter of his brother, Paulus Æmilius, or whether he only abandoned him to the malice of his collegues, As they proceeded, their views expanded. They signed death-warrants to gratify their friends. As the list slowly lengthened, new motives were discovered for appending to it additional


The mere possession of riches was fatal to many, for the masters of so many legions were always poor: the occupation of pleasant houses and eatates sealed the fate of others, for the triumvirs were voluptuous as well as cruel. Lastly, the mutual jealousy of the proscribers augmented the number of their victims, each secking the destruction of those who conspicuously favored his colleagues, and each exacting a similar compensation in return. The whole number extended, we are told, to three hundred senators and two thousand knights; among them were brothers, uncles, and favorite officers of the triumvirs themselves!"

Nothing in history is more horrid than this. Let us remember the age of Octavius, and the fact, as here told to us, that he had no personal enemies on whom to be avenged, no excitement of war or sense of danger to blunt his feelings: let us remember What are the customary sprines of

action in a youth of twenty, and how prone such a one usually is to risk his own life when desirous to imperil that of his enemy. Who but Octavius, at such an age as that, has sat in slow secluded counsel and with studious forethought arranged the slaughter of his enemies and of his friends?

Romanorum Romanissimus! It is all that we can say of him. It was the nature of a Roman to be subtle, cruel, ambitious, and unscrupulous-to be wise in policy, cold of heart, fond of power, and anxious for blood; and education with Octavius had so improved upon nature, that at twenty he had nothing left to learn: he had already beaten the greatest of his countrymen in their own peculiar vices.

The world still reads with panting heart and hair on end the bloody records of many a fearful tragedy. Rome waded in blood when Sylla avenged himself, and the amusements of Nero and of Commodus were almost as fatal to her. The Sicilian vespers fill us with horror. The slaughter of the Hussites and the Albigenses seem to have demanded the intervention of an avenging God. The massacre of St. Bartholomew and the cruelties of Alva fascinate us by their atrocity. The black hole of Calcutta still moves our tears, and the bloodclogged guillotine of Marat and Robespierre leaves us with the idea that the cruelty of men could sin with no deeper guilt than theirs.

But all the slaughterers of their fellow-men should hide their heads before Octavius. All murderers should pale at the superiority of his forecruelty. thought, and the coldness of his He was "the best o' the cut-throats"-for it cannot be said of Antony that he was as good. In all those historic instances to which we have referred some strong passion had been excited, or else those rivers of blood were shed by slow dribblets at first, till the apppetite, maddened by its food, became brutalised and demoniac. Men taught themselves to think that they were slaying God's enemies, not their own; and then found themselves unable to stop the torrent when they had raised the flood-gate. Sylla slew his victims as ruthlessly, but Sylla had been roused to vengeance by opposition. Nero and Commodus were made mad by nowor

At the Sicilian vespers deep wrongs were avenged; so deep that our sympathies are with the murderers, not with the murdered. The cruelty even of Robespierre was the growth of time, and was inatured by opportuity. He, perhaps, is the most abhorrent to us of all the world's famous hangmen ; and yet in his early years he employed his energies in advocating the repeal of all laws which would inflict capital punishment.

Antony was bad enough. The mind recoils with half incredulous horror at the narration of such cruelty as his. But he was used and well used to slaughter in all its forms. He had seen the streets of Rome red with Roman blood; he had seen many a hard-fought field; he had seen the wounds of Cæsar; and he had, moreover, enemies of his own. Antony was a man whose heart had been hardened, till it was hard as stone, by the bloody circumstances of an adventurous life; but Octavius was a youth whose heart required no hardening. It was produced by nature without a spot in it softer than adamant. It had been steeled in a triple furnace, and placed in his bosom ready for such work as he had to do.

The field of Philippi has obtained a celebrity in history to which the battles fought on it hardly give it a just claim. It is true that on that field there was made the last stand by republican Rome against her masters; but that stand was made so poorly, that republican Rome need not boast mnch of the matter.

And here we cannot but qualify the word republic as applied to any Roman faction or any Roman party then existing. To our ears the word republic savors of democracy, and to a Roman of the time of Coriolanus the word might probably convey some similar idea. But the power of any fraction of the people except the army had now been dead sufficiently long to be forgotten. The popular and plebeian office of tribune was still held and still coveted as one of the most powerful in the state; but the Roman tribune had lately been no more than one among the many tyrants of Rome. The populace of Rome, if they favored either party, favored that of the Caesars. Cesar had been the successor of Marius, and Marius had been the champion of the people. Octavius and

Antony were now the inheritors of Caesar's policy. Sylla had been the avenger of the high aristocracy of Rome, of the senators and consuls, of the great families who had so long contrived to divide among them the wealth of the state, of the curule chairs, of the fasces, and of Roman dignity. His party was that of the oligarchy, who had habitually ruled Rome, and who considered themselves in an especial manner to be the blood and marrow of the republic. As Cæsar had taken up the mantle of Marius, so had Pompey worn that of Sylla; and now its shreds and fragments were divided between the men who had consented to the murder of Cæsar.

Thus, at Philippi the side of the republic was advocated by Brutus and Cassius, but the people of Rome were with Octavius and Antony.

And very unworthily did Brutus and Cassius play their part. They were masters of an immense force, and also of the country in which that force was to be employed; they had, or might have had, through their natural ally, the son of Pompey, full command of the sea. Nevertheless, they allowed their enemies to transport their huge army into Macedonia, and then force on an action, unprepared as the triumviri were with any means of sustaining their legions, had an action been declined. The two republican generals then differed on the eve of battle, and finally fought without any thoroughly concerted scheme. It appears that they might even then have conquered, but for their own folly or mistakes. Gods and men were not against them, had they been able to befriend themselves. One side of the army, that led by Brutus, was in the very act of victory, when the other side, led by Cassius, turned round and fled. Cassius had been deceived as to what the legions of Brutus were about, and immediately that he had the smallest ground for doubt, he retired to his tent, and had his throat cut. So far the contest had been nearly equal, and such was the first battle of Philippi.

The second took place some three weeks after it, on the same ground. Here also the legions of Brutus fought well; but the Caesareans ultimately drove them back. Then the soldiers of Rome began to fancy that no name but that of Caesar could lead them to

victory, and wavered in their obedience. Brutus was all but left alone. So he also retired, and, more Rmanorum, died by his own sword, as Cato, Cassius, and so many others had done before him. It was the only resource of a Roman in adversity.

The field of Philippi lies at the foot of the southern slope of the Balkan, between the western extremity of that ridge and the spur which runs from it to the southward, and which, we believe, is still called Mount Rhodope: and here was terminated all idea of the republic of Rome. From thence to the next great battle, that of Actium, there is little of great interest to record. Antony soon took possession of the eastern provinces, and, with the provinces, of the manners also of of the East. We cannot now stop to dwell on his luxurious life in the arms of Cleopatra, of the wonderful fascination which she obtained over his stern Roman nature, or of the efforts which he made from time to time to rescue himself from the fatal effects of Eastern debauchery, and be again the loved imperator of his legions. Nor is it necessary that we should. If any portion of Roman history is well known, it is that which tells us of Antony's revels in Egypt. It must, however, be remembered that he had cemented his friendship with Octavius by marrying his sister Octavia. Such domestic ties were as commonly made among Roman citizens, with the political object of ensuring family alliances, as they since have been between crowned heads; but the intended object was rarely gained. The lady was indeed frequently so married, but she was almost as frequently divorced. So intricate in this manner were the alliances in times of trouble between the leaders of the different factions, that it is quite impossible that an ordinary reader should follow. them. He will frequently meet the narrative of some auspicious wedding, that is to strengthen the friendship of noble families, and yet before the bride had been delivered of her firstborn child, he will hear of her divorce. She will then be led to a second nuptial couch, and the heir of the first husband will be born beneath the rooftree of his enemy.

Such a marriage as this had united the dissolute Antony with the vir tuous and perhaps prudish Octavia.

It was not likely that their lovesshould be enduring. Whatever were the merits of Octavia, she could hardly hope to compete with Cleopatra in the use of a woman's weapons. She was of course neglected, contemned, and insulted; and having in vain followed her husband as far as Athens, returned to Rome to add her wrongs to all the others which enabled her brother to call Antony his enemy.

Octavius in the meantime had been far differently employed. When the Eastern provinces had been assigned to Antony, Lepidus had been sent to Africa, and Italy and the Western provinces fell to the share of Octavius. The task undertaken by him was not an easy one. He had battle after battle to fight, not for new provinces, not for fresh laurels, but for very existence in his Roman home. War, we may say, can never have been in itself delightful to Augustus, as it was to Cæsar and to Antony-as it had been to Alexander, and was to be to Napoleon. He had neither taste for it, nor apparently much talent. In his younger days his health was always feeble, and often so bad as to disable him from moving unless in a litter. When he commanded in person, he was generally beaten, and seems finally to have become so aware of this, as to trust much more in military matters to Agrippa than to himself. He was twice beaten and well beaten in naval engagements by Sextus Pompeius; but the good fortune for which his whole life was noted was as conspicious in his adversity as in his success. Though his navy had been completely routed, though he himself had been barely able to escape with life, nevertheless his enemy had failed to profit by the opportunity of victory, and after each defeat Octavius was allowed to

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