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the reader will be affected at this, but I wanë words to express my own sense of so friendly and so noble a proceeding: and that which heightens it, is the wonderful ambition de mong the Romans of arriving carly at these great imployments, so as sometimes to kill themselves upon having failed of their pretension ; add also the particular eagerness of Tully's humour for all things he desired, (as we saw just now) but especially for honours and preferments, even to excess. Yet how frankly, how generously does he sacrifice all this, only to ease his friend of a troublesome journey! Such a man was CICERO; and such a place was Rome, which had many CICEROES! Men not only like him, but even above him with all his parts and politeness. And yet we have the farce sometimes of hearing ignorant wretches, especially the French, undervalue both Greeks and Ro mans, in comparison with themselves.
LET T E R VII.
ERUM ne caufam quidem, &c.
It seems this quarrel between ATTICUS and LUCCEIUS (for that appears to be his
name) was very hearty on one side ; for nothing shews that more than such an obstinate denial to declare the true cause of it; tho’ ’tis also a sign of being implacable, and revengeful. In which I differ with the Abbot of St. Real, who, after affirming rightly that, Les plus grands de les plus sensibles sujets de plainte se disent le moins, is yet methinks a little mistaken in judging such a sullen silence reasonable, notwithstanding all interposition of friends. But I fee, no sort
, of good fortune is without allay ; for AtTICUS, so particularly famous for living not only inoffensively, but almost friendlily with all Men; has yet some way or other
provoked two implacable enemies, this LucCEIUS of old, and our ingenious Abbot now; who, besides his notes on these Letters between ATTICUS and CICERO, has in a little book called Cæfarion, used the first of them almost as unmercifully as ANTONY did the other :. So that I am confident if our Author had lived in those times, and if private combats had been then in fashion, (which are two If's, I confess, as far fetch'd as some of his reflections) he would have been LUCCEIUS's second, and perhaps have fought a duel with CICERO.
II. SUMMUM me eorum studium tenet, &c. There can hardly be a greater proof than this of the ravishing delights of Learning. That such a man as CICERO, whose agreeable sort of wit so fitted him for the pleasures of conversation, and whose great talents help'd him to all the satisfaction his ambitious humour was capable of; yet to his intimate friend he makes a solemn protestation of being no where so well pleas’d as among his Books and Papers. But, to his immortal honour, it ought to be observed also, that, notwithstanding all his inclination to Philosophy, and ability of instructing the world that way, yet he always prefer'd doing well, to writing well, and sacrificed his own humour (the most difficult self-denial, because a continual one] to the publick service, and the safety of his country: For which his great concern at this time, seeing affairs so ill managed, drew from him this expression of fondness for his Library, that now afforded him his only consolation,
L E T.