Correspondence of Cicero with Caesar

Correspondence of Cicero with Caesar.--Intimacy with Pompey and Crassus.-- Attacks on Piso and Gabinius.---Cicero compelled to defend Gabinius--and Vatinius.--Dissatisfaction with his Position.--Corruption at the Consular Elections.--Public Scandal.--Caesar and Pompey.--Deaths of Aurelia and Julia.--Catastrophe in the East.--Overthrow and Death of Crassus.-- Intrigue to detach Pompey from Caesar.---Milo a Candidate for the Consulship.--Murder of Clodius.--Burning of the Senate-house.--Trial and Exile of Milo.--Fresh Engagements with Caesar.--Promise of the Consulship at the End of his Term in Gaul. > Julius Caesar > Chapter 18


[B.C. 55.] The conference at Lucca and the Senate's indifference had determined Cicero to throw in his lot with the trimmers. He had remonstrated with Pompey on the imprudence of prolonging Caesar's command. Pompey, he thought, would find out in time that he had made Caesar too strong for him; but Pompey had refused to listen, and Cicero had concluded that he must consider his own interests. His brother Quintus joined the army in Gaul to take part in the invasion of Britain, and to share the dangers and the honors of the winter which followed it. Cicero himself began a warm correspondence with Caesar, and through Quintus sent continued messages to him. Literature was a neutral ground on which he could approach his political enemy without too open discredit, and he courted eagerly the approval of a critic whose literary genius he esteemed as highly as his own.

Correspondence of Cicero with Caesar

Men of genuine ability are rarely vain of what they can do really well. Cicero admired himself as a statesman with the most unbounded enthusiasm. He was proud of his verses, which were hopelessly commonplace. In the art in which he was without a rival he was modest and diffident. He sent his various writings for Caesar's judgment. "Like the traveller who has overslept himself," he said, "yet by extraordinary exertions reaches his goal sooner than if he had been earlier on the road, I will follow your advice and court this man. I have been asleep too long. I will correct my slowness with my speed; and as you say he approves my verses, I shall travel not with a common carriage, but with a four-in-hand of poetry." 1

"What does Caesar say of my poems?" he wrote again. "He tells me in one of his letters that he has never read better Greek. At one place he writes [Greek: rathumotera] [somewhat careless]. This is his word. Tell me the truth, Was it the matter which did not please him, or the style?" "Do not be afraid," he added with candid simplicity; "I shall not think a hair the worse of myself." 2

His affairs were still in disorder. Caesar had now large sums at his disposition. Cicero gave the highest proof of the sincerity of his conversion by accepting money from him. "You say," he observed in another letter, "that Caesar shows every day more marks of his affection for you. It gives me infinite pleasure. I can have no second thoughts in Caesar's affairs. I act on conviction, and am doing but my duty; but I am inflamed with love for him." 3

With Pompey and Crassus Cicero seemed equally familiar. When their consulship was over, their provinces were assigned as had been determined. Pompey had Spain, with six legions. He remained himself at Rome, sending lieutenants in charge of them. Crassus aspired to equal the glory of his colleagues in the open field. He had gained some successes in the war with the slaves which persuaded him that he too could be a conqueror; and knowing as much of foreign campaigning as the clerks in his factories, he intended to use Syria as a base of operations against the Parthians, and to extend the frontier to the Indus. The Senate had murmured, but Cicero had passionately defended Crassus; 4 and as if to show publicly how entirely he had now devoted himself to the cause of the "Dynasts," he invited Crassus to dine with him the day before his departure for the East.

The position was not wholly pleasant to Cicero. "Self-respect in speech, liberty in choosing the course which we will pursue, is all gone," he wrote to Lentulus Spinther--"gone not more from me than from us all. We must assent, as a matter of course, to what a few men say, or we must differ from them to no purpose.--The relations of the Senate, of the courts of justice, nay, of the whole Commonwealth are changed.--The consular dignity of a firm and courageous statesman can no longer be thought of. It has been lost by the folly of those who estranged from the Senate the compact order of the equites and a very distinguished man [Caesar]." 5 And again: "We must go with the times. Those who have played a great part in public life have never been able to adhere to the same views on all occasions. The art of navigation lies in trimming to the storm. When you can reach your harbor by altering your course, it is a folly to persevere in struggling against the wind. Were I entirely free I should still act as I am doing; and when I am invited to my present attitude by the kindness of one set of men, and am driven to it by the injurious conduct of the other, I am content to do what I conceive will conduce at once to my own advantage and the welfare of the State.-- Caesar's influence is enormous. His wealth is vast. I have the use of both, as if they were my own. Nor could I have crushed the conspiracy of a set of villains to ruin me, unless, in addition to the defences which I always possessed, I had secured the goodwill of the men in power." 6

[B.C. 54.] Cicero's conscience could not have been easy when he was driven to such laborious apologies. He spoke often of intending to withdraw into his family, and devoting his time entirely to literature; but he could not bring himself to leave the political ferment; and he was possessed besides with a passionate desire to revenge himself on those who had injured him. An opportunity seemed to present itself. The persons whom he hated most, after Clodius, were the two consuls Gabinius and Piso, who had permitted his exile. They had both conducted themselves abominably in the provinces, which they had bought, he said, at the price of his blood. Piso had been sent to Macedonia, where he had allowed his army to perish by disease and neglect. The frontiers had been overrun with brigands, and the outcries of his subjects had been audible even in Rome against his tyranny and incapacity. Gabinius, in Syria, had been more ambitious, and had exposed himself to an indignation more violent because more interested. At a hint from Pompey, he had restored Ptolemy to Egypt on his own authority and without waiting for the Senate's sanction, and he had snatched for himself the prize for which the chiefs of the Senate had been contending. He had broken the law by leading his legions over the frontier. He had defeated the feeble Alexandrians, and the gratified Ptolemy had rewarded him with the prodigious sum of ten thousand talents--a million and a half of English money. While he thus enriched himself he had irritated the knights, who might otherwise have supported him, by quarrelling with the Syrian revenue farmers, and, according to popular scandal, he had plundered the province worse than it had been plundered even by the pirates.

When so fair a chance was thrown in his way, Cicero would have been more than human if he had not availed himself of it. He moved in the Senate for the recall of the two offenders, and in the finest of his speeches he laid bare their reputed iniquities. His position was a delicate one, because the senatorial party, could they have had their way, would have recalled Caesar also. Gabinius was Pompey's favorite, and Piso was Caesar's father- in-law. Cicero had no intention of quarrelling with Caesar; between his invectives, therefore, he was careful to interweave the most elaborate compliments to the conqueror of Gaul. He dwelt with extraordinary clearness on the value of Caesar's achievements. The conquest of Gaul, he said, was not the annexation of a province. It was the dispersion of a cloud which had threatened Italy from the days of Brennus. To recall Caesar would be madness. He wished to remain only to complete his work; the more honor to him that he was willing to let the laurels fade which were waiting for him at Rome, before he returned to wear them. There were persons who would bring him back, because they did not love him. They would bring him back only to enjoy a triumph. Gaul had been the single danger to the Empire. Nature had fortified Italy by the Alps. The mountain-barrier alone had allowed Rome to grow to its present greatness, but the Alps might now sink into the earth, Italy had no more to fear. 7

The orator perhaps hoped that so splendid a vindication of Caesar in the midst of his worst enemies might have purchased pardon for his onslaught on the baser members of the "Dynastic" faction. He found himself mistaken. His eagerness to revenge his personal wrongs compelled him to drink the bitterest cup of humiliation which had yet been offered to him. He gained his immediate purpose. The two governors were recalled in disgrace, and Gabinius was impeached under the new Julian law for having restored Ptolemy without orders, and for the corrupt administration of his province. Cicero would naturally have conducted the prosecution; but pressure of some kind was laid on, which compelled him to stand aside. The result of the trial on the first of the two indictments was another of those mockeries of justice which made the Roman law-courts the jest of mankind. Pompey threw his shield over his instrument. He used his influence freely. The Egyptian spoils furnished a fund to corrupt the judges. The speech for the prosecution was so weak as to invite a failure, and Gabinius was acquitted by a majority of purchased votes. "You ask me how I endure such things," Cicero bitterly wrote, in telling the story to Atticus; "well enough, by Hercules, and I am entirely pleased with myself. We have lost, my friend, not only the juice and blood, but even the color and shape, of a commonwealth. No decent constitution exists in which I can take a part. How can you put up with such a state of things? you will say. Excellently well. I recollect how public affairs went awhile ago, when I was myself in office, and how grateful people were to me. I am not distressed now, that the power is with a single man. Those are miserable who could not bear to see me successful. I find much to console me." 8 "Gabinius is acquitted," he wrote to his brother.--"The verdict is so infamous that it is thought he will be convicted on the other charge; but, as you perceive, the constitution, the Senate, the courts, are all nought. There is no honor in any one of us.--Some persons, Sallust among them, say that I ought to have prosecuted him. I to risk my credit with such a jury! what if I had acted, and he had escaped then! but other motives influenced me. Pompey would have made a personal quarrel of it with me. He would have come into the city. 9--He would have taken up with Clodius again. I know that I was wise, and I hope that you agree with me. I owe Pompey nothing, and he owes much to me; but in public matters (not to put it more strongly) he has not allowed me to oppose him; and when I was flourishing and he was less powerful than he is now, he let me see what he could do. Now when I am not even ambitious of power, and the constitution is broken down, and Pompey is omnipotent, why should I contend with him? Then, says Sallust, I ought to have pleased Pompey by defending Gabinius, as he was anxious that I should. A nice friend Sallust, who would have me push myself into dangerous quarrels, or cover myself with eternal infamy!" 10

Unhappy Cicero, wishing to act honorably, but without manliness to face the consequences! He knew that it would be infamous for him to defend Gabinius, yet at the second trial Cicero, who had led the attack on him in the Senate, and had heaped invectives on him, the most bitter which he ever uttered against man, nevertheless actually did defend Gabinius. Perhaps he consoled himself with the certainty that his eloquence would be in vain, and that his extraordinary client this time could not escape conviction. Any way, he appeared at the bar as Gabinius's counsel. The Syrian revenue farmers were present, open-mouthed with their accusations. Gabinius was condemned, stripped of his spoils, and sent into banishment. Cicero was left with his shame. Nor was this the worst. There were still some dregs in the cup, which he was forced to drain. Publius Vatinius was a prominent leader of the military democratic party, and had often come in collision with Cicero. He had been tribune when Caesar was consul, and had stood by him against the Senate and Bibulus. He had served in Gaul in Caesar's first campaigns, and had returned to Rome, at Caesar's instance, to enter for higher office. He had carried the praetorship against Cato; and Cicero in one of his speeches had painted him as another Clodius or Catiline. When the praetorship was expired, he was prosecuted for corruption; and Cicero was once more compelled to appear on the other side, and defend him, as he had done Gabinius. Caesar and Pompey, wishing perhaps to break completely into harness the brilliant but still half unmanageable orator, had so ordered, and Cicero had complied. He was ashamed, but he had still his points of satisfaction. It was a matter of course that, as an advocate, he must praise the man whom, a year before, he had spattered with ignominy; but he had the pleasure of feeling that he was revenging himself on his conservative allies, who led the prosecution. "Why I praised Vatinius," he wrote to Lentulus, "I must beg you not to ask either in the case of this or of any other criminal. I put it to the judges that since certain noble lords, my good friends, were too fond of my adversary [Clodius], and in the Senate would go apart with him under my own eyes, and would treat him with warmest affection, they must allow me to have my Publius [Vatinius], since they had theirs [Clodius], and give them a gentle stab in return for their cuts at me." 11 Vatinius was acquitted. Cicero was very miserable. "Gods and men approved," he said; but his own conscience condemned him, and at this time his one consolation, real or pretended, was the friendship of Caesar. "Caesar's affectionate letters," he told his brother, "are my only pleasure; I attach little consequence to his promises; I do not thirst for honors, or regret my past glory. I value more the continuance of his good-will than the prospect of anything which he may do for me. I am withdrawing from public affairs, and giving myself to literature. But I am broken-hearted, my dear brother;--I am broken-hearted that the constitution is gone, that the courts of law are naught; and that now at my time of life, when I ought to be leading with authority in the Senate, I must be either busy in the Forum pleading, or occupying myself with my books at home. The ambition of my boyhood--

Aye to be first, and chief among my peers--

is all departed. Of my enemies, I have left some unassailed, and some I even defend. Not only I may not think as I like, but I may not hate as I like, 12 and Caesar is the only person who loves me as I should wish to be loved, or, as some think, who desires to love me." 13

[B.C. 53.] The position was the more piteous, because Cicero could not tell how events would fall out after all. Crassus was in the East, with uncertain prospects there. Caesar was in the midst of a dangerous war, and might be killed or might die. Pompey was but a weak vessel; a distinguished soldier, perhaps, but without the intellect or the resolution to control a proud, resentful, and supremely unscrupulous aristocracy. In spite of Caesar's victories, his most envenomed enemy, Domitius Ahenobarbus, had succeeded after all in carrying one of the consulships for the year 54. The popular party had secured the other, indeed; but they had returned Appius Claudius, Clodius's brother, and this was but a poor consolation. In the year that was to follow, the conservatives had bribed to an extent which astonished the most cynical observers. Each season the elections were growing more corrupt; but the proceedings on both sides in the fall of 54 were the most audacious that had ever been known, the two reigning consuls taking part, and encouraging and assisting in scandalous bargains. "All the candidates have bribed," wrote Cicero; "but they will be all acquitted, and no one will ever be found guilty again. The two consuls are branded with infamy." Memmius, the popular competitor, at Pompey's instance, exposed in the Senate an arrangement which the consuls had entered into to secure the returns. The names and signatures were produced. The scandal was monstrous, and could not be denied. The better kind of men began to speak of a dictatorship as the only remedy; and although the two conservative candidates were declared elected for 53, and were allowed to enter on their offices, there was a general feeling that a crisis had arrived, and that a great catastrophe could not be very far off. The form which it might assume was the problem of the hour.

Cicero, speaking two years before on the broad conditions of his time, had used these remarkable words: "No issue can be anticipated from discords among the leading men, except either universal ruin, or the rule of a conqueror, or a monarchy. There exists at present an unconcealed hatred implanted and fastened into the minds of our leading politicians. They are at issue among themselves. Opportunities are caught for mutual injury. Those who are in the second rank watch for the chances of the time. Those who might do better are afraid of the words and designs of their enemies." 14

The discord had been suspended, and the intrigues temporarily checked, by the combination of Caesar and Pompey with Crassus, the chief of the moneyed commoners. Two men of equal military reputation, and one of them from his greater age and older services expecting and claiming precedency, do not easily work together. For Pompey to witness the rising glory of Caesar, and to feel in his own person the superior ascendency of Caesar's character, without an emotion of jealousy, would have demanded a degree of virtue which few men have ever possessed. They had been united so far by identity of conviction, by a military detestation of anarchy, by a common interest in wringing justice from the Senate for the army and people, by a pride in the greatness of their country, which they were determined to uphold. These motives, however, might not long have borne the strain but for other ties, which had cemented their union. Pompey had married Caesar's daughter, to whom he was passionately attached; and the personal competition between them was neutralized by the third element of the capitalist party represented by Crassus, which if they quarrelled would secure the supremacy of the faction to which Crassus attached himself. There was no jealousy on Caesar's part. There was no occasion for it. Caesar's fame was rising. Pompey had added nothing to his past distinctions, and the glory pales which does not grow in lustre. No man who had once been the single object of admiration, who had tasted the delight of being the first in the eyes of his countrymen, could find himself compelled to share their applause with a younger rival without experiencing a pang. So far Pompey had borne the trial well. He was on the whole, notwithstanding the Egyptian scandal, honorable and constitutionally disinterested. He was immeasurably superior to the fanatic Cato, to the shifty Cicero, or the proud and worthless leaders of the senatorial oligarchy. Had the circumstances remained unchanged, the severity of the situation might have been overcome. But two misfortunes coming near upon one another broke the ties of family connection, and by destroying the balance of parties laid Pompey open to the temptation of patrician intrigue. In the year 54 Caesar's great mother Aurelia, and his sister Julia, Pompey's wife, both died. A child which Julia had borne to Pompey died also, and the powerful if silent influence of two remarkable women, and the joint interest in an infant, who would have been Caesar's heir as well as Pompey's, were swept away together.

The political link was broken immediately after by a public disaster unequalled since the last consular army was overthrown by the Gauls on the Rhone; and the capitalists, left without a leader, drifted away to their natural allies in the Senate. Crassus had taken the field in the East, with a wild ambition of becoming in his turn a great conqueror. At first all had gone well with him. He had raised a vast treasure. He had plundered the wealthy temples in Phoenicia and Palestine to fill his military chest. He had able officers with him; not the least among them his son Publius Crassus, who had served with such distinction under Caesar. He crossed the Euphrates at the head of a magnificent army, expecting to carry all before him with the ease of an Alexander. Relying on his own idle judgment, he was tempted in the midst of a burning summer into the waterless plains of Mesopotamia; and on the 15th of June the great Roman millionaire met his miserable end, the whole force, with the exception of a few scattered cohorts, being totally annihilated.

The catastrophe in itself was terrible. The Parthians had not provoked the war. The East was left defenceless; and the natural expectation was that, in their just revenge, they might carry fire and sword through Asia Minor and Syria. It is not the least remarkable sign of the times that the danger failed to touch the patriotism of the wretched factions in Rome. The one thought of the leaders of the Senate was to turn the opportunity to advantage, wrest the constitution free from military dictation, shake off the detested laws of Caesar, and revenge themselves on the author of them. Their hope was in Pompey. If Pompey could be won over from Caesar, the army would be divided. Pompey, they well knew, unless he had a stronger head than his own to guide him, could be used till the victory was won, and then be thrust aside. It was but too easy to persuade him that he was the greatest man in the Empire; and that as the chief of a constitutional government, and with the Senate at his side, he would inscribe his name in the annals of his country as the restorer of Roman liberty.

The intrigue could not be matured immediately. The aristocracy had first to overcome their own animosities against Pompey, and Pompey himself was generous, and did not yield to the first efforts of seduction. The smaller passions were still at work among the baser senatorial chiefs, and the appetite for provinces and pillage. The Senate, even while Crassus was alive, had carried the consulships for 53 by the most infamous corruption. They meant now to attack Caesar in earnest, and their energies were addressed to controlling the elections for the next year. Milo was one of the candidates; and Cicero, who was watching the political current, reverted to his old friendship for him, and became active in the canvass. Milo was not a creditable ally. He already owed half a million of money, and Cicero, who was anxious for his reputation, endeavored to keep him within the bounds of decency. But Milo's mind was fastened on the province which was to redeem his fortunes, and he flung into bribery what was left of his wrecked credit with the desperation of a gambler. He had not been praetor, and thus was not legally eligible for the consulate. This, however, was forgiven. He had been aedile in 54, and as aedile he had already been magnificent in prodigality. But to secure the larger prize, he gave as a private citizen the most gorgeous entertainment which even in that monstrous age the city had yet wondered at. "Doubly, trebly foolish of him," thought Cicero, "for he was not called on to go to such expense, and he has not the means." "Milo makes me very anxious," he wrote to his brother. "I hope all will be made right by his consulship. I shall exert myself for him as much as I did for myself; 15 but he is quite mad," Cicero added; "he has spent £30,000 on his games." Mad, but still, in Cicero's opinion, well fitted for the consulship, and likely to get it. All the "good," in common with himself, were most anxious for Milo's success. The people would vote for him as a reward for the spectacles, and the young and influential for his efforts to secure their favor. 16

The reappearance of the "Boni," the "Good," in Cicero's letters marks the turn of the tide again in his own mind. The "Good," or the senatorial party, were once more the objects of his admiration. The affection for Caesar was passing off.

[B.C. 52.] A more objectionable candidate than Milo could hardly have been found. He was no better than a patrician gladiator, and the choice of such a man was a sufficient indication of the Senate's intentions. The popular party led by the tribunes made a sturdy resistance. There were storms in the Curia, tribunes imprisoning senators, and the Senate tribunes. Army officers suggested the election of military tribunes (lieutenant-generals), instead of consuls; and when they failed, they invited Pompey to declare himself Dictator. The Senate put on mourning, as a sign of approaching calamity. Pompey calmed their fears by declining so ambitious a position. But as it was obvious that Milo's chief object was a province which he might misgovern, Pompey forced the Senate to pass a resolution that consuls and praetors must wait five years from their term of office before a province was to be allotted to them. The temptation to corruption might thus in some degree be diminished. But senatorial resolutions did not pass for much, and what a vote had enacted a vote could repeal. The agitation continued. The tribunes, when the time came, forbade the elections. The year expired. The old magistrates went out of office, and Rome was left again without legitimate functionaries to carry on the government. All the offices fell vacant together.

Now once more Clodius was reappearing on the scene. He had been silent for two years, content or constrained to leave the control of the democracy to the three chiefs. One of them was now gone. The more advanced section of the party was beginning to distrust Pompey. Clodius, their favorite representative, had been put forward for the praetorship, while Milo was aspiring to be made consul, and Clodius had prepared a fresh batch of laws to be submitted to the sovereign people; one of which (if Cicero did not misrepresent it to inflame the aristocracy) was a measure of some kind for the enfranchisement of the slaves, or perhaps of the sons of slaves. 17 He was as popular as ever. He claimed to be acting for Caesar, and was held certain of success; if he was actually praetor, such was his extraordinary influence, and such was the condition of things in the city, that if Milo was out of the way he could secure consuls of his own way of thinking, and thus have the whole constitutional power in his hands. 18

Thus both sides had reason for fearing and postponing the elections. Authority, which had been weak before, was now extinct. Rome was in a state of formal anarchy, and the factions of Milo and Clodius fought daily, as before, in the streets, with no one to interfere with them.

Violent humors come naturally to a violent end. Milo had long before threatened to kill Clodius. Cicero had openly boasted of his friend's intention to do it, and had spoken of Clodius in the Senate itself as Milo's predestined victim. On the evening of the 13th January, while the uncertainty about the elections was at its height, Clodius was returning from his country house, which was a few miles from Rome on "the Appian Way." Milo happened to be travelling accidentally down the same road, on his way to Lanuvium (Civita Indovina), and the two rivals and their escorts met. Milo's party was the largest. The leaders passed one another, evidently not intending a collision, but their followers, who were continually at sword's point, came naturally to blows. Clodius rode back to see what was going on; he was attacked and wounded, and took refuge in a house on the roadside. The temptation to make an end of his enemy was too strong for Milo to resist. To have hurt Clodius would, he thought, be as dangerous as to have made an end of him. His blood was up. The "predestined victim," who had thwarted him for so many years, was within his reach. The house was forced open. Clodius was dragged out bleeding, and was despatched, and the body was left lying where he fell, where a senator, named Sextus Tedius, who was passing an hour or two after, found it, and carried it the same night to Rome. The little which is known of Clodius comes only through Cicero's denunciations, which formed or colored later Roman traditions; and it is thus difficult to comprehend the affection which the people felt for him; but of the fact there can be no doubt at all; he was the representative of their political opinions, the embodiment, next to Caesar, of their practical hopes; and his murder was accepted as a declaration of an aristocratic war upon them, and the first blow in another massacre. On the following day, in the winter morning, the tribunes brought the body into the Forum. A vast crowd had collected to see it, and it was easy to lash them into fury. They dashed in the doors of the adjoining senate-house, they carried in the bier, made a pile of chairs and benches and tables, and burnt all that remained of Clodius in the ashes of the senate-house itself. The adjoining temples were consumed in the conflagration. The Senate collected elsewhere. They put on a bold front, they talked of naming an interrex--which they ought to have done before--and of holding the elections instantly, now that Clodius was gone. Milo still hoped, and the aristocracy still hoped for Milo. But the storm was too furious. Pompey came in with a body of troops, restored order, and took command of the city. The preparations for the election were quashed. Pompey still declined the dictatorship, but he was named, or he named himself, sole consul, and at once appointed a commission to inquire into the circumstances of Milo's canvass, and the corruption which had gone along with it. Milo himself was arrested and put on his trial for the murder. Judges were chosen who could be trusted, and to prevent intimidation the court was occupied by soldiers. Cicero undertook his friend's defence, but was unnerved by the stern, grim faces with which he was surrounded. The eloquent tongue forgot its office. He stammered, blundered, and sat down. 19 The consul expectant was found guilty and banished, to return a few years after like a hungry wolf in the civil war, and to perish as he deserved. Pompey's justice was even-handed. He punished Milo, but the senate-house and temples were not to be destroyed without retribution equally severe. The tribunes who had led on the mob were deposed, and suffered various penalties. Pompey acted with a soldier's abhorrence of disorder, and, so far, he did what Caesar approved and would himself have done in Pompey's place.

But there followed symptoms which showed that there were secret influences at work with Pompey, and that he was not the man which he had been. He had taken the consulate alone; but a single consul was an anomaly; as soon as order was restored it was understood that he meant to choose a colleague; and Senate and people were watching to see whom he would select as an indication of his future attitude. Half the world expected that he would name Caesar, but half the world was disappointed. He took Metellus Scipio, who had been the Senate's second candidate by the side of Milo, and had been as deeply concerned in bribery as Milo himself; shortly after, and with still more significance, he replaced Julia by Metellus Scipio's daughter, the widow of young Publius Crassus, who had fallen with his father.

Pompey, however, did not break with Caesar, and did not appear to intend to break with him. Communications passed between them on the matter of the consulship. The tribunes had pressed him as Pompey's colleague. Caesar himself, being then in the north of Italy, had desired, on being consulted, that the demand might not be insisted on. He had work still before him in Gaul which he could not leave unfinished; but he made a request himself that must be noticed, since the civil war formally grew out of it, and Pompey gave a definite pledge, which was afterwards broken.

One of the engagements at Lucca had been that, when Caesar's command should have expired, he was to be again consul. His term had still three years to run; but many things might happen in three years. A party in the Senate were bent on his recall. They might succeed in persuading the people to consent to it. And Caesar felt, as Pompey had felt before him, that, in the unscrupulous humor of his enemies at Rome he might be impeached or killed on his return, as Clodius had been, if he came back a private citizen unprotected by office to sue for his election. Therefore he had stipulated at Lucca that his name might be taken and that votes might be given for him while he was still with his army. On Pompey's taking the power into his hands, Caesar, while abandoning any present claim to share it, reminded him of this understanding, and required at the same time that it should be renewed in some authoritative form. The Senate, glad to escape on any terms from the present conjunction of the men whom they hoped to divide, appeared to consent. Cicero himself made a journey to Ravenna to see Caesar about it and make a positive arrangement with him. Pompey submitted the condition to the assembly of the people, by whom it was solemnly ratified. Every precaution was observed which would give the promise, that Caesar might be elected consul in his absence, the character of a binding engagement. 20

It was observed with some surprise that Pompey, not long after, proposed and carried a law forbidding elections of this irregular kind, and insisting freshly on the presence of the candidates in person. Caesar's case was not reserved as an exception or in any way alluded to. And when a question was asked on the subject, the excuse given was that it had been overlooked by accident. Such accidents require to be interpreted by the use which is made of them.

[1] Ad Quintum Fratrem, ii. 15.

[2] "Ego enim ne pilo quidem minus me amabo."--Ibid., ii. 16. Other editions read "te."

[3] "Videor id judicio facere: jam enim debeo: sed amore sum incensus."--Ad Quintum Fratrem, iii. 1.

[4] Ad Crassum. Ad Familiares, v. 8.

[5] Ad Lentulum. Ad Fam., i. 8.

[6] Ibid., i. 9.

[7] De Provinciis Consularibus.

[8] To Atticus, iv. 16.

[9] Pompey, as proconsul with a province, was residing outside the walls.

[10] Ad Quintum fratrem, iii. 4.

[11] Ad Familiares, i. 9.

[12] "Meum non modo animum, sed ne odium quidem esse liberum."--Ad Quintum Fratrem, iii. 5.

[13] See the story in a letter to Atticus, lib. iv. 16-17.

[14] De Haruspicum Responsis.

[15] "Angit unus Milo. Sed velim finem afferat consulatus: in quo enitar non minus, quam sum enisus in nostro."--Ad Quintum Fratrem, iii. 9.

[16] Ad Familiares, ii. 6.

[17] "Incidebantur jam domi leges quae nos nostris servis addicerent.... Oppressisset omnia, possideret, teneret lege novā, quae est inventa apud eum cum reliquis legibus Clodianis. Servos nostros libertos suos fecisset."--Pro Milone, 32, 33. These strong expressions can hardly refer to a proposed enfranchisement of the libertini, or sons of freedmen, like Horace's father.

[18] "Caesaris potentiam suam esse dicebat.... An consules in praetore coercendo fortes fuissent? Primum, Milone occiso habuisset suos consules."--Pro Milone, 33.

[19] The Oratio pro Milone, published afterwards by Cicero, was the speech which he intended to deliver and did not.

[20] Suetonius, De Vitā Julii Caesaris. Cicero again and again acknowledges in his letters to Atticus that the engagement had really been made. Writing to Atticus (vii. 1), Cicero says: "Non est locus ad tergiversandum. Contra Caesarem? Ubi illae sunt densae dexterae? Nam ut illi hoc liceret adjuvi rogatus ab ipso Ravennae de Caelio tribuno plebis. Ab ipso autem? Etiam a Cnaeo nostro in illo divino tertio consulatu. Aliter sensero?"

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