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tumbled in together without subordination or symmetry. The noble and the mean often rubbed clothes, touched hands, and warmly embraced. There were fitful flashes of beauty and strength, but no even flame of order. He needed a strong and constant motive-power to give steadiness of movementa power arising from the controlling action of some superior faculty, passion, or sentiment, asserting and maintaining for itself the central place, and ruling his entire nature with paramount and uniform sway. Seneca said: “Nemo
o. sine vitio est; in Catone moderatio, in Cicerone constantia desideratur.”
This want of a firm and steady central principle in Cicero's character may be best brought into relief by comparing him in this one point with Cæsar and Pompey, the greatest of his com peers. A cardinal difference between them and him strikes us at once: they were both positive men, with a purpose, while he was a negative man, without one. They had each a motive-power within, giving vigor and uniformity of action. But the want of this - was Cicero's notable deficiency.
Let us look first at Pompey. The central principle of the man was a deep-seated, over-mastering pride, inborn, inbred, and all-pervading. He was a devout believer in himself, a very ultra-Pompeian. He seemed to himself born to be king of men. Homage and place, in his view, naturally gravitated to him because he was their true centre, and it could not be otherwise. They fell to him not by chance as a favor, but from necessity as a due. All his sentiments, opinions, and actions were moulded by his supreme self-sufficingness ; everything grew out of this root. From this as a stand-point he surveyed the world of men and things; through this his life gained a consistency which otherwise it might have lacked. To this was due, in great part, his early advancement, for it was difficult to withhold any prize from a majestic boy whose faith in himself was so firm. He looked and acted like one predestined to rule; and so inen hastened to ratify destiny. Hence, too, mainly came his fall. His overweening self-confidence led him to lean upon bimself alone, disdaining to take the precautions and einploy the means which were essential to success, and of which any less royal person · would have gladly availed himself. At this time, moreover, men had begun to doubt their splendid idol, who, so serene and self-centred, had made such abundant drafts on their reverence. He had carried matters with so high a hand, and
had so often failed to make performance and promise run parallel, that now, in his decline, others failed to accord to him that confidence which he still retained in himself. They had come to doubt, and doubt was to him ruin. In the old days, it was enough for him to wait majestically while others would labor for him ; now they had become lukewarm in their labor as in their reverence. But in his prime it must have been no easy thing to withstand his lofty mein, his sublime arrogance, and his calm assurance in his own sufficiency for the needs of the nation. One who bore himself so loftily in his own spirit could not fail, the people thought, to attain an equal height in action. His supreme majesty quelled all cavillers. Who could doubt the greatness of a being who never doubted himself, but was everywhere all in all to bimself, like a god? His presence, dignity, and magnificence drew to him worship, but never a hearty confidence. He was distrusted while he was admired. He conciliated none, yet bore down almost all by the sheer force of an inflexible pride counterfeiting the seal of kingship. But his lordly way could not avail long with the nobles, for they preferred for leader one who was more devoted to the cause, and was less self-conscious and artificial—the simpler, straight-forward Cato. Cicero, though an adherent of Pompey, always looked askance at his leader, and could never forget the many snubbings he had received. There always rankled in his mind the cool indifference of Pompey, dictator, towards the merits of Cicero, saviour of the republic. He took it ill that Pompey showed him no affection, and wrote him no letters of congratulation for services which the universe applauded. He expostulated in a petulant letter for such treatment, yet at the same time expressed the hope that Pompey would some time come to appreciate his claims, and admit him to friendship on equal terms. Such terms, however, could never be granted to Cicero or any one else. Neither Pompey nor Cæsar could tolerate a rival near the throne—the former from pride, and the latter from love of power. While with inferiors Pompey could be affable enough, he exhibited to those claiming equality only opposition or insolence. He cared nothing for the common badges of place and power, craving, as Plutarch says, only unusual honors which would set him apart from all others. In this he was not influenced by a love of power; for when the greatest power ever granted to a Roman citizen was offered to him—the supreme dictatorship, to crush Mithridates-he sighed at the burden, and longed for the freedom of private life.' Whenever he sought power, it was not as power, but as place --as a guarantee of his ascendancy over others--the outward seal to the greatness of which he had always full assurance to himself. He had no desire to take upon himself the trouble of ruling over such a beggarly set of fellows as mankind in general. As he was indifferent to the public, the public thought him a demigod, and discovered late, or never, how much earthly dross had been fused with the divine gold. His faith in himself was strong enough even to hoodwink fortune, who gave him the laurels woven for other brows, and suffered him to reap the rich harvests sown by Crassus, and Catulus, and Metellus, and Lucullus. He saw no reason why he should not reign over the past as well as the present; and it was in this spirit that he used to quote Sulla, and say, “Sulla potuit: ego non potero?” In short, from whatever point of view we survey his character, we find it centre always in an imperial pride, which dazzled and magnetized the world by mocking it, and secured the prizes of life by believing them to be due, and waiting for them to come to their master. It was this which inspired an oriental majesty of demeanor and a calm self-worship almost irresistible. It organized and reduced to method all his faculties, and gave to the whole man a consistency and roundness of character seldom known, a consistency which would be lacking in a view taken from any other centre.
A far different style of man was the great Marian leaderthe world-subduing Cæsar. His character was, like Pompey's, rounded into the completeness of a symmetrical, selfsupporting arch ; but, unlike Pompey's, its keystone was not pride, but love of power. He sought for distinction not in itself, nor as ministering to pride, but sims ly as the visible assurance of power, the sign and seal-manual of authority over others. He cared little for the distant homage and semblance of awful worship with which his rival delighted to inspire mankind; nor did he value at a pin's fee the gauds and trappings of place which tickled the feebler soul of the show-loving orator. His pride did not ask the post of demigod, nor was his vanity eager for the digito monstrari. It was substance, not shadow, which alone could satisfy the tremendous needs of that aspiring soul. And so that he got the substance, it was of little moment how he got it or in what guise it came—whether in naked majesty, or wreathed with flowers, or set out with tinsel ornament. He aimed
first, last, and only, to become foremost man of the world. To this one object all other things were means and incidents, or else mere makeshifts and matter of indifference. Throughout all his seemingly devious way, he was striking straight, by an infallible intuition, and by the very necessity of his nature, for leadership in one way or another. No one form of power could suffice: his very being seemed to demand supremacy over his fellows in nearly every mode of human thought and action. No other such manifold man has ever walked the earth. He was all powerful : the question of his superiority was simply the question of what he might choose to turn his hand 'to. He not only burned for general dominion over all, but was resolute to surpass each man in his own specialty. It was not enough to beat with their own weapons generals, philosophers, orators, statesmen, historians, grammarians, bookworms, critics, and men of letters; he must enter the lists with the men of the world, the arbitri elegantiarum and outdo the common soldier in the endurance of physical hardships, and in valor against the enemy. Nothing of all this arose from mere love of display. It was his nature to crave dominion of every sort; to seek to surpass others in little things as well as in great ones. He would not otherwise have been self-consistent; he would not have been the
i Cæsar of whom history has told us. But while these minor ambitions struggled each into a foremost place, they were always subsidiary to his grander purpose to rule the world. They were wheels within wheels, forwarding directly or indirectly the great central movement, and never jarring:
Cæsar could be facile, elastic, and versatile beyond all other men in what he deemed, comparatively speaking, the trifles of life. But the mainspring of his existence—the will to rule was stiff as steel, and never swerved a hair. He stickled at nothing which could further his ever-present aim : expediency towards that end was a virtue—the god whom he wurshipped, and to whom he constantly sacrificed. His cardinal motto was, "When you are in Rome, do as the Romans do;" for thus, it seemed to him, by the straight-forward logic of intuition, he might best master the Romans. The perfect simplicity of his character has been remarked as giving to him in an unusual degree the tact to discern, and so to avail himself of the signs of the times. It was the simplicity which springs from a sovereign purpose, and gives both homogeneousness within and singleness of vision without. He knew thoroughly man, men, the times, and the world, and used
them as he listed. He mingled so easily with the citizens, and was so much at home in all the ways of their world, that few were able at first to see, under his jaunty dandyism and careless profligacy in youth, anything but gambling, dissoluteness, debt, and unprecedented largess for the popular spectacles. In all this he was merely handling the necessary tools, familiarizing himself in all the ways and means, schooling himself in the temper of the people, and making himself at one with them. Sulla, however, early looked below his easy exterior, and descerned many Mariuses even in the boy. Cicero, who had begun to fear that a dangerous plotter against government lay concealed behind the gracious demeanor of the extravagant young man of fashion, was disarmed of his suspicions when he perceived how carefully Cæsar arranged his hair, and adjusted it with one finger. Such a man, it seemed to him, could never overthrow the government, or even think of doing so. Yet undoubtedly at that time, as well as later, it was the continual aim of Cæsar to make himself, in some shape or other, the very pivot of affairs—the focus of the commonwealth. But the time had not come then ; and he was only learning. As he himself said, it would always have been his preference to be first man in an Alpine hamlet, rather than second man in Rome. Lucan said that Cæsar could bear no superior, nor Pompey an equal. A further difference might be added : superior power was what Cæsar's ambition could not brook, but it was the thought of equal dignities which shocked Pompey's pride. The same distinction would hold in regard to Plutarch's saying, that while the gods had been contented to divide heaven, hell, and sea among three, the whole Roman empire was not large enough to contain these two. A compeer anywhere would have been equally offensive to both, though from different motives.
In the matter of morals, Cæsar was neither better nor worse than his age, but a good expression of its average. He was as good as he cared to be, or as he thought it would be worth while to be in the given circumstances. His mind being absorbed in other things, he troubled himself little about any theory or over-scrupulous practice of ethics, being content in this regard to go with the current. He believed that there cannot be two first principles ; and nature had from the beginning decided in his case which should be first, and culture had only confirmed nature's fiat. A perfect circle must have but a single centre; and from a centre of power, not morals, his character always radiated. Hence, from the dire