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If, after this, it be expected from me to say any thing to you, who are now reduced to a state of widowhood, about female virtue, I shall express it all in one short admonition :-It is your greatest glory not to be defi. cient in the virtue peculiar to your sex, and to give the men as little handle as possible to talk of your behaviour, whether well or ill.
I have now discharged the province allotted me by the laws, and said what I thought most pertinent to this assembly. Our departed friends have by facts been alrea. dy honoured. Their children, from this day till they arrive at manhood, shall be educated at the public ex. pense of the state, which hath appointed so beneficial a meed for these, and all future relics of the public con. tests. For wherever the greatest rewards are proposed for virtue, there the best of patriots are ever to be found. -Now, let every one respectively indulge the decent grief for his departed friends, and then retire.
XXXVIII. Seneca's address to Nero, complaining
of the envy of his enemies, and requesting a reduc. tion of his circumstances, that he might no longer be an object of their malignity.
May it please the imperial majesty of Cæsar, favour. ably to accept the humble submissions and grateful ac. knowledgments of the weak though faithful guide of his youth.
It is now a great many years since I first had the honour of attending your imperial majesty as preceptor. And your bounty has rewarded my labours with such affluence, as has drawn upon me, what I had reason to expect, the envy of many of those persons, who are al. ways ready to prescribe to their prince where to bestow, and where to withhold his favours. It is well known, that your illustrious ancestor, Augustus, bestowed on his deserving favourites, Agrippa and Mæcenas, honours and emoluments, suitable to the dignity of the benefactor, and to the services of the receivers : nor has his con. duct been blamed. My employment about your impe
rial majesty has, indeed, been purely domestic : I have neither headed your armies, nor assisted at your councils. But you know, sir, (though there are some who do not seem to attend to it,) that a prince may be served in different ways, some more, others less conspicuous : and that the latter may be to him as valuable as the former.
6 But what!” say my enemies," shall a private per. son, of equestrian rank, and a provincial by birth, be advanced to an equality with the patricians ? upstart, of no name nor family, rank with those who can, by the statues which make the ornament of their pa. laces, reckon backward a line of ancestors, long enough to tire out the fasti? Shall a philosopher who has written for others precepts of moderation, and contempt of all that is external, himself live in affluence and luxury? Shall he purchase estates and lay out money at interest? Shall he build palaces, plant gardens, and adorn a coun. try at his own expence, and for his own pleasure?” Cæsar has given royally, as became imperial magnifi
Seneca has received what his prince bestowed; nor did he ever ask: he is only guilty of--not refusing. Cæsar's rank places him above the reach of invidious malignity. Seneca is not, nor can be, high enough to despise the envious. As the overloaded soldier, or tra. veller, would be glad to be relieved of his burthen, so I, in this last stage of the journey of life, now that I find myself unequal to the lightest cares, beg, that Cæsar would kindly ease me of the trouble of my unwieldy ; wealth. I beseech him to restore to the imperial treasury, from whence it came, what is to me superfluous and cumbrous. The time and the attention, which I am now obliged to bestow upon my villa and my gardens, I shall be glad to apply to the regulation of my mind. Cæsar is in the flower of life; long may he be equal to the toils of government! His goodness will grant to his worn-out servant leave to retire. It will not be dero. gatory from Cæsar's greatness, to have it said, that he bestowed favours on some, who, so far from being intoxicated with them, shewed--that they could be happy, when (at their own request) divested of them.
XXXIX. Invective of L. Junius Brutus ugainst
My intention being to speak to you concerning necessary and glorious things, I shall first mention a few circumstances relating to myself: for to some, rather indeed to many of you, I am very well assured that I shall appear disordered in my understanding, when I, a man of an unsound mind, and who, as such, stand in need of a guardian, attempt to speak to matters of the greatest importance. Know then, that the general opinion you all entertained of me, as of a fool, was false, and contrived by me, and me alone. The fear of my life compelled me to live in a manner derogatory both to my. nature and condition, though agreeable to the desire of Tarquinius, and to my own security. For Tarquinius, having put my father to death at his accession to the government, that he might possess himself of his fortunes, which were very considerable; and having privately murdered my elder brother, who would have revenged his father's death if he had not been taken off, made it plain that he did not design to spare even myself, now left destitute of my nearest relations, if I had not counterfeited folly: this disguise finding credit with the tyrant, saved me from the same treatment they had experienced, and has preserved me to this day; and having worn it five-and-twenty years, the time. I wished for and expected being come, I now, for the first time, throw it off.
So much concerning myself.
As to the affairs of the public, in relation to which I called you together, this is the situation of them. Tarquinius, having possessed himself of the sovereignty, contrary to the laws and customs of this nation, which sovereignty, howsoever acquired, he has not exercised either with reputation, or in a manner suitable to the royal dignity; but has surpassed, in haughtiness and excess, all the tyrants the world ever saw; we, the patricians assembled for that purpose, have resolved to deprive him of his dignity: this ought to have been done long ago; but having now a proper opportunity to effect it, we have called you together, citizens, to the end that, after we
hare declared our own resolution, we may desire your assistance in giving liberty to our country, which we have not hitherto been able to enjoy, since Tarquinius usurped the sovereignty: neither shall we hereafter en. joy it, if, upon this occasion, we want resolution. llad I as much time as I could wish, or was to speak to those who were unacquainted with the many acts of injustice the tyrant has been guilty of, I would enamerate them all, in order to convince every one of you that he has deserved, not only one, but many deaths: but, since the time afforded me by the present situation of affairs, is short, in which few things are to be said, and many to be done, and that I am speaking to those who are acquainted with his actions, I shall put you in mind of those only that are the most considerable, and the most obvious, and admit 'not of the least excuse.
This is that Tarquinius, citizens, this is the man, who, before he was in possession of the sovereignty, destroyed his own brother Aruns, by poison, because he wonld not be wicked; in which crime he was assisted by his bro. ther's wife, the sister of his
own, whom this
of the gods had long before debauched : this is the man, who at the same time, and by the same poison, took off his wife, a woman of virtue, and a parent of their common children, and did not even vouchsafe to disown the in. putation of both these poisonings by, a mourning babit, and a short affectation of grief; but presently after he had performed these wonderful achievements, and before the fires which had received their miserable bodies were extinguished, he gave an entertainment to his friends, celebrated his nuptials, and, leading the murderess of her husband, as a bride, to the bed of her sister, performed the abominable contract he had made with her; and was the first, and the only man, who ever introduced into the city of Rome such impious and execrable crimes, un. known to any nation in the world, either Greeks or Barbarians. But, in how infamous and dreadful a man. Der did he treat, both his father and mother-in-law, when already near their end! He murdered Servius Tullius publicly, the mildest of all your kings, the greatest benefactor to you; and would not suffer his body to be honoured with the customary rites either of a funeral, or of bupial; and Tarquinia, the wife of Tullius, whom, as she
was the sister of his father, and had always shewn great tenderness for him, he was obliged in duty to honour as his mother, he caused to be strangled, in a miserable manner, without allowing her time 'to mourn her dead husband, or perform the customary sacrifices for him, When buried : thus he' treated those, by whom he was preserved, by whom he was educated ; 'and whóm, after their death, he was to have succeeded, if he had staid hut a short time, till "nature had put an end to their lives.
But why do I censure these excesses, when I have so many others to accuse him of, (besides those he has been guilty of' to his relations, and to his father and mother-in-law,) which he has committed against his coun. try, and against 'us all? if they ought to be called cxcesses, and not the subversion and extinction of all nations and all families. First, as to the sovereignty, that I may begin with that; how did he obtain it? Did he in this follow the example of the former ikings ? Far from it. They were all advanced to the sovereignty by us, according to the laws and customs of this nation; first by a decree of the "senate, 'wiiere, by our constitution, all resolutions concerning the public affairs must first be taken, then by the crea. tion of the interreges, 'to whom the senate' grants the power of 'distinguishing among those who are wortby; and, after both these, by a vote of the people in their election of magistrates, from wlick vote the law' requires that all affairs of the greatest moment sliould receive their sanction; and, in the Past place, by the approba. tion of the augttries Withunt wirich, human diligence and 'foresight are of no avail. Büt say wlich of you knows any one of
these things to have been observed, when Tarquinius obtained the sovereigirty? What previous order of thč senáte?.. What nomination of the inter. reges ? What tote of the people? What fáróttable anguries? I do not ask whether all these were observed; (though it was necessary to 'a regular election that no. thing founded either in custom or in law, shonld be Comitted ;) but, if it cani shown that any one of them was observed, I will be contented' not to insist upon those that were omitted. How'} then, , did he acquire the sove. reignty? By arzas, by riolence, and the conspiracies of