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Sprenger catalogues the Lucknow MS. Both indeed were men of subtle Intellect and high Imagi- nation, instructed in Learning beyond their day, and of Hearts passionate for Truth and Justice; who justly revolted from their Country's false Religion, and false, or foolish, Devotion to it; but who yet fell short of replacing what they subverted by any such better Hope as others, with no better Faith had dawned, had yet made a Law to themselves. With regard to the present Translation.

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Something as in the Greek Alcaic, where the third line seems to lift and suspend the [page xiii] Wave that falls over in the last. Those here selected are strung into something of an Eclogue, with perhaps a less than equal proportion of the "Drink and make-merry," which genuine or not recurs over-frequently in the Original. What, without asking, hither hurried whence? And, without asking, whither hurried hence! Another and another Cup to drown The Memory of this Impertinence! How long, how long, in infinite Pursuit Of This and That endeavour and dispute?

Better be merry with the fruitful Grape Than sadden after none, or bitter, Fruit. Listen again. Indeed, indeed, Repentance oft before I swore—but was I sober when I swore? And then and then came Spring, and Rose-in-hand My thread-bare Penitence a-pieces tore. Alas, that Spring should vanish with the Rose! That Youth's sweet-scented Manuscript should close!

The Nightingale that in the Branches sang, Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows! Ah, Love! Beginning with the Vernal Equinox, it must be remembered; and howsoever the old Solar Year is practically superseded by the clumsy Lunar Year that dates from the Mohammedan Hijra still commemorated by a Festival that is said to have been appointed by the very Jamshyd whom Omar so often talks of, and whose yearly Calendar he helped to rectify. According to them also the Healing Power of Jesus resided in his Breath.

These limits included almost all places in the Roman world, and the greatest nations and most powerful kings were comprised within them. When these provisions of the law were read in the assembly, 37 the people received them with excessive pleasure, but the chief and most influential men of the senate thought that such unlimited and absolute power, while it was beyond the reach of envy, was yet a thing to be feared.

The rest vehemently attacked Pompey. And when one of the consuls told him that if he emulated Romulus he would not escape the fate of Romulus, 38 he was near being torn in pieces by the multitude. He therefore made signs with his fingers that they should not choose Pompey alone to this command, but give him a colleague. At this, we are told, the people were incensed and gave forth such a shout that a raven flying over the forum was stunned by it and fell down into the throng. On hearing, however, that the law had been passed, he entered the city by night, feeling that he was sure to awaken envy if the people thronged to meet him.

But when day came, he appeared in public and offered sacrifice, and at an assembly held for him he managed to get many other things besides those already voted, and almost doubled his armament. Twenty-four men who had held command or served as praetors were chosen from the senate by him, and he had two quaestors.

Against these Pompey intended to proceed in person with his sixty best ships. This was owing to his own tireless energy and the zeal of his lieutenants. As a consequence Piso came near being deprived of his consulship, and Gabinius had the requisite law already written out. Just as he was leaving the city, he read two inscriptions, each of a single verse, addressed to him, one inside the gate:— "As thou knowest thou art mortal, in so far thou art a god;" and the other outside:— "We awaited, we saluted, we have seen, and now conduct thee forth.

All these he spared, and it was chiefly by their aid that he tracked down, seized, and punished those who were still lurking in concealment because conscious of unpardonable crimes. The men themselves, who were more than twenty thousand in number, he did not once think of putting to death; and yet to let them go and suffer them to disperse or band together again, poor, warlike, and numerous as they were, he thought was not well.

To most of them, however, he gave as residence Dyme in Achaea, which was then bereft of men and had much good land. Metellus hemmed in many of them and was killing and destroying them. For he sent out edicts in all directions calling the soldiers to his standard, and summoned the subject potentates and kings into his presence. And since both were very great and very successful generals, their lictors had their rods alike wreathed with laurel when they met; but Lucullus was advancing from green and shady regions, while Pompey chanced to have made a long march through a parched and treeless country.

This was held to be a sign that Pompey was coming to rob Lucullus of the fruits of his victories and of his glory. At first, however, their interview was conducted with all possible civility and friendliness, each magnifying the other's exploits and congratulating him on his successes; but in the conferences which followed they could come to no fair or reasonable agreement, nay, they actually abused each other, Pompey charging Lucullus with love of money, and Lucullus charging Pompey with love of power, and they were with difficulty separated by their friends.

To this Lucullus retorted that Pompey was going forth to fight an image and shadow of war, following his custom of alighting, like a lazy carrion-bird, on bodies that others had killed, and tearing to pieces the scattered remnants of wars. Therefore it was no wonder that he was trying to usurp the glory of the Pontic and Armenian wars, a man who contrived to thrust himself in some way or other into the honour of a triumph for defeating runaway slaves. At once, then, his camp was abundantly supplied with water, and men wondered that in all the time of his encampment Mithridates had been ignorant of this possibility.

But after enduring a siege of forty-five days, Mithridates succeeded in stealing off with his most effective troops; the sick and unserviceable he killed. Then, however, Pompey overtook him near the Euphrates river, and encamped close by; and fearing lest the king should get the advantage of him by crossing the Euphrates, he put his army in battle array and led it against him at midnight. He dreamed that he was sailing the Pontic Sea with a fair wind, and was already in sight of the Bosporus, and was greeting pleasantly his fellow-voyagers, as a man would do in his joy over a manifest and sure deliverance; but suddenly he saw himself bereft of all his companions and tossed about on a small piece of wreckage.

As he dreamed of such distress, his friends came to his couch and roused him with the news that Pompey was advancing to the attack. But when Pompey perceived their preparations to meet him, he hesitated to hazard matters in the dark, and thought it necessary merely to surround them, in order to prevent their escape, and then to attack them when it was day, since they were superior in numbers. Mithridates himself, however, at the outset, cut and charged his way through the Romans with eight hundred horsemen; but the rest were soon dispersed and he was left with three companions. He also gave each of his friends a deadly poison to carry with them, that no one of them might fall into the hands of the enemy against his will.

Tigranes, accordingly, not only obeyed them in this, but also unloosed his sword and gave it to them; and finally, when he came into the presence of Pompey himself, he took off his royal tiara and made as if to lay it at his feet, and what was most humiliating of all, would have thrown himself down and clasped his knees in supplication. But his son was dissatisfied, and when he was invited to supper, said that he was not dependent on Pompey for such honours, for he himself could find another Roman to bestow them.

Upon this, he was put in chains and reserved for the triumph. The greatest of these peoples are the Albanians and the Iberians, of whom the Iberians extend to the Moschian mountains and the Euxine Sea, while the Albanians lie to the eastward as far as the Caspian Sea. To do this, they crossed the river Cyrnus, which rises in the Iberian mountains, and receiving the Araxes as it issues from Armenia, empties itself by twelve mouths into the Caspian. Although Pompey could have opposed the enemy's passage of the river, he suffered them to cross undisturbed; then he attacked them, routed them, and slew great numbers of them.

Notwithstanding, Pompey routed this people also in a great battle, in which nine thousand of them were slain and more than ten thousand taken prisoners; then he invaded Colchis, where, at the river Phasis, Servilius met him, at the head of the fleet with which he was guarding the Euxine. He found them drawn up on the river Abas, sixty thousand foot and twelve thousand horse, but wretchedly armed, and clad for the most part in the skins of wild beasts. In this battle it is said that there were also Amazons fighting on the side of the Barbarians, and that they came down from the mountains about the river Thermodon.

For when the Romans were despoiling the Barbarians after the battle, they came upon Amazonian shields and buskins; but no body of a woman was seen. With these peoples, who meet them by the river Thermodon, they consort for two months every year; then they go away and live by themselves. Of all the concubines of Mithridates that were brought to Pompey, he used not one, but restored them all to their parents and kindred; for most of them were daughters and wives of officials and princes.

In this way he was with difficulty persuaded, and putting on his purple robes and leaping upon his horse, he rode though the city, crying: "All this is mine. Of such a stock and lineage was Stratonice. For there were memoranda among them from which it was discovered that, besides many others, he had poisoned to death his son Ariarathes, and also Alcaeus of Sardis, because he had surpassed him in driving race-horses. There were also letters from Monime to him, of a lascivious nature, and answering letters from him to her. Moreover, Theophanes says there was found here an address of Rutilius, which incited the king to the massacre of the Romans in Asia.

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Wherefore, to gratify these other kings, he would not deign, in answering a letter from the king of Parthia, to address him as King of Kings, which was his usual title. In order, therefore, that he might connect the circuit of his military expeditions with the Red Sea, he put his army in motion. And, besides, he saw that it was difficult to hunt Mithridates down with an armed force, and that he was harder to deal with when he fled than when he gave battle. Some cities he built up, others he set free, chastising their tyrants.

Thus when the Armenians and Parthians referred to him the decision of a territorial quarrel, he sent them three arbiters and judges. This enabled him to hide away most of the transgressions of his friends and intimates, since he was not fitted by nature to restrain or chastise evil doers; but he was so helpful himself to those who had dealings with him that they were content to endure the rapacity and severity of his friends. The following story is told about him. When he beheld before the gate of the city a throng of men in white raiment, and drawn up along the road the youths on one side, and the boys on the other, he was vexed, supposing this to be done out of deference and honour to himself, who desired nothing of the kind.

For instance, it is said that many times at his entertainments, when Pompey was awaiting and receiving his other guests, that fellow would be already reclining at table in great state, with the hood of his toga drawn down behind his ears. But even this was not large enough to excite envy, so that when he who succeeded Pompey as its owner entered it, he was amazed, and inquired where Pompey the Great used to sup.

At any rate, so the story runs.

The Ancient Evil

Pompey, therefore, wishing to confirm him in his purpose, marched towards Petra, an expedition which was not a little censured by most of his followers. Pompey, however, thinking it easier to crush the king's forces when he made war than to seize his person when he was in flight, was not willing to wear out his own strength in a vain pursuit, and therefore sought other employment in the interval of the war and thus protracted the time. For when he was come within a short distance of Petra, and had already pitched his camp for that day and was exercising himself on horseback near by, dispatch-bearers rode up from Pontus bringing good tidings.

Such messengers are known at once by the tips of their spears, which are wreathed with laurel. As soon as the soldiers saw these couriers they ran in throngs to Pompey. Here he found many gifts that had been brought from Pharnaces, and many dead bodies of the royal family, and the corpse of Mithridates himself, which was not easy to recognize by the face for the embalmers had neglected to remove the brain , but those who cared to see the body recognized it by the scars.


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All this escaped the knowledge of Pompey at the time, but Pharnaces afterwards learned of it and punished the thieves. For instance, when he came to Mitylene, he gave the city its freedom, for the sake of Theophanes, and witnessed the traditional contest of the poets there, who now took as their sole theme his own exploits. And being pleased with the theatre, he had sketches and plans of it made for him, that he might build one like it in Rome, only larger and more splendid. Poseidonius has actually described the discourse which he held before him, against Hermagoras the rhetorician, on Investigation in General.

He therefore hoped to set foot in Italy with a reputation more brilliant than that of any other man, and that his family would be as eager to see him as he was to see them. But that divine agency which always takes pains to mingle with the great and splendid gifts of fortune a certain portion of evil, had long been secretly at work preparing to make his return a very bitter one. While Pompey was far away, he had treated the report of it with contempt; but when he was nearer Italy and, as it would seem, had examined the charge more at his leisure, he sent her a bill of divorce, although he neither wrote at that time, nor afterwards declared, the grounds on which he put her away; but the reason is stated in Cicero's letters.

Crassus took his children and his money and secretly withdrew, whether it was that he was really afraid, or rather, as seemed likely, because he wished to give credibility to the calumny and make the envious hatred of Pompey more severe. When the army had been thus disbanded and all the world had learned about it, a wonderful thing happened. However, Pompey admired Cato's boldness of speech and the firmness which he alone publicly displayed in defence of law and justice, and therefore set his heart on winning him over in some way or other; and since Cato had two nieces, Pompey wished to take one of them to wife himself, and to marry the other to his son.

In the meantime, however, wishing to have Afranius made consul, Pompey spent money lavishly on his behalf among the tribes, and the people went down to Pompey's gardens to get it.

The Editor's Notes:

Inscriptions borne in advance of the procession indicated the nations over which he triumphed. For others before him had celebrated three triumphs; but he celebrated his first over Libya, his second over Europe, and this his last over Asia, so that he seemed in a way to have included the whole world in his three triumphs.


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  • For succeeding time brought him only success that made him odious, and failure that was irreparable. And just as the strongest parts of a city's defences, when they are captured by an enemy, impart to him their own inherent strength, so it was by Pompey's power and influence that Caesar was raised up against the city, and Caesar overthrew and cast down the very man by whose aid he had waxed strong against the rest. And this was the way it came about.

    In other matters Lucullus was already dulled and chilled past all efficiency, having given himself over to the pleasures of ease and the enjoyment of his wealth; but he sprang at once upon Pompey and by a vigorous attack won a victory over him in the matter of those ordinances of his own which Pompey had annulled, 60 and carried the day in the senate with the support of Cato.

    Among these the boldest and vilest was Clodius, who took him up and threw him down under the feet of the people, and keeping him ignobly rolled about in the dust of the forum, and dragging him to and fro there, he used him for the confirmation of what was said and proposed to gratify and flatter the people. For when Cicero was in danger of condemnation and begged his aid, Pompey would not even see him, but shut his front door upon those who came in Cicero's behalf, and slipped away by another. Cicero, therefore, fearing the result of his trial, withdrew secretly from Rome.

    Caesar was, indeed, chosen consul; but he at once paid his court to the indigent and pauper classes by proposing measures for the founding of cities and the distribution of lands, thereby lowering the dignity of his office and making the consulate a kind of tribunate. However, by his subsequent acts he made it clear that he had now wholly given himself up to do Caesar's bidding. Caesar himself married Calpurnia, the daughter of Piso. As Bibulus the consul was going down into the forum with Lucullus and Cato, the crowd fell upon him and broke the fasces of his lictors, and somebody threw a basket of ordure all over the head of Bibulus himself, and two of the tribunes who were escorting him were wounded.

    For under his direction were placed harbours, trading-places, distributions of crops, — in a word, navigation and agriculture. But others declare that this was a device of the consul Spinther, whose aim was to confine Pompey in a higher office, in order that he himself might be sent out to aid King Ptolemy. Pompey was thought to regard the law with no disfavour, but the senate rejected it, on the plausible pretence that it feared for his safety. Besides, writings were to be found scattered about the forum and near the senate-house, stating that it was Ptolemy's wish to have Pompey given to him as a commander instead of Spinther.

    But this is not made credible by the baseness of Theophanes as much as it is made incredible by the nature of Pompey, in which ambition was not of such a mean and base order. When he was about to set sail with it, there was a violent storm at sea, and the ship-captains hesitated to put out; but he led the way on board and ordered them to weigh anchor, crying with a loud voice: "To sail is necessary; to live is not. As the majority of the people bade them answer, Pompey did so first, and said that perhaps he would be a candidate, and perhaps he would not; but Crassus gave a more politic answer, for he said he would take whichever course he thought would be for the advantage of the commonwealth.

    By such a path they made their way into the office they sought, nor even then did they behave more decently. But first of all, while the people were casting their votes for the election of Cato to the praetorship, Pompey dissolved the assembly, alleging an inauspicious omen, and after corrupting the tribes with money, they proclaimed Vatinius praetor instead of Cato. The reason for it, however, seems to have lain in the chaste restraint of her husband, who knew only his wedded wife, and in the dignity of his manners, which were not severe, but full of grace, and especially attractive to women, as even Flora the courtesan may be allowed to testify.

    His servants carried these garments to his house with much confusion and haste, and his young wife, who chanced to be with child, at sight of the blood-stained toga, fainted away and with difficulty regained her senses, and in consequence of the shock and her sufferings, miscarried.

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    Pompey made preparations to bury her body at his Alban villa, but the people took it by force and carried it down to the Campus Martius for burial, more out of pity for the young woman than as a favour to Pompey and Caesar. For the city became at once a tossing sea, and everywhere surging tumult and discordant speeches prevailed, since the marriage alliance which had hitherto veiled rather than restrained the ambition of the two men was now at an end. But when fortune had removed the third champion who waited to compete with the victor in their struggle, at once the comic poet's words were apt, and "each wrestler against the other Anoints himself with oil and smears his hands with dust.

    And in truth his disbanding of the armies was a perpetual witness to the truth of his words. But at this time he thought that Caesar was not going to dismiss his forces, and therefore sought to make himself strong against him by means of magistracies in the city. Beyond this, however, he attempted no revolutionary changes, nor did he wish to be thought to distrust Caesar, but rather to neglect and despise him. But Cato attacked him, and Lucilius came near losing his tribunate, and many of Pompey's friends came forward in defence of him, declaring that he neither asked nor desired that office.

    The proposal seemed strange, considering the man who made it; but Cato rose, leading everybody to think that he was going to speak against it, and when silence was made, said that he himself would not have introduced the proposed measure, but that since it had been introduced by another, he urged its adoption, because he preferred any government whatever to no government at all, and thought that no one would govern better than Pompey in a time of such disorder.

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    About Brendan Carroll. Brendan Carroll. By-Line: Only a Fool can rule the world. Brendan Carroll spent his first fourteen years running free through the deep woods of the East Texas Pine Forests. During the early part of his life, he had the great fortune to live next door to his grandparents on a small family subsistence farm where he learned about nature, farming and story-telling from his grandfather.