« PredošláPokračovať »
True Glory. Good Works! Such even now is the Heavenly Ladder, on which angels are ascending and descending, while weary Humanity, on pillows of stone, slumbers heavily at its feet.
REFERRED TO ON PAGE 339.
Civil War a Crime. - The terms which are employed by the Roman writers, in describing civil war, implicate both sides in its guilt and dishonor. Such phrases as the following occur in the Pharsalia of Lucan:- " civile nefas" (Lib. IV. 172); Erinnys” (IV. 187); “crimen civile videmus” (VII. 398). Eutropius says: .“ Huic jam bellum civile successit, exsecrandum et lacrymabile.” (Historiæ Romanæ, Lib. VI.) Of the war between Sylla and Marius, Florus says:-"Hoc deerat unum populi Romani malis, jam ut ipse intra se parricidiale bellum domi stringeret ; et in urbe media ac foro, quasi arena, cives cum civibus suis gladiatorio more concurrerent. Æquiore animo utcunque ferrem, si plebeii duces, aut si nobiles, mali saltem, ducatum sceleri præbuissent ; quum vero, pro facinus ! qui vivi! qui imperatores ! decora et ornamenta sæculi sui, Marius et Sylla, pessimo facinori suam etiam dignitatem præbuerunt." (Lib. III. cap. 21.) The condemnation of the historian is here aroused, not because of the wickedness of a contest among fellow-men, but among fellow-citizens; and because illustrious personages joined in it. But he is impartial in condemning both sides. Marius and Sylla alike are treated as criminals. The same judgment seems to be expressed with regard to Cæsar and Pompey. “ Cæsaris furor atque Pompeii, urbem, Italiam, gentes, nationes, totum denique qua patebat imperium, quodam quasi diluvio et inflammatione corripuit ; adeo ut non recte tantum civile dicatur ; ac ne sociale quidem ; sed nec externum ; sed potius commune quoddam ex omnibus, et plus quam bellum.” (Florus, Lib. IV. cap. 2.) His description of what was called the Social War contains a principle which must condemn equally all VOL. I
strise among cognate nations or states: - "Sociale bellum vocetur licet, ut extenuemus invidiam ; si verum tamen volumus, illud civile bellum fuit. Quippe quum populus Romanus Etruscos, Latinos, Sabinosque miscuerit, et unum ex omnibus sanguinem ducat ; corpus fecit ex membris, et ex omnibus unus est. Nec minore flagitio socii intra Italiam, quam intra urbem cives rebellabant.” (Lib. III.
No triumph, thanksgiving, or holiday, for a conqueror in Civil War. – Valerius Maximus, in his chapter on Triumphs, shows how the victories of civil war were regarded in Rome." "Although," he says, “any one should perform illustrious and highly useful acts to the republic in civil war, he was not on this account hailed as Imperator ; nor were any thanksgivings decreed ; nor did he enjoy a triumph or ovation ; because, howsoever necessary these victories might be, they were always regarded as mournful, inasmuch as they were obtained, not by foreign, but by domestic blood. Therefore Nasica and Opimius sorrorofully slew, the one the faction of Tiberius Gracchus, and the other that of Caius Gracchus. Quintus Catulus, after subduing his colleague, Marcus Lepidus, with all his seditious forces, returned to the city, showing only a moderated joy. Even Caius Antonius, the conqueror of Catiline, carried back to the camp the swords cleansed. Lucius Cinna and Caius Marius thirstily drained the blood of civil war; but they forbore to approach immediately the temples and the altars of the gods. So also, Sylla, — who waged to a close many civil wars, — whose successes were most cruel and insolent -- at his triumph, after the establishment of his power, carried in his procession the pictures of many Greek and Aslacic cities, but of no tovon belonging to Roman citizens. It is grievous and wearisome to dwell longer on the wounds of the Republic. Nor did the Senate ever give the laurel to any conqueror, nor did any one desire that it should be given to himself, while any portion of the Commonwealth was in tears. Lauream nec Senatus cuiquam dedit, nec quisquam sibi dari desideravit, civitatis parte lachrymante.” (Valerius Maximus, Lib. II. cap. 8, $ 7.) Florus, at the close of his chapter on the war with Sertorious, says, that the conquering generals wished that this should be considered a foreign rather than a civil war, that they might triumph : “ Victores duces externum id magis quam civile bellum videri voluerunt, ut triumpharent.” (Florus, Lib. III. cap. 22.) Cæsar did not triumph over Pompey; but, at a later day, shocked his fellow-citizens by a triumph over the sons of that leader. “ All the world,” says Plutarch, in his life of Cæsar,
"condemned his triumphing in the calamities of his country, and rejoicing in things which nothing could excuse, either before gods or men, but extreme necessity. And it was more obvious to condemn it, because, before this, he had never sent any messenger or letter to acquaint the public with any victory he had gained in the civil wars, but was rather ashamed of such advantages.”
A similar judgment of the contests and battles between citizens may be found in other writers. Appian, speaking of Caius Gracchus, says, that “all averted their countenances from him, as a man polluted with the blood of a citizen.” (De Bellis Civilibus, Lib. I. c. 25.) And the same author, when describing the triumphs of Cæsar, says, that "he was ashamed professedly to triumph over the Romans, his own fellow-citizens, as this would not be creditable to himself, and would be shameful and disagreeable to the Roman people.” (Lib. II. c. 101.) We may also follow this sentiment in the History of Dion Cassius. After describing the victory over Catiline, he says, that "the victors much deplored the Commonwealth, because they had slain so many and such persons, ALTHOUGH JUSTLY, but nevertheless citizens and allies.” (Lib. XXXVII. $ 40.) Thus the justice of the war did not make it a source of Glory. Dion says, that Pompey, after his success over Cæsar at Dyrrachium, "did not speak boastfully of it, nor u.d he wreath his fasces with laurel, deeming it unworthy to do this on account of citizens conquered, nor did he send letters to the Republic announcing his acts.” (Lib. XLI. $ 52.) The manner in which he alludes to Cæsar's conduct is also in harmony with the other Heathen writers.
Cæsar,” he says, sent no letters to the Republic on the battle of Pharsalia, being unwilling to appear to rejoice in such a victory; wherefore he did not celebrate any triumph on account of it.” (Lib. XLII. $ 18.) But he pursued a different course with regard to his victory over the foreigner Pharnaces, which he announced to the Senate in that famous epigramatic epistle, -" Veni, vidi, vici." Dion says:—“Cæsar boasted much of this victory, although it was not conspicuous.” (Lib. XLII. $48.) The same historian alludes to his triumph over the sons of Pompey," having conquered no foreigner, but destroyed so large a number of citizens.” (Lib. XLIII. $ 42.) Crowns were decreed to Octavius Cæsar, after his victories over Antony ; " but,” says Dion, “they did not expressly name Antony, and the other Romans suered with him, either at first or then, as if it was wrong to have holidays on account of them.” (Lib. LI. $19.)
International War as criminal, and little worthy of honor as Civil War. – Erasmus dealt a blow at the distinction, still preserved among Christians, between civil war and foreign war. Plato civile bellum esse putat, quod Græci gerunt adversus Græcos. At Christianus Christiano proprius junctus est, quam civis civi, quam frater fratri. (Erasmi Epist. Lib. XXII. Epist. 16.) But even here he seems to recognize, rather the Brotherhood of Christians than the Brotherhood of Mankind. Assuming the latter, all international war becomes as criminal, and little worthy of honor as civil war. It is a war among brothers.
Who can think of the contest between the two brothers, Eteocles and Polynices, without feeling that both sides were wrong? Who would think of awarding Glory to Abel, if he had succeeded, in selfdefence, in slaying his hostile brother, Cain? There is a play of Beaumont and Fletcher, in which two brothers are represented as drawing swords upon each other. When finally separated, they
addressed in words that might be applied to the contests of nations :
Clashing of swords
But these unnatural jars
The Elder Brother, Act V. Sc. 1. The unreasonableness of expecting any True Glory in such a contest is felt by all, at the present day, though there have been monsters or barbarians who gloried even in a kinsman's blood. Massinger, in his play of The Unnatural Combat, has portrayed such a character. A father and son are represented as fighting with each other. The father is victorious. His exultation in the death of his son is not unlike that which often attends the victories of Christian nations :
Were a new life hid in each mangled limb,
my falling glories