I. ATTICUS. It seems wonderful how, in the midst of all his work, Cicero found time to keep up such a voluminous correspondence. Something like eight hundred of his letters still remain to us, and there were whole volumes of them long preserved which are now lost, to say nothing of the very many which may never have been thought worth preserving. The secret lay in his wonderful energy and activity. We find him writing letters before day-break, during the service of his meals, on his journeys, and dictating them to an amanuensis as he walked up and down to take needful exercise. [Footnote 1: Collections of his letters to Caesar, Brutus, Cornelius Nepos the historian, Hirtius, Pansa, and to his son, are known to have existed.] His correspondents were of almost all varieties of position and character, from Caesar and Pompey, the great men of the day, down to his domestic servant and secretary, Tiro. Amongst them were rich and ease-loving Epicureans like Atticus and Paetus, and even men of pleasure like Caelius: grave Stoics like Cato, eager patriots like Brutus and Cassius, authors such as Cornelius Nepos and Lucceius the historians, Varro the grammarian, and Metius the poet; men who dabbled with literature in a gentleman-like way, like Hirtius and Appius, and the accomplished literary critic and patron of the day--himself of no mean reputation as poet, orator, and historian--Caius Asinius Pollio. Cicero's versatile powers found no difficulty in suiting the contents of his own letters to the various tastes and interests of his friends. Sometimes he sends to his correspondent what was in fact a political journal of the day--rather one-sided, it must be confessed, as all political journals are, but furnishing us with items of intelligence which throw light, as nothing else can, on the history of those latter days of the Republic. Sometimes he jots down the mere gossip of his last dinner-party; sometimes he notices the speculations of the last new theorist in philosophy, or discusses with a literary friend some philological question--the latter being a study in which he was very fond of dabbling, though with little success, for the science of language was as yet unknown. His chief correspondent, as has been said, was his old school-fellow and constant friend through life, Pomponius Atticus. The letters addressed to him which still remain to us cover a period of twenty-four years, with a few occasional interruptions, and the correspondence only ceased with Cicero's death. The Athenianised Roman, though he had deliberately withdrawn himself from the distracting factions of his native city, which he seldom revisited, kept on the best terms with the leaders of all parties, and seems to have taken a very lively interest, though merely in the character of a looker-on, in the political events which crowded so fast upon each other during the fifty years of his voluntary expatriation. Cicero's letters were to him what an English newspaper would be now to an English gentleman who for his own reasons preferred to reside in Paris, without forswearing his national interests and sympathies. At times, when Cicero was more at leisure, and when messengers were handy (for we have to remember that there was nothing like our modern post), Cicero would despatch one of these letters to Atticus daily. We have nearly four hundred of them in all. They are continually garnished, even to the point of affectation, with Greek quotations and phrases, partly perhaps in compliment to his friend's Athenian tastes, and partly from the writer's own passion for the language. So much reference has been made to them throughout the previous biographical sketch,--for they supply us with some of the most important materials for Cicero's life and times,--that it may be sufficient to give in this place two or three of the shorter as specimens of the collection. One which describes a visit which he received from Julius Caesar, already dictator, in his country-house near Puteoli, is interesting, as affording a glimpse behind the scenes in those momentous days when no one knew exactly whether the great captain was to turn out a patriot or a conspirator against the liberties of Rome. "To think that I should have had such a tremendous visitor! But never mind; for all went off very pleasantly. But when he arrived at Philippus's house on the evening of the second day of the Saturnalia, the place was so full of soldiers that they could hardly find a spare table for Caesar himself to dine at. There were two thousand men. Really I was in a state of perplexity as to what was to be done next day: but Barba Cassius came to my aid,--he supplied me with a guard. They pitched their tents in the grounds, and the house was protected. He stayed with Philippus until one o'clock on the third day of the Saturnalia, and would see no one. Going over accounts, I suppose, with Balbus. Then he walked on the sea-shore. After two he had a bath: then he listened to some verses on Mamurra, without moving a muscle of his countenance: then dressed, and sat down to dinner. He had taken a precautionary emetic, and therefore ate and drank heartily and unrestrainedly. We had, I assure you, a very good dinner, and well served; and not only that, but 'The feast of reason and the flow of soul' besides. His suite were abundantly supplied at three other tables: the freedmen of lower rank, and even the slaves, were well taken care of. The higher class had really an elegant entertainment. Well, no need to make a long story; we found we were both 'flesh and blood'. Still he is not the kind of guest to whom you would say--'Now do, pray, take us in your way on your return'. Once is enough. We had no conversation on business, but a good deal of literary talk. In short, he seemed to be much pleased, and to enjoy himself. He said he should stay one day at Puteoli, and another at Baiae. So here you have an account of this visit, or rather quartering of troops upon me, which I disliked the thoughts of, but which really, as I have said, gave me no annoyance. I shall stay here a little longer, then go to my house at Tusculum. When Caesar passed Dolabella's villa, all the troops formed up on the right and left of his horse, which they did nowhere else. I heard that from Nicias". [Footnote 1: This was close to Cicero's villa, on the coast.] [Footnote 2: Literally, "he got himself oiled". The emetic was a disgusting practice of Roman _bon vivants_ who were afraid of indigestion.] [Footnote 3: The verse which Cicero quotes from Lucilius is fairly equivalent to this.] [Footnote 4: Probably by way of salute; or possibly as a precaution.] In the following, he is anticipating a visit from his friend, and from the lady to whom he is betrothed. "I had a delightful visit from Cincius on the 30th of January, before daylight. For he told me that you were in Italy, and that he was going to send off some messengers to you, and would not let them go without a letter from me. Not that I have much to write about (especially when you are all but here), except to assure you that I am anticipating your arrival with the greatest delight. Therefore fly to me, to show your own affection, and to see what affection I bear you. Other matters when we meet. I have written this in a hurry. As soon as ever you arrive, bring all your people to my house. You will gratify me very much by coming. You will see how wonderfully well Tyrrannio has arranged my books, the remains of which are much better than I had thought. And I should be very glad if you could send me a couple of your library clerks whom Tyrrannio could make use of as binders, and to help him in other ways; and tell them to bring some parchment to make indices--syllabuses, I believe you Greeks call them. But this only if quite convenient to you. But, at any rate, be sure you come yourself, if you can make any stay in our parts, and bring Pilia with you, for that is but fair, and Tullia wishes it much. Upon my word you have bought a very fine place. I hear that your gladiators fight capitally. If you had cared to hire them out, you might have cleared your expenses at these two last public shows. But we can talk about this hereafter. Be sure to come; and do your best about the clerks, if you love me". The Roman gentleman of elegant and accomplished tastes, keeping a troop of private gladiators, and thinking of hiring them out, to our notions, is a curious combination of character; but the taste was not essentially more brutal than the prize-ring and the cock-fights of the last century.
II. PAETUS. Another of Cicero's favourite correspondents was Papirius Paetus, who seems to have lived at home at ease, and taken little part in the political tumults of his day. Like Atticus, he was an Epicurean, and thought more of the pleasures of life than of its cares and duties. Yet Cicero evidently took great pleasure in his society, and his letters to him are written in the same familiar and genial tone as those to his old school-fellow. Some of them throw a pleasant light upon the social habits of the day. Cicero had had some friends staying with him at his country-seat at Tusculum, to whom, he says, he had been giving lessons in oratory. Dolabella, his son-in-law, and Hirtius, the future consul, were among them. "They are my scholars in declamation, and I am theirs in dinner-eating; for I conclude you have heard (you seem to hear everything) that they come to me to declaim, and I go to them for dinners. 'Tis all very well for you to swear that you cannot entertain me in such grand fashion as I am used to, but it is of use.... Better be victimised by your friend than by your debtors, as you have been. After all, I don't require such a banquet as leaves a great waste behind it; a little will do, only handsomely served and well cooked. I remember your telling me about a dinner of Phamea's--well, it need not be such a late affair as that, nor so grand in other respects; nay, if you persist in giving me one of your mother's old family dinners, I can stand even that. My new reputation for good living has reached you, I find, before my arrival, and you are alarmed at it; but, pray, put no trust in your ante-courses--I have given up that altogether. I used to spoil my appetite, I remember, upon your oil and sliced sausages.... One expense I really shall put you to; I must have my warm bath. My other habits, I assure you, are quite unaltered; all the rest is joke". Paetus seems to answer him with the same good-humoured badinage. Balbus, the governor of Africa, had been to see him, he says, and _he_ had been content with such humble fare as he feared Cicero might despise. So much, at least, we may gather from Cicero's answer. "Satirical as ever, I see. You say Balbus was content with very modest fare. You seem to insinuate that when grandees are so moderate, much more ought a poor ex-consul like myself so to be. You don't know that I fished it all out of your visitor himself, for he came straight to my house on his landing. The very first words I said to him were, 'How did you get on with our friend Paetus?' He swore he had never been better entertained. If this referred to the charms of your conversation, remember, I shall be quite as appreciative a listener as Balbus; but if it meant the good things on the table, I must beg you will not treat us men of eloquence worse than you do a 'Lisper'". [Footnote 1: One of Cicero's puns. Balbus means 'Lisper'.] They carry on this banter through several letters. Cicero regrets that he has been unable as yet to pay his threatened visit, when his friend would have seen what advances he had made in gastronomic science. He was able now to eat through the whole bill of fare--"from the eggs to the _roti_". "I [Stoic that used to be] have gone over with my whole forces into the camp of Epicurus. You will have to do with a man who can eat, and who knows what's what. You know how conceited we late learners are, as the proverb says. You will have to unlearn those little 'plain dinners' and makeshifts of yours. We have made such advances in the art, that we have been venturing to invite, more than once, your friends Verrius and Camillus (what elegant and fastidious gentlemen they are!). But see how audacious we are getting! I have even given Hirtius a dinner--but without a peacock. My cook could imitate nothing in his entertainments except the hot soup". Then he hears that his friend is in bed with the gout. "I am extremely sorry to hear it, as in duty bound; still, I am quite determined to come, that I may see you, and pay my visit,--yes, and have my dinner: for I suppose your cook has not got the gout as well". Such were the playful epistles of a busy man. But even in some of these lightest effusions we see the cares of the statesman showing through. Here is a portion of a later letter to the same friend. "I am very much concerned to hear you have given up going out to dinner; for it is depriving yourself of a great source of enjoyment and gratification. Then, again, I am afraid--for it is as well to speak honestly--lest you should unlearn certain old habits of yours, and forget to give your own little dinners. For if formerly, when you had good examples to imitate, you were still not much of a proficient in that way, how can I suppose you will get on now? Spurina, indeed, when I mentioned the thing to him, and explained your previous habits, proved to demonstration that there would be danger to the highest interests of the state if you did not return to your old ways in the spring. But indeed, my good Paetus, I advise you, joking apart, to associate with good fellows, and pleasant fellows, and men who are fond of you. There is nothing better worth having in life, nothing that makes life more happy.... See how I employ philosophy to reconcile you to dinner-parties. Take care of your health; and that you will best do by going out to dinner.... But don't imagine, as you love me, that because I write jestingly I have thrown off all anxiety about public affairs. Be assured, my dear Paetus, that I seek nothing and care for nothing, night or day, but how my country may be kept safe and free. I omit no opportunity of advising, planning, or acting. I feel in my heart that if in securing this I have to lay down my life, I shall have ended it well and honourably".
III. HIS BROTHER QUINTUS. Between Marcus Cicero and his younger brother Quintus there existed a very sincere and cordial affection--somewhat warmer, perhaps, on the side of the elder, inasmuch as his wealth and position enabled him rather to confer than to receive kindnesses; the rule in such cases being (so cynical philosophers tell us) that the affection is lessened rather than increased by the feeling of obligation. He almost adopted the younger Quintus, his nephew, and had him educated with his own son; and the two cousins received their earlier training together in one or other of Marcus Cicero's country-houses under a clever Greek freedman of his, who was an excellent scholar, and--what was less usual amongst his countrymen, unless Cicero's estimate of them does them great injustice--a very honest man, but, as the two boys complained, terribly passionate. Cicero himself, however, was the head tutor--an office for which, as he modestly writes, his Greek studies fully qualified him. Quintus Cicero behaved ill to his brother after the battle of Pharsalia, making what seem to have been very unjust accusations against him in order to pay court to Caesar; but they soon became friends again. Twenty-nine of the elder Cicero's letters to his brother remain, written in terms of remarkable kindness and affection, which go far to vindicate the Roman character from a charge which has sometimes been brought against it of coldness in these family relationships. Few modern brothers, probably, would write to each other in such terms as these: "Afraid lest your letters bother me? I wish you would bother me, and re-bother me, and talk to me and at me; for what can give me more pleasure? I swear that no muse-stricken rhymester ever reads his own last poem with more delight than I do what you write to me about matters public or private, town or country. Here now is a letter from you full of pleasant matter, but with this dash of the disagreeable in it, that you have been afraid--nay, are even now afraid--of being troublesome to me. I could quarrel with you about it, if that were not a sin. But if I have reason to suspect anything of that sort again, I can only say that I shall always be afraid lest, when we are together, I may be troublesome to you". Or take, again, the pathetic apology which he makes for having avoided an interview with Quintus in those first days of his exile when he was so thoroughly unmanned: "My brother, my brother, my brother! Did you really fear that I was angry, because I sent off the slaves without any letter to you? And did you even think that I was unwilling to see you? I angry with you? Could I possibly be angry with you?... When I miss you, it is not a brother only that I miss. To me you have always been the pleasantest of companions, a son in dutiful affection, a father in counsel. What pleasure ever had I without you, or you without me?" Quintus had accompanied Caesar on his expedition into Britain as one of his lieutenants, and seems to have written home to his brother some notices of the country; to which the latter, towards the end of his reply, makes this allusion: "How delighted I was to get your letter from Britain! I had been afraid of the voyage across, afraid of the rock-bound coast of the island. The other dangers of such a campaign I do not mean to despise, but in these there is more to hope than to fear, and I have been rather anxiously expecting the result than in any real alarm about it. I see you have a capital subject to write about. What novel scenery, what natural curiosities and remarkable places, what strange tribes and strange customs, what a campaign, and what a commander you have to describe! I will willingly help you in the points you request, and I will send you the verses you ask for--though it is sending 'an owl to Athens', I know". [Footnote 1: A Greek proverb, equivalent to our 'coals to Newcastle'.] In another letter he says, "Only give me Britain to paint with your colours and my own pencil". But either the Britons of those days did not, after all, seem to afford sufficient interest for poem or history, or for some other reason this joint literary undertaking, which seems once to have been contemplated, was never carried out, and we have missed what would beyond doubt have been a highly interesting volume of Sketches in Britain by the brothers Cicero. Quintus was a poet, as well as his brother--nay, a better poet, in the latter's estimation, or at least he was polite enough to say so more than once. In quantity, at least, if not in quality, the younger must have been a formidable rival, for he wrote, as appears from one of these letters, four tragedies in fifteen days--possibly translations only from the Greek. One of the most remarkable of all Cicero's letters, and perhaps that which does him most credit both as a man and a statesman, is one which he wrote to his brother, who was at the time governor of Asia. Indeed, it is much more than a letter; it is rather a grave and carefully weighed paper of instructions on the duties of such a position. It is full of sound practical sense, and lofty principles of statesmanship--very different from the principles which too commonly ruled the conduct of Roman governors abroad. The province which had fallen to the lot of Quintus Cicero was one of the richest belonging to the Empire, and which presented the greatest temptations and the greatest facilities for the abuse of power to selfish purposes. Though called Asia, it consisted only of the late kingdom of Pergamus, and had come under the dominion of Rome, not by conquest, as was the case with most of the provinces, but by way of legacy from Attalus, the last of its kings; who, after murdering most of his own relations, had named the Roman people as his heirs. The seat of government was at Ephesus. The population was of a very mixed character, consisting partly of true Asiatics, and partly of Asiatic Greeks, the descendants of the old colonists, and containing also a large Roman element--merchants who were there for purposes of trade, many of them bankers and money-lenders, and speculators who farmed the imperial taxes, and were by no means scrupulous in the matter of fleecing the provincials. These latter--the 'Publicani', as they were termed--might prove very dangerous enemies to any too zealous reformer. If the Roman governor there really wished to do his duty, what with the combined servility and double-dealing of the Orientals, the proverbial lying of the Greeks, and the grasping injustice of the Roman officials, he had a very difficult part to play. How Quintus had been playing it is not quite clear. His brother, in this admirable letter, assumes that he had done all that was right, and urges him to maintain the same course. But the advice would hardly have been needed if all had gone well hitherto. "You will find little trouble in holding your subordinates in check, if you can but keep a check upon yourself. So long as you resist gain, and pleasure, and all other temptations, as I am sure you do, I cannot fancy there will be any danger of your not being able to check a dishonest merchant or an extortionate collector. For even the Greeks, when they see you living thus, will look upon you as some hero from their old annals, or some supernatural being from heaven, come down into their province. "I write thus, not to urge you so to act, but that you may congratulate yourself upon having so acted, now and heretofore. For it is a glorious thing for a man to have held a government for three years in Asia, in such sort that neither statue, nor painting, nor work of art of any kind, nor any temptations of wealth or beauty (in all which temptations your province abounds) could draw you from the strictest integrity and self-control: that your official progresses should have been no cause of dread to the inhabitants, that none should be impoverished by your requisitions, none terrified at the news of your approach;--but that you should have brought with you, wherever you came, the most hearty rejoicings, public and private, inasmuch as every town saw in you a protector and not a tyrant--every family received you as a guest, not as a plunderer. "But in these points, as experience has by this time taught you, it is not enough for you to have these virtues yourself, but you must look to it carefully, that in this guardianship of the province not you alone, but every officer under you, discharges his duty to our subjects, to our fellow-citizens, and to the state.... If any of your subordinates seem grasping for his own interest, you may venture to bear with him so long as he merely neglects the rules by which he ought to be personally bound; never so far as to allow him to abuse for his own gain the power with which you have intrusted him to maintain the dignity of his office. For I do not think it well, especially since the customs of official life incline so much of late to laxity and corrupt influence, that you should scrutinise too closely every abuse, or criticise too strictly every one of your officers, but rather place trust in each in proportion as you feel confidence in his integrity. "For those whom the state has assigned you as companions and assistants in public business, you are answerable only within the limits I have just laid down; but for those whom you have chosen to associate with yourself as members of your private establishment and personal suite, you will be held responsible not only for all they do, but for all they say.... "Your ears should be supposed to hear only what you publicly listen to, not to be open to every secret and false whisper for the sake of private gain. Your official seal should be not as a mere common tool, but as though it were yourself; not the instrument of other men's wills, but the evidence of your own. Your officers should be the agents of your clemency, not of their own caprice; and the rods and axes which they bear should be the emblems of your dignity, not merely of your power. In short, the whole province should feel that the persons, the families, the reputation, and the fortunes of all over whom you rule, are held by you very precious. Let it be well understood that you will hold that man as much your enemy who gives a bribe, if it comes to your knowledge, as the man who receives it. But no one will offer bribes, if this be once made clear, that those who pretend to have influence of this kind with you have no power, after all, to gain any favour for others at your hands. * * * * * "Let such, then, be the foundations of your dignity;--first, integrity and self-control on your own part; a becoming behaviour on the part of all about you; a very careful and circumspect selection of your intimates, whether Greeks or provincials; a grave and firm discipline maintained throughout your household. For if such conduct befits us in our private and everyday relations, it becomes well-nigh godlike in a government of such extent, in a state of morals so depraved, and in a province which presents so many temptations. Such a line of conduct and such rules will alone enable you to uphold that severity in your decisions and decrees which you have employed in some cases, and by which we have incurred (and I cannot regret it) the jealousy of certain interested parties.... You may safely use the utmost strictness in the administration of justice, so long as it is not capricious or partial, but maintained at the same level for all. Yet it will be of little use that your own decisions be just and carefully weighed, unless the same course be pursued by all to whom you delegate any portion of your judicial authority. Such firmness and dignity must be employed as may not only be above partiality, but above the suspicion of it. To this must be added readiness to give audience, calmness in deciding, care in weighing the merits of the case and in satisfying the claims of the parties". Yet he advises that justice should be tempered with leniency. "If such moderation be popular at Rome, where there is so much self-assertion, such unbridled freedom, so much licence allowed to all men;--where there are so many courts of appeal open, so many means of help, where the people have so much power and the Senate so much authority; how grateful beyond measure will moderation be in the governor of Asia, a province where all that vast number of our fellow-citizens and subjects, all those numerous states and cities, hang upon one man's nod! where there is no appeal to the tribune, no remedy at law, no Senate, no popular assembly. Wherefore it should be the aim of a great man, and one noble by nature and trained by education and liberal studies, so to behave himself in the exercise of that absolute power, as that they over whom he presides should never have cause to wish for any authority other than his".
IV. TIRO. Of all Cicero's correspondence, his letters to Tiro supply the most convincing evidence of his natural kindness of heart. Tiro was a slave; but this must be taken with some explanation. The slaves in a household like Cicero's would vary in position from the lowest menial to the important major-domo and the confidential secretary. Tiro was of this higher class. He had probably been born and brought up in the service, like Eliezer in the household of Abraham, and had become, like him, the trusted agent of his master and the friend of the whole family. He was evidently a person of considerable ability and accomplishments, acting as literary amanuensis, and indeed in some sort as a domestic critic, to his busy master. He had accompanied him to his government in Cilicia, and on the return home had been taken ill, and obliged to be left behind at Patrae. And this is Cicero's affectionate letter to him, written from Leucas (Santa Maura) the day afterwards: "I thought I could have borne the separation from you better, but it is plainly impossible; and although it is of great importance to the honours which I am expecting that I should get to Rome as soon as possible, yet I feel I made a great mistake in leaving you behind. But as it seemed to be your wish not to make the voyage until your health was restored, I approved your decision. Nor do I think otherwise now, if you are still of the same opinion. But if hereafter, when you are able to eat as usual, you think you can follow me here, it is for you to decide. I sent Mario to you, telling him either to join me with you as soon as possible, or, if you are delayed, to come back here at once. But be assured of this, that if it can be so without risk to your health, there is nothing I wish so much as to have you with me. Only, if you feel it necessary for your recovery to stay a little longer at Patrae, there is nothing I wish so much as for you to get well. If you sail at once, you will catch us at Leucas. But if you want to get well first, take care to secure pleasant companions, fine weather, and a good ship. Mind this, my good Tiro, if you love me--let neither Mario's visit nor this letter hurry you. By doing what is best for your own health, you will be best obeying my directions. Consider these points with your usual good sense. I miss you very much; but then I love you, and my affection makes me wish to see you well, just as my want of you makes me long to see you as soon as possible. But the first point is the most important. Above all, therefore, take care to get well: of all your innumerable services to me, this will be the most acceptable". [Footnote 1: The triumph for the victory gained under his nominal command over the hill-tribes in Cilicia, during his governorship of that province (p. 68).] Cicero writes to him continually during his own journey homewards with the most thoughtful kindness, begs that he will be cautious as to what vessel he sails in, and recommends specially one very careful captain. He has left a horse and a mule ready for him when he lands at Brundusium. Then he hears that Tiro had been foolish enough to go to a concert, or something of the kind, before he was strong, for which he mildly reproves him. He has written to the physician to spare no care or pains, and to charge, apparently, what he pleases. Several of his letters to his friend Atticus, at this date, speak in the most anxious and affectionate terms of the serious illness of this faithful servant. Just as he and his party are starting from Leucas, they send a note "from Cicero and his son, and Quintus the elder and younger, to their best and kindest Tiro". Then from Rome comes a letter in the name of the whole family, wife and daughter included: "Marcus Tullius Cicero, and Cicero the younger, and Terentia, and Tullia, and Brother Quintus, and Quintus's Son, to Tiro send greeting. "Although I miss your able and willing service every moment, still it is not on my own account so much as yours that I am sorry you are not well. But as your illness has now taken the form of a quartan fever (for so Curius writes), I hope, if you take care of yourself, you will soon be stronger. Only be sure, if you have any kindness for me, not to trouble yourself about anything else just now, except how to get well as soon as may be. I am quite aware how much you regret not being with me; but everything will go right if you get well. I would not have you hurry, or undergo the annoyance of sea-sickness while you are weak, or risk a sea-voyage in winter". Then he tells him all the news from Rome; how there had been quite an ovation on his arrival there; how Caesar was (he thought) growing dangerous to the state; and how his own coveted "triumph" was still postponed. "All this", he says, "I thought you would like to know". Then he concludes: "Over and over again, I beg you to take care to get well, and to send me a letter whenever you have an opportunity. Farewell, again and again". Tiro got well, and outlived his kind master, who, very soon after this, presented him with his freedom. It is to him that we are said to be indebted for the preservation and publication of Cicero's correspondence. He wrote, also, a biography of him, which Plutarch had seen, and of which he probably made use in his own 'Life of Cicero', but which has not come down to us. There was another of his household for whom Cicero had the same affection. This was Sositheus, also a slave, but a man, like Tiro, of some considerable education, whom he employed as his reader. His death affected Cicero quite as the loss of a friend. Indeed, his anxiety is such, that his Roman dignity is almost ashamed of it. "I grieve", he says, "more than I ought for a mere slave". Just as one might now apologise for making too much fuss about a favourite dog; for the slave was looked upon in scarcely a higher light in civilised Rome. They spoke of him in the neuter gender, as a chattel; and it was gravely discussed, in case of danger in a storm at sea, which it would be right first to cast overboard to lighten the ship, a valuable horse or an indifferent slave. Hortensius, the rival advocate who has been mentioned, a man of more luxurious habits and less kindly spirit than Cicero, who was said to feed the pet lampreys in his stews much better than he did his slaves, and to have shed tears at the death of one of these ugly favourites, would have probably laughed at Cicero's concern for Sositheus and Tiro. But indeed every glimpse of this kind which Cicero's correspondence affords us gives token of a kindly heart, and makes us long to know something more. Some have suspected him of a want of filial affection, owing to a somewhat abrupt and curt announcement in a letter to Atticus of his father's death; and his stanch defenders propose to adopt, with Madvig, the reading, _discessit_--"left us", instead of _decessit_--"died". There really seems no occasion. Unless Atticus knew the father intimately, there was no need to dilate upon the old man's death; and Cicero mentions subsequently, in terms quite as brief, the marriage of his daughter and the birth of his son--events in which we are assured he felt deeply interested. If any further explanation of this seeming coldness be required, the following remarks of Mr. Forsyth are apposite and true: "The truth is, that what we call _sentiment_ was almost unknown to the ancient Romans, in whose writings it would be as vain to look for it as to look for traces of Gothic architecture amongst classic ruins. And this is something more than a mere illustration. It suggests a reason for the absence. Romance and sentiment came from the dark forests of the North, when Scandinavia and Germany poured forth their hordes to subdue and people the Roman Empire. The life of a citizen of the Republic of Rome was essentially a public life. The love of country was there carried to an extravagant length, and was paramount to, and almost swallowed up, the private and social affections. The state was everything, the individual comparatively nothing. In one of the letters of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius to Fronto, there is a passage in which he says that the Roman language had no word corresponding with the Greek [Greek: philostorgia],--the affectionate love for parents and children. Upon this Niebuhr remarks that the feeling was 'not a Roman one; but Cicero possessed it in a degree which few Romans could comprehend, and hence he was laughed at for the grief which he felt at the death of his daughter Tullia'".