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On this page: Cicero (continued)

CICERO.

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In 53 B.C. he was elected augur; from July, 51, to July, 50, he administered the province of Cilicia as proconsul. In this capacity, his clemency, uprightness and unselfishness won for him the greatest respect. For his conduct in a campaign against the robber tribes of Mount Amanus he was honoured by the title of Impcrator, a public thanks­giving, and the prospect of a triumph.

He landed in Italy towards the end of November, b.c. 50, and found that a breach between Pompey and Ceesar was inevitable. The civil war broke out in the next year, and, after long hesitation, Cicero finally decided for Pompey, and followed him to Greece. But after the battle of Pharsalus, in which ill-health prevented him from taking a part, he deserted his friends, and crossed to Brundisium. Here he had to wait a whole year before Caesar pardoned him, and gave him leave to return to Rome. Caesar treated him with distinction and kindness, but Cicero kept aloof from public life. Nothing short of the calls of friend­ship could induce him to appear in the courts, as he did for Marcellus, Ligarius, and Deiotarus. The calamities of his country; his separation from his wife Terentia, in 46 b.c., after a married life of thirty-three years; his hasty union with the young and wealthy Publilia, so soon to be dissolved; the unhappy marriage and death of his favourite daughter Tullia ; all this was a heavy affliction for him. He found some consolation in studying philo­sophy, and applying himself with energy to literary work.

The murder of Caesar on March 15th, 44 B.C., roused him from his retirement, though he had taken no actual part in the deed. His patriotism excited him once more to take an active part in public life, and his first aim was to effect a reconciliation of parties. He succeeded so far as to secure the passing of a general amnesty. But it was not long before the intrigues and the hostility of the Caesarian party forced him again to leave Rome. He was on his way to Greece, j when, at the end of August, he was re- j called, by false rumours, to the Capitol, j In a moment of deep irritation against Antonius, he delivered, on the 2nd of Sep­tember, the first of his fourteen Philippic orations, so called after those of Demos­thenes. The second Philippic was never spoken, but published as a pamphlet; the last was delivered on the 21st April, b.c. 43. On the retirement of Antonius from Rome, Cicero found himself again playing a promi-

nent part in politics. All the efforts of his party to bring about a restoration of the ancient republican freedom centred in him. But,when Octavianus disappointed the hopes which he had excited, and attached him­self to Antonius and Lepidus in the second triumvirate, Cicero, now the chief man in the senate, was declared an outlaw. In­tending to fly to Macedonia, as he had done fifteen years before, he was overtaken by his pursuers near Caieta, and put to death on September 7th, 43 b.c., shortly before he had completed his sixty-fourth year. His head and right hand were exposed on the rostra by Antonius.

The literary labours of Cicero signalize an important advance in the development of Latin literature. It is not only that he is to be regarded as the creator of classical Latin prose. He was also the first writer who broke ground, to any great extent, in fields of literature which, before him, had remained almost untouched. He had in­sight enough to perceive that his vocation lay in the career of an orator. His industry, throughout his whole life, was untiring; he was never blinded by success; to educate himself, and perfect himself in his art, was the object which he never lost sight of. His speeches, accordingly, give brilliant testimony to his combination of genius with industry. Besides the fifty-seven speeches which survive in a more or less complete shape, and the most important of which have been mentioned above, we have about twenty fragments of others, and the titles of thirty-five more. Cicero was justified in boasting that no orator had written so many speeches, and in such different styles, as himself [Orator, c. 29, 30]. These orations were partly political, partly forensic ; the latter being mostly on the side of the de­fence. Cicero was also the author of pane­gyrics, as that, for instance, upon Cato. With few exceptions, as the second actio against Verres, the Pro Mlldne, and the panegyrics, they were actually delivered, and published afterwards. Extending over thirty-eight years, they give an excellent idea of Cicero's steady progress in the mastery of his art. They are of unequal merit, but everywhere one feels the touch of the born and cultivated orator. A wealth of ideas and of wit, ready acuteness, the power of making an obscure subject clear and a dry subject interesting, mastery of pathos, a tendency to luxuriance of lan­guage, generally tempered by good taste to the right measure, an unsurpassed tact in

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