[Page] THE LIFE & DEATH OF POMPONIUS ATTICUS: WRITTEN By his Contemporary and Ac­quaintance Cornelius Nepos; Translated out of his Frag­ments.


LONDON, Printed by W. Godbid, for W. Shrowsbury, at the Bible in Duke-Lane, 1677.



THis Book presents Thee with the Histo­ry of the Life & Death of POMPONIUS AT­TICUS, and the various Concus­sions and Revolutions that hap­pened in the Roman State and Go­vernment in his time; and the wise Methods which that excel­lent man used to preserve the Honour, Innocence and Safety of his Person from the Dangers that might occur by them.

[Page] Two Things I must caution thee in reading hereof;

First, Concerning the Person and Practice of Atticus. Many things in him are worthy of Imi­tation; his Prudence, Learning, Beneficence, Compassion; his great Care to avoid engaging in any of those Factions that gave those great Disturbances to the State of Rome, his Love to his Coun­trey.

But some things were so ap­propriate to his Person, Conditi­on, and Circumstances, and the Manners and Occurrences of that State wherein he lived, that are hardly to be match'd in any other Person, and therefore may pos­sibly in these respects rather give matter of admiration of his For­tune, than matter of imitation [Page] of some of the Transactions of his Life.

Secondly, Concerning the Com­mon wealth of Rome, which in the time of Atticus, was the The­atre whereupon the Heads of the several Parties and Factions acted their parts, to the great distur­bance of that State, whereof some Account is hereafter given.

The Constitution of Kingdoms, States and Commonwealths, are in themselves very various, but of­tentimes much more various in the Circumstances that attend them; as the Temper and Disposition of their Officers, their different Ma­nagements, their publick Concerns with other Nations, and infinite more: so that it seems impossi­ble that two States may in all things exactly match one ano­ther; [Page] whereby it comes to pass that some Kingdoms, States and Commonwealths are more obnoxi­ous to Publick Evils; especially that of the Collision of Factions than others.

Some Governments (especially that of this Kingdom of England) are so wisely constituted, and so firmly established and fixed by Law and Custom, that in all Hu­mane Reason, they are not much obnoxious to such Factions: But if such at any time should happen, yet they are quickly composed, or effectually suppressed, or languish and die of themselves in a little time: But the State of the Com­mon wealth of Rome was so mould­ed, that it was scarce possible for them to be long without such Storms and Commotions by great [Page] Factions arising therein; as is hereafter shewn.

That therefore which is writ­ten in this Book, was not written in relation to any Kingdom or State on this side Rome, nor even to Rome it self, otherwise than it stood under those Circumstances of those Factions that were fre­quent therein about the time of Atticus his Life.

Therefore read this Book with its due application to the Roman State; and to that State as it was in at that time of those Disturban­ces, and as if thou hadst been a Spectator of the Scene where those Tragedies were acted, and then thou answerest the intention of the Writer; and possibly this Pamphlet may give thee the in­nocent diversion of an hour, and in [Page] some measure give thee an Ac­count of the State of the Roman Commonwealth, and the reason of the Occurrences that happen­ed therein in and near the time of the Life of Atticus, though it be by no means applicable to the Kingdom, State and Countrey where­in thou livest.

If thou find the Translation of the Life of Atticus not to run so smoothly as could be wished, I have this Excuse for it, that as near as I can, I have in the Tran­slation pursued the Letter of the Original; which, by reason of the difference of Idioms in the La­tin and English, will not allow that Elegance to the Translation, as it is to be found in the Original. In the Equation of the Roman Money with the value of Ours, [Page] I may in some places be mista­ken, because of the discrepance between them; but this may fair­ly be rectified by the Reader, and is not of any great consequence to the History. The Errata of the Press are inserted at the End of the Book, together with some few Addenda.



THe Life of Pomponius Atticus, written by his Contemporary and Acquaintance Cornelius Nepos, Translated out of his Fragments. Pag. 1.

Chap. 1. A brief Chronological Ac­count of the Life of Atticus. P. 33.

Chap. 2. Touching Factions in gene­ral, and the reasons of the great Factions in the Roman Empire, and why they happened more at this time than for many hundreds of years before. P. 59.

Chap. 3. Concerning the Methods that ordinarily persons use to secure themselves in the Vicissitudes of pre­vailing Factions. P. 96.

[Page] Chap. 4. Touching the Means where­by the Safety of Atticus was pro­cured under the various Vicissitudes in the Roman State. p. 105.

Chap. 5. Touching the means that Pomponius Atticus used to save himself from the Dangers of the Civil Wars that happened in Rome; and first concerning the quality and condition of the man himself. p. 117

Chap. 6. Concerning the other Ex­pedients that this wise man used to avoid the difficulties of the times wherein he lived; and first of his Travels into Greece. p. 126.

Chap. 7. The second Expedient that he used for his safety and preserva­tion; his industrious avoiding of be­ing engaged in any Faction while he lived in Rome. p. 134

Chap. 8. The third Expedient that Atticus used for his safety; refu­sing [Page] too great Kindnesses from Great Persons. p. 159.

Chap. 9. The fourth Expedient of Atticus; refusing Offices and pub­lick Employments in the Common­wealth by the Suffrages of the Se­nate or People. p. 165.

Chap. 10. The fifth Expedient that Atticus used to preserve himself, was the avoiding all those occasions that might procure unto him emula­tion or envy. p. 181.

Chap. 11. The sixth Expedient; the avoiding of all occasions of enmity from any. p. 189.

Chap. 12. The consideration of things that Atticus did in order to his safe­ty and security against Dangers and Troubles of the Times; and first, touching his Charity, Bounty and Liberality. p. 199.

[Page] Chap. 13. The second thing which Atticus did in order whereby he se­cured himself. p. 211.

Chap. 14. The third Expedient con­ducing to the safety of Atticus; his admirable moderation and equa­lity of Mind & Actions. p. 216.

Chap. 15. Concerning the fourth Expedient conducing to the safety of Atticus; his Constancy. p. 222.

Chap. 16. Touching certain Cauti­ons to be used in the observation and imitation of the Life of Atticus in publick collisions of Factions. p. 228

Written by his Contemporary and Ac­quaintance CORNELIUS NEPOS; Translated out of his Fragments.

POMPONIUS ATTICUS, being deduced from the first Origin of the Roman Stock, obtained the dig­nity of a Roman Knight, derived unto him by an uninterrupted Succession from his An­cestors. He had a diligent and indul­gent Father, and rich according to [Page 2] those times, and a great Lover of Learning: As he loved Learning himself, so he instructed his Son in all that Learning wherewith one of his Age was fit to be furnished. Moreover, in this young youth, besides his readi­ness of wit, there was a certain sweet­ness of Elocution and Speech, where­by he did not only readily learn what was taught him, but did also excellent­ly pronounce it: By which means, even in his youth, he became eminent among his equals, and shone forth with greater lustre than his generous fellow-Scholars could bear with an equal mind. He therefore by his study prick­ed on others; Among whom were P. Torquatus, C. Marius, the Son of Caius, and M. Cicero, all whom by his conversation, he so obliged unto him, that none was dearer to them than he. His Father died early. And Pomponius being then but a very young man, was not without some danger, by reason of the assinity of P. Sulpitius, who was slain being Tribune of the Peo­ple. For Amicia the Neece of Pompo­nius, [Page 3] married Servius Sulpitius, Brother of P. Sulpitius. P. Sulpitius therefore being thus slain, as soon as Pomponius observed that the City was disturbed by the Tumult of Cinna, neither could he have liberty of living according to his Rank, but that he should offend one Party; the minds of the Citizens being disjointed, while some favoured the party of Sylla, others the party of Cinna. Concluding it therefore a sea­sonable time to addict himself to his Studies, he went to Athens, and yet neverthless helped with his wealth young Marius, then declared a publick Enemy; whose flight he assisted with his Money. And lest this his journey should bring some detriment to his E­state, he removed thither a great part of his wealth. He so lived at Athens, that he became deservedly most dear to the Athenians: For besides that great Grace which appeared in him, being then but young, he oftentimes relieved their publick wants with his own Wealth. For whereas here was a ne­cessity of publick Versura, taking up [Page 4] money at less interest, and to put it out at greater; neither had they any equal conditions in the doing thereof; he ever interposed, and in such a manner that he never received any usury from them, nor suffered his money to conti­nue longer in their hands than the time appointed; both which were of great advantage to them: For hereby he did neither suffer their debts to grow stale by indulgence, nor to grow greater by the running on of usury. Also he added to this friendliness by another li­berality: He gave Corn to all, so that to each person were given six measures of Wheat, which kind of measure at Athens, is called Medimnus (something more than our English Bushel) he carri­ed himself so, that he seemed common to the lowest, and yet equal to the chiefest; whereby it came to pass that they publickly heaped upon him all the honours they could; endeavouring to make him a free Citizen of that City; which yet he refused (which some in­terpret because the liberty of a Citizen of Rome would be lost by becoming the [Page 5] Citizen of another City.) As long as he was there, he opposed the setting up of any Statue for him; but could not hinder it after his departure; therefore they placed some for him and Pilia (his Wife) in their most sacred places; for in all the businesses of the Republick they had him their Actor and their Author.

Therefore it was first the bounty of his Fortune, that he was born in that City wherein was the Palace of the Empire of the World, whereby he had the same for his Countrey and Go­verness. But it was the evidence of his prudence, that when he came into that City that excelled all other in in An­tiquity, Humanity and Learning, he became most dear unto it above all others.

When Sylla came hither, as he re­turned out of Asia, as long as he was there, he kept Pomponius with him, be­ing taken with the Humanity and Learning of the young man; for he spake Greek so well, that he seemed born at Athens. But so great was his [Page 6] sweetness in the Latine Tongue, that there appeared to be in him a certain native grace, and not acquired. He pronouced Poems in Greek and Latine, so that nothing could be done better: By which means it came to pass, that Sylla would never let him go from him, & desired to carry him along with him. To whom, when he endeavour­ed to perswade him, Pomponius said, I pray thee do not desire to lead me against those (with whom, lest I should bear arms against thee) I left Italy. But Sylla commending the kindness of the young man, departing from Athens, commanded that all the Presents which he had there received, should be delivered to Pomponius. Here living many years, he employed so much of his endeavors for the affairs of his Family, as he became a diligent Father of a Family, and allowed all the rest of his time either to Learning, or the affairs of the Commonwealth of the Athenians; yet nevertheless he per­formed all civil offices to his Friends. For he came to their Assemblies, and [Page 7] if any great business was in action, he was not wanting: He yielded a singu­lar fidelity to Cicero in all his dangers; To whom, flying from his Countrey, he gave 250000 Sestertia (two thou­sand eighty three pounds six shillings eight pence) but the Roman affairs be­ing appeased, he returned to Rome, L. Cotta and L. Torquatus being (as I think) Consuls. Which day the A­thenians so entertained, that by their Tears they shewed their sorrow for their future loss. He had an Unkle, Q. Caecilius, a Roman Knight, and a friend of L. Lucullus, rich, of a nature hard to be pleased; whose frowardness he so weathered, that he kept, with­out offence, the good will of that man, to his extreamest old age, whom no other could patiently bear; by which means he gain'd the fruit of his obser­servances: For Caecilius dying, by his Will adopted him, and made him his Heir of three fourth Parts of all he had; out of which inheritance, he received centies LLS. (or to the value of 300000 Crowns according to some; [Page 8] or 83360 lib. according to others.) His Sister was married to Q. Tullius Cicero; which Match M. Tullius Cice­ro brought about; with whom, being his School-fellow, he lived most en­tirely, and much more familiarly than with Quintius: whereby it appeared, that in Friendship Likeness of man­ners was far more prevalent than Affi­nity. He used Q. Hortensius very intimate­ly (who in those times obtained the Ma­stery of Eloquence) so that it was hard to understand who loved him best, Cicero or Hortensius. And herein he ef­fected that which was of greatest diffi­culty, that between those betwixt whom there was the greatest emulati­on of praise, there interceded no de­traction, and that he became the com­mon uniter of them both. He carried himself so in the Commonwealth, that he always was, and was thought to be of the best party; yet he would not commit himself to the waves of Civil Dissention; which he esteemed to be no more in the power of him that should deliver himself over to them, [Page 9] than if he had been tossed on the waves of the Sea. He sought not ho­nours, although they lay open to him; either by reason of his Favour or of his Dignity, because they could neither be sought according to the ancient use, nor taken up with due observance of the Laws, among those excessive charges that accompanied such Com­petitions, nor could they be born in the Commonwealth without danger, the manners of the Citizens of Rome being very much corrupted.

He never came to publick Sales, neither became he a publick Farmer of any thing, or a Surety thereof. He accused no man either by his own sub­scription, or by proxy. He never went to Law touching his own Inte­rest, nor had any Law-suits. He en­tertained the Prefectures of many Con­sulates and Praetors offered unto him, that he would follow none to a Pro­nounce, being contented with the ho­nour of the Offer, but despised the fruit of its private advantage; and would not go even with Q. Cicero [Page 10] into Asia, when he might have ob­tained the place of Legate with him. For he thought it became not him who would not be a Praetor, to become the follower of a Praetor. In which thing he did not only serve his own Digni­ty, but also his own Tranquillity; while he avoided the very suspitions of offences: Whence it came to pass, that his respect was the more valuable to all men, which they plainly saw was to be attributed to his kindness, and not to hope.

The Civil War of Caesar happened when he was about 60 years old. He used that Vacancy that belonged to his Age, neither did he stir any way out of the City. All those things that were needful for such of his Friends as went to Pompey, he supplied out of his own Estate. Neither did he offend his Friend Pompey; for he would receive of him no eminent bounty, as others, who by his means obtained honours or wealth, part of whom, even against their wills, followed him to the Field, and part staid at home, not without his [Page 11] great offence. But the sitting still of Atticus was so acceptable to Caesar, that when he returning Victor, com­manded Money from private persons by his Letters, he was not only not troublesome to Atticus, but delivered up the Son of his Sister and Q. Cicero, taken in Pompey's Camp. Thus by keeping the old course of his Life, he escaped new dangers. After this, it followed, Caesar being slain, when the Commonwealth seemed to be wholly in the power of Brutus and Cassius and their party, and the whole City seemed to stand at gaze what At­ticus would do, He so dealt with M. Brutus, that that young man used no Equal more familiarly than he did this aged Atticus; and had him not only the Governor of his Council, but also the Companion of his Table. It was contrived by some, that a pri­vate Treasury should be raised for the Murderers of Caesar by the Roman Ca­valry. They thought this might ea­sily be effected, if the chief of that Order did contribute Money.

[Page 12] Therefore Atticus was called by C. Falvius, a familiar Friend of Bru­tus, that he should be the chief of that Undertaking: But he who al­ways esteemed good Offices to be done to his Friends without Faction, and always kept himself from such kind of Councils, answered, That if Brutus would use any of his Riches, he might use what they were able to bear. But that he would neither speak nor meet with any person about that mat­ter. So that Ball of Contention by this one man's discretion was broken. Not long after, Anthony began to be uppermost, so that Brutus and Cassius (the Affairs of those Provinces (which by way of dissimulation were assigned to them by the Consuls) being despe­rate) were banished. Atticus, who would not give money with others, to that Party when it flourished, sent to Brutus, being now an Abject, and go­ing out of Italy, L L S Centum, or 3000 Crowns, and gave order, being absent, that 300 Sastertia more should be delivered to him in Epirus: Nei­ther [Page 13] did he, upon his Change, the more slatter Anthony, or leave the di­stressed. After this followed the Bat­tel at Mucinia, wherein, if I should only call him prudent, I should say less than I ought; when rather he was di­vine, if a perpetual natural goodness, which is neither shaken nor diminish­ed by any Casualties, is to be called Divineness.

Anthony being a declared enemy, went out of Italy, having no hope of restitution; not only his Enemies, who were then powerful and many, but even his very Friends gave them­selves up to his Adversaries, and ho­ped they should obtain some benefit by hurting of him, persecuting those of his Family, desired to plunder his wife Fulvia of all her goods, and went about to destroy his Children, Atticus using a most intimate familiarity with Cice­ro, and being most friendly to Brutus, did not only not allow them to injure Antony; but on the contrary, as much as he could, hid those of his Family flying out of the City, and helped [Page 14] them with the things they wanted: And to P. Volummius, such things, that more could not have been from a Fa­ther. And whereas Fulvia was invol­ved in Suits, and vexed with great terrors, he performed his Office of kindness toward her with so much di­ligence, that she gave no pledge with­out Atticus: He was the Surety for all things. And further, whereas in her prosperous Fortune she had bought a Farm to be paid at a day; and after this calamity, could not take up mo­ney to pay, he interposed himself, and sent her Money without Usury and without Security; esteeming it the greatest gain to be known to be mind­ful and grateful; and to make it mani­fest that he was used to be a friend to men, and not to Fortune, which things while he did, no man could well think he did it to serve the time: For no man thought that Antony could ever return again. Nevertheless he was reproved by some great men, that he seemed too little to hate evil Citi­zens: But he being constant to his [Page 15] own judgment, respected rather what was fit for him to do, than what others were ready to commend. The wheel of Fortune is suddenly turned. As Antony returned into Italy, every man thought Atticus was in great danger, by reason of his intimate familiarity with Cicero and Brutus: Atticus there­fore at the coming in of the Emperor, withdrew from the City, fearing Ba­nishment, and hid himself with P. Vo­lummius, to whom, as we have a little before shewn, he gave his assistance (so great was the variety of Fortune in those times, that sometimes these, some­times those were in the greatest power or danger) and he had with him Q. Gellius Canius his Equal, and very like him. And this is another exam­ple of the goodness of Atticus, that he lived so entirely with him whom he knew his Playfellow from a Boy, that their friendship increased even to their utmost old Age: But Antony, though he was carried with so great hatred against Cicero, that he was not only an enemy to him, but also to all his [Page 16] Friends, and would banish them all; yet many reminding him, he remem­bred the good offices of Atticus: and when one had enquired where he was, he wrote to him with his own hand, that he should not fear; and that he should presently come to him; that he had exempted him and Gellius Canius from the number of the banished: And lest he should fall into any danger, be­cause it was night, he sent him a Guard.

Thus Atticus in his greatest fear, was a safeguard not only to himself, but also to him whom he held most dear: For he sought not only for his own safety, but joyntly for others; that it might appear, that he would, no Fortune of his should be disjoynted from his Friend: Therefore if a Pi­lot deserves great praise, that saves his Ship from the Storm and Rockie Sea, why should not his singular prudence be valued, which out of so many and so great Civil Storms came to safety? And to discharge himself from these evils, he did nothing else than to be­come [Page 17] an assistance to the most in what he could. When the common people by the rewards of the Conqueror, redeemed some of those that were ba­nished, none of the Banished came into Epirus, to whom any thing was wanting; and all that came thither, had liberty of remaining there. But also after the Battel at Philippi, and the death of Cassius and Brutus: He purposed to protect L. Julius Merilla the Pretor, and his Son Aulus Tor­quatus, and the rest that were strick­en with the like Fortune, and took order that to them all things neces­sary should be privately conveyed from Epirus to Samothracia. It is dif­ficult to reckon up all things he did, and note such as are necessary to be remembred. This one thing we would to be understood, that his Liberality was neither temporary nor crafty: That may be iudged by the things and times themselves, that he com­mended not himself to those that were prosperous, but always helped those that were in distress. Who [Page 18] therefore respected Servilia the Mo­ther of Brutus no less after his death, than while he flourished: Thus ma­naging his Liberality, he maintained no enmity, because he neither injur'd any, neither if he received any injury, had he rather revenge than forget it. With a never dying Memory he re­tained Benefits received; but those which he did, he only remembred so long as he continued grateful that had received them. He did therefore so, that it seems truly said, Every man's Manners fashion to every man his own Fortune: And yet he first fashioned himself before his Fortune, who took care that in nothing he might be justly punished. By these things he brought to pass that M. Vip­sanius Agrippa (one joyned to young Caesar in intimate familiarity) who by reason of his own Favour, and Cae­sar's Authority, had a power upon persons of every condition, did chief­ly desire the affinity of Atticus, and sued to have the Noble Daughter of this Roman Knight in Marriage, and [Page 19] the maker of this Match was M. An­tony the Triumvir of the Common­wealth; by whose Favour, when he might have increased his Possessions, he was so far from the desire of Money, that he used it in no other thing than in deprecating either the dangers or in­conveniences of his Friends: Which was eminent even under the very Proscription it self. For whereas the Triumviri, according to the custom whereby things were then managed, sold the Goods of L. Sanfeus, a Roman Knight, his Equal, who lived many years at Athens, being thereunto led by the desire of Philosophy, and had fair possessions in Italy. By the La­bour and Industry of Atticus, it was brought to pass, that by the same Messenger, Sanfeus was informed that he had lost his Patrimony, and re-ob­tained it again. The same Atticus de­livered Julius Claudius, the most ele­gant Poet of this Age, next after the Death of Lucretius and Catullus, and a very good man, well instructed in the best Arts; who after the Proscription [Page 20] of the Roman Knights, was for his large possessions in Africa, brought into the List of the banished in his ab­sence, by P. Volumnius General of the Workmen of Antony; which at pre­sent it is difficult to judge whether it was more painful or glorious for him to effect, because it was known that Atticus had a care for his Friends in their dangers, whether absent or pre­sent.

And this man Atticus was esteemed no less a good Father of a Family, than a good Citizen; for whereas he was full of money, no man was less a Buyer, or less a Builder: And yet he dwelt very well, and enjoyed all things of the best: For he had a House in the Quirinal Hill, left to him hereditarily by his Unkle, whose pleasantness was not so much in the building, as in the Groves adjoyning. For his House being an ancient built House, had more of Decency, than of Cost; wherein he changed nothing but what he was compelled to by its decay.

[Page 21] He had a Family, that if we may judge by its profitableness, was the best; if by the form of it, not mean; for in it were most learned Youths: excellent Clerks, and many well read in Books; that there was scarce a Foot-boy, but could well do any of these businesses; in like manner other Artificers requisite for houshold Af­fairs, singular good: And yet he had none of these, but such as were born and taught in his House; which is a sign not only of Continence, but of Diligence. For not intemperately to desire that which thou feest desired of many, ought to be esteemed the sign of a continent person: And to procure rather by diligence than pur­chase it, of no small Industry. He was neat, not stately; handsom, not sumptuous; he affected with all dili­gence a cleanliness without superflui­ty: His Houshold-stuff moderate, not much; so that in it neither Extream appeared: Neither shall I pass by this, although I guess it may seem light to some: Whereas he was a [Page 22] chief Roman Knight, and did very li­berally invite men of all Ranks to his House, yet we know that he spent not monthly more than 3000 Aerii; (about 10 l. sterling:) and this we speak not by hear-say, but of our own knowledge; for by reason of our fa­miliarity with him, we were often present at his domestick Affairs. No man in his Feasts heard any other Acroama than a Philosophical Lecture, which we esteemed most pleasant; neither did he ever sup without some philosophical Lecture, that his guests might be delighted as well in their minds, as in their appetites; for he invi­ted those whose manners agreed with his. When so great an accession of Money happened to him, he chan­ged nothing in his daily deportment, nothing in the custom of his Life: And he used so great moderation, that neither under the 200000 Sesterces (or 6000 Crowns) he had from his Father, he carried himself less splen­didly, nor under the 100000 Sesterces, or 30000 Crowns (which he had [Page 23] from his Unkle) he lived with greater affluence than he before had appoint­ed: But under both Fortunes he used the like port. He had no Gardens, no Country-House, or sumptuous mari­tine dwelling. Nor in Italy had he more than his Countrey Farm of Ar­deali and Munantum. All his Rents were in what he had at Epirus, and City possessions, whereby it may be known, that he was fully accustom­ed to measure out the employment of his Money, not by vast expence, but by Reason. He neither would speak, nor could suffer a Lie: Therefore his Mirth was not without severity, nor his Gravity without affability; so that it was hard to understand whether his Friends more reverenced than loved him. When any thing was desired of him, he promised always with religious observance; because he judged it the part of a light, not of a liberal man, to promise what he could not perform. His care was so great in endeavouring the fulfilling of what he once un­dertook for any other, that he seemed [Page 24] herein not so much to do anothers bu­siness, as his own: He never was weary of any business he undertook; for he esteemed his own credit to be concerned in it, than which, nothing was dearer unto him: Whence it came to pass that he performed all the businesses of M. and Q. Cicero, Cato, Hortensius, Aulus, Torquatus, and ma­ny other Roman Knights besides.

Whereby it may be well judged that he avoided the procuration of the Commonwealth, not for sloth, but in judgment. I can give no greater te­stimony of his humanity, than that being a young man, he was most de­lightful to Sylla, an old man; and be­ing an old man, most delightful to Brutus, a young man: But with his Equals, Q. Hortensius and M. Cicero, he so lived, that it is hard to judge for what Age he was fittest. Al­though Cicero so greatly loved him, that his Brother Quintius was not more dear or familiar to him: And this was an evidence hereof, that be­sides those Books that are now pub­lished, [Page 25] in which he makes mention of him, there are sixteen Volumes of Epistles sent to Atticus, from the first Consulate of Cicero, to the last end of his life; which whosoever reads, will not much want a continued History of those times: For all things con­cerning the designs of the great men, the faults of the Commanders, the changes of the Commonwealth, are so fully written, that all things ap­pear in those Writings; and it may be easily collected that Prudence is in a manner Divination: For Cicero did not only foretel those things that afterwards fell out in his life-time; but also he presaged, as a Prophet, those things that now come to pass. And what should I relate more tou­ching the Piety of Atticus, when as I my self heard him truly glorying at the Funeral of his Mother, who be­ing 90 years old, he buried when he was 67 years old, that he never was reconciled to his Mother, nor ever was at difference with his Sister, who was near his own Age; which [Page 26] was a sign that either there was never any controversie between them, or that he was of that indulgence to his Relations, that he held it a crime to be angry with those whom he ought to love. Neither did he this only by nature, although all of us ought to obey it; but also by his Learning: For he so well understood the precepts of the chief Philosophers, that he used them for the ordering his life, and not for ostentation. He was a strict imitator of the customs of the Ancients, and a lover of Antiquity, which he so diligently knew, that he declared it in that Volume where­with he adorned the Roman Magi­strates: For there was no Law, no Peace, no War, no notable thing of the People of Rome, which is not set down in its order of time in that Volume. And (which is a thing of great difficulty) he so unsolded the Original of Families, that we may thereby know the pedigrees of emi­nent men: He did this also several­ly in other Books, so that at the re­quest [Page 27] of M. Brutus, he deduced in or­der the J [...]nian Family from its root down to this Age; setting down who, and of whom every one arose, what honours they received, and in what time. In like manner, he did at the request of Marcellus Claudius, touching the Family of the Marcelli: And at the request of Cornelius Scipio and Fabi­us Maximus, touching the Families of the Cornelii and Fabii, and also of the Emilii: Than which Books, nothing can be more pleasant to them that have the desire of the knowledge of eminent men. Also I believe he had skill in Poetry, lest he should be wanting in the sweetness thereof: For he declared in Verse what per­sons exceeded others of the Roman people in honour and amplitude of great Exploits; so that under the Statues of every person he wrote in no more than four or five verses their Exploits and Magistracies (which is scarce to be believed) that so great things should be so briefly declared. There was also another Book of his in [Page 28] Greek of the Consulate of Cicero. Hi­therto these things were published by us, Atticus living. Now because For­tune was pleased that we should sur­vive him, we will prosecute the rest; and as much as we may, we will in­struct the Readers by examples of things, as we have above declared, that every mans manners procure to him his Fortune; for he being con­tent with the Equestrial Order, where­in he was born, arrived to the affi­nity of Julius, the Emperors Son, whose acquaintance he formerly gain­ed by no other thing than the hand­somness of his Life; whereby he won to himself other Princes of an equal Dignity and lower Fortune: For so great a prosperity followed Caesar, that Fortune denied him nothing which she had before given or be­stowed upon any, whereunto any Citizen of Rome could possibly attain. Now there was born to Atticus, a Neece of Agrippa, to whom he had married his Virgin-Daughter: her be­ing scarce a year old: Caesar espoused [Page 29] too Tiberius Claudius Nero his Son in-Law, born of Drusilla; which con­junction confirmed their friendship, and rendred their familiar intercourse the more frequent; although before these Espousals, not only when he was absent from the City, he never sent Letters to any of his Relations; but he sent Atticus word what he did, and principally what he read, and in what places, and how long he was to stay; but also when he was in the City, and by reason of his infinite business, enjoyed Atticus oftentimes less than he desired; yet no day al­most passed, wherein he did not write to him, wherein he did not enquire of him somewhat touching Antiquity; sometimes he propound­ed to him some Poetical Question, sometimes merrily jesting, he drew out from him Letters of length: Whereby it came to pass, that the Temple of Jupiter Feretrius, built in the Capitol by Romulus, by length of time and neglect, becoming un­covered, was fallen down, that by [Page 30] the perswasion of Atticus, Caesar took order for rebuilding it: Neither be­ing absent, was he less complement­ed by Letters foom Anthony, insomuch that while he was in exile, he ac­quainted Atticus what was done in the Land of his Exile, what he did, and what he cared for: What a kind of matter this was, he will ea­sily esteem that can judge of how great wisdom it was to retain the use and good will of them between whom there was not only a mutual emulation of matters of greatest mo­ment, but between whom so great detraction of either from other, did intervene, as was necessarily to be between Caesar and Anthony, while each desired to be the Prince, not on­ly of Rome, but of the whole world. In this manner when he had com­pleated 77 years of his life, and to the extremity of his old Age had en­creased no less in Dignity than in Fa­vour and Fortune (for he gain'd great possessions, by no other means than his goodness; and had enjoyed so [Page 31] great a prosperity of health, that for thirty years he wanted no Physick) he got a Disease, which himself and his Physicians at first despised; for at first they thought it a Tenesinus, where­unto speedy and easie Medicines were propounded.

Under this Disease he continued three Months without any pain, but what he received from the endeavour of his Cure. Suddenly so great a vi­olence of the Disease broke in upon one of his Intestines, that at the lat­ter end a putrid Fistula broke out through his Loyns. And before this happened, after that he felt his pains daily to encrease, and that a Fever came upon him, he commanded his Son-in-Law Agrippa to be sent for to him, and with him P. Cornelius Balbus, and Sextus Peduceus. As soon as he saw they were come, leaning upon his el­bow, he said, There is no need for me in many words to declare how great care and diligence I have used in the preservation of my health, since I have you the witnesses of it. And be­cause [Page 32] I hope I have satisfied you that I have omitted nothing which might belong to my recovery; it re­maines, that I should now advise my self: I would not have you ignorant of this thing; for I am purposed to cease to nourish any disease: For these many dayes whatsoever meat I have taken, I have thereby so leng­thened out my life, that I have en­creased my pains without any hope of health: Therefore first I desire of you, that you do approve of my purpose; and next, that you do not vainly en­deavour to diswade me. This Speech being uttered with so great setled­ness of speech and countenance, that he seemed not to depart from life, but out of one house into another: But when Agrippa weeping and Kissing him, did pray and beseech him that he would not hasten that to himself, which Nature would compel; and because he might then live some­what longer, that he should reserve himself as long as he might to him­self and his Friends, he stopt his in­treaties [Page 33] by a silent obstinacy: So when he had forborn Meat two dayes, his Fever suddenly left him; and his Disease seemed more easie, yet he continued his purpose. In the fifth day therefore after he had taken this resolution, prid. Calend. April is, C. Domitius and C. Sosius being Consuls, he died. He was raised up in his Bed, as he commanded, without any Funeral Pomp; all good men, and a great Concourse of the Com­mon People accompanying him: He was buried near the Via Appia at the fifth Stone from the City in the Mo­nument of Q. Caecilius his Unkle.


A Brief Chronological Account of the Life of Atticus.

Such was the Life and Death of this worthy Pomponius Atticus, described by one that was Contem­porary [Page 34] with him, and well acquainted with him, namely, Cornelius Nepos, who, as himself witnesseth, wrote this History about the beginning of Augustus, that every circumstance there­of deserves a distinct observation.

And therefore I shall proceed to do these thing: First to give a Chronolo­gical Account of the Life of Atticus, and of those great occurrences that hapned in the Roman State within the compass of his Life. Secondly, To give some account of the reason of those great motions that hapned in this period in the State and Common­wealth of Rome. Thirdly, To make some Observations touching the ho­nest and wise Methods that Atticus used to preserve himself and his E­state without loss or dishonour among all these great motions, revolutions and dangers that hapned in the State of Rome by these Civil Dissentions.

Touching the first of these, I shall give a short Chronological Account of the Life of Atticus, and those great Disturbances and Civil Wars that [Page 35] hapned in Rome during the time of his Life, that so it may appear what they were when they happened, and the various successes they had, where­by at once it may appear what difficulties and storms hapned in his time, and how they were by this mans prudence weathered in the se­veral periods of his Life. And here­in I shall be but brief, and mention only those of great moment, and such wherein this mans concernment prin­cipally lay; omitting many, which though had they been single, might have been worth the remembring; yet they were but branches of these greater commotions, and sprang from them, and were but small in comparison of them.

Neither shall I be over curious in this Accompt, but only mention them so far as they conduce to my purpose. He that lists to take a full view of all the History, may find at large in the Roman Histories, especi­ally, Florus, Paterculus, Dion. Cassius and Plutarchus in the Lives of Maritis, Syl­la, Sertorius, Pompey, Caesar, Anthony, [Page 36] and Octoevius, afterwards' Augustus Caesar.

I shall dispose of the Times in their order, according as they fall in the Julian Period, because of the diffe­rence among Chronologers touching the Computations of the years of the world, of the building of Rome, or of the Olympiades into which these Oc­currences might be otherwise aptly enough disposed.

POMPONIUS ATTICUS died in the 77th year of his Age, C. Do­mitius and C. Sosius being Consuls, as Cornelius Nepos tells us, which was in the 12th year of Augustus, the next year before the Pugna Actiaca be­tween Augustus and Marcus Antonius, and 2 years before the taking of A­lexandria by Augustus, which was the fatal and funeral deletion of Antony. The death therefore of Pomponius Atticus was in or very near the 4683 year of the Julian period, and by this means we come to find out the several periods of his Birth, and other the occurrences that hapned to him and the State of Rome within the time of his Life.

[Page 37] If therefore we subduct the years of Atticus his Age, namely, 77 years, current out of 4683 years, it gives us the time of his Birth, viz. about the year 4606 of the Julian pe­riod, in or near the Consulate of Sul­pitius Galba and Marcus Scaurus.

Marius that great Commander and popular Citizen, whom we shall have occasion often to mention, grew into his great power and authority by coun­tenancing the popular Interest at Rome, against the Senate and the Optimates. He laid the foundation of all those future storms in the State of Rome, which were the occasion of so much blood-shed, and the final Ruine of the ancient Government thereof, and setting up that Empire that began in Julius Caesar, and was compleated in Augustus, his Heir and Successor. The sixth Consulate of Marius happened in the year of the Julian period 4614, at which time Pomponius was about eight years old.

And now the Civil Wars in Rome [Page 38] began to break out; the Process whereof were as followeth.

4614 In the sixth Consulate of Marius, by the help of Satur­ninus, Tribune of the people, Metellus Nonus Dicus was ba­nished; this caused ill Blood in Rome.

4616 For within two years after, by the solicitation of Quintus Metellus his Father, Metellus was by the people recalled out of banishment; which was so great an eye-sore to Marius, that he withdrew himself from Rome, and went into Cappadocia.

After this Marius returned to Rome, when Lucius Cornelius Sylla, a valiant man, was in great esteem, a friend to the Senate and the Nobility, a man that had been very successful in sup­pressing the War of the Confederates of Italy against Rome.

4626 Between Marius and Sylla, there grew great animosities and emulation, which at length broke out in open vio­lence. [Page 39] For Sylla was chosen by the Nobility and Senate (to whom he was greatly addicted) to prosecute the War against Mithridates; and in pur­suance thereof, took his journey with his Army. In his pursuit of this War, he took Athens by long siege; where he was often before his final return to Rome; where he met with Pomponius Atticus, and shewed him the respects mentioned in his Life.

Marius, to carry on his own De­signs, and to root out Sylla, falls in with the common people, and by the help of Sulpitius, a bold and turbulent Tribune, gets the Province of Asia, and the management of the War against Mithridates, to be decreed to himself.

But the Army being constant to Sylla, would not submit to the Go­vernment of Marius. Whereupon, Marius put divers of the Friends of Sylla to death, and made a great alteration in the State of Rome.

4626 4627 Upon this Insolence of Ma­rius, things running into a popular confusion under the conduct of Marius and Sulpi­tius, the Nobility gave ad­vice thereof to Sylla: Whereupon, he sent Murena his Legate, with the greatest part of his Army to prose­cute the War against Mithridates, and takes the rest with him, and re­turns to Rome.

Against him Sulpitius and Marius make opposition; but Sylla prevailed: Su'pitius is slain, and Marius flying, is by Edict banished, and fled into A­frica, whither his Son, young Marius, the School-fellow of Atticus, fled to his Father.

This is that Sulpitius mentioned in the Life of Atticus, who being thus slain, Atticus seeing the State of Rome to grow troublesome and unsafe, all persons of Note being drawn into the one party or the other, took his jour­ney to Athens; he was then, as it seems, about twenty years old.

[Page 41] Sylla intending to make all things as sure as he might, used extream se­verity against Marius's Party, killing some, and banishing others; and ha­ving setled his business at Rome, pro­ceeded in his Expedition against Mi­thridates.

4627 C. Octavius and Cornelius Cynna are made Consuls; Cyn­na, though he had made firm promise upon his Entry into his Consulate, to adhere to Sylla's Party, yet he was (in truth) of Ma­rius's Party, and quickly discovered it after Sylla's departure.

Hereupon there grew dissention be­tween the two Consuls, and great slaughters and proscriptions used in Rome, according as either party pre­vailed. At length Octavius prevailed, and Cynna was banished.

Cynna, after his banishment, went into Asrica, and met with his Friend Marius, in an obscure condition; where they enter into new Counsels, which cre­ated future disturbances: For the Ma­rian Faction was not so suppressed [Page 42] by Sylla, but that they had sufficient power to give new trouble to the State of Rome, if they had but Mari­us or Cynna to head them. There­upon Marius and Cynna return into Italy, raise a sufficient force of their Friends and Party, enter into Rome, subdue Octavius, and slew him.

And now again the Party of Ma­rius and Cynna grew as high as ever; and it is incredible what slaughters they made in Rome of such as oppo­sed them, or such as they but suspect­ed not to be true and cordial to them.

4627. 4628. In the very same year of Marius's return, Marius takes his seventh Consulate; Cynna being his Colleague; and they held up their Faction for about four years following, with great severity against all they suspect­ed not to be cordial to them, with Murder and Banishment: So that most of the Nobility that escaped their Fury, fled to Sylla, and solici­ted [Page 43] his return to relieve their oppressed Countrey.

4631 In the Consulate of Scipio and Norbanus Flaccus, being the third Consulate after Ma­rius his seventh Consulate, Sylla having setled his business of Mithridates, returns with a great Army into Italy, subdued the two Consuls Scipio and Flaccus.

But the Party of Marius (who, as it seems, was slain in this Battel, or as others say, died) kept still the City of Rome; young Marius, the Son of Marius, and C. Carbo are there made Consuls, and exercised extream cru­elty at Rome, towards those that were suspected to be of Sylla's Party.

4636 Against Rome Sylla draws his Ar­my, and soon subdued and slew these two Consuls, and took the City, where he was created Dictator; and again used all manner of severity a­gainst those of the Marian Party: He lived about four years after he recovered Rome, and died in the Consulate of Lepidus and Catullus.

[Page 44] And these were the Vicissitudes of the Factions of Marius and Sylla, and their Parties: First Marius prevailed, then Sylla; then Marius again, and then Sylla again; and then the Facti­on of Marius seemed wholly supprest; yet the root of this evil dissention was not utterly extirpated; but out of it there arose the seeds of all those Civil Wars that happened in the Roman Commonwealth, till the final change of the Government thereof in Octavius Caesar. For all the Troubles and Changes that hapned afterwards between Caesar and Pompey, between Brutus and Anthony, between Anthony and Augustus, did spring from those Parties and Factions, whose founda­tions were laid in Marius and Sylla.

And now things being for the time setled by the severe Government of Sylla, it seems that shortly after the Death of Sylla, Pomponius returned from Athens, being about thirty years old, and brought with him a very great accession of Learning, Reputa­tion and Honour, and the Sirname [Page 45] of Atticus, and lived in Rome till his Death.

4665 When Atticus was near sixty years old, those mutual Emulations and Jealousies that had long fomented, began to break out into a more pub­lick Breach; namely, pre­sently after the Consulate of Marcellus and Lentulus, about the year of the Julian period, 4665. Presently after this Consulate, Julius Caesar being absent in the War committed to him, made suit to be chosen Consul; Pompey being of great power and interest, especially with the Nobility and Senate, opposed it, as a thing unusual for any to be cho­sen Consul being absent: Though this were his pretence, yet the true reason was, his suspicion of the growing Greatness of Caesar. By this means, Caesar was disappointed, and others chosen Consuls.

Caesar being enraged with this dis­appointment, and judging that worse was like to ensue by Pompey and his Party, drew the Army under his [Page 46] Command into Italy, came to Brun­dusium, where Pompey was but escaped by flight; thence he led his Army to Rome; from whence the Senate were also fled: There he made him­self Consul, broke open the publick Treasury, and wanted nothing but the name of being Monarch or Em­peror; though he kept up the shell and the form of their former Go­vernment. After this, he so closely persecuted Pompey, that in the Battel of Pharsalia, and some other ensuing Battles, the Forces and Power of Pompey were totally broken, and Pom­pey himself basely slain by Scpti­mius.

4671 Caesar continued his Great­ness for about five years; and in the fifth year, Caesar and Anthony being Consuls, Caesar was basely murdered by Brutus and his Complices, in the Senate-house; this was in the year of the Julian pe­riod 4671, which was about the sixty fourth year of the Life of Atticus.

This Villany was committed partly [Page 47] to prevent the growing power of Caesar, whereby they feared his affecta­tion of the Empire, and change of the Government, and partly upon the score of Pompey (for his Assassi­nates were most of his Party) and in revenge of his Fall.

Caesar by his Will left Octavius his Sisters Son, his adopted Heir, who thereupon, soon took the Sirname of Caesar.

After the death of Julius Caesar, there happened a strange complicated Facti­on in Rome: First, between the Murde­rers of Caesar and the Pompeian Party, of the one part, and the Caesarean Party, Anthony and Octavius, of the other part. And then between Anthony of the one part, and Octavius of the other part; for Anthony being great and pow­erful, and finding that Octavius was the declared Heir of Julius Caesar, thought himself neglected, and began to envy Octavius, who not being above nineteen years old, began to grow great in the Army and City, being a man full of worth, and looked upon as one [Page 48] that might probably and reasonably succeed his Unkle in all his Greatness, especially being declared his adopted Heir.

And hence it came to pass, that both Octavius and Anthony so far agreed as much as they could, to suppress the party of Brutus and Cassius, and other the Assassinates of Caesar, and yet kept a jealous eye one over the o­ther.

But on the one side, the Senate and People of Rome had a great respect and honour for Brutus and Cassius, as being the pretended Champions for the Roman Liberty: On the other side, Anthony and Octavius had great Relations and great Interest in the Ro­man Armies.

4671 The Senate therefore willing to di­vide the Interests of Anthony and Octa­vius, and discerning some animosity between them; as they kept up the repute of Brutus and Cassius, so they courted and complemented Octavius, and withal at the same time made Octavius Pro-pretor, and Anthony de­clared [Page 49] a publick Enemy: This was done in the year of the Julian period 4671. Hirsius and Pausa being Con­suls; and the prosecution of the war against Anthony, was, in name at least, committed to Octavius, though still Brutus and Cassius were the persons principally trusted.

The War against Anthony succeeded well, and the Pompeyan party and Senate having now obtained their ends in the honour they did to Octa­vius, namely, the dividing him from Anthony, and thereby strengthening themselves, and weakning their Op­ponents, in the same year began to give evidence of their publick neglect of Octavius: And having now served their own turns by him against Antho­ny, declared their publick dislike and jealousie of Octavius, Cassius, Brutus, and the Pompeyan party were the great Favorites of the Senate.

In the same year Lepidus Master of the Horse to Octavius, having received Anthony, a declared enemy, was also by [Page 50] the Senate declared an Enemy to the Commonwealth of Rome: So that now Octavius, though not a declared Enemy, yet began to be either suspect­ed or neglected; and Anthony and Le­pidus declared enemies.

This was that time mentioned in the Life of Atticus, wherein the conditi­on of Anthony was esteemed desperate, and he invaded by his Friends as well as his Enemies; when yet Atticus stood by his Relations, and protected them against injuries.

The Case thus standing with these three great men, Anthony and Lepidus solicited Octavius to fall in with them, otherwise he might look for the same ill success from the Senate that they had themselves found; and that as now he began to be neglected, so in a short time he would be oppressed by the Pompeyan party. Hereupon in the same year, Octavius, Anthony and Lepidus entred into a confederacy, to establish in themselves a Triumvirate to last for five years with Consular pow­er, and the disposal of Provinces [Page 51] among themselves, as they thought good.

This being thus agreed between them, before the same was known to the Senate, Octavius being willing to have a fair occasion to break with the Senate, demanded a kindness, which he was sure they would re­fuse, namely, the Consulate; where­in he was rejected, and so had a fair occasion to fall off from them, who formerly and now had so much neg­lected and affronted him.

Thereupon, Octavius, Anthony and Lepidus joyned their Forces, declared their purpose to reform the Common­wealth under the Triumvirate of them three, and march with their full pow­er to Rome; which they enter and ob­tain; and in pursuance of their for­mer counsel and purpose, dispose of Provinces, create Consuls, some of those that opposed them, they pro­scribed, others they killed; amongst whom, was Marens Tullius Cicero, the great Friend of Atticus, and the bitter Enemy of Anthony.

[Page 52] This was that season wherein Atticus being now about 66 years old began to fear proscription at least; but was de­livered from that fear by the clemen­cy of Anthony, namely, in the year of the Julian period 4671.

Cassius and Brutus, that were former­ly designed to manage the War against Anthony, accordingly pursued the same against the Triumviri.

But they were overthrown at the Battel of Philippi, where Brutus was [...]lain, and now the Triumviri held the entire government of the Roman Empire, all Opponents being cut off or disabled.

Shortly after, by the imprudence of Fulvia the Wife of Anthony, a diffe­rence was raised between Octavius and Anthony; but that was soon com­posed by a division of the Roman Empire between them, the Eastern part assigned to Anthony, and the We­stern to Octavius: and they entred triumphantly into Rome, and ratified their agreement by new alliance; An­thony marrying the Sister of Octavius.

4676 In the 4676 year of the Ju­lian Period, the five years ap­pointed to their Triumvirate, expired, and they prorogued their power for other five years.

In the year following, Sextus Pom­peius being overthrown by Octavius, Lepidus began to arrogate the honour of that Victory, and began openly to oppose his Colleague Octavius; but his Army forsaking him, he resigned up his Office of Triumvir, and upon his submission and importunity, Octa­vius pardoned his Life, but exiled him. And now there were only An­tonius and Octavius in the exercise of that Triumviral power.

In the same year, Octavius being 28 years old, returned to Rome in Tri­umph, where the Senate decreed un­to him the Honour and Office of per­petual Tribunus Populi.

4682 About the beginning of the year of the Julian period 4682, Enobarbus & Sosius Consuls (Wch was the year wherein Atticus died) new differences began to arise [Page 54] between Antonius and Octavius. The Consuls and part of the Senate fly to Anthony, who in testimony of his de­fiance of Octavius, repudiates his wife Octavia, the Sister of Octavius; and open war was declared between Octa­vius and Antonius. This ended the next year in the Victory of Octavius against Antonius at Actium, and shortly after in the taking of Alexandria by Octavius, and the death of Antonius and Cleopatra the Egyptian Queen.

4685 Thus was Octavius now setled in the Empire of Rome, ho­noured by the Senate with the Style of Augustus and Im­perator; namely, in his fifth Consu­late, and in the year of the Julian period 4685.

And thus we have a short accompt of the State and Seasons of those great Motions and Civil Wars that happened in the Roman Common­wealth during the Life of Atticus. Un­to all which we must add these ensu­ing Considerations, which will much evidence the greatness of those con­cussions [Page 55] and difficulties that accom­panied these various revolutions, namely,

1. There were not any of these Changes effected without very great and bloody Wars between the seve­ral Heads of these Factions and their Parties, the changes were not easie or familiar transitions from one Facti­on to another; but they were effected for the most part by great and for­midable Armies and Battels, and ef­fusion of Blood.

2. These Battels that were prelimi­nary to the Victory of either party, were not slight velitations and con­flicts, but they were carried on with greater vehemency, violence, fury, and blood than many of their wars with Foreigners; each party enga­ging as many to their Faction as they could; and each party carried on with this expectation to be the possessor of the others Honours and Wealth, if they prevailed; and being assured of utter ruine from the pre­vailing party, if conquered by them.

[Page 56] 3. The success of these Battels, was alwayes with greatest ruine of the subdued party that the Victory could inflict.

It is truly noted by the Florentine Polititian, that the Romans when Vi­ctors over their neighbouring Nati­ons, never used mediocrity or a mean towards those they conquer­ed; but either used so great benefi­cence or favour towards the con­quered, that they thereby obliged them from a future revolt; or else dealt so severely with them, that they utterly disabled them from it. But though in the victory over the Fo­reigners, the Romans, according to the various temper of those they conquered, used sometimes the one Extream, sometimes the other; yet in those Victories that happened be­tween the Romans themselves in their Civil Wars, as they never used me­diocrity, so they never used the for­mer extream, but alwayes the latter; omitting no severity that might ren­der the subdued party in all probality, [Page 57] uncapable of ever making head a­gain: And this they evidenced in their bloody slaughters, that they made, after their Victories obtained, Consiscations and Proscriprions were their greatest animadversions, not on­ly upon such as had been opposites, but also upon such as they suspected not to be their real Friends. If any were that had stood neutral, and as­sisted neither party, for the most part his wealth became his Crime, and rendred him obnoxious to Confiscati­on or Banishment, or at least to ex­cessive Mulcts and Penalties, to help to gratifie and reward the Souldiers and Assistants of the Victor, and to strengthen and oblige his Party. In­deed Octav. Augustus, when he had sub­dued Antonius, was moderate towards the subdued party, and he had reason, because he then obtain'd the full maste­ry of all parties, and made them his own; and besides his own nature rendred him generally benigne and fa­vourable to such of his enemies who were not implacable. But in these [Page 58] revolutions of Successes between Ma­rius and Sylla, Caesar and Pompey, Bru­tus and Antonius, their severities were horrid and violent, in so much, that the very Friends and Relations of the depressed party, though they never acted any thing against the Victor; yet to secure themselves against the rage and jealousie of the prevailing fa­ction, became the Persecutors and Be­trayers of those that were subdued, as is before declared in the Life of Atticus: Upon all which Considera­tions it seems little less than a Mira­cle, that Atticus, a rich and wealthy and honourable Citizen of great ac­quaintance and relations of great e­steem should live in the midst of all these flames and storms, and for the most time in that great City which was the Stage on which the greatest and severest part of those bloody and terrible Tragedies were in earnest acted, and yet retain his Wealth, Ho­nour and Innocence, and an awful esteem and respect from all parties. But of this and the several honest [Page 59] methods whereby he preserved him­self, his Wealth and Honour toge­ther with his Innocence and esteem, more shall be said in its due place: In the mean time, I shall in the next Chapter make a short digression to shew the nature and reasons, of these great Factions in the Roman Em­pire.


Touching Factions in general, and the reasons of these great Facti­ons in the Roman Empire, and why they happened more at this time than for many hundreds of years before.

THe Roman State in its first Insti­tution, seemed to be principally Monarchical, yet ended with a Se­nate, consisting at first of one hun­dred, and afterwards of three hun­dred [Page 60] persons, called Patres or Patricii: After the expulsion of their Kings, they fell in to a Commonwealth; consisting of their Senate, and two Consuls yearly elected, who had a power in some things Regal. Afterwards, there growing Contests between the Con­suls and Patricii of the one part, and the rest of the People of the other part, the constitution of their Com­mon wealth was much altered by the admission of a popular power of the Tribunes elected by the people; so that now their Commonwealth be­gun to be mixed, partly of an Aristo­cracy, residing in the Senate; and some what analogical to a qualified and elective Monarchy, residing in the Consuls; and some what of a Demo­cracy, residing in the Tribunitia pote­stas, in the Tribunes elective by the people.

Thus this mixed Republick grew great and powerful, and continued many years in great strength and peace, only sometimes there arose jars and contests between the power [Page 61] of the Senate and People, which ne­vertheless seldom broke out into wars, but sometimes by the prudent inter­vention of some wise Senators, in cre­dit among the people; sometimes by seasonable concessions from the Senate to them; sometimes by the occurrence of some foreign war, these differences were often allay'd or diverted without any great detriment to the Publick.

But Marius being a rough, fierce and bold person, a man of Wit and Courage, a good Souldier, successful, ambitious, and that could not endure any Opponent or Rival, began that Fire in the Commonwealth of Rome, that scarce ever left burning, till the Commonwealth of Rome was at last necessarily resolved into the Monarchy of Augustus. And all those Civil Dis­cords and Wars, all those Rapines and Violences, those Murders and Banishments, that in the space of about fifty years after the sixth Con­sulate of Marius, filled the City and Empire of Rome, were the success of that Faction that he began, and of [Page 62] that Breach that he first made in the Texture and Contiguation of that goodly structure of the Common­wealth of Rome, and the Praeludia to the Monarchy of Augustus, as the only Cure thereof.

Now in as much as the frame of the Roman Commonwealth consisted of the Consuls, the Senate, and the Tribunes, and had so stood for many years; and though in all that time, there had been men of Spirit, and ambitious enough to trouble a State, and there wanted not frequent brawls between the Nobility and Commo­nalty of Rome, in all this time, which might have as well given opportu­nity to troublesome Spirits, and to have given fire to the Ambition and Discontents of persons, and thereby have raised Civil Wars, and put the State of Rome into blood, It will be seasonable for us to enquire what the reason might be why that Common­wealth was no sooner engaged in Civil Wars; or if at any time, some such thing happened (as some such [Page 63] there sometimes were, though not so great or dangerous) they were soon extinguished, and things quickly re­duced into a peaceable state; and yet in the time of Marius such a Ci­vil War begun as never left the Com­mon wealth of Rome, till it had in a great measure changed its Govern­ment: And how it came to pass that the Factions in Rome were so deeply radicated that the Commonwealth could not be cured of it, till it grew into an Empire, under the Govern­ment of Augustus Caesar.

But before I come to the discussion of that enquiry, it will be conveni­ent, for the application of what fol­lows in this Discourse, to premise something touching Factions in gene­ral; what they are, and what are so truly denominated.

And I must premise, that the esta­blished Government of Kingdoms, States or Commonwealths are of va­rious frames and constitutions; and those things may be lawful accor­ding to the constitution of one State, [Page 64] which are neither lawful or tolerable according to the constitution of ano­ther State.

And therefore what I am about to say concerning Factions in a State, must be understood with relation to that or the like State or Government whereof I write, viz. the State of Rome, as it stood in those times when these troubles broke out: And this I mention to prevent misapplication and miss-interpretation of what I am wri­ting.

By a Faction in a Commonwealth, I do not mean that Government, which is by Law or custom setled; and therefore where the setled Go­vernment is Monarchical, I do not take the adhering to the King, a Fa­ction; or where the Government is Aristocratical, or by a Senate, as it was sometimes in Rome, or mixt, part­ly Aristocratical, and partly popular, as it was after the setling of the Tribu­nitia Potestas; that established Govern­ment, or the adherence to it, was no Faction; but it is so far from it, that [Page 65] the adherence to the Government le­gally established, whether it be Mo­narchical, Aristocratical, Democrati­cal, or mixed, is the duty of every good Subject and Citizen.

But that which I call a Faction in a State, is one of these ensuing kinds.

1. When a party of men shall conspire and unite themselves against the esta­blished Government, to subvert or alter it; and this is the greatest Faction, Cri­men lesae Majestatis.

2. When a party of men shall u­nite and confederate themselves toge­ther, to gain either something to them­selves, or to others, by force or fraud, against the will and consent of that Power that by Laws is intrusted with the concession or denial there­of.

3. When any person entrusted by the Sovereign power, with a particu­lar Power or Authority, shall endea­vour by force or fraud to extend that power wherewith he is entrusted, beyond the bounds of it: as if in the [Page 66] State of Rome the Tribunes should by stirring up the People, or by force or secret confederacy, encroach up­on the power of the Senate or Con­suls, or è converso: For though by the constitution of the Government, they were invested with a just and real power, yet when by violence or fraud they accroach a larger power, this acoroachment is an act done by them as private persons, and without the bounds and limits of their Authority, and therefore in such an Enterprize, they are no more excused from a Fa­ction by their Authority that they had, than if they were without any such Authority; because they herein act beyond the bounds, and without the warrant of that Authority, and consequently as private persons.

4. When two or more great and ominent persons or parties, and it may be of a considerable interest in a State or Government, engage one against another, at first, it may be, privately, and as opportunity grows, it may be, more openly and visibly [Page 67] crossing each other, accusing pub­lickly each other; each party solicit­ing others to be of their party: At length using discriminations of deno­minations, or habits or signs; and possibly in a little time, publick af­fronts and rencounters: And at last, it may be, open hostility; and all this while, the true real Governors of that State, whether Monarch or Senate, sit still and look on it, may be, out of fear of being oppressed by the power of both or either party; it may be out of respect to some of the heads of either party, it may be out of policy, to suffer either party to worry and weaken, and ruine one another; hoping thereby to preserve the Government; or it may be, one of a weak and same, and inconside­rate opinion, contenting themselves with the name or external face, ti­le and ensigns of Government, and the professed respects of either party; but not daring to interpose any acts of real authority, to suppress or re­medy those growing mischiefs; fear­ing [Page 68] they should not be able to carry it through in respect of the potency of parties: and so the true Gover­nors stand by, and look on, content­ing themselves with the complements and profession of subjection by both parties; till at last one party getting the better of the other, layes by the disguise of pretended Subjection, and gives the Law to his lawful Gover­nors, and makes them do what he pleases, or suffer what it inflicts. And this commonly is the mischief that at­tends a Government that out of any the beforementioned respects, suffer Factions to grow so great, that at last they become Masterless, and ei­ther by conjunction of both parties, or prevalence of one, give the Law to their lawful Governors.

5. When some particular persons that are or are not in any authority in a State or Commonwealth, design some matter either for themselves, or against any other; and to effect that design, do by secret means or pow­er, or fraud, or otherwise, draw o­ver [Page 69] the power of that State wherein they live, to be their Engines and In­struments under the countenance and signature of their authority, to effect their Design.

For though the authority of the State is engaged therein, yet that be­ing obtained by the force, fraud or other Engine, and to serve the par­ticular interest or end of a party, and not acting according to the true and native freedom and integrity of their Institution, excuseth not this from being really a Faction, though some­times it be speciously guilded over with the countenance of publick au­thority: For instance; Suppose Ma­rius and Sylla, two great leading men in Rome, had a jealousie and animo­sity one against the other, and Marius desires that Sylla be deprived of the Province allotted to him, and that it be conferred on him: On the other side, perchance Sylla hath the like design against Marius; Marius solicits by Bribes or Menaces as many of the Senate as he can prevail with, to [Page 70] take his part, and Sylla doth the like for his part: The Senate is near divided: Sylla procures some of the Senators of Marius's part, to be sent away about some other employments, and thereby Marius is over-voted, and deprived of his Province; then Ma­rius makes in with the Tribunes, so­licits the people to be of his party, and a tumult is thereby raised in the behalf of Marius, and thereby, and by those Friends of Marius that are of the Senate, the former Decree is repealed, and then Marius is restored to his own Province, and also ob­tains Sylla's Province.

The next day, Sylla, who is potent in the Army, complains of the wrong done him, and engageth the Army for him; whereby again both Tri­bunes and Senate are over-powered; and the Senators of Marius's part, withdraw themselves for fear of the Army, and now Sylla carries it both with the Tribunes and Senate, and re-obtains his own and Marius's pro­vince, and perchance Marius sent in­to [Page 71] exile, though here be the con­currence of the Governors in these vicissitudes,

Yet these are nevertheless but se­veral Factions. And this was most commonly the Discipline of the seve­ral Factions of Rome; or if they that could get to have more interest or power with the people, or with the Army, or could make the more bold and daring part of the Senate, though less in number, to over-rule the greater part, or if they were exces­sively loved, or excessively feared, or were subtle and crafty, to fit ei­ther the People or the Senate to their Designs, these were sure to have a countenance of Authority quickly for what they did; so that in the vicis­situdes of Factions, and of their prevalence, they never wanted a Se­natusconsultum, or a Plebiscitum to war­rant what soever they did. And in the mean time, the favourers of the ad­verse party, for fear, or by-ends, withdrawing themselves from the Se­nate or Assemblies; and then the [Page 72] others did what they pleased in fa­vour of their own Party. And when it came to the turn of the other par­ty to be uppermost, the same method was commonly held; the friends of the depressed with drawing themselves, or sitting silent, or changing their Suf­frages, and then all went smoothly the other way: Whereby it came to pass, that as Sylla at his return, wanted not the Decree of the Senate to justi­fie all his Murders and Proscriptions; so Marius at his return, wanted not the like for his Murders and Proscrip­tions of the party of Sylla; and the same vicissitudes obtained between Caesar and Pompey, Brutus and Antoni­us, Antonius and Octavius; and for the most part, the Factions of Rome, whereof I have written, were of this latter kind, and managed under the shadow and umbrage of the Civil Authority, though in their original they arose from the pride and ambi­tion, envy and emulations, jealou­sies and designs, disgusts and animo­sities of particular persons, who could [Page 73] not brook any whom they suspected might be Rivals of their Greatness, Honour or Power. And these pre­vailing, bore down the Magistracy of Rome before them; and yet sooner or later grounded all their exorbitances under the stamp, signature and coun­tenance of the Authority of the esta­blished Governors.

Now though it may be true that these Decrees of the Authority esta­blished by Law, though by this means obtained, are binding, while they stand in force; yet the manner of obtaining such Decrees by these and the like means, are unjust and facti­ous, and in true intrinsick justice, do not excuse or justifie the obtainers thereof from oppression and injustice, though they may possibly, for the time, be temporary projections of them, when they continue unrepeat­ed or unavoided.

Now a few words touching the second, namely, the Reasons why these Civil Wars broke out more a­bundantly and violently at this time than formerly.

[Page 74] It is true, that the very Constitu­tion and Make of such a Govern­ment as Rome had, being partly Ari­stocratical, and partly Popular, and with some shadow of Monarchical Power in the Consuls, renders such a State very powerful in relation to foreign Undertakings and Wars; for foreign Engagements do concenter and unite a people, and the Fabrick of such a State renders their power united against a foreign power, and consequently more forcible, formida­ble, and for the most part successful; the weight of the whole Body moving together in such foreign Enterprizes: But on the other side, these Forms of Governments have this Disease natu­ral to them, that they are unquiet, and full of Factions among them­selves; especially when they have no foreign diversions.

Great Bodies, they move slowly, yet move they must; and if the Mill have not Corn to grind, the upper and nether Milstone will grind each other. If we should suppose the supream Go­vernment [Page 75] had been only Aristocrati­cal, by a Senate, consisting of three hundred persons, Reason and Expe­rience shews that Factions are apt to rise even in such a Council: Much more when the common people were sharers also in the Government.

For first, Commonly in such great Assemblies, some particular persons are the leading men, who think them­selves intitled by their parts, or repu­tation, or interest, to govern the Coun­cils, and that raiseth envy and emula­lations in others, who think they have as much reason to sway in supream Councils as others; which presently engageth that Council in parties and Factions.

Again, 2. It is commonly seen in such numerous Councils, where they are supream and absolute, some there are that drive on their particular in­terests, offices and advancement of their Families and Relations, and be­cause others among them, have the same designs for themselves, which must needs cross and disappoint one [Page 76] another, every one gathers and enga­geth as many as they can, to carry on their own designs; which present­ly engageth either the whole Coun­cil, or very considerable numbers thereof into Parties and Factions: Upon these, and many the like emer­gencies, where the supreme Govern­ment rests in many, it is hardly pos­sible to avoid breaking themselves in­to Parties or Factions; unless some one supream Governour be to check and controul, and disperse these Fa­ctions; or unless some foreign emer­gency happen, that may concenter them in a common union against a common Enemy: But besides all this, the mixture of the Roman Governors, consisting partly of the Patricii, Opti­mates or Nobility, and partly of the People and their Tribunes, who were their Delegates, between which the Soveraign power was in many things distributed and divided, did still admi­nister occasion of contest and diffe­rence, and gave opportunity to busie and unquiet and discontented spirits, [Page 77] to interess themselves with the Senate against the people; or è converso: but especially with the popular party, and by secret suggestions or insinuations, or by open Declamations or Orati­ons to create disturbances in the State; a co-ordinate power in several parties, Councils or Offices rarely resting quiet till some one person or party hath gotten the mastery of the rest; as appears among many instances in that of the Roman Triumvirate of Octa­vius, Antonius and Lepidus; wherein, first Lepidus, and then Antonius were reduced into the single power of Octa­vius, together with the Empire: And besides the Constitution of their Commonwealth, partly consisting in the authority of their Consuls, part­ly in the Senate, partly in the peo­ple and their Tribunes, there was yet a fourth fountain of continual com­motions; namely, their standing Ar­my: If any of the Consuls, that were annually chosen, was of a tu­multuous or of ambitious nature, and it may be of too great a Spirit for [Page 78] his Companion, or not willing to be dispossessed of his power at his years end, and his present power in the Army, gave him opportunity to satis­fie his ambition: If a man were of a great wit, interest and elocution, he had a great opportunity of leading the Senate, or the greater number of them, whither he pleased, unless he had some Antagonist of equal wit, interest and elocution, and then their collision begat emulation and contra­ry Factions. Again, a man that was bold and confident, and a great asser­tor of Liberty, that could make plau­sible Invectives against the Senate or Nobility, and could cry up the interest of the people, that could find faults with the administrations of the Se­nate, or could set up some popular Law (as that of the Lex Agraria, which bred so many tumults in that State) such a man had an admirable oportunity to work Tumults and Fa­ctions among the people: Again, if a man that were an Officer in the Army (as the Consuls, the Magistor [Page 79] Equitum was) and were esteemed a gallant man, a man of courage, re­solution and conduct in the Army, a man successful and fortunate, liberal, and of a good presence and elocution, such a man had a great power and influence over the Army, could lead them as he pleased, make what alte­rations, innovations he pleased by them in the Commonwealth; so that the State of Rome, as they could not live without a standing Army, considering their Military condition, so they were in danger by them, if they had the least intermission from foreign Wars; that their Magistrates, Senate, People, Army, were as so many common places, and topiques, in or from which, men of unquiet, ambitious and turbulent spirits, had opportunities to create or nourish Fa­ctions and Parties, which must ne­cessarily in time, either by their mu­tual collisions, or the prevailing suc­cess of either, make great changes, or strange Earthquakes and Concussi­ons in the State.

[Page 80] Certainly the Roman Senate were a noble Council, without which Rome could never have risen to that gran­deur; yet they being supreme and numerous, could never be long free from Factions: much less when the Tribunes of the people, and the great Officers of the Army had such a share in the Government.

But these are but Generals; there seem certain special reasons that occa­sioned these great and continuing Fa­ctions and Civil Broyls in the State of Rome at this time; besides that ge­neral habitude and propensity to Fa­ctions, arising from the Frame and Constitution of their Governore, when they had no Foreign Enemies; which seem to be principally these.

1. The Commonwealth of Rome about that time, and shortly after that under Sylla, after their Victory over the Confederates of Italy, had goten the Mastery of all their neighbouring Nations, that they seemed to have little left for them to do in Military Engagements, and [Page 81] therefore being a busie, active people, they were still restless, and for want of enemies abroad, they were (by the restlesness of their active souls, accu­stomed to Wars) carried on to exer­cise their fervour and fire one among another: And the wiser part of the Council easily found that this would be the necessary consequence of their peace with others; and therefore al­though they had subdued all their near neighbours, and had little necessity of any foreign wars, yet they sought occasions for the diversion of this un­quiet humour, by sending abroad their Armies to remote countries, as Gallia and Britain, and Spain, and the far­ther parts of Asia, in their unnecessa­ry War against Mithridates; using that means to keep things quiet at home, by employing their fiery, active spirits in remote actions, dealing by their Armies, and military, ambitious men, as they say, Conjurers do with the Unquiet Spirits that they have raised, set them about some impossible or dif­ficult employment; as, filling a Sieve [Page 82] with water, or making a Rope of Sand, that they may not do mischief. So the Roman Councils, to keep rest­less, ambitious and troublesome per­sons in motion and action, though they had many times little need or reason for it, rather sought enemies at a distance, or made them such, that they might divert by revulsion those other inconveniences that other­wise they might find from them at home. But now when these great Broyls fell out, namely, after the 6th Confederacy of Marius, they had in effect, subdued all Opponents; and although Sylla was employed then in the War against Mithridates, yet he did but play with it, and protracted the War, which he at his pleasure, could have sooner concluded; as ap­pears by the peace he made with him at last. This seems therefore the first reason of the eruption of these intestine Wars at this time; because the Roman power had master­ed all their neighbouring Nations, and reduced them into a perfect sub­jection, [Page 83] or into such a kind of asso­ciation with them, as still left the Roman State the Supream over them. And these Wars they then had, were not such as were necessary, nor near, but such as were at a distance, and undertaken either politickly, for the end above declared, or at least ambi­tiously, and to augment their Gran­deur, not out of any other neces­sity.

2. The second cause or reason seems to be this; they at first gave too much head, and too much power to ambitious and intemperate spirits; which thereupon radicated a Faction, and habituated great spirits to the same. Marius was a high-spirited, and factious man, and the Common­wealth indulged him too much, and too often in great Commands and great Offices. He was six times cho­sen Consul, and once he made him­self so; and by this means, he accu­stomed and habituated many of the Grandees of Rome to the knack, and practice and skill of managing a Fa­ction; [Page 84] and when Sylla was set up a­gainst him, he grew a great Favou­rite, trusted with great power, of­tentimes made Consul, and at last Dictator; and under his Discipline, those of his party got. the trick of managing a Faction, and tasted the sweetness of power, and could never be perfectly weaned from it: the like might be instanced in Pompey, Caesar, Antonius, Brutus, Octavius, &c. For these men were lifted up so high by the great and over-long trust, and power, and offices, and commands that were committed to them, that in a little time they grew too big for the Commonwealth; and although the Senate and People bore the name of a Commonwealth, yet in truth they were but Ciphers, and did no more than what these great men, while they were in power, and had the Army at their command, did ei­ther command, or direct, or permit. And these great Commanders and Officers, though they pretended an inferiority to the Commonwealth, [Page 85] and that they were but their servants, yet in truth, those were but Comple­ments; for in their several vicissitudes of power, they exercised as great and greater Monarchical, or rather Ty­rannical power than ever Octavius did after he was saluted by the name and style of Augustus. And by this means the generality of great Spirits in Rome, were taught to despise the former regular Conduct of the Com­monwealth of Rome, and aspired af­ter greater matters, initiated and list­ed themselves under Factions, learned the art and skill of them, designed to themselves as much greatness as they had seen acquired by those Gran­dees to whom they had joyned them­selves, and were not patient of be­ing any longer under the Commands of the Senate, but were filled with spirits, and habits and designes, not consistent with a Commonwealth; and accordingly as opportunity hap­pened, they broke out into new inte­stine commotions; whereas the for­mer Discipline of the Commonwealth [Page 86] of Rome was not to make men too great, or if necessity exacted it of them, as when they created Dicta­tors; in time of desperate danger or necessity, they continued it not lon­ger than the necessity lasted: By this means men were not very long in great power or offices, and there­by were kept from growing too great.

Factions growing by them, or un­der their umbrage, had not time e­nough to ferment or take root, or grow strong, but a substitution of new men in office and power, soon suppressed, or scattered, or starved the budding Factions before they grew too masterless. And men that were naturally high-spirited, or am­bitious, or fond of power or great­ness, had thereby discouragement or interruption in their projects, and the generality tutored into obedience and quietness, having no examples of successful Factions: And by this great moderation and restraint of too great or too long power in any, they [Page 87] prevented that envy and animosity, which is naturally apt to rise against men in a Commonwealth, that are grown too great or too powerful: But on the contrary, the course that about Marius's time was used in Rome, gave necessary occasions of the growth and turbulency of Factions by these three necessary consequents thereof.

1. He that was thus raised to too great and long a domination, was necessitated to maintain a Faction to support and keep him in that state of Grandeur to which he arrived.

2. That the accustomed Grandeur of any one person did as naturally raise envy in others against him, and consequently the raising of Faction against him to suppress or reduce him to a lower condition.

3. It suddenly instructed men in the methods of raising Factions, and accustomed men with a kind of faci­lity and dexterity in managing of them, and invited them to the fre­quent use of these practices by the sweetness of power, and the success [Page 88] of others that had prevailed by them.

3. The third occasion of the mul­tiplied Factions that happened in Rome, after the Dance began by Ma­rius, was that very thing which was ordinarily used for the suppressing them; namely, the violence, rage, and revenge that was used by that Faction that prevailed, against the Faction that was subdued.

For instance, When Marius was uppermost, he used all manner of se­verity against Sylla's party that oppo­sed him. Again, when Sylla prevail­ed, he used the very like severity a­gainst the party of Marius. The like was done again by Marius and Cynna, and their party. Thus like foolish Passengers in a Boat, when the waves rowl, and the Boat tilts to one side, then run on the other, and make it tilt worse; and then run again to the other side, till they endanger the cast­ing away of the Vessel and them­selves.

Thus these great Heads of Facti­ons, [Page 89] and their parties, by the violent and outragious dealing with the de­pressed party, endeavouring thereby to secure and establish themselves in the free enjoyment of their acquired Victory and Greatness, and utterly to disable the adverse party ever to ap­pear again in power, did obtain a quite contrary effect, and suddenly ruine themselves, and by their vio­lence give life to that party they thus endeavour by these means to ex­tinguish: And thus it must neces­sarily be, and in experience hath been commonly found to be; and the rea­sons of it are these.

1. These excessive severities do raise in the generality of mankind these two passions, which do most ordinarily bring to pass that which I have said; namely, a loathing and detestation of that cruelty and inhu­manity, and of that party that pra­ctiseth it; and a pity and compas­sion towards their fellow-Citizens, whom they see thus cruelly hand­led. And that hatred doth most [Page 90] commonly waste, and in time ruine the conquering party; and this pity doth secretly animate, assist, and buoy up the depressed party, and often­times give it life, when it seems ex­tinguished and dead.

2. These excessive severities can never wholly extirpate all those that are of the adverse party; some will remain do what they can; And if they could wholly extirpate every person that ever appeared against them, yet it will be impossible to extirpate all their Relations or Ac­quaintance, unless they should wholly dispeople their Countroy of all but themselves. There is not a person that they murder, but it may be hath twenty others under some relation or other unto the person murdered, either as a Father, or Son, or Bro­ther, or Kindred, or Friend, or De­pendant. And the more of the ad­verse party they destroy, the more Relations they leave that survive them. And so many of the adverse and suppressed party as are of their [Page 91] relations, that survive, will bear in mind the remembrance of that cru­elty, and harbour a secret and vio­lent passion of revenge against it: And this passion, as it is fierce, cru­el and implacable, so it is vigilant and industrious to gain an opportu­nity to satisfie it self. And this was it that principally caused that Villa­ny against Caesar, and the endanger­ing of all those that adhered to him. It was not altogether the jealousie they had of the Greatness of Caesar, the fear of his invading the Empire; but it was the memory of Pharsalia, and the death of Pompey, and those se­verities which he used against that party (though he were not immode­rate therein after the Battel ended.) The Love and Memory of Pompey and his Party that survived him in his Friends and Relations, and the spirit of revenge that they had long harboured, was that which made and united, and fortified the Conspiracy against Caesar. And possibly the death of An­tonius, and the destruction of his par­ty, [Page 92] by Octavius Caesar, might have produced as unhappy effects, had not the experience of Octavius Caesar, and his singular prudence and moderati­on, and his deserved esteem in the Roman Empire, conquered as well the revenge and envy of the relati­ons of Antonius his party. Thus these severities of prevailing parties toò often times perpetuate and unite their enemies, instead of extirpating and extinguishing them.

4. The fourth, and indeed the great cause of these Commotions at this time, and for so long a conti­nuance, was this; States and Com­mon wealths have certain periods of their duration and consistency appoint­ed them in the ordinary methods of the Divine Providence; and some­times those periods determine in a fi­nal desolation or excision: Thus the Commonwealth of Carthage was fi­nally destroyed by the Roman. Some­times this period doth not expire in a desolation, but in some great change and alteration of it: And if the Com­pages [Page 93] and Fabrick of the Common­wealth be strange and foreign, the change is more difficult; it hath a long and great strugling before that change can be affected; and prepara­tory to the effecting thereof, there are ordinarily great aspiring attempts endeavoured by great Spirits; con­cussions and shakings antecedent and preliminary to it, as if the very com­plection and temperature of the great and more regnant spirits in it, were tending to some such change. And thus it fared with the State of Rome at this time; the period of its for­mer Aristocratical and popular Go­vernment was within sixty years of its end, and a new and better shape of Government to be assumed. And now all the great and active spirits in Rome, seem to be reaching after a Monarchical or Imperial Government; as first, Marius, then Sylla, then Pom­pey, then Caesar, then Antonius, then Augustus: And although all these were not able to acquire the full ac­complishment of it, yet every one of [Page 94] these drew nearer to Imperial pow­er, than the other; Sylla's power grew greater than Marius's; Pom­pey's than Sylla's; Caesar's than Pom­pey's; till at last it fixed and was com­pleated in Octavius Augustus.

And all these were so many indi­cations that now at this time the Genius of the Roman Republick, or rather more truly, the Genius, the disposition, temperament and com­plection of the Roman State was draw­ing towards, and breathing after a Monarchy, as that which was now the most suitable Government for it; and that these several Earthquakes, raised by these fiery spirits, were but as so many stroaks of a skilful Statu­ary, to bring the Roman Common­wealth into the more stately Statue and Configuration of an Imperial Government; which seemed now not only to be the complement and per­fect growth and stature of the Roman State, but that which was absolute­ly necessary to preserve it from ru­ine by Civil dissentions, and to pre­serve [Page 95] its Grandeur; so that as the state and condition of the natural Body arrives from a more imperfect degree, to a more perfect, and pas­seth through various changes, till its complement and perfection; and then gradually declines: so the Roman State passed through these various forms, which in its several seasons were suitable to it, till it came to this goodly and compleat station whereunto it attained under Augu­stus. And these various concussions and shakings that it had in those six­ty years before Augustus, were but the preparatory endeavors, and strug­lings, and tendencies of the Spirit and Genius of the Roman State, that tended to it, and the stroaks and hammerings that were necessary for its effecting: And therefore this was the periodical season for these at­tempts and preparations to a change. And thus far (by the way) of the Reasons that might probably occasion these Civil Broyls in the Roman Com­monwealth at this season more than formerly.


Concerning the Methods that ordi­narily persons use to secure them­selves in the Vicissitudes of pre­vailing Factions.

VVE have found Rome in the whole compass of the Life of Pomponius, to be a Theatre of great and tragical commotions, full of un­quietness and danger, and of various vicissitudes; sometimes one Faction prevailing, and sometimes the contra­ry Faction being uppermost; and then again the former returning; where­by the Scene was oftentimes varied. And now I shall brieffy consider of those Methods that commonly per­sons use, and in that season did use for their security and safety, and the errors and ineffectualness thereof, to the ends here proposed, that thereby the prudence and wisdom of Atticus, and the singular discretion of those [Page 97] means which he used for his own se­curity, may the more clearly appear. The means that ordinarily men choose in such unquiet States, are for the most part such as these.

1. They commonly strike in with that Party or Faction that is in pre­sent power, and joyn with it, and commit their Fortunes into the same Vessel with it; the imprudence where­of, is apparent in this, that they ven­ture all in the constancy of the suc­cess of that Party or Faction which they espouse.

And consequently, if they prevail not, or happen to receive at any time a shock, they are ruined with them, or at least escape that ruine with in­finite difficulties. And herein is ap­parent their want of due conside­ration of the state of things of this nature. They judge according to the present face, and shew, and appear­ance, and do not consider that truth which Reason and Experience makes evident and common; namely, that Factions in a State never long hold [Page 98] their ground. But if they are not suppressed by the natural power of the State wherein they arise, yet by the same like means whereby at any time they obtain, they are commonly broken and dissolved, and by the same Artifices whereby they gain the Saddle, they are commonly unhorsed, either by the adverse party, or by some distem­per rising in their own Party, which is equally michievous to them. The Game being ordinarily thus managed, that when one Faction hath suppres­sed another, the victorious Party fall into divisions among themselves; some thinking they have too small a share in the acquest, and others too much, and so weaken their Party, and render it less and narrower; and then commonly one of the subdivi­ded party, that finds it self weakest, falls in with the remainders and Re­liques of the first party, and so oppress that subdivided party that last obtain­ed; whereby it comes to pass, that if the person that fell in at first [Page 99] with the prevailing party, takes that subdivided party that seems prevalent, he suffers ruine with them; and if it be his Lot to fall in again with the weaker subdivided party, and so joyn with the old suppressed party, yet his former oppression is remembred, and he is never trusted; and commonly as the old party gets advantage and pow­er, he is exposed to Infamy, Con­tempt or loss. But be the success what it will be, he is ever in an uncer­tain, unstable and tumultuous condi­tion, and still put upon necessities of new Devices, Shifts and Contrivan­ces to save the State; whereby he never can enjoy true tranquillity ei­ther of Life or Mind.

2. Another Expedient that men use to save themselves, is, ever to be of the prevailing Faction by all Methods and Artifices imaginable, and as the parties change in their successes, so to fall to them or from them: And here­in they have a difficult and troublesom Game to play; and they had need be their Crafts-Master, if at the first [Page 100] change they are not at a loss; but if they keep their ground upon the first change, they never can weather the second; for they irrecoverably lose their Credit; their tricks and shuf­fling and disposition will be known, and then they will be like Stratagems in War, that can never be practised twice with any success; at least, by and between the same parties. And now these Artifices wherein men thus save themselves, are commonly Flatte­ry and Dissimulation, Pretensions of their being formerly miss-led, and now their eyes are opened, professions of great satisfaction with the proceed­ings of the party prevailing, and ex­tream indignation against that party which they formerly took; suing for opportunities to manifest their indig­nation against them, and hatred of them; and to gain credit with their new Masters, and give a testimony of their through conversion to them, of­fering their service, and employing it in the bitterest persecutions, treache­ries and cruelties against those that [Page 101] they formerly served. It is observed in the Life of Atticus, that when Antonius was declared an Enemy, and Brutus and Cassius obtained in Rome, there were none more bitter persecu­tors of Antony's Family, than those that in his prosperity had been his Friends: But the folly of these Syco­phants and followers of Fortune, ap­pears in this:

1. That though possibly they may save their skins by such tricks, yet they never gain credit enough with their new Friends to be either loved or trust­ed: They may use them for their ends, but alwayes secretly hate and detest them, as men of base dispositions and principles, and ever suspect them, as such as would do the like with their new Friends upon any turn of For­tune.

2. Their new Friends, if they em­ploy them at all, employ them in the basest Offices, and such as are com­monly, though perchance useful to their occasions, yet hateful and dete­stable to Humane Nature; as to be As­sassinates, [Page 102] Spies, Betrayers of those that were of the former party, and such sordid employments: And they dare not boggle or scruple at such em­ployments, nor perform them perfun­ctorily or ineffectually; for then they are rendred obnoxious to their new Masters, and commonly suffer worse than if they had never complied. And if they go through with these base employments, they are rendred odious to all good men; and if ever the ad­verse party gain ground again, they are sure to be ruined: Thus they pur­chase their peace with their new Ma­sters at the dearest price, and become everlasting slaves to save their Skins and Estates.

3. The third Mischief that they are involved in, is this; that if ever the former Faction prevail again, they are sure to be dealt with worse than the worst of enemies, and can never save themselves by new flatteries and ter­giversations: Nay, if it fall out (as commonly it doth) that this last pre­vailing Faction breaks and subdivides [Page 103] into Factions, and one part falls in with the old Faction, to strengthen themselves, and carry this Sycophant along with them; yet the remaines of the old Faction will never forget this mans revolt; but one time or other, will work his ruine, unless his Fortune be better than either his Wisdom or Desert.

3. Another, and the most ordinary help is upon the prevalence of the ad­verse party, men that are obnoxious to them, purchase their peace, if they be rich and able: But this is not with­out danger too; for such a man shall rarely sit quiet under the party with whom he so compounded; but they will ever find some device to be al­wayes draining of Money from him; partly because their necessities will be still calling; and partly that they may disable him from giving new supplies to the adverse party, if ever they should appear again. And if ever such a Turn happen, he shall be sure his old Friends will expect a greater contribution from him; and [Page 104] make him pay a double Ransom, (if he be able) to expiate his for­mer composition with their Enemies, and will pretend it a piece of Ju­stice, to set the higher Mulct upon him.

These are some of those ordinary Helps whereby men use to secure themselves under the Vicissitudes of Factions: But these were not such as were used by Atticus; they were quite of another kind, and such as were more Noble, Prudent and Safe; as shall be seen when we come to consider them.


Touching the Means whereby the Safety of Atticus was procured under these various Vicissitudes in the Roman State.

THe History of this Mans Life gives us the Relation of these things.

1. It gives us a short and ob­scure Account of those Storms and Civil Wars of Rome, whereof I have given an Account somewhat more particularly in the first and second Chapters.

2. It gives us an Account how that notwithstanding all these storms, this man enjoyed a quiet and serene Life, and a peaceable Death, after he had lived 77 years.

3. It shews also the Means which he used for the attaining of this Tranquillity of Estate, among all [Page 106] those troublesome Contests and Diffi­culties.

4. It also tells us of the excellent Learning, Virtue, Goodness, Libera­lity, Frugality, Constancy, and other Excellencies of this excellent man.

Touching the first of these, I have said enough before: Touching the se­cond, I shall say but little; because the History of his Life fully relates it. He alwayes in these times lived in great peace, quietness and tranquillity. 2. In great wealth and plenty. 3. In great esteem and reverence with the Nobility and Common People of Rome. 4. In great value and esteem with all parties; no Faction, though never so prevalent or violent, did him any hurt; but studied and endeavoured all wayes imaginable to oblige him; insomuch that in his old age, his Daughter was married into the Family of Augustus Caesar. 5. Which is yet more, he kept a fair and open, visible correspondence with all contesting parties, even in the times when their differences and animosities were highest, and yet with­out [Page 107] any distaste or jealousie, by either party; all parties courting and ho­nouring and esteeming him in their greatest heats, and contests, and civil wars one against another. Indeed upon the return of Anthony to Rome, this good man began to be somewhat afraid of Proscription; this fear at­taqued him by reason partly of his old Age, which naturally is more obno­xious to Fear, than younger Age; and partly by reason of that extremi­ty and violence used against Cicero his intimate Friend: But it soon appear­ed that he was more afraid than he had cause; for Antonius did not only give him an assurance of his own safety, but at his intercession, spared many more, that had otherwise been obnoxious to the danger of this revolution. In short, he lived as happy and as honou­rable a life as could possibly be expect­ed in the most serene and quiet times.

Touching the fourth of these, name­ly, the Virtues of this excellent man, I have occasion to mention them in the [Page 108] next Chapter. And the Business of all the following Discourse shall be principally employed in the third Ge­neral; namely, the Means and Me­thods whereby this excellent man was preserved in the midst of these Civil Flames and Storms. And next under the Divine Providence (which secretly and powerfully ordereth and governeth all things and events in the world) I think the preservation of this excellent man, may be attribu­ted in the first place, to the Virtue and Prudence of Atticus himself; and secondly, to the Temper and Consti­tution of the Affairs of Rome at this time, and of the Nobility and Citi­zens thereof.

And because my great Design in all this Discourse is to trace out those excellencies, and that prudent Con­duct of Atticus herein. I reserve the first of these to the full enquiry of the ensuing Chapters, and shall take up the second Consideration, which as it was the least of the Conducibles [Page 109] to his preservation; so it shall be but briefly handled.

There seems to be in the condition of Affairs and Citizens of Rome, these two Expedients, that, though to an ordinary person, they might be of lit­tle use in these Calamities; yet to a man of that eminent worth and good­ness, and desert that was in this man, might be some assistance to his own prudent conduct of affairs in relation to his safety and preservation.

First, The experience that the Ro­man State had gained of the mutabi­lity of things before such time as At­ticus returned to Rome, from Athens: For he went to Athens about the time of Sylla's first return to Rome a­gainst Marius, he returned not till after Sylla's Death, as it seems, And though that after his return, the Fa­ctions and Vicissitudes thereof in Rome, were great; yet I think scarce any History gives an account of so great Troubles, and Vicissitudes, and Changes in so short a time, and be­tween two single Heads of Factions, [Page 110] as happened between Marius and Syl­la: And this instability and vicissi­tude of things gave a Lesson to ensu­ing Factions, of some more modera­tion than appeared between those two parties of Marius and Sylla; and therefore it seems that in Contests between Caesar and Pompey, there was somewhat more of moderation, than was between Sylla and Marius. But this was soon forgotten (I must con­fess) for the assassination of Caesar by Pompey's party, soon made both par­ties forget moderation, as appears by the cruelty of Antonius against Cicero and divers others at his return to Rome.

This was something conducible to the quiet of Atticus, namely, the ex­perience that all parties had of the vicissitude of Fortune, taught them somewhat more of Moderation than formerly; and men engaged in Facti­ons, were contented to keep an inte­rest in so good and worthy a man as Atticus; though he took not part with them; because they knew not [Page 111] how soon they might stand in need of his Friendship, either to relieve their distressed condition, or to inter­cede for them.

2. A second Consideration relating to the Great men, and chief Officers, and Citizens of Rome was this, that long and great experience had given them a great observation and judg­ment of men and their dispositions and worth. Athens indeed was then the greatest School in the world, for the attaining of the knowledge of Learning and Arts; but there was no School in the world equal to Rome, for the knowledge of men. For they had the best opportunity to have the experience of this kind by their fre­quent converse with men of all dispo­sitions, inclinations, employments, and Nations, both in the resort of Foreign Agents thither, and in their own Negotiations and Expeditions abroad, and the great variety of oc­casions, and actions, and occurren­ces of several natures. These oppor­tunities taught, especially the Gran­dees [Page 112] of Rome, admirably well to un­derstand men as well as business.

And they found that Atticus was not only a very learned, wise and ex­cellent man (this indeed had not been sufficient to have protected him no more than it did Cicero) but that he was a man of great esteem, and well beloved by the Citizens general­ly; and a man that really and sin­cerely declined any intermedling with any Faction, did not stand in the way of that Honour and Grandeur that ambitious men looked after; that he was contented with his Station, af­fected not Power nor Wealth, that his beneficence was great to all, and not out of contemplation or study of parties, but as a friend to Humane Nature and Mankind in general. And upon this account, they found that it was not at all their interest, nei­ther did the necessity of their Affairs engage the Victorious Faction to bend themselves against him; nay they well knew it would have been a disreputation to their Cause, to have [Page 113] oppressed a man of that credit and innocence that Atticus was of. And besides, they found, that as the state of all affairs was so mutable, that sometimes one party, sometimes ano­ther was uppermost, so he was a com­mon Magazine and Treasury of good­ness and beneficence to the necessi­ties and exigences of Mankind, though he industriously declined cherishing or encouraging their Factions and Ani­mosities. And they prudently fore saw a possibility of the change of their own condition, wherein they might stand in need of his Beneficence hereafter; and therefore not only out of Justice, in contemplation of his Innocence, but out of Prudence, in contemplation of the mutability of things, and the use they might have of his relief and be­neficence upon a change of Affairs, they did not only not oppress or in­jure him; but they endeavoured by all offices of kindness and respect, to oblige him. And hence it was, that although the great Heads of Factions, when they prevailed, were severe to [Page 114] all that oppressed them, and jealous of all that were not of their party, were ready to receive occasions a­gainst them, and enriched themselves, and gratified their Assistants with the spoils of all such as they suspected: Yet they would receive no accusati­on against him, and generously did bear with the reliefs he gave to their Enemies in distress; and interpreted it not as an adhering to the adverse Fa­ction, but to be, as indeed it was, the fruit of his natural beneficence and goodness to Mankind, as such. And therefore they were not of such nar­row and pitiful souls, to give ear to busie Informers or Sycophants against a man of his worth and goodness, as one that strictly sided with the ad­verse party, or that his beneficence towards men in distress was an own­ing or espousing of their Follies and Fa­ctions: For they understood and knew the man to be wise, and just, and pea­ceable, though liberal and compassi­onate to those that wanted. And this was another occasion of his safe­ty, [Page 115] namely, the prudence and genero­sity of those great men, who, though by reason of their Self-Love, Interest, Ambition, Affectation of Power, and Greatness of Spirit, and emulation, could brook no Opponent or Rival in their Greatness; yet had so much wisdom as to know men; and so much generosity and nobleness of mind, as to value and esteem such a one who was really a common Friend and Be­nefactor to Humane Nature. And these be some of those foreign and ac­cidental contributions to his preserva­tion: But all these are but little and inconsiderable. The great foundati­on of his safety (next under the Di­vine Goodness and Providence) were his own Worth, Virtue, Goodness, Prudence and wise Conduct of him­self and his actions, whereby he be­came, as the Author of his Life ob­serves, suae ipsius Fortunae Opifex, one that moulded and shaped his own suc­cess and happiness through the whole course of his Life.

And this is the business and design [Page 116] of the ensuing Discourse, namely, to shew those excellent, wise and honest Methods whereby he served the great superintendent Providence of the Go­vernour of the World, in his own preservation and steering of his Life in peace and happiness through all the Storms and Tempests of that troubled State of Rome, till he arrived at his rest in a good old Age. And this Ar­gument I shall prosecute at large in the ensuing Chapters, as the principal end of this Discourse. 1. Because it may give a more distinct account of the admirable Prudence and Wisdom of this excellent man. 2. Because it will give a singular example, and possibly a useful instruction how a man may preserve at once himself and his innocence and tranquillity in dif­ficult and tumultuous times, and steer himself between the Rocks of contest­ing Factions without Shipwrack.


Touching the Means that Pomponi­us Atticus used to save himself from the dangers of the Civil Wars that happened in Rome: And first, concerning the Quality and Condition of the Man himself.

THe Means that this excellent man used for his preservation, were not of those low and despicable kinds that are before mentioned in the Third Chapter; but they were such as are honest and generous, justifiable and rational; such as consisted with in­nocence, worth and prudence, and ac­cordingly proved singularly success­ful, as well to preserve his Reputati­on, as his Safety.

And I shall digest them under these three Heads, viz.

1. What he was, and how the [Page 118] qualifications and condition of his person conduced to this end.

2. What he principally avoi­ded.

3. What he principally did in or­der to this attainment. And in all these, I shall follow that faithful De­scription of him and his Life, by his Contemporary Cornelius Nepos; though I shall perchance order and transpose the several circumstances and passages in it, in some different order from that Description, singling out, and laying together the same under vari­ous Heads or Sections.

For the first of these; what he was: He was a man of deserved veneration and esteem where-ever he lived; and that esteem obtained not by a bare, light, popular eye; but raised upon the firmest and most de­serving accounts, arising in or from himself, or those accessions or contri­butions that were of great vicinity to himself; so that he had a kind of intrinsick propriety in the reputation he had; because it was but the natu­ral [Page 119] reflection of what was his own: and not from the Donatives, or Cha­rity or liberality of others. By this means his honour and esteem became fixed, stable and permanent.

1. Though he were not of a Patri­cian Race, yet he was of a generous Extraction and Family, derived to him by a long succession of Progeni­tors of the Equestrian Degree.

2. He had a fair Estate descended to him from his Father, which was encreased by the accession he had from his Unkle; and this he encreas­ed, not by great Offices, or Military Rapine, Farming of Customs, or by Merchandize, or by any Mechanical employments, but by a prudent and generous Frugality, savouring neither of parsimony, nor profuseness.

3. He was educated in all sorts of Learning, first in Rome, and after at Athens, the University of Greece, and of the world.

4. He had persons of great eminen­cy and Learning, that were the com­panions of his Education.

[Page 120] 5. He made a great proficiency in all kinds of Learning, as Greek Ora­tory, Poetry, Antiquities and Philo­sophy; in all which he exceeded his Contemporaries.

6. He was a man of exquisite parts, of a great Wit, profound Judgment, admirable Elocution, singular Wis­dom and Prudence.

7. All these he improved by use and experience in matters of publick concernment, whereof he was a great observer; and though he would not meddle as a publick Officer; yet he much assisted the Commonwealth of Athens with his private advice and assistance in the businesses of the Commonwealth; and after his return to Rome, he was looked upon as a ve­ry wise man in State-Affairs; inso­much, that if he would have enga­ged himself in publick Councils, he had been able probably at any time to have weighed more than any one man, the publick Counsels and Acti­ons of that State.

8. He was a man of great Truth, [Page 121] Veracity and Sincerity, that hated Lying and Flattery.

9. He was a man of singular Pru­dence in his Domestick Affairs, fru­gal without Parsimony or Prodigali­ty, his House and Furniture neat and handsom, without Sumptuousness, his Family great, but orderly; his entertainments plentiful, without su­perfluity.

10. He had a great prospect into the Affairs both private and publick, and could at a distance foresee the events of things. Tully, that was a wise man, consulted him as his Ora­cle; and had he followed the Coun­sels or Example of Atticus, he had escaped the violence of Anthony.

11. He was a man of a large heart, liberal, bountiful, compassionate to those in want, distress, or necessity, and yet placed his bounty with that wisdom, that he avoided the suspici­on of Popularity, and the danger of countenancing Factions or Parties; and this he did by these two methods, he did what he did in this kind, open­ly [Page 122] and generously, not sneakingly, as if he was ashamed or afraid of what he did; and he did it indifferently, and without discrimination of par­ties.

12. He was a man of great affabi­lity and cherfulness, and yet mingled with such authority and gravity, that as by the former he gained Love, so by the latter he upheld his Respect and Reverence; that as my Author tells us, it was hard to judge whe­ther he was more feared, or re­verenced, or loved. He conver­sed with the meanest with a hand­som condescention, and yet lost no­thing of his awe and due distance; and he corresponded with the great­est without adulation or flattery; with the meanest, without supercili­ousness or insolence.

These are some of those many qua­lificationns of this man, that rendred him acceptable to all, beloved of all, reverenced and esteemed by all; so that none would or durst do him hurt: all courted his Friendship and Fami­liarity. [Page 123] And by that excellent hu­manity and goodness, and suitableness of disposition to the true Genius of Humane Nature, he obtained a secret interest and party, as it were, in eve­ry man; for although most of man­kind be transported either with passi­on, or ambition, or self-love, or in­terest, whereby they are carried out to many unruly and disorderly acti­ons, yet there is in every man a se­cret Genius of Humanity, a secret by­ass towards Virtue and Goodness, that a man can never so far forth put off and discharge himself from, but that he will still retain an approbation of Virtue and Goodness, a secret esteem of it, and of them that practise and use it; though mens Passions and Er­rors and Incogitancy may carry them off from the practice of it themselves; so that the common byass and secret sympathy of the humane Nature in all men with Virtue, Goodness and Honesty, gives an honest and a wor­thy man interest almost in the worst of men, whereby they are before they [Page 124] are aware, inclined to love, reverence and honour him, whom yet their passi­ons and interest many times forbid to imitate. And this goodness of Atticus was that which gave unto him a se­cret interest and party, as it were, in those rough, great and ambitious Com­manders and Officers, and all others of the Roman Empire, that they durst not injure him, but loved, honour­ed and admired him as a man framed according to the true Standard of the Humane Nature.

And as this connatural benignity of this man was the root and foun­tain of all those excellent actions here­after mentioned, which were those other Auxillaries that procured his safety, so I do look upon that native and acquired worth, virtue, good­ness and congruity to humane perfe­ction; and that deserved esteem and honour that from thence resulted un­to him from the generality of men, to be one of the greatest procurers of his security in troubled times. And indeed upon the bare account of his [Page 125] worth, wisdom and excellence, I do look upon him as a greater man than Sylla, or great Pompey, or Caesar, or An­tonius, or Augustus himself: For these great men being circled about with great Armies, with Horsemen and Le­gions, with Swords and Pikes, and other instruments of force and cruel­ty, subdued and conquered Cities, and Kingdoms, and Armies, and af­terwards shattered and broke one ano­ther, and with these assistances ruled the Senate, the City, the People; but this single man, without either Ar­mies, or Military power, or external force, without any Instruments of ter­ror, by his own personal virtue, good­ness and worth, commanded the love and esteem of all, prevented injuries, conquered the Conquerors, and redu­ced them all successively, one after another, when they were in their greatest splendor and power, to court him, to strive to oblige him, to pay an awful reverence to him; so that he was in truth greater than the grea­test of them, and better fortified and [Page 126] guarded against the common violen­ces that attended those times, than either Pompey or Caesar, in the midst of their greatest and most formidable Ar­mies.


Concerning the other Expedients that this wise man used, to avoid the difficulties of the Times wherein he lived; and first, of his Tra­vels into Greece.

IN the former Chapter we have seen Pomponius Atticus an excellent, good and virtuous man, and in great esteem by reason thereof, where-ever he li­ved, and the great security he had upon that account of the great reverence and veneration that all men owed and paid to him: And this was the great Basis both of his security and tranquillity in troubled and factious [Page 127] times, and the root and spring of all those virtuous actions and prudent management of his Life, which toge­ther with the reverence and venerati­on of his worth, contributed to his safety and happiness of Life.

These actions and prudent dispo­sals I have before distributed with re­lations to their Objects, into these two kinds.

  • 1. The things which he avoided.
  • 2. The things which he did.

1. The first Essay that he made, was to avoid the Scene of the troubled estate of Rome, upon a wise foresight of the ensuing commotions, and the difficulty for him, being young, rich, and in esteem, to avoid, if he staid in Rome, engagement in those dangerous Factions that were now hatching, and partly broken out: And for that purpose he retired with a considerable part of his personal Estate, to Athens. And this he did principally to avoid those growing Storms which were beginning; but yet with a fair and worthy design to [Page 128] improve himself in Learning at Athens, which was the learnedest School in the world, and the place of resort of young Gentlemen, not only of Greece, but of Rome, and other parts of the Roman Empire, for their education: And the manner and occasion of this his withdrawing from Rome, was thus:

Marius became a great man in Rome, had been now six times Consul, a man of an active, busie, fierce and impe­rious Spirit, and projected great alte­rations in affairs to the detriment of the Senate and Nobility of Rome, and by his often holding the Magistracy, had gotten many active Spirits of his party, among which was Julius Cae­sar, though privately and cautiously, and many other Gentlemen of Spirit and Fortune.

Pomponius lived all this time in Rome, being bred there in the time of Mari­us's power, and bred up with one of his Sons, and with divers Gentlemen that could not choose but be devoted to the party of Marius.

[Page 129] In the sixth Consulate of Marius, he began to be almost of mans estate, about 18 years old, the season for young Gentlemen of Rome to mingle themselves in publick Affairs, or to be initiated in Military Employment; and doubtless he could not choose but be solicited and importuned thereun­to about that Age, and could hardly avoid it without an imputation of sluggishness and cowardize, or of be­ing no friend to the present State of Rome; and the rather because he was known to be rich, and Nobly de­scended.

And besides all this, he was linked into affinity and acquaintance with many of the party of Marius, especi­ally with Sulpicius the Tribune, a great Friend of Marius, whose Bro­ther married his Sister.

And now the Senate and Nobility of Rome smarting under the power of Marius, and desirous to avoid his Insolence, solicited Sylla to return to Rome for their deliverance.

Sylla returns with his Army, and [Page 130] being opposed by the power of Ma­rius and Sulpicius, overcomes them, kills Sulpicius, banisheth Marius, and sits heavy upon the party of Marius, with Death, Confiscation and Banishment, as hath been before shewn.

Pomponius finding the business to grow warm and dangerous, and fear­ing the encrease of troubles, and be­ing now about 19 or 20 years old, and having an handsom and just ex­cuse and opportunity to go to Athens, to improve his Learning and Know­ledge, takes the opportunity; and in the interval of the domination of Sylla, and possibly foreseeing a probability of the party of Marius to engage Rome in new Troubles, repairs to A­thens, and there he stayes for about eight years; and as it seems, till af­ter the second Return and Death of Sylla.

And by this handsom retirement, he gains these two advantages.

1. The opportunity of his encrease in Learning.

2. The declining and avoiding the [Page 131] Storms at Rome, and the necessity of being some way unhappily engaged in one of the parties, or crushed be­tween both; and yet the reasonable­ness of the former, namely, his sea­sonable going to Athens for the acquest of Learning, according to the custom of young Gentlemen of that Age and time, fairly covered his latter design of avoiding the troublesome concerns of the Roman State, and was a just and reasonable excuse for his retreat thence, though there had been no o­ther cause.

So that herein the Wisdom of this young man appears; namely,

1. In choosing such a season to re­tire from Rome, when it was not safe for a young Gentleman to remain there, unless he would vainly hazard all by engaging in a Faction.

2. In choosing such a season of his Age; namely, about twenty years; and such a place for his retirement, as was proper for his advance in Lear­ning, and carried his apology with [Page 132] it, and avoided all just cause of ex­ception by either party.

And if any shall say it was a piece of pusillanimity for him then to retire, when his Countrey stood in need of his advice, assistance and countenance. It is easily answered, The whole City was then divided into those two Fa­ctions; if he had gone about to have appeared against both, it had been vain and ridiculous, and utterly inef­fectual; he had imprudently lost his Labour, and exposed himself inevita­bly to be ruined by both: or either had he stood single in such oppositi­on, every man would justly have e­steemed him a Fool; and had he en­gaged others in such an opposition, he had ruined his Friends and partici­pants as well as himself; which had not only been vain, but also inhu­mane, to have involved others in so fruitless and desperate an Enterprize. But on the other side, had he fallen in with either Faction, he must ne­cessarily have been carried with a vi­olent torrent of the Faction wherein [Page 133] he was engaged, either in their com­mon opposition of his Countrey, and the Cruelties which they used against their Opponents, if they prevailed; or must needs have sunk in the cala­mity of that party, if they were sub­dued: So that his retirement in this season, was an act of great prudence; because unless he had so done, he had no pretence, considering his youth and eminence, to avoid the intangle­ment in one Faction, or the despe­rate opposition of both, if he had staid: But afterwards in that Facti­on between Pompey and Caesar, he be­ing then near sixty years old, kept his Station in Rome without any re­tirement, having the fair excuse of his old Age, to apologize against engagement with either. This there­fore was the first Specimen of his Prudence, his seasonable and justifiable retirement to Athens in his youth, when Factions grew violent, and chusing that time and place for his quiet improvement of Learning, which [Page 134] he might with most opportunity and safety dedicate to that Employ­ment.


The Second Expedient that he used for his safety and preservation; his industrious avoiding of being engaged in any Faction while he lived in Rome.

INdeed the Generality of the ho­nest Methods of this good man to preserve himself and his tranquillity, together with his innocence, may be reduced to these two general heads, his care to avoid the making of Ene­mies and his endeavours honestly to make all men his Friends: The lat­ter [...] come under the considerati­on [...] what he avoided in order to [...] preservation: And under [...] falls this particular con­sideration [Page 135] of avoiding Engagement in any Factions. In order thereunto, was that Expedient mentioned in the former Chapter; namely, his retire­ment from Rome.

And now I shall consider the far­ther prosecution thereof in relation to those importunities that were used to engage him in parties after his re­turn to Rome, and even while he was in Athens; and shall make these Ob­servations touching it, that may be useful in relation to it.

When Pomponius was at Athens, Syl­la resorted to him, there presented him with Gifts, complemented him, and used all methods to endear him. And this he did for many Rea­sons.

First, Out of the great respect and honour that he bore to his Learning and worth; this was fair and noble, and became such a man as Sylla was, who was a great Lover of Learning. But this was not all.

Secondly, Therefore Sylla being now engaged against the party of [Page 136] Marius, and now about to return to Rome, upon that Design, thought that it would be an advantage to him and his proceeding, if he could but publickly posses the World with an opinion of a great familiarity and intimacy between himself and Pompo­nius, who was a person of great ho­nour and reputation, not only at A­thens, but at Rome; and the news would quickly fly thither touching the great kindness between Sylla and Pomponius, and this would quickly beget an opi­nion that Pomponius was won over to his party; that Sylla communicated his Counsels to him, and used his ad­vice; and that all the courses he steer­ed were guided by Atticus his Com­pass; and then the veneration that all persons had of Pomponius and his Wisdom, would give a great credit to his undertaking, when once the People of Rome were possessed of that great intimacy and dearness between him and Sylla. And besides it was well known, that although Pomponius [...]ld never be drawn into the party [Page 137] of Marius, or any other; yet he he had many Friends and Relations in that party; and such a report would give a great discouragement to that party: And this is no strange piece of policy. Hannibal when he came into Italy, shewed all the kind­ness to the Relations and Possessions of those men in Rome, that he most feared; thereby to possess the people with a jealousie of them, that they were of his party, or with a greater kindness to himself, that he favour­ed those the people honoured. And it hath been an usual trick in times of publick differences, that when U­surpers or the heads of any Factions were about any pernicious or mis­chievous action, they would immedi­ately before the propalation of such businesses, send for persons of greatest reputation and credit, and possibly those that they knew to be greatly in credit with the adverse party, ca­ress them, entertain private converse and speech with them, though per­chance of some idle impertinent bu­siness; [Page 138] as of a Horse-Race, or Hunt­ing-Match, and then presently after, publish, or go about some pernicious action, that the world might think to be the product of some advice from those persons whom they thus enter­tained. And this was another rea­son that Sylla maintained this great familiarity with Atticus at Athens, that the world might think that surely he was now of Sylla's party, and that they had communicated counsels each with other, for the farther advance of Sylla's undertakings.

3. It rested not here; Sylla being a great man, and having the pro­vince of Asia assigned to him, where­in Athens lay, used all these Friend­ships to Atticus, to see whether he could really draw him over unto him; and having, as he thought, prepared him with so great applications, and addresses, and familiarity, from so great a man as himself then was, thought that now it might be seaso­nable to perswade him to go along with him to Rome, and in plain terms [Page 139] to be of his party; but he was not only disappointed herein, but by the overacting of this part, he lost all that advantage which he might have gained by the former policy, namely, to have perswaded the world by that great intercourse between them, that Atticus was secretly at least, of his Faction. When Sylla therefore a lit­tle before his going from Athens, plainly broke his mind to Atticus, and perswaded him to go along with him to Rome, he gave him the perem­ptory, yet reasonable Answer: Noli adversum eos me velle ducere cum qui­bus ne contra te arma ferrem, Italiam rebiqui: Perswade me not to go a­gainst them; for I left Italy, that I might not bear arms with them against thee. Sylla, though he lost his Com­plements and Design, yet outwardly, at least, appeared satisfied with the reasonableness and justness of his An­swer, gave him fair respects at his departure from Athens, and returned to Rome, where he gave another turn [Page 140] of things, and quite routed the party of Marius.

Again, when Pompey was in his great power, and upon the difference between him and Casar, marched a­gainst Casar, with the Vote and Suf­frage of the Senate and the City of Rome, though Atticus now in Rome, shewed him all private and friendly respect, yet he would by no means be drawn to follow Pompey into the Field, or to interess himself into the Concern of that Faction; but fairly excused himself by reason of his Age, being then about threescore. This Casar interpreted to his advantage (though he would most certainly have given the like Answer to him, had Casar had the like opportunity of the like request) yet I say Caesar took it kindly, and was willing, for his Cre­dit's sake, to interpret it to his own advantage; and therefore when he returned Victor over Pompey, he did not only spare Atticus (though he staid at Rome) from any such thing as Pro­scription or Confiscation (the easiest [Page 141] animadversion that the Victors use up­on their enemies) but excused him from that Mulct or Fine that was im­posed upon Neuters. Yea, he did not only spare him from any thing of punishment, but used him with all the humanity and respect imagina­ble.

Again, when Brutus and Cas­sius, and their party basely mur­dered Julius Caesar in the Senate, and Brutus was thereupon raised up, not only by the party of Pompey, as the Vindex Pompeiani sanguinis, but by the Generality of Rome, as the great Pa­tron of their Liberty; that as the first Brutus delivered them from the pow­er of Kings, so the second Brutus re­scued them from the power of a King, under the name of a Perpetual Dicta­tor; and the Senate and People mag­nified him, as the great Assertor of their Liberty: I say, when Brutus rid upon this triumphant Chariot of po­pular Applauses, there was a secret design on foot for the raising of a private Bank or Treasury for Brutus, [Page 142] the Head of this Commonwealth­party, and the design was laid that it should be done by a Subscription; and those of the Equestrian Order should be the first Subscribers: And the con­trivers of this Advice, knowing At­ticus to be rich, liberal, of great re­putation, and therefore that his ex­ample would be of great authority: They thought to begin with him, and that his Name should be the first in the Subscription-Roll, but they were deceived: Atticus plainly told them, that although Brutus should command his Purse, as a private per­son, for the relief of his personal ex­igencies, as he had often done before; yet he would by no means meddle in such an Enterprize, which savoured so much of an engagement in a Facti­on, and a publick owning of a party; and thereupon the Design broke, and was no further prosecuted. And this was no small occasion of his safety and preservation, and also of his ho­nour and esteem, when the Tide of affairs turned, and Anthony returned [Page 143] to Rome, victorious against Brutus.

And by all these and many more indications of this kind, Atticus made it evident to all men, that he was re­solved against any engagement in any Faction; and this gave him that great security and priviledge, that whenso­ever he relieved any of any Faction, it was not with any contemplation of their party or Faction; but as I have often said, upon the common account of respect to Humane Nature, and a certain native Philanthropy to Mankind in general: and again, when he reso­lutely denied any such action or thing as might be justly construed an espou­sing of a Faction, yet he was not thereby obnoxious to the indignation of that party that he so refused, he did but solitum obtinere, kept his cu­stom, and did equally and impartial­ly reject the solicitations of all par­ties in this kind; and hereby he stood upon his own Basis and bottom, kept his station, was neither ingaged in any Faction, nor was he rendred thereby obnoxious to the indignation [Page 144] of the parties which he thus refused, though they were in power, and able to do what they pleased; because they found by experience, he did but hold his Principle, and was impartial therein, equally refusing other Facti­ons as well as theirs.

And the Reasons that moved him to this kind of neutrality in Factions, are evident, and may be satisfa­ctory.

First, He did it upon an account of greatest Prudence; for it was evi­dent to him by great experience, and by a wise prospect of things, that these Factions and their successes were strangely mutable and uncertain. Our Author tells us, Tanta variet as iis temporibus fuit Fortunae, ut modò hi, mo­dò illi in summo essent fastigio aut peri­culo: The successes of Factions were so uncertain, and the vicissitudes so strange and various, that those that now prevailed, and seemed in an em­pregnable condition, were suddenly tumbled down; and again, those that seemed in an irrecoverable and despe­rate [Page 145] ruine, regained the Government, even to a Miracle. And the Reasons are partly given in the Second Chap­ter; and therefore by engaging in any Faction, he was sure to undergo the common Fate which that Facti­on had; which was either wholly to be ruined, if the adverse party pre­vailed, or at best, in case the party wherein he should be engaged, pre­vailed, yet they were but in a tot­tering, uncertain, unquiet, restless condition, and were not like to hold that power or interest which they had so difficultly gotten.

Secondly, He did it upon account of common Justice and Honesty; for those Factions in the State of Rome, were not the true, lawful, setled Go­vernment thereof: For therein At­ticus and all good men ought to have engaged; for it had been their duty and glory to have assisted it, and a certain baseness and pusillanimity of mind to have deserted: But those Factions in Rome, were such as I have before described in the Second Chap­ter; [Page 146] certain Excrescencies, Tumors, and Diseases arising in the Roman State, by the Power, Ambition and unquiet Spirits of certain busie men in Rome, that either thought their Worth neglected, or not sufficiently rewarded, or were provoked to Ani­mosities by mutual Jealousies and E­mulations one of another. And al­though it is true in the several Vi­cissitudes of the prevalence of any Faction, they did so handle the Se­nate and People by Artifices, and Tricks, and Threats, and Affrights, that they minted their Factions of­tentimes with the stamp and face of the Senate and publick Authority; yet the truth was, they were really still no other than Factions and Par­ties, which like prevalent noxious Humors, or putrefied Distempers in the Body, overpowered the true State and Genius of the Civil Govern­ment, and rendred the whole Body in Disorder; yet it could be no more esteemed the true complection of the Roman Government, than a Fever or [Page 147] Calenture, though it overspread the whole man, can be accounted the true and natural complexion of the man: And although the Paroxysmes or Fits that the Roman State was put into, were various, and contrary each to other, according as one or the other prevailed; like the hot Fit and the cold Fit in an Ague; yet still the Commonwealth of Rome was sick, and laboured under the Distemper of either Faction, which soever of them prevailed, as the Histories of those Times abundantly inform us.

And therefore all those several Fa­ctions, as they were extreamly cruel and severe unto one another, so they were all infinitely pernicious to the Commonwealth; which by the com­petitions of those turbulent Spirits, was torn in pieces. And therefore Atticus in common Justice, and upon the account of that Love he owed and bore to his Countrey, had no reason to joyn with one or other par­ty, which were in truth, but so ma­ny Cancers, and Ulcers, and Diseases [Page 148] of his Countrey; which though they were too strong for him to cure, yet he had no reason to assist.

I do confess that commonly all Fa­ctions, to gain themselves credit, at least make some pretence for the good of their Countrey, something that they would pretend to reform. And it may be, really there was some­thing in the State of Rome, that was necessary to be reformed, and the Dis­order might be so powerful, stubborn, and obstinate, that they thought it could not be done by ordinary means, and that at the first attempt might be the thing that they, or at least many of them really, and it may be, only, or at least principally aimed to set right: But Atticus was a wise man, and did easily see,

1. That many times Reformation was pretended, but the great Design was private Interest, or Revenge. Or,

2. If some men in the simplicity of their hearts, meant well to the State of Rome, that were engaged in those [Page 149] Factions; yet when once a Faction is set on foot, men that have other De­signs, either of Ambition, or Cove­tousness, mingle in it, and commonly in a little time, become prevalent, and distort all to their private Ends and Advantages, and engage others in the like, who are fed, or do feed themselves with the like Hopes. And,

3. He well knew that in a little process of time, variety, succession, and occurrences, and new emergen­cies, and Counsels carry Factions quite beyond their first Designs into greater Rapine, Fury, and Cruelty and Re­venge, than ever they themselves, it may be, at first thought they should ever have been guilty of.

And therefore the Experience that Atticus had of the prodigious Cruel­ties, and Bloodshed, and Rapine and Violence that former Factions had produced in Rome, made him peremp­tory against engaging in any, not­withstanding their most specious pre­tences and earnest importunities to [Page 150] engage him; for he well knew that if he should be engaged in any, yet had it obtained the best success that they could reasonably expect, namely, Victory, and a full enjoyment and possession of the power they desired, yet the rage and exasperation of the Souldiery, the desire of revenge of those injuries the conquering party had formerly suffered, the opportuni­ties of enriching themselves by the spoils and confiscation of the con­quered, the necessity of gratifying many necessitous and indigent per­sons of their party, the politick en­deavour to secure themselves in their new acquired power, by the death and ruine of all such whom they knew, or feared, or suspected, were, or might be their Opposites, and the striving to establish themselves against any possibility of falling under the power of those that they had injured; these, I say, and such as these, would pre­sently engage the victorious party to exercise all cruelty and violence, con­fiscations and proscriptions, death and [Page 151] murder upon those they hated, or feared, or injured, or suspected: And all this Atticus must behold, and not be able in the least degree to help; and so his first engagement into this party, though victorious, must inte­ress him in all the villanies, and inju­ries, and unjustness that must be the fruit of this success.

In the first motion of Enterprizes of this nature, the pretences are com­monly fair, modest, nothing pretend­ed but reformation of abuses, and great moderation professed; and this is so carried by the Heads of Facti­ons, partly to cover their Designs, partly to gain to themselves credit and good esteem with good men, or at least with the Vulgar, that there­by the Heads of parties may with the more ease and plausibility attain their desired success: Yea, it may be pos­sible that the Heads of parties might in their first attempts really intend what they at first pretended. But when the success is attained, and pos­sibly by great Bloodshed, the Gover­nors [Page 152] of Factions quickly outgo the ends and designs at first propounded. New successes give new resolutions, new designs, new attempts, which before either were not discovered, or it may be, not thought on by the first un­dertakers in their first undertaking. And Atticus well knew, that if once he was engaged in the Enterprize, he must follow not only the Fortune, but also the Commands and Coun­sels of the party and their Governors, and so be engaged in all the Villa­nies and Injustice that attended their success, and so lose his innocence: Or if he should go about to declaim and protest against the unjust prosecu­tion of their Successes, and endea­vour to resist them, his endeavour might be his ruine; but at the best, could never be prevalent or successe­ful; and the best fruit he could ex­pect from his Engagement in the par­ty, would be repentance too dearly bought, the loss of his Credit, if not of his Innocence, the sad spectacle of the violence and injustice of that Fa­ction [Page 153] wherein he thus had unhappi­ly engaged, and a miserable deplora­ble disappointment in all his endea­vours to reclaim it, or restrain those violences that must accompany its success; the motions of a powerful, prevailing, successeful Faction, being ordinarily as ungovernable by the in­terposition of a private person, as the rolling of a mighty Stone from the top of a steep Hill, which will ne­ver leave rolling, till it comes to the bottom; and the longer it runs, the more violent and ungovernable is its motion.

Nay, it very often comes to pass, that a Faction in a State, if it hath any continuance, grows utterly unlike to what it first was; the Coun­sels and first designes must necessari­ly change, new men and of new prin­ciples successively come in play, which bring new Counsels in fashion and request: Nay, every variety of success changes the Counsels of them that at first presided in it, though they continue the same persons, that [Page 154] put on new purposes, resolutions and undertakings; so that if Atticus could have perswaded himself to have enga­ged in any Faction, he must have re­solved to have kept those plausible principles which first led him to that Engagement, and then he had been quite out-run by his own party, or else he must have resolved to hold pace with his party in all their chan­ges and practices, and then he must out-run his Innocence, his constant integrity himself. And as thus his Prudence kept him from mingling himself in Faction, by a due prospect of the ill consequences that must needs arise to him thereby; so the very habit, complexion and constitu­tion of his mind admirably secured him against all temptations there­unto.

There is in most men a certain in­temperance of passions that renders them very obnoxious to fall in with Factions; but among them there are three sorts of Passions, or rather in­deed putrefactions of passions, and [Page 155] diseases of the Soul, namely, Ambi­tion, or the desire of Honour, Pow­er, Place, Preferment, Covetousness, or the desire of riches, or vindictive­ness, or the desire of revenge. And if a man do but take notice of the politick managements either of the Governors of States or Kingdoms, or of particular Affairs of less note, the concerns of the world are very much carried on by setting of Han­dles to those distempers in men, and then they are led about and guided as men guide Puppets on a Stage, by unseen Wires or Pulleys; so that those motions which to outward ap­pearance seem free and from them­selves, yet in truth, they are in kind necessary, and managed by others, that either wisely or craftily propose but Objects to those unruly passions; and they follow them as the Needle doth the Loadstone. And this the crafty Heads of Factions make great use of; and if they find a man that is under the regiment of any of these Distempers, 'tis a thousand to one [Page 156] but they win him over: If he find an ambitious or a mutinous or a revenge­ful man, he siddles him in the head with such instances as these; wouldst thou be great, or rich, or powerful, or revenged for some publick neg­lect or affront, I will shew thee a sure and compendious way of attaining thy Desires; thou shalt not need to run the long, tedious, laborious race of Virtue, to attain honour, or make thee great, nor the tedious, industri­ous application of thy self to some Trade or calling, to make thee rich; nor the regular motion of a judicial process, to avenge thy injuries: Fall in with us, and all the Honours, and power and Riches of Rome shall at one clap fall into our dispose, and thou shalt have the opportunity to be thine own avenger of thy affronts and in­juries. Nay further, to say the truth, such is the Magick and Enchantment that ariseth from those intemperances of the mind, that without any soli­citation from without, they car­ry men headlong that way they think [Page 157] shortest to satisfie themselves; and therefore are easily caught and entan­gled in a Faction, as that which pro­miseth the most compendious method for the attainment of their De­sires.

But the Constitution and Comple­xion of the very Soul of Atticus was such, that those Distempers of Ambition, Covetousness, or Revenge, dwelt not there; and by this means he was proof against Temptations from within or from without, to side with a Faction. He was honoured and esteemed for his own Worth and Virtue, and he was not ambitious of any other accessions of Honour, Place, or Preferment.

He had a competency of Estate, de­cently to support himself and his Fa­mily, and relieve his Friends in ne­cessity; and he was contented with his condition, was not desirous of more: And as he was so happy, as never to have received any such inju­ry as might provoke revenge; so he had such a calm, serene, even frame [Page 158] of mind, that that passion could get no hold upon him: And he had abun­dantly well learned the best Lesson of the Stoical Philosophers, not to injure himself by passion or perturba­tion because another did him wrong; if the injuries were small, he took no notice of them; if great, he soon for­got and forgave them. And this was all the revenge he took of injuries; and to say the truth, it is an exqui­site, yet innocent kind of revenge; for it makes the wrong doer quickly sensible of his own injustice, and re­venge the same upon himself by sor­row and repentance.

These and the like Considerations were obnoxious to his Experience, as well as his Reason; and therefore al­though he were acquainted, and possi­bly very familiarly, with many per­sons engaged in those Factions; nay, though he might see easily an appa­rent demonstration of their success, yet he would never engage in them himself, but avoided it as a Pest or a Plague-sore, wherein he was sure, if [Page 159] he were once engaged, he should lose either his Safety, or his Innocence, or both.


The Third Expedient that Atticus used for his Safety, refusing too great kindnesses from great per­sons.

THe Third Expedient which this man used for his Safety, was this; That although he was alwayes ready to oblige all men by all offices of kindnesses, yet he would never re­ceive over-great kindnesses from great persons, especially if they were of such a kind or measure, as he might not be able probably to requite; as great or profitable Places, Offices, Honours or Donatives: And the Reasons that induced him to this ab­stinence and declining of such great [Page 160] Obligations, seem to be these:

1. He was a man that contented himself with his condition; which, as it was plentiful enough, so he was very well satisfied with what he enjoyed, and had neither an ambiti­ous mind to become greater, or a co­vetous mind to become richer than his Father and his Unkle left him.

2. He was a modest man, and did not set so high a rate upon himself or his Merits, as to expect a tribute of beneficence from others, as the desert of his worth.

3. He was a grateful man; he was forgetful of injuries done to him, but mindful of Benefits received by him, and thankful for them, and esteemed himself still in debt, till he had made a proportionable return for kindnesses received. And therefore if the bene­fits were so great, that they were beyond requital, he thought himself in the condition of such men as owe more than they are able to pay; which is a troublesome and slavish condition: And such his own would [Page 161] have been, if he had been surchar­ged with immense Courtesies.

But 4. and principally, the reason why he declined such obligations, was, because he would retain his own liber­ty, and continue Master of himself and his Actions; for most common­ly immense benefits received from great men, render the Receiver un­der a great servitude to his Benefa­ctor, and is a great obligation for a man to think, and speak, and act as their Patron desires or expects; and certainly in a troubled State, inclina­ble to Factions, such kind of Obliga­tions are pernicious to the obliged, renders them, as it were, the Clients and Vassals of their Patron, and by a kind of secret charm or enchant­ment, makes them servants to him; and this obstinacy of Atticus in these commotions of Rome, was a great means of his Peace, Liberty, Safety, and disengagement from parties: And therefore when Pompey (who was a great man, popular and beneficent) endeavoured to place great Gifts and [Page 162] Offices upon him, he warily and pru­dently declined them; and by that means, when Pompey solicited him to appear of his party against Caesar, and to go with him to the wars, he was in a condition to refuse it, and according­ly excused himself from that engage­ment, and sate still at Rome, when at the same time those persons whom Pompey had obliged with great Of­fices and large Donatives, were fain to come to him, upon his Summons, and engage with him in that great contest between him and Caesar, and fall with him; for although they would have been gladly excused from this undertaking, yet they durst not decline it, being under this unhappy Dilemma, that if Pompey prevailed, they should have lost his favour, and those honours and offices that they enjoyed by his bounty; if Caesar pre­vailed, yet being persons so greatly obliged by Pompey, they would have been suspected and oppressed by Caesar, or at least neglected by him, as per­sons that were really of the Pompey­an [Page 163] Faction, though they declined the present Engagement. But howsoever their reputation would have suffered, and they would have been accounted a sort of ungrateful people, that after all such Obligations as they had recei­ved from Pompey, should ungratefully desert their Benefactor, when danger or difficulty appeared.

But on the other side, this prudent obstinacy of Atticus, fairly excused his declining of Pompey's Engagement, without the least imputation of in­gratitude, and was yet of singular advantage to him when Caesar return­ed Victor, who highly honoured him at his return to Rome, and much ad­vanced the reputation of his Pru­dence and Discretion, that so wisely refused such an Engagement in Pom­pey's Faction, that in the success might otherwise have ruined him; and so wisely refused all those great obliga­tions that Pompey would have put up­on him, that had they been received, would in all probability, have enga­ged him in his Faction. Thus our [Page 164] Author tells us, Nullum enim à Pompeio habebat ornamentum, ut c [...]teri qui per eum aut honores aut divitias ceperant; quorum partim invitissimi Castra sunt se­quuti, partim summa cum ejus offensa do­mi remanserunt.

And there was another reason of his modest refusal of publick Honours and Offices from those who had the power of conferring of them, and that had a favourable respect for him; for he made use of their Favours for a better and nobler end, namely, to rescue and relieve men that were, or might be oppressed, or in extremity, in the collision of Factions: This use indeed he made of their Favours as he had opportunity. And had he ta­ken respects from them for his own advancement or wealth, those rewards and gratuities would have precluded his opportunity of intercession for o­thers. He therefore prudently decli­ned the collation of Bounties, Offices or Honours to himself from those that had the opportunity and will to con­fer them upon him, and reserved [Page 165] their respect for the good or delive­rance of others, whom the uncon­stancy and change of Affairs rendred obnoxious to those that were in pre­sent power.


The Fourth Expedient of Atticus refusing Offices and Publick Em­ployments in the Commonwealth, by the Suffrages of the Senate or People.

I Come to the Fourth thing which Atticus industriously avoided, namely, Publick Offices.

Some Offices in Rome were in the power of particular persons; as prin­cipally, their Legati Provinciarum, Lieutenants of Provinces, which were in the gift of these publick Ministers, whether Consuls, Tribunes, or others, to whom the government of Pro­vinces [Page 166] were allotted. These Substi­tutes had very honourable and profi­table employments, commanding in affairs of Peace and War in those Provinces in the absence of the chief, and also of great authority while they were present.

Other Offices were Elective or Constitutive by the Senate or Peo­ple, as Consuls, Tribunes, Pretors, Ediles, Censors, &c.

In the former Chapter I have shown his declining the reception of Offices from the hands of private persons; and now I shall shew his avoiding of such publick Offices as were of pub­lick choice or donation.

Offices in Rome were rarely offered, but sought; they were beneficial and honourable employments, and want­ed not Competitors; but Atticus was so far from seeking Offices, that he would not take them when offered, but industriously declined it: When the Citizens would have elected him Pretor, he refused it; and he made this handsome advantage thereof, [Page 167] that when his Brother-in-Law Quin­tus, being afterwards elected Pretor, and had a Province assigned him, and offered Atticus to be his Legate, he told him that he had formerly refu­sed the Office that Quintus now had, and therefore it was not decent for him to take a substitution from him.

This therefore was Atticus his prin­ciple, he would do all the good Of­fices he could, either for particular persons, or for the Commonwealth, in the station and capacity of a pri­vate person; thus he did for the Re­publick of Athens, while he lived there; and thus he did in Rome: But neither in the one City nor the other, could he be drawn to under­take any publick Office or Employ­ment.

The Reasons whereof shall be here­after shewn.

First, Touching publick Offices and Employments in general, certain­ly the generality of men are strange­ly mistaken. It seems a wonder to [Page 168] me, to see the folly and vanity of men, that so fondly hunt after great Offices and Employments: Hereto­fore in the State of Greece especially, men better understood themselves and their interest, and peace, and happi­ness, than voluntarily to engage them­selves in Offices and great Employ­ments, insomuch that there were then compulsary Laws to enforce men to undertake, not only inferiour and pet­ty Offices that were of burden and charge, but greater Offices that had honour and profit annexed to them; which though they are more honou­rable, and more profitable, yet they are more dangerous and hazardous, And the truth is, that it hath been the skill and art of the wiser sort of mankind to annex to such great em­ployments those Blandishments of ho­nour, esteem and profit, to invite men to the undertaking of them; as Physicians guild their bitter Pills, that they may be the easier swallowed. The plain truth is, Offices and places of great import and trust, are neces­sary [Page 169] for the good of others, and for the preservation and order of King­doms, States and Commonwealths, and therefore the wisdom of those Kingdoms and States is to be com­mended, that annex to them those Ensigns of honour and honourable supplies for their support, to invite and incourage men to undertake them; yea, and further, where those invita­tions will not serve to draw men of worth and ability to undertake them, those States are to be com­mended that enact Laws to compel such men to undertake them. But it is most certain that any man that ambitiously hunts after them, nay, that man that doth not industriously decline them, if possibly he may, un­derstands not himself, nor his own peace, happiness or contentment; which will appear, if these things be considered.

1. A man that undertakes a pub­lick Office or Employment, doth ne­cessarily draw upon himself much envy: and the reason is, because the [Page 170] generality of Mankind have a good o­pinion of themselves, and think they deserve those Offices and Employ­ments that others enjoy, and they think also very well of the Offices and Employments themselves, look upon them as goodly, fine gawdy bu­sinesses, and are fond of the honour and wealth that is annexed unto them, and they would fain be at them, and think those that do en­joy them, stand in their way, and therefore they envy, and malign them, and envy is a busie active humour, and restless, until it unhorse those up­on whom it fastens, or break it self in the attempt.

For it is ordinarily true, whosoe­ver possesseth that which many desire, hath as many Enemies and Enviers as he hath Rivals and Competitors; and as many Competitors as there are ambitious or covetous men in the world. And besides this, all great Offices have commonly somewhat of power annexed to them. And al­though Societies of men can never [Page 171] subsist in order without some power be over them, yet particular persons commonly hate and envy any power in any but themselves.

2. A man that undertakes a publick employment, is under a powerful temptation to lose and give up all that quiet, and rest, and tranquillity that a private Station yields; and if not all, yet a great part of his liberty, and divests himself of himself; and do what he can, he must in a great measure give himself up to others, as the price of that honour, pre-he­minence and power which he en­joys; which is too dear a purchase for any wise and considerate man that can well avoid it.

3. There is no man so wise, so dexterous in business of publick em­ployment, so attentive to it, nor so fortunate in it, but hath his defects, incogitancies and inadvertencies, or at least misfortunes in it; and these deficiencies in a private station, are less perceived and observed, and the consequences of them are narrow, [Page 172] and most commonly within the con­fines of a mans self or his Family: But in a man of a publick employ­ment, first, these defects are more ea­sily observed, and seen; as his person and station is conspicuous, so his de­fects are easily seen by any By-stan­der.

2. As they are easily seen, so they are diligently watched and observed; he wants not such Spectators as make it their business to be diligent search­ers and observers of them.

3. When those defects at any time appear, though perchance they are but few and small, yet they are the objects of most severe censure and ani­madversion.

If a private mans wisdom, good­ness or prudence, do ad plurimum over­balance his follies or inadvertencies, the man passeth for a wise and good man; but a little folly in a man in a great employment, shall cloud and overshadow in the publick esteem all his wisdom and goodness, though this be far the greater.

[Page 173] 4. But that which is worst of all, the errors, mistakes, miscarriages or inadvertencies of a private man hurts none but himself or his narrow Relati­ons: But even small errors or mi­stakes, or follies in a man of publick employment, and in the exercise there­of, may be of a vast and comprehen­sive concern, and the ill consequences thereof oftentimes irreparable. An Errour of a Judge in his Judgment, may mislead or undo thousands; an Errour in Counsel in a Counsellor, may ruine a State or Kingdom, an Errour in Conduct in a General, may destroy an Army: And surely eve­ry wise man will as much as he may, keep himself out of these hazardous consequences, since every wise man knows that his is not without his mixtures of folly and weakness.

4. Again, let a man in publick employment, manage them with all the integrity and wisdom imaginable, yet the Race is not alwayes to the swift, nor the battel to the strong; there may be, there will be often times such [Page 174] disappointments and cross events, that will bring ill success to the best and wisest endeavours, and then not with­standing all his wisdom and fidelity, the ill success shall be attributed to his want of integrity, courage or wis­dom. Every fool will be ready to say, if the Counsel had been thus, the event had been otherwise; and the people shall either perswade them­selves, or be perswaded by others, that the man was either false or foo­lish in his employment; yea, and the State wherein he lived, either to hu­mour the people, or to hold up their credit, and an expectation of better success when others are employed, will be ready to make a politick Sacrifice of such a Minister of State, whose fault was not to be false, or a fool, but only to be unfortunate.

5. Again, There is no politick Of­ficer in the world, but must necessari­ly make a considerable party of man­kind his Enemy: If he be one judi­cial, he must pronounce to the disad­vantage of one party, and then that [Page 175] party that hates him, if he be an Offi­cer employed in the issuing of the pub­lick Revenue, he that stays longest for his Money, hates him; if he be employed in dispensation of rewards; offices or places, as Military Com­manders, he that is disappointed in his expectation, or that finds less than he expected, hates him: And it will not be material to the safety of him, that is hated, whether there be cause or not, if the party pro­voked think he hath cause, his in­dignation is as high as if it were just; and most commonly is provided with a calumny to infuse into the people to make them believe it so. And if it be said in all these and the like cases, the party makes as many Friends as he doth Enemies; for if one be disap­pointed, another is rewarded; and if one be pronounced against, another is pronounced for: This mends not the matter; for supposed injuries are longer remembred than real benefits; and commonly he that receives a bene­fit, esteems it his due; he that goes [Page 176] without it, thinks it an injury: And hatred and revenge are more active and vigilant to do mischief upon a supposed injury or neglect, than duty or gratitude is to defend one, from whom either Justice or Benefit hath been received.

Upon all these, and many more evi­dent Reasons, it is beyond question, that no considerate man hath reason to be fond of any publick employ­ment, though attended with honour, power and profit; but fairly to decline it if he may: And therefore it is no wonder that Pomponi [...] Atticus, who was a wise, knowing man, was so far from seeking it, that he declined it when offered.

2. But supposing that in a calm, sedate time, this wise and good man might have been perswaded to take an honourable publick employment, and that it had not been only consistent with his Wisdom, but his Duty so to have done; and that if he had de­clined it, it had been either an argu­ment of pusillanimity or foolishness, [Page 177] yea, and injustice to partake of the benefit and protection of the pub­lick Ministers and Officers of Rome, and to have denied the same common Offices to others, when by the suf­frages or nomination of those who were intrusted therein, he was ap­pointed a publick Minister; yet cer­tainly considering the time wherein he lived, and the great Distempers that prevailed in that State, his de­clining of publick employments, was not only excusable and justifiable, but also very commendable, and an ab­stinence full of prudence and great dis­cretion: For he that takes a publick employment in a troubled State, is (without the intervention of a mar­vellous providence) first, and before any others, exposed to the shock of all publick commotions: If a Facti­on prevail, if he either oppose it, or be suspected by it, he is sure to be one of the first that must be ruined by it, because he will be thought an impediment to the Design; and it is a wonder if he escape without an [Page 178] Exile or Confiscation. On the other side, if he be in the good opinion of that Faction, and so continued in his employment, he is under an engage­ment, not only in the hazard of their Fortune, but also in the pur­suit and execution of all those despe­rate Enterprizes that such a Faction thinks necessary or convenient for their establishment; which if he do not, then unless they otherwise fear him, or exceedingly reverence his person, as one that may credit their Party, he is sure to be dealt more se­verely with, than if he had at first opposed them. On the other side, if he comply with them, and serve their turns, and prosecute their De­signs in the publick station wherein he stands, he shall lose his reputa­tion, and his innocence, and be en­tangled in a most base servitude, and be made instrumental in those acti­ons which perchance he inwardly ab­hors; and if he start or boggle at them, he shall be dealt with as the worst of Enemies: And if ever [Page 179] there come a turn of Affairs, he shall be sure to be one of the first that is crushed by the prevailing party: And this Cicero found to be true, to his cost; for he, that while he was but an Advocate, stood unshaken in all those troublesome times wherein he lived (though he sometimes used his Tongue with too much liberty in his publick Orations) yet when once he became entangled in publick Offices of Consul and Senator, he quickly felt the power and vindictivenes of the party of Anthony, upon his return; and lost his Life in the Fury and Rage of his incensed Adversary, which he had escaped, had he follow­ed the wise example of his Friend Atticus, in declining publick employ­ment. And therefore Cato Uticensis, who the greatest part of his Life had been concerned in publick Offices and Employments in Rome, yet when he found himself over-born by the Caesa­rean Party, learned, though too late, Atticus his wisdom, and left this Le­gacy to his Son, that he should ne­ver [Page 180] engage himself in the publick ad­ministrations, offices or employment of the Commonwealth.

And truly Atticus by this wise ab­stinence from publick Offices and Em­ployments, obtained much of that Safety and Happiness which he en­joyed.

1. By this means he enjoyed him­self and his tranquillity of Mind and Life, and all those advantages and opportunities of improving his Lear­ning and Knowledge, which he could never have had in a publick station.

2. By this means he kept himself free from Enemies or Emulation, Envy and Detraction, the common Attendants of publick and great Em­ployments.

3. By this means he kept both his Safety, his Innocence and Reputati­on; all of which must necessarily be greatly endangered, if not utterly lost, had he taken upon himself any publick Office in those turbulent times.

[Page 181] 4. By this means he preserved his Power, Interest and Veneration a­mong all Parties, and was able to do better Offices with the prevailing party, for the Safeguard and Preser­vation of good men, than if he had born the greatest Offices, and with the best applause in the City of Rome, as appears by the History of his Life.


The Fifth Expedient that Atticus used to preserve himself, was, the avoiding of all those Occasi­ons that might procure unto him Emulation or Envy.

THe Fifth Remedy that he used against the danger of Tumultu­ous Times, was, to avoid with all care all such things as might pro­cure an Exile, Envy or Emulation against him.


[Page 182] This appears already in part, by his declining of Offices, of Honour, of Power and Profit; but I shall give this as a distinct Consideration, because I shall evidence it with far­ther Instances.

When he was at Athens, he was solicited to accept of honourable em­ployments; but although as a private man, he did them all the friendly Offices he could, yet he refused their publick Honours; they then desired that he would be enrolled as a free Citizen of Athens; but this he also refused, as knowing it would be in­terpreted to be a deserting of his na­tive City of Rome, and might pro­cure Enemies, or at least Envy: They also solicited him, that his Statue might be set up at Athens, among their Worthies and Benefactors; but this also he would by no means allow of, for the same reason; although af­ter his recess from that City, the Ci­tizens, notwithstanding his refusal, did in his absence set up his Sta­tue.

[Page 183] And this refusing of this Piece of Pa­geantry, namely, the publick setting up of his Statue or Picture, though it seems a small matter, was surely an act of great prudence, for he that allows the setting up of his Sta­tue or Picture, first, draws upon him­self much envy: other persons that have not the same honour done them, malign him that hath it, as having that piece of publick favour done him, which another thinks he as well at least deserves.

2. It gives unseen detractions or censure, exposing to every mans eye that Object that administers occasion of censure; This is that mans Statue, that did such an injury, that committed such an Error or Oversight: so it be­comes a Monument of so much more disadvantage to the Prototype, by how much men are more apt to take notice of, and remember the evils, than the good of any person. 3. If that State or City take up any distaste against the Person, the poor Statue commonly receives the publick con­tumely, [Page 184] and the man is prosecuted in effigie; he hath committed a Depositum unto that State or City, that must engage him to their perpetual service and pleasing of them, or in default thereof, to be the Subject of their con­tumely or publick indignity in effigie.

When he came back to Rome, be­sides his refusal of publick and ho­nourable Offices, he kept himself in the state of a private Gentleman; and notwithstanding the access of a fair Estate from his Unkle Caecilius, he ne­ver exceeded his former charge or method of House-keeping; indeed he thereupon enlarged his private libera­lity and beneficence to persons that stood in need thereof; but he did not at all thereupon advance the Port or Equipage of his House-keeping or manner of living; his House was plain, though noble; and he never would by new Building, make it stately or splendid, but contented him­self with it as he found it: and al­though he were rich, yet to avoid the glory of being said to be a great [Page 185] Purchaser, he never would make any new Purchases, but kept the Possessi­ons which were left him by his Fa­ther and Unkle, well knowing that great Purchases would make a great noise and rumor, occasion envy, and become but a troublesome burden and incumbrance, rather than a benefit or advantage in a troubled State.

His Money would be a portable commodity for his subsistence, and ready to supply the necessities and emergencies of himself and his Friends, when his Lands must be necessarily fixed, and in troubled times might yield him little revenue, and were of necessity to abide the Storms of that place wherein they lay. In short, he kept such a mediocrity in his House, his Furniture, his Houshold­expences, his Entertainments, and the manner of his Living, that nei­ther exposed him to scorn on the one hand, nor consure, or envy, or im­putation of affecting either too much Grandour and Popularity, on the other, nor consumed or wasted his [Page 186] Estate, but left himself in a conti­nual capacity of supplying the Exi­gence of his Friends, which he justly esteemed the best Employment of his Wealth; and yet he so ordered his Affairs and Expences, with that de­cency and prudence, that kept him above the imputation of baseness or unworthy parsimony. And by this means he avoided envy on the one hand, and contempt on the other; keeping himself in a middle and con­stant conduct between all extreams. It is true, in the latter end of his Life, he was, by the importunity of Antonius and Octavius, drawn to match his Niece into the Family and Rela­tion of Octavius, which seemed to be a step beyond his degree, and that mediocrity that he used and affected in the former course of his Life: But it was not a thing sought by him, but from him, the great Trium­viri of Rome, being ambitious of his Affinity, whom they very well knew to be a man of as great interest and esteem, and power in the City of [Page 187] Rome, as any private person could possibly be; and that interest, esteem and power bottomed upon as firm a Basis as could possibly be expected; namely, the native and experiment­ed prudence and worth of the man: And therefore they thought that whatever mutability of Fortune their high flying attempts might meet with, yet they had, by this affinity with Atticus, a more firm interest in Rome, than if they had matched their. Rela­tion into the Family of a Comman­der of an Army of forty thousand men. Besides all this, he was rich, and might probably leave a fair For­tune, which he accordingly did. And lastly, the times now seemed pretty well setled, the Triumvirate of Antonius, Octavius and Lepidus had mastered all opposition, and although there afterwards broke out Wars between Octavius and Anthony, yet that was not long before Atticus his Death; and as he was not likely to live to see those eruptions; so if he should, he could not probably sur­vive [Page 188] their issue; neither did he: for he died the year before the Battel of Actium, wherein Anthony was over­thrown by Octavius: And yet if these differences had been in his pro­spect, he was reasonable secure a­gainst whatsoever issue should hap­pen in it, both the Heads of that Faction being his Admirers and Friends, and his great Age giving him the Protection and Priviledge of sitting still between them.


The Sixth Expedient, the avoiding of all occasions of Enmity from any.

THe Sixth thing that this wise man industriously avoided in or­der to his Safety, was, all manner of envy from any, and all occasions and opportunities thereof, that humane Prudence could possibly foresee.

This hath been in part shewn be­fore in the precedent Chapters, in his declining of Factions, Offices, and Excitations of Envy; but it shall be here prosecuted with farther In­stances, that more directly and speci­fically were ordered against this in­convenience; and the former In­stances more especially relate to the [Page 190] avoiding of publick Differences, and the Enmities arising by it; but these relate to such Enmities as concern a man in a private station.

There be these ensuing occasions, that commonly create Animosities and Enmities.

1. He that is an accuser or Infor­mer against any man for matters of Crime or Misdemeanor, makes the party accused, and all his Relations his Enemies; nay, though he do it but as an Advocate▪ I do verily be­lieve, that the sharpness of Tully's Tongue in his Declarations, though it procured him some Friends, it created him many more Enemies, that did sit close upon him when they had opportunity; though the occasion of his ruine, was his publick Action: But Atticus was ever careful to avoid this.

He never would be an accuser of any, either as Party or Advocate, nor subscribe any publick Accusa­tion.

2. A second thing that creates Ene­mies, [Page 191] is Litigiousness, Contention, and going to Law for every Trifle: This excellent man did with that prudence order his Affairs, that the Author of his Life tells us he never had any Law-Suit. His Wisdom was such, that it prevented him from great or wasting injuries: And his Goodness was such, that he rather forgave Injuries of a less magnitude, than prosecuted the wrong-doers: It was one of the great commendations of his Life, that he quickly forgot the Injuries that he received, and the kindness that he received, and the kindness that he had done.

3. A Third thing that creates ma­ny enemies, is when a man is Far­mer or Collector of those troublesome Duties, where many are concerned, a Publican or Farmer of Customs or Tolls: For such men are commonly hated by the generality of the peo­ple. Now Atticus, although some Conjectures there are, that he was sometime Farmer of the Vectigalia, yet the Writer of his Life assures us the contrary; or certainly if he were [Page 192] so at any time, he quickly left that Employment, as a probable root of Contentions and Enmity and Ani­mosity.

4. A Fourth thing that creatos E­mies, is when a man deals much in the Goods or Lands that are Confis­cate by the power of any Faction: Such Confiscations were frequent in Rome, because the vicissitudes of the prevalence of Factions were frequent; and hither persons often came, and met with good Bargains; But Atti­ous wholly declined those publick Markets, not only because it would be a mark of a covetous mind, but because he knew that the former Owners would bear a secret indig­nation and enmity against the Pur­chasers and Possessors of their Goods; and such Purchases carried with them a clear evidence that the Purchasers approved the party and violences of those men that thus confiscated and exposed such Goods to Sale; and it was against the Principles of Atticus, to give so much countenance or cre­dit [Page 193] to the proceedings of any of those Factions.

5. A Fifth thing that often creates men trouble, especially in a troubled State, is the too much prodigality of Speech. An over-free, inconsiderate commendation of some persons of one party, or too liberal Invectives or Censures of the Persons engaged in another, create oftentimes Enemies, and give a man a Blow when he hath forgot it, or thinks not of it; some Enemy of a person commended, or Friend of the person censured, of­tentimes reporting to the disadvan­tage of the first Speaker: In this kind Atticus was very wary; he was not liberal of his Tongue either in praises or dispraises of this or that party, or the persons concerned in it: And if any time he commended any person, it was upon the account of his due personal worth and virtue, without contemplation or respect of parties, or the concerns thereof:

Pride and Haughtiness of deport­ment doth infallibly create more ene­mies [Page 194] than any one Distemper besides, and indeed is commonly the root of all Contentions and Animosities both in publick and in private persons. A proud man in effect resisteth all men, and therefore doth either necessitate, or at least engage all men to oppose him, and become his enemy: But herein was Atticus his great Wis­dom, that in his whole course of Life, he always kept an humble mind, and an humble deportment: When he lived at Athens, our Author tells us, Sic se gerebat ut communis infimis par Principibus videretur; ex quo fa­ctum est ut huic omnes honores quos pos­sent publicè haberent: The like was his deportment at Rome, And certainly this Humility of mind, and deport­ment, and freeness from all manner of pride, brought him very great ad­vantage; for it kept him in a true estimate and judgment of things. Pride and Vain-glory blinds the judg­ment; Humility, and Lowliness, ren­ders every thing in its true and just estimate and value.

[Page 195] 2. It kept him in great tranquil­lity of Mind, as well as of Life; it is not possible for any man to suffer so much torture and vexation from all the affronts and injuries without, as from a proud heart that galleth and vexeth it self, when it cannot have its will; but an humble man in all states and conditions stands square up­on his own Basis, without any great disorder or perturbation.

3. By this means he greatly secu­red his own safety in publick dan­gers; for by reason of his humble de­portment, he got but few enemies; and if there were any, such this humble carriage either melted them into Friends, or gave that relaxation and abatement to their fervor and animosity, that they never attempted to hurt him, though possibly the pre­valence of a Faction wherein they were parties, gave them opportu­nity.

And yet though his deportment were full of humility and condescen­tion, yet it was not without a be­coming [Page 196] Gravity and Grandeur, where­by, though he was affable and cheer­ful, yet he rendred not himself cheap and contemptible; so that as the Au­thor tells us, it was a hard thing to tell, whether the very same men did more love or fear him.

And certainly this part of Atticus his management was a singular means of his safety, and an excellent indica­tion of his prudence, especially in troublesome and difficult times; name­ly, a wise and circumspect avoiding of making Enemies: It is the com­mon folly of men great in place, power or wealth, to think themselves above the reach of enemies, of the meaner sort especially; and therefore they care not how many they disob­lige by their insolence, scorns, inju­ries or neglects: This is a piece of great weakness and folly; for it is a certain truth, that there is no man, though never so mean, but once in seven years will have an opportunity to do the greatest man much good or much harm. When the Mouse [Page 197] troubled the sleeping Lion, and di­sturbed him, and happened to fall un­der his Paw, he desired the Lion to spare him, he was but a Mouse, and yet might live possibly to do him a kind­ness; but howsoever was not worth his indignation: the Mouse afterwards ser­ved to eat asunder that Net that en­tangled the Lion, and so deliver him, that for all his Greatness, could not deliver himself: Kindness, and Affabi­lity, and Gentleness are but cheap and easie things, and as easily exerci­sed as Roughness and Acerbity; and when a man can make a friend upon as easie terms as he can make an ene­my, he is imprudent if he do the lat­ter; for a mean Friend may be able sometimes to do a great kindness to a great man, and a little enemy may have an opportunity to do a great Mischief.

In tumultuous times an ordinary common Souldier is Master of ano­ther mans Life and Estate, either in the unbridled rage of a Storm, or by a false accusation: He therefore that means to sit safe in stormy times, must [Page 198] be careful with Atticus, to avoid the making of Enemies, even in his pri­vate station, as well as in his publick, and must never think any person so despicable, but that he may some way or other, or at some time or other, do him a mischief; and therefore must never unnecessarily provoke any, or make him an Enemy, if he can fairly avoid it.

And these are the principal things observable in the Life of Atticus, which he principally avoided in or­der to his Safety and Tranquillity in troublesome times.


The consideration of the things that Atticus did in order to his Safe­ty and Security against the Dan­gers and Troubles of the Times; and first, touching his Charity, Bounty and Liberality.

I Have done with those things which this wise man avoided in order to his Safety in troublous times. I come now to the things he did; which as they were worthy and ho­nourable in themselves, so they were the great Means of his Safety and pre­servation.

In the precedent Chapter, I shewed his Prudence and Industry to avoid making himself Enemies; this was that he consciously avoided: But he did not only avoid the procuring of Enemies, but was prudent and wise [Page 200] in making very many Friends: This conduced greatly to his Safety and Preservation.

And the means whereby he thus made so many his Friends, was his Liberality, Beneficence and Bounty, especially to those in distress.

But although the safety that he had, was partly the consequence of his many Friends that he procured, and the berieficence that he used, was one great means of procuring Friends; yet herein consisted the excellence of the Man, that he was not bountiful and beneficent upon the bare account of procuring Friends, or by them to secure his safety: But the principle of his benesicence was higher and nobler than his own interest and safety; for it arose from the nobleness of his di­sposition, and was a certain native generosity and beneficence to Man­kind, that prevailed upon him to be greateful to those that did him kind­ness. bountiful to those he loved, com­passionate to those in misery, and be­neficent to Mankind in general: In­deed [Page 201] the Consequence and effect of this goodness was the multiplication of Friends, and his security in times of danger. But that was not the great Wheel that moved him to it, but the admirable constitution and habit of his Mind, which would have ren­dred him such, though there had nei­ther been Friends nor safety acquired by it: For he had a self-contentation in the egresses of his own bounty and goodness, though it had never reflect­ed to his own Honour, Safety or Ad­vantage.

And this is the more evident, for that the Instances of his Liberality and Beneficence were most frequent and eminent towards such as were in greatest distress, and below the ex­pectation of ever making a retribu­tion: whereby, as our Author tells us, it was evident that neither Hopes nor Fears, nor Self-ends or Advan­tage, were the motives of his Li­berality, but the Virtue, Goodness, and Beneficence of his Naure and Soul.

[Page 202] But because if his Beneficence had been singly to any one single party or Faction, or only to that Faction that were undermost, it might have been interpreted a secret compliance with them, and adherence to them, and so rendred him suspected to those that attained the upper hand, he so wisely ordered his Charity and Be­neficence to the oppressed, that at the same time he also liberally presented the Victors; and those things he did not poorly and sneakingly, but bold­ly and openly, that the oppressed might see he countenanced not their Cause, but regarded their wants; and the Victors might see he durst do good to the necessitous, though their Enemies; and all the World might see that his Charity and Goodness was directed to the Humane Nature, not to encourage or flatter Factions: Some Instances hereof are given in the Hi­story of his Life.

When Marius was declared an E­nemy to the State, he assisted him with Necessaries in his flight; and [Page 203] when Sylla, a declared Enemy by Marius, visited Atticus at Athens, he entertained him with honour and re­spect.

When Pompey was hardly beset by the power of Caesar, he supplied him and his Assistants with Money for their support; and yet at the same time supplied Caesar and his Followers with Money for their wants.

When Brutus and his Assistants were oppressed by the power of An­thony, he supplied them with Neces­saries: And when afterwards it was Anthony's Fate to be declared a pub­lick Enemy, and his condition seem­ed desperate, in somuch that the very Friends of Anthony turned bitter Ene­mies of Anthony's Family, he then un­dertook the Patronage and protection of the Family of Anthony, relieved and supported Fulvia, the Wife of Anthony, and Volummius, one of his Family, and stood between them and the violence used against them, and supplied them with Necessaries.

[Page 204] And in this Liberality and Bene­ficence of Atticus, these things are very observable.

1. That it was full of sincerity and integrity; his greatest Bounty and Erogations commonly employed upon those that were not in any likelihood of making him any return; such were his distribution of Corn among the poor at Athens, his relief of Ma­rius, Pompey, Brutus, and the Family of Anthony, when they were at the lowest, and their Cases seemingly desperate; Nec Desperatos reliquit.

2. That it was full of equality and impartial: If Brutus were in distress, he relieved him; if Anthony, though of a contrary Faction, were in distress, he relieved him: His Liberality was not intuitu partis, or governed by re­gard to any particular Faction; but intuitu humani generis, a common be­nignity to humane Nature, that what­soever the party was, yet if he were in distress, he had the experience of his Bounty. And upon the observa­tion hereof, neither party took amiss [Page 205] what he did for the other, because they found he did the like for them, when their turn was to be lowermost. And indeed the vicissitudes of the suc­cesses of the Factions of Marius and Sylla had made all parties wise, so that they became pretty well conten­ted to find such a common Promp­tuary and Treasury of Beneficence, which though their suppressed Adver­sary now tasted, might be of equal advantage to them at the next turn of Fortune.

3. That it was full of singular pru­dence: Pompey and his party were in some distress, he relieved them; Caesar wanted not his Relief; yet Atticus presents him liberally; this was not to bribe each party; but it was to give assistance to their neces­sities: Caesar no less honoured him then Pompey. And by these prudent contemporations he made his Libe­rality safe, and gave assurance to all parties, that the Bounty to either party, was not a compliance with parties, but an excellent beneficence to Mankind in general.

[Page 206] And therefore when either party solicited him to any thing that sa­voured of the countenance of a Fa­ction, he constantly declined it; as when Sylla perswaded him to go with him to Italy, and the party of Brutus solicited him to contribute to a pri­vate Treasury for Brutus, and Pom­pey endeavoured to draw him to his Army. By all which, all parties and all men were fully satisfied that the Bounty of Atticus was not in con­templation of Factions, or for private designs or ends, but the emanation of a noble and benign Soul, full of rivers of Goodness, Clemency and Benefi­cence,

And now we will a little consider the singular effects that this Benefi­cence, Liberality and Charity had in all the Successes of his Life.

1. By this means he removed our of the Minds of all men all that en­vy which commonly waits upon Wealthy men; for he was so true a Steward, and generous Dispenser of the Wealth he had, that no man en­vied [Page 207] his Riches, but wished it more: For they well knew that when their misfortunes or necessities made them stand in need of relief, he was ready to dispose of it for their supply.

2. There is nothing in the world renders a man more popular and belo­ved of all; and so it made him.

And although Popularity is a dan­gerous thing in a State, when it meets in an ambitious Spirit, yet it is safe and desirable when found in a good, and peaceable, and wise man.

3. This Liberality or Bounty was so diffusive, that it exceedingly mul­tiplied his Friends: Every man that had tasted of his Bounty, became his Friend and Advocate; in somuch that there was no one party or Faction in Rome, but had a considerable person of it obliged unto Atticus, by his Bene­fits, whereby it came to pass that in all the Revolutions and Vicissitudes of successes of contesting Factions, he never wanted some considerable persons in power, that were studious of serving him and his Friends, and [Page 208] were his Advocates, if he had occa­sion.

4. Consequently this Bounty and Liberality of Atticus was one of the great Instruments of Safety in all those various Revolutions that happened in Rome during his Life. This was one thing that rendred Atticus so safe, and so acceptable to Caesar, after his re­turn Victor over Pompey: The kind­ness and liberality which he shewed to the Family and Relations of An­thony in his distress, was that which rendred him so acceptable to Anthony, at his return Victor over Brutus; that while thousands were banished or destroyed, and Cicero himself slain in the rage of that Revolution, Atti­cus was protected and highly favou­red; insomuch that he obtained pro­tection hot only for himself, but di­vers of his Friends that were in the Black List of Death, Confiseation; or Banishment, as appears at large in the History of his Life.

It is true that this Expedient of Safety is not exerciseable by men of [Page 209] mean Fortunes, neither is it needful for them; men of low condition have much of their security in times of common distration, from that which ordinarily mistaken men ac­count a piece of misery or infelicity, namely, their poverty; such be be­low the storms and tempests in a State, they blow over them, and rarely hurt them, unless they are over-busie or wilfully entangle themselves in them: But Wealth and Greatness stand in the eye of Troubles and Storms of this nature, because it commonly in­vites every necessitous or ambitious man to make such the prize of Ra­pine; and therefore the wisdom of this man that was wealthy and emi­nent, is more conspicuous, in that he enjoyed his Peace together with his Wealth, and so prudently ma­naged the latter, that he secured the former; and yet without any enor­mous detriment or wasting of his Wealth, while he wisely placed such part thereof that he could rea­sonably [Page 206] [...] [Page 207] [...] [Page 208] [...] [Page 209] [...] [Page 210] spare, and hereby secured both himself and a fair competency of the rest.

And these were the Effects of this excellent mans Bounty and Li­berality, which alwayes returned with great advantage to his Honour and Safety.


The Second thing which Atticus did in order whereby he secured himself.

THe Second Observable in the practice of Atticus, was his con­stancy to his Friends under all con­ditions; whereby he never ceased to do them all Offices of Kindness and Beneficence, were their Fortunes ne­ver so low and desperate.

Marius, though a turbulent person, yet was personally the Friend of At­ticus, and his Son bred up at School with him; when the Father fled from Rome, he supplied him with necessa­ries in his flight.

Pompey was a Friend of Atticus, and in his distress Atticus supplied him liberally in his necessities.

Brutus was a familiar Acquaintance [Page 212] of Atticus, and when he was forced to desert Rome, he supplied him in his streights and necessities with Money, and after the Battel at Philippi, where Brutus was slain, maintained Servilia his Mother, and used his Interest with Anthony, and procured the liberty of many of his Friends that were taken after that Battel, as Gellius, Canius, Julius Canidius, and others; the like he did after the Battel of Philippi, for Julius Morilla the Pretor, Aulus Torquatus, and the Son of Quintius his Brother-in-Law, and others of his Friends that were engaged in the quar­rel and misfortune of Pompey: Thus he always improved his interest that he had in Julius Caesar, Anthony, and other the Heads of great Factions in Rome, when the Victory fell on their side, not to make himself rich or great, but to deliver his friends from the common calamities that befel them in the fall of that Party wherein they were unhappily engaged: Only the Ruine of Cicero was so sudden, that it prevented the intercession of Atticus in his behalf.

[Page 213] Neither can I omit that admirable piece of fidelity to his Friends, and yet that admirable Prudence, that though it fell out oftentimes that ma­ny of his Friends were engaged in opposite Factions, and extream ani­mosities and irreconcileable diffe­rences, yet so he ordered the Mat­ter, that he kept an intimate Friend­ship with them all, corresponded with them all, and had the entire Love and Service of them all with­out any breach of Friendship, or in­curring the displeasure or jealousie of any of them or of their Relations: Marius was his Friend, and so was Sylla, and yet engaged in irreconci­leable enmity between themselves. Pompey was his Friend, and so was Ju­lius Caesar, yet engaged in desperate Wars each against the other. Bru­tus was his Friend, and so was Antho­ny, yet mortal Enemies one against another.

Again, Anthony was his Friend, and so was Octavius Caesar, and yet both implacable enemies each to other. [Page 214] Cicero and Hortensius the two greatest Masters of Eloquence of Rome, had great emulations between them, and yet notwithstanding all those bitter and irreconcileable Feuds and Emu­lations between these Friends of At­ticus, though he were not able to re­concile their differences, he still kept up an entire Friendship with them all, correspondent with them by Let­ters, Entertainments, and all Offices of Friendship with them all, was bountiful to them all, relieved them all in the vicissitudes of their Exigences and Misfortunes, and kept himself yet free from engaging in their Diffe­rences, nor rendred himself suspected to either party. They all knew his integrity and his wisdom, and were abundantly satisfied that his Friend­ship and Beneficence to either party, were acts of pure and generous good­ness, and not leavened, or tainted, or stained with base Ends, or Hopes, or Designs. And this Fidelity and Con­stancy to his Friends, caused all men to love and honour him, and to desire [Page 215] his Friendship, and engaged his Friends in great firmness and fidelity to him. And this among all the rest of his ho­nest and prudent managements, was a great security to him: For, as before I observed, his Friends were hereby so multiplied and encreased, that there was not, nor indeed could be any par­ty in Rome, but had a considerable num­ber of the Friends of Atticus, whom he had formerly engaged by great be­nefits mingled with it, which were as so many Protectors, or at least Advo­cates and Instruments of his Safety and Preservation upon any Revolutions that happened or could happen in the City or State of Rome.


The Third Expedient conducing to the Safety of Atticus; his ad­mirable moderation and equality of Mind and Actions.

ONe of the greatest Enemies to any mans Peace and Safety, is the immoderation and excess of pas­sion which ordinarily carries men in­to excesses and extreams, and creates to a man Enemies and troubles if it find none; transports men beyond the bounds of Wisdom or Reason; some­times it breaks out into rude, harsh and offensive actions, sometimes into provoking and irritating Speeches, and alwayes disorders the judgment, and brings precipitation and inadvertence into the actions: But our worthy per­son [Page 217] was quite of another Make; he governed his passions, and thereby go­verned his Actions and Speeches, was deliberate, and considerate, and of great moderation: He was not pre­sently transported to love and admire every man that either did him a kind­ness, or was great in the Common­wealth; he understood and weighed wherein their ends and designs lay: neither was he presently transported with hatred and indignation of every person that was voted an Enemy by the Senate; he allowed something in those Sentences to the Passions, In­terests and Ends of Persons, Parties and Factions: Though he was an Enemy to Faction in the State, yet he did not presently conclude that all the men that were engaged in a Par­ty, were Enemies to the Common­wealth; he considered that some might mean well, and were ignorant of the Designs and Ends of those that commonly governed the Party; who like a prevailing Humor or Distem­per, many times carried weak or well­meaning [Page 218] men beyond their intenti­ons, and therefore he was not of that common humor of the Vulgar, where­of it is said,

Sequitur Fortunam semper; & odit Damnatos.

And therefore as on the one side he was not cheated into parties by the goodly pretences of them that raised or managed them; so he was not transported with hatred & detestation of all that were of them: As he had his Allay that made him not over­credulous of the former, so he had an allowance of Charity and Gentleness for the latter; whereby he was mo­derate in his Censures of them, and his dislike of them and their proceedings, left still a room for their relief in their necessities, and for an intercession for mercy for them, with those in power.

He looked upon the commotions in the State of both sides to be but the product of Faction, a Disease and Distemper, not the true Tempera­ment [Page 219] and Complexion of the State, and therefore in the collision of Facti­ons, he did not presently judge that the best that prevailed, nor that the worst that was suppressed, they had each their errors, and faults, and mischiefs to the Commonwealth, which possibly were in themselves equal, notwithstanding the discrimi­nation of the success: And therefore he did not presently fall in with the prevailing party, and adore it, nor de­ny those measures of Charity to the adverse party, which he used to deal to them in distress; possibly he thought them not less innocent than the for­mer, though less fortunate, and therefore esteemed them much at one in their merit or rather demerit; on­ly the distressed stood more in need of his Charity than the Victors, and therefore they had more of it.

Again, when he saw the Rage and Fury, and Proscriptions, and Con­demnations that the conquering party used against those that had been en­gaged on the other side, though he [Page 220] hated and detested that Cruelty and Fierceness that he saw exercised by Citizens of the same Commonwealth and City, against their Fellow-Citi­zens, as breaches not only of the Bonds of Civil Society, but as Inva­sions upon Humanity it self; yet he still governed himself with that mo­deration, as not to fall foul upon the Victors with publick Invectives and Phillippiques: For he well knew that would but irritate and provoke their Rage, and possibly disable him to do those Offices of kindness for his Friends that fell under the power of the Victors: And besides, Expe­rience of the Vicissitudes of Successes in adverse Factions, had well assu­red him that it was the common Method of which soever Faction prevailed, to use all Extremities a­gainst the other: And although this cruel Custom did no way justi­fie the things they did, nor rendred them excusable in the judgment of Atticus; yet it gave a little allay to the censure of their severity, that had [Page 221] the other Faction prevailed, they would have done no less by them.

And this moderation of Atticus gave him great security in troublesom times, procured him Friends, kept him considerate and circumspect in all he did, that he never overshot him­self with Folly, Passion or precipitan­cy in words or action.


Cancerning the Fourth Expedient conducing to the Safety of Atti­cus; his Constancy.

IF I should follow Atticus through all those expressions of his Pru­dence and Wisdom, joined with sin­gular Vertue and Goodness, my Ob­servations would be too voluminous: The truth is, there is scarce any one part or passage of his Life, but de­serves remark. My Author truly sayes, Difficile est omnia dicere, & non necessaria: I shall therefore conclude all with this one Observation more; namely, his Constancy.

1. He was constant to his Friends, even in their lowest and most despe­rate condition; he ever retained his Love to them, and it was not a com­plemental Love, but such as expres­sed [Page 223] it self in real indications, relie­ving them in their extremities, en­gaging all his Endeavours and inte­rest for their deliverance out of dan­gers, and never giving over his en­deavours till he effected what was possible for their good and safety.

2. He was constant to his Mode and Fashion of Life; he lived in the same House, without any considerable alteration, kept the same Equipage, not withstanding the encrease and ac­cess of his Fortune; the same Rules and Observances in his Houshold, his Entertainments, his House-keeping, pari fastigio stetit in utraque For­tuna.

3. He was constant to his Princi­ples; what he once was, he alwayes was; and what he once practised, he alwayes practised; he used the same moderation and equality, the same Justice and Integrity, the same qui­etness and evenness of mind, the same Virtue and Goodness, the same Piety and Honour to his Parents, the same Humility and Affability, [Page 224] the same Gravity and Decency, the same Compassion to the afflicted, the same Bounty and Liberality to all; and no variation of Successes or For­tunes, no Dislikes or Distastes of other men, no Hopes, no Fears, no perswasions, no sinister Ends or De­signs conld shake him from his Prin­ciples, or unsettle him from his Basis of Honour or Virtue, upon which he stood fixed, square and unmove­able. And therefore when Anthony was in his lowest condition, decla­red an Enemy to the State. Brutus and Cassius in the vogue and esteem in Rome, and seemed to ride upon the strength of the Common breath of popular applause, and yet in this condition of Affairs, Atticus assisted and protected the Family of Anthony with his Money and Interest in their lowest and deplorable condition: And when the great men of the time be­gan to look sowr upon him, and com­plained, quod parum odisse malos Cives Videretur: That he was too favoura­ble to the publick Enemies of the [Page 225] State, yet he continued constant in his way, and as our Author tells us, rather thought it his honour for him to practice what was fit for him to do, than what others would com­mand.

And certainly this Constancy of Atticus to his Friends, to Himself, to his Principles, was not only his Honour but his Safety; all the World looking upon him as a common Be­nefactor to Humane Nature, not changed nor shaken from his Good­ness by any variety of Fortune. A man that is unstable or tottering is loved by no man, because he is not fit to be trusted; but a man constant to worthy and generous Principles retains the like constancy of Esteem and Veneration from all men, and together with his honour and esteem and worth, commonly retains his safety and security in publick concus­sions.

And thus I have gathered out of the History of the Life of At­ticus such things as seemed to me [Page 226] the great means of his unexampled peace, safety, honour, tranquillity and happiness in a continued series of in­comparable and matchless concus­sions and storms in the Roman State, I shall conclude with these few ge­neral Observations upon his Life, and with some Cautions touching it. The Observations are these:

1. That most certainly Virtue, Goodness, and Integrity is the best Policy and greatest means of Safety in the most dangerous times and places.

2. That most certainly Virtue and Goodness and Integrity is the truest way for any man to gain true honour, veneration, and esteem among men; it is more conducible than Riches, and Armies, and Triumphs, and Victo­ries.

3. That as it is the truest way to get Honour, so it is the best means to keep it, because such an Honour hath not its dependence upon any thing without a man; his Fortune, Wealth, Power, or Success, these [Page 227] are changeable and variable; but a good, wise, and virtuous man carries the root and spring of his Honour in himself, he shall never cease to be honoured till he cease to be good.

4. That there is a secret veneration of Goodness and Virtue in all men, even in the worst and vilest; a man cannot so far put off Humanity, but that Goodness, Wisdom, and Virtue will have so much of party and in­terest in his nature, that he cannot choose but pay a secret approbation, veneration, and esteem to those that have it.

5. That consequently Wisdom, Beneficence, Virtue, and Goodness have a great connaturality to Hu­mane Nature, and are the true ge­nuine Spirit or Genius of it, and that it is so, is evident, 1. By the great good it procures to Humane Nature, Honour, and Safety; and 2. By the great esteem that Mankind hath of it, and the common interest it obtains in the common Nature of Mankind.


Touching certain Cautions to be used in the Observation and Imi­tation of the Life of Atticus in publick collisions of Factions.

WE have seen in the former Discourse not only the singular Virtue and Goodness of At­ticus, but also his admirable Safety in times of publick Factions and Com­motions in the State of Rome.

And yet we may observe in his Life some things practised by him with great success and security, which yet were things of great danger and hazard, and possibly such as may not be undertaken or adventured upon by others, and exceed the limits of com­mon Example. When a person is by the lawful supreme Authority of a State or Country declared a publick [Page 229] Enemy, or a Traytor, proscribed or banished, ordinarily common huma­nity of all States allows of relief and support to his Wife, Children, Fa­mily, Servants and dependents, but for the most part (if not always) for­bids supplies to be sent to the person thus proscribed, or declared an Ene­my, or any communication or con­verse with him; because though pos­sibly it may be all done upon a per­sonal account, and intuitu personae, without respect to his condition in relation to the Publick; yet it can­not choose but be a support to him, and a countenance of him, whereby he may be enabled to gather new sup­plies, or at least courage or encou­ragement for farther attemps to the promoting of his Faction, Party, or Designs. And although in the Ro­man State those declarations of Ene­mies, whether Marcus, or Sylla, or Brutus, or Anthony, or Pompey, or Cae­sar, were obtained by the prevalence and sollicitation of the adverse Party or Faction, and were in a manner [Page 230] extracted from the Senate and People; yet it is plain, that according to the Constitution of the Roman Repub­lick, the supreme Authority was lodged in the Senate, or Senate and People; and therefore the publick Acts, Decrees, or Laws made by them were in force till repealed by the like Solemnity or Authority, though per­chance at first unduly obtained. For such veneration is necessarily due to Laws or Constitutions enacted by the full, supreme, legislative, legal power, according to the true Constitution of the Civil Government, that they are not to be rescinded by private persons, upon their pretence of being unduly obtained, till they are regu­larly avoided by the like legal power by which they were enacted or insti­tuted.

And therefore a private person (such as Atticus was, or any other might be) that should go about to relieve and supply Marius or Sylla, Pompey or Julius Caesar, Brutus or Anthony, Octa­vius or Lepidus while they were under [Page 231] these publick Declarations or Pro­scriptions by the Civil Power of the Roman State, according to the settled Laws of that State, must needs be under a violation of the Law, and subjected to the danger and inconve­nience that ariseth from violations of publick Laws. Besides, it may seem this liberty taken by Atticus of re­lieving persons thus declared Enemies to the Commonwealth, and holding such intimate correspondence with them, neither became a good Citi­zen nor a good Man, which accord­ing to the old standard of the Roman Morals, was,

Qui consult a patrum, qui leges juráque servat.

And therefore though the general Scheme of the Life of Atticus afford a prudent and good Example of Imi­tation, especially in the like state of Affairs, yet it were hard to make him a pattern of imitation in this particu­lar of his supplies of Enemies, so [Page 232] publickly declared by the true su­preme power of the Roman State, (I say the true supreme power of the Roman State) nor in his correspon­dence with them. For it is so far from proving a man's safety, that, according to the usual Methods and Laws of Government, it exposeth a man to the greatest danger, and that even by the Law it self.

What Atticus therefore did in this kind, is singular and scarce compati­ble to another person, because it is hardly possible that any other person could be under the same circumstan­ces with Atticus when he used this practice, and therefore that which he did in this kind with safety, yea and honour to himself, may not be ventured upon by any person that stands otherwise circumstantiated, and studies his safety.

Although the Roman State were severe enough in prohibiting supplies to their foreign Enemies, or holding correspondence, or clandestina cum ho­stibus colloquia, yea and had and used [Page 233] the like strictness in relation to those Mutinies, or Conspiracies, or Rebel­lions immediately or directly levelled against the State or Commonwealth it self; as in the Conjuration of Cati­line, their Bella servilia with their Slaves, and the like; yet it should seem at this time they had not that strict animad version against the dis­senting Parties or Factions, which though they were bitter and cruel one towards another, yet they all pre­tended a common love and care of the Commonwealth or Government closely, and each party possibly at some times might really intend the prosperity and advancement thereof, though the means whereby they at­tempted it proved pernicious to that end.

2. Again and principally, although by the power and industry of a pre­vailing Faction the Senate and People were oftentimes brought to counte­nance them with a Decree or Law in their favour, and with a Proscri­ption or Declaration to the disadvan­tage [Page 234] of the adverse party, yet every body knew that it was but a kind of forced compliance by the true Body of the Senate or People, and that the concern lay meerly between the parties litigant, and not so much in the true Genius of the Roman Govern­ment, which would have been glad to have been free from both the Com­petitors, or at least from their Com­petition: And therefore the animad­versions and severities used against either Party, though they were of­tentimes great and cruel, yet were not so much from the temper of the Roman Government, as from the distemper, jealousie, animosity and hatred between the contending Par­ties themselves: and therefore they that suffered, looked upon their suf­ferings not as so much the exertions of the Justice of the Roman State, as the violence of the prevailing party.

3. Again, the various successes that those Factions and their Heads and Parties had in the common expe­rience, [Page 235] and in their successes, seemed by degrees to make men sensible, that a good man and beneficent was ne­cessary to be protected, because no party knew whether it might not shortly be his turn to make use of his beneficence: So that a man not ad­dicted to either Faction as a party in it, was by a kind of tacit compact free from animad version or punish­ment for his assistance to the oppres­sed; and was spared in these publick Concussions, as Temples or Sacred places are in time of publick Hosti­lity.

4. But again, Atticus had given in the whole course of his Life most certain and infallible indications that he did not, would not engage in ei­ther Party or Faction, and that he did with an equal indifferency supply the necessities, and endeavour to remove the calamities of any of what Party soever he was; and bare a fair and equal respect to all of what Party soever, whether of the Party of Marius or Sylla, of Caesar or Pompey, [Page 236] of Brutus or Anthony; by all which all men concluded him to be a com­mon Friend to Mankind; but no fo­menter, or encourager, or maintainer of any Faction. And it is scarce pos­sible for any other man to have all these happy circumstances to contri­bute to that common good opinion that all Parties, yea all men had of Atticus; whereby it came to pass that these supplies and corresponden­cies that he held with the several engaged Parties, never brought him into the danger or suspicion of being a promoter or favourer of their Fa­ctions, or to render those his acts of Humanity any way unsafe or dange­rous to him.

And therefore since the danger that might befall Atticus in his relief of those that were declared Enemies to the Commonwealth, must necessarily arise either from the resentment of the Senate and People of Rome, in relieving those they had declared Enemies, or from the jealousie, in­dignation and animosity of that Party [Page 237] or Faction that then obtained, and might be offended at his kindness to an adverse Party: He was in both these respects under a competent de­gree of security, not with standing those supplies and correspondencies: For the Senate and People of Rome, though by the force of a prevailing Party they were drawn to, or rather driven to make Decrees and Declarations in their favour, and against the other Party; yet in truth they really dis­liked both, and would have been glad to be at quiet; and therefore were not over-eager, or busie, or fierce in prosecuting those that were bene­ficent to either Party, especially if he were no Friend to the Faction it self.

And on the other side, the Factions themselves were not over-violent in their animadversions upon Atticus his Beneficence to either Party, because it was apparent he did it not in con­templation or favour of a Faction, but as a common Benefactor to men in want and extremity: And so be­tween [Page 238] both he escaped those severities which possibly the rigour of the Law might have inflicted upon an assistant to a declared Enemy, or the jealousie of a prevailing Party might have brought upon him.

5. Again, he was a man of that great and deserved reputation for his Prudence, Learning, Worth, Love to his Countrey, Liberality, Benefi­cence, Sincerity, that he had a high veneration with all men of all Par­ties and Factions; every man thought it a kind of barbarousness and inhu­manity to accuse or injure such a person especially that had so obliged all Mankind. When a bold Tribune did accuse Scipio Africanus that great Roman Captain, he answered his Ac­cusation with no other language, but led the People up to the Capitol and other places where the Monuments of his Triumphs and Benefits to the Ro­man State gave them the fresh re­membrance of his Merits, and there­upon the Accusation vanished, and the Accuser slunk away ashamed of [Page 239] his Attempt. But in all the whole Life of Atticus we find not so much as any Accusation of him, no not to the Heads themselves of the comba­ting parties. He was so much above Censure, that he never so much as fell under any Accusations; which possibly may be a priviledge that few men living in publick Concussions, and of any eminence, are capable of.

And therefore as this Example of the Liberality of Atticus to parties obnoxious to a publick declaration of being Enemies to the State, and his familiarity, intimacy, and corre­spondency with them may be a signal evidence of his Wisdom, yea and also of his fortunate success under so dan­gerous Adventures; yet it cannot be allowed to be a common Example to other persons to run the like hazard, because it is morally impossible they should be under such happy and be­neficial circumstances in this kind as Atticus was, and therefore cannot ex­pect the like success therein as he sound.

[Page 240] Indeed if the Senate and People of Rome that made these Decrees in fa­vour of those that got into the Saddle, had been but Usurpers of the supreme Authority, or had it not been really and legally fixed in them, or had they been a pack of men that had but pre­tended the supreme Authority, and the State-power of making Laws or politick Edicts, Proscriptions, and Declarations of this nature, without any legal and true power so to do: It had not only been an act of noble­ness and generosity, but possibly of duty, to have ministred relief and sup­ply to those that were oppressed by them. But the Case was other­wise; the true supreme Authority of the Roman State was engaged in those Edicts and Proscriptions, though drawn thereunto by the power of a prevailing Party. And therefore the ad­venture of Atticus was great in mini­string supplies to those that fell under those Sentences and Decrees, though his great Wisdom in managing there­of, the great and publick veneration [Page 241] of his goodness, and the junctures of the affairs of the Roman State, rendred him safe and secure from danger under that adventure. And whosoever shall adven­ture in like manner, had need be sure his Circumstances be the same with those of Atticus, and that he hath as good a Judgment, yea, and Fortune also, to discern and weather Difficul­ties, as he had, otherwise in such Ad­ventures he cannot be without great danger.

And as I have added this Caution touching the practice of Atticus, in his Life, so there is another Caution to be added touching his Deportment near his Death. It seems to me, that his obstinate resolution not to take any nourishment to preserve his Life, be­cause it would prolong his pain toge­ther with his Life, was not at all com­mendable; but as it savoured too much of impatience, unbecoming a Philo­sopher, so it was an act of much wil­ful imprudence; for the receiving of convenient nourishment, might pro­long his Life, and possibly abate his [Page 242] pain. But the wilful refusal of it must necessarily be (as it was) an im­mediate cause of his Death, which he thereby hastened; and although self-Murder was grown too much in fa­shion among some of the Grandees of Rome, as appears by the instance of Cato and others; yet certainly it was a practice not only of Inhumanity, but of much Pusillanimity and Impotence of Mind, and a miserably mistaken choice, to choose Death, the worst of Evils, rather than endure Pain or Disgrace in the world; which a little Philosophy would have taught them to bear with patience, rather than to avoid by destroying their own Lives.



PAg. 9. 1. 23. r. Province. P. 17. 1. 19. for note r. not. P. 36. 1. 15. r. 11th year. P. 41. r. 4628. P. 45. 1. 5. r. fermented. P. 57. 1. 6. r. Gentlest Animadversions. P. 59. 1. 24. r. aided. P. 69. 1. 9. r. evil Engine. P. 73. 1. 6. r. Gilded all their. 1. 21. r. Protections of. P. 82. 1. 7. dele rather. 1. 14. r. Consulate of Marius. P. 87. 1. 2. r. in or against. P. 93. 1. 21. for strange and foreign, r. strong and firm. P. 98. 1. 4. r. or like means. P. 99. 1. 16. r. for the state, his stake. P. 104. 1. 4. r. who will. P. 114. 1. 1. r. opposed them. P. 118. 1. 20. r. Air, but. P. 134. 1. 22, 23. r. for the later, both will come. P. 153. 1. 27. r. they put. P. 158. 1. 18. r. were obvious to. P. 161. 1. 9. r. Great men especially, if inclinable to any Faction. P. 165. 1. 8. r. CHAP. IX. and so for all the rest of the Chap­ters to the end of the Book on forward. P. 174. 1. 22. r. No publick. 1. 25. r. Injudicial. 1. 26. r. Employment be must. P. 190. 1. 15. r. His declamations. P. 199. 1. 23. r. constantly avoid. P. 225. 1. 5. r. others would commend, P. 230. 1. 1. r. extorted from.


Pag. 92. Between Line 12 and 13, insert as followeth.

IT is true that the lawful Governors of a Kingdom or State, must ne­cessarily sometimes use great severities upon Rebels and Disturbers of the Go­vernment; and this is necessary as well by way of just retribution of great de­merits, but principally for example, and so prevent others from the like Exorbitances, Ut Poena ad paucos, Me­tus ad omnes: Rewards and Punish­ments being as well the two great Pil­lars that support Government, as the two great Wheels that keep it in a re­gular and orderly Motion.

But yet there is great Prudence and Moderation to be used therein, as well in reference to the kinds and de­grees of the punishments, as in the [Page] extent of them; for if they be too inhumane and barbarous, or be exten­ded to all the persons that are Offen­ders (when the number of them possibly is very great) it may prove like Physick that is too strong for the Bodies, and brings many times greater danger than the Disease it designs to cure.

But the Case of those Factions in Rome, was not like that of the Civil Magistrate in punishing Malefactors in a State; but it was the Passions and Animosities of one Faction or Party against another, and therefore such horrid and extensive severities that they used one against another, rendred their severities and the extent of them, as unexcusable, so in the event, dan­gerous and unsuccessful to those that used them; the reason above given.

Pag. 144. Between Line 7, and 8, add,

It is true that he relieved Brutus af­ter his Exile; but so he also relieved Anthony after his Exile, though both were extream Enemies each to other; but still it was for their private relief, not to support their Factions. Brutus used him as his great Councellor, as we are told in his Life: But it was not upon the account of Brutus his publick undertakings, but only touching his private Concerns; which appears be­yond all question, in that in their high­est Familiarity and Friendship, he re­fused not only to subseribe for the Treasure designed for Brutus, but would not so much as meet about it.

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