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tiated on it in all their conversations, and in a city whose inhabitants, says Polybius, were not easily prevailed upon to part with their money.
Scipio was no less admired on another occasion. He was bound, in consequence of the estate that had fallen to him by the death of nis grandmother, to pay at three different times to the two daughters of Scipio, his grandfather by adoption, half their portions, which amounted to 50,000 French crowns.* The time for the payment of the first sum being expired, Scipio put the whole money into the hands of a banker. Tiberius Gracchus and Scipio Nasica, who had married the two sisters, imagining that Scipio had made a mistake, went to him and observed, that the laws allowed him three years to pay this sum in, and at three different times. Young Scipio answered, that he knew very well what the laws directed on this occasion; that they might indeed be executed in their greatest rigour towards strangers, but that friends and relations ought to treat one another with a more generous simplicity; and therefore desired them to receive the whole sum. They were struck with such admiration at the generosity of their kinsman, that in their return home, they reproached themselves for their narrow way of thinking,f at a time when they made the greatest figure, and had the highest regard paid to them, of any family in Rome. This generous action, says Polybius, was the more admired, because no person in Rome, so far from consenting to pay 50,000 crowns before they were due, would pay even 1000 before the time for payment was elapsed.
It was from the same noble spirit that, two years after, Paulus Æmilius, his father, being dead, he made over to his brother Fabius, who was not so wealthy as himself, the part of their father's estate which was his (Scipio's) due (amounting to above 60,000 crowns,)t in order that there might not be so great a disparity between his fortune and that of his brother.
This Fabius being desirous to exhibit a show of gladiators after his father's decease, in honour of his memory, (as was the custom in that age,) and not being able to defray the expenses on this occasion, which amounted to a very heavy sum, Scipio made him a present of 15,000 crowns, in order to defray at least half the charges of it.
The splendid presents which Scipio had made his mother Papira, reverted to him, by law as well as equity, after her demise ; and his sisters, according to the custom of those times, had not the least claim to them. Nevertheless, Scipio thought it would have been dishonourable in him, had he taken them back again. He therefore made over to his sisters whatever he had presented to their mother, which amounted to a very considerable sum; and by this fresh proof of his glorious disregard of wealth, and the tender friendship he had for his family, acquired the applause of the whole city.
Η Κατεγνωκότες της αυτών μικρολογίας
* Or, 11,2501.sterling. t Or, 13,5001. sterling
Or. 5,3757, sterling,
These different benefactions, which amounted altogether to a prodigious sum, seem to have received a brighter lustre from the age in which he bestowed them, he being still very young; and yet more from the circumstances of the time when they were presented, as well as the kind and obliging carriage he assumed on those occasions.
The incidents I have here related are so repugnant to the maxims of this age, that there might be reason to fear the reader would con. sider them merely as the rhetorical flourishes of an historian who was prejudiced in favour of his hero; if it was not well known, that the predominant characteristic of Polybius, by whom they are related, is a sincere love for truth, and an utter aversion to adulation of every kind. In the very passage whence this relation is extracted, he has thought it necessary for him to be a little guarded, where he expatiates on the virtuous actions and rare qualities of Scipio; and he observes, that as his writings were to be perused by the Romans, who were perfectly well acquainted with all the particulars of this great man's life, he could not fail of being convicted by them, should he venture to advance any falsehood; an affront, to which it is not probable that an author, who has ever so little regard for his reputation, would expose himself, especially if no advantage was to accrue to him from it.
We have already observed, that Scipio had never given in to the fashionable debaucheries and excesses to which the young people at Rome so generally abandoned themselves. But he was sufficiently compensated for this self-denial of all destructive pleasures, by the vigorous health he enjoyed all the rest of his life, which enabled him to taste pleasure of a much purer and more exalted kind, and to perform the great actions that reflected so much glory upon him.
Hunting, which was his darling exercise, contributed also very much to invigorate his constitution, and enabled him also to endure the hardest toils. Macedonia, whither he followed his father, gave him an opportunity of indulging to the utmost of his desire his passion in this respect; for the chase, which was the usual diversion of the Macedonian monarchs, having been laid aside for some years on account of the wars, Scipio found there an incredible quantity of game of every kind. Paulus Æmilius, studious of procu.ring his son virtuous pleasures of every kind, in order to divert his mind from those which reason prohibits, gave him full liberty to indulge himself in his favourite sport, during all the time that the Roman forces continued in that country, after the victory he had gained over Perseus. The illustrious youth employed his leisure hours in an exercise which suited so well his age and inclination; and was as successful in this innocent war against the beasts of Macedonia, as his father had been in that which he had carried on against the inhabitants of the country.
It was at Scipiu's return from Macedon, that he met with Polybius in Rome; and contracted the strict friendship with him, which
was afterwards so beneficial to our young Roman; and did him almost as much honour in after-ages as all his conquests. We find, from history, that Polybius lived with the two brothers. One day, when himself and Scipio were alone, the latter unbosomed himself freely to him, and complained, but in the mildest and most gentle terms, that he, in their conversations at table, always directed himself to his brother Fabius, and never to him. I am sensible, says he, that this indifference arises from your supposing, with all our citizens, that I am a heedless young man, and wholly averse to the taste which now prevails in Rome, because I do not devote myself to the studies of the bar, nor cultivate the graces of elocution. But how should I do this? I am told perpetually, that the Romans expect a general, and not an orator, from the house of the Scipios. I will confess to you, (pardon the sincerity with which I reveal my thoughts,) that your coldness and indifference grieve me exceedingly. Polybius, surprised at this unexpected address, made Scipio the kindest answer; and assured the illustrious youth, that though he generally directed himself to his brother, yet this was not out of disrespect to him, but only because Fabius was the eldest; not to mention, (continued Polybius, that, knowing that you possessed but one soul, I conceived that I addressed both when I spoke to either of you. He then assured Scipio, that he was entirely at his command; that with regard to the sciences, for which he discovered the happiest genius, he would have opportunities sufficient to improve himself in them, from the great number of learned Grecians who resorted daily to Rome; but that as to the art of war, which was properly his profession, and his favourite study, he (Polybius) might be of some little service to him. He had no sooner spoke these words, than Scipio, grasping his hand in a kind of rapture : Oh! when, says he, shall I see the happy day, when, disengaged from all other avocations, and living with me, you will be so much my friend, as to direct your endeavours to improve my understanding and regulate my affections? It is then I shall think myself worthy of my illustrious ancestors. From that time Polybius, overjoyed to see so young a man breathe such noble sentiments, devoted himself particularly to our Scipio, who ever after paid him as much reverence as if he had been his father.
However, Scipio did not esteem Polybius only as an excellent historian, but valued him much more, and reaped much greater advantages from him, as an able warrior and a profound politician. Accordingly, he consulted him on every occasion, and always took his advice, even when he was at the head of his army; concerting in private with Polybius all the operations of the campaign, all the movements of the forces, all enterprises against the enemy, and the several measures proper for rendering them successful.
In a word,* it was the common report, that our illustrious Roman did not perform any great or good action without being under some obligation to Polybius; nor even commit an error, except when he acted without consulting him.
* Pausan. in Arcad. I viii. p. 505.
I request the reader to excuse this long digression, which may be thought foreign to my subject, as I am not writing the Roman history. However, it appeared to me so well adapted to the genera? design I propose to myself in this work, viz. the cultivating and improving the minds of youth, that I could not forbear introducing it here, though I was sensible this is not directly its proper place. And, indeed, these examples show how important it is that young people should receive a liberal and virtuous education; and the great benefit they reap, by frequenting and corresponding early with persons of merit; for these were the foundations whereon were built the fame and glory which have rendered Scipio immortal. But above all, how noble a model for our age (in which the most inconsiderable and even trifling concerns often create feuds and animosities between brothers and sisters, and disturb the peace of families) is the generous disinterestedness of Scipio; who, whenever he had an opportunity of serving his relations, thought lightly of bestowing the largest suins upon them! This excellent passage of Polybius had escaped me, by its not being inserted in the folio edition of his works. It belongs indeed naturally to that book, where, treating of the taste for solid glory, I mentioned the contempt in which the ancients held riches, and the excellent use they made of them. I therefore thought myself indispensably obliged to restore, on this occasion, to young dents, what I could not but blame myself for omitting elsewhere.
The History of the Family and Posterity of Masinissa. I promised, after finishing what related to the republic of Carthage, to return to the family and posterity of Masinissa. This piece of history forms a considerable part of that of Africa, and therefore is not quite foreign to my subject.
From the time that Masinissa had declared for the
Romans under the first Scipio,* he had always adhered to that honourable alliance, with an almost unparalleled zeal and fidelity. Finding his end approaching, he wrote to the proconsul of Africa, under whose standards the younger Scipio then fought, to desire that Roman might be sent to him; adding, that he should die with satisfaction, if he could but expire in his arms, after having made him executor to his will. But believing that he should be dead before it could be possible for him to receive this consolation, he sent for his wife and children, and spoke to them as follows: I know no other nation but the Romans, and, among this nation, no other
family but that of the Scipios. I now, in my expiring moments, empower Scipio Æmilianus to dispose, in an absolute manner, of all my possessions, and to divide my kingdom among my children. I require, that whatever Scipio may decree, shall be executed as punctually as if
A. M. 3875.
* App. p. 63. Val. Max. I. v. c. 2.
I myself had appointed it by my will. After saying these words, he breathed his last, being upwards of ninety years of age.
This prince,* during his youth, had met with strange reverses of fortune, having been dispossessed of his kingdom, obliged to fly from province to province, and a thousand times in danger of his life. Being supported, says the historian, by the divine protection, he was afterwards favoure till his death, with a perpetual series of prosperity, unruffled by any sinister accident; for he not only recovered bis own kingdom, but added to it that of Syphax his enemy; and extending his dominions from Mauritania, as far as Cyrene, he became the most powerful prince of all Africa. He was blessed, till he left the world, with the greatest health and vigour, which doubtless was owing to his extremne temperance, and the care he had taken to inure himself to fatigue. Though ninety years of age, he performed all the exercises used by young men,t and always rode without a saddle; and Polybius observes (a circumstance preserved by Plutarch,t) that the day after a great victory over the Carthaginians, Masinissa was seen, sitting at the door of his tent, eating a piece of brown bread.
He left fifty-four sons, of whom three only were legitimate, viz. Micipsa, Gulussa, and Mastanabal. Scipio divided the kingdom between these three, and gave considerable possessions to the rest ; but the two last dying soon after, Micipsa became sole possessor of these extensive dominions. He had two sons, Adherbal and Hiempsal, and with them he educated in his palace Jugurtha his nephew, Mastanabal's son, and took as much care of him as he did of his own children. This last-mentioned prince possessed several eminent qualities,|| which gained him universal esteem. Jugurtha, who was finely shaped and very handsome, of the most delicate wit and the most solid judgment, did not devote himself, as young men: commonly do, to a life of luxury and pleasure. He used to exercise himself with persons of his own age, in running, riding, and throwing the javelin; and though he surpassed all his companions, there was not one of them but loved him. The chase was his only delight; but it was that of lions and other savage beasts. To finish his character, he excelled in all things, and spoke very little of himself: Plurimum facere, et minimum ipse de se loqui.
Merit so conspicuous, and so generally acknowledged, began to excite some anxiety in Micipsa. He saw himself in the decline of life, and his children very young. He knew the prodigious lengths which
* App. p. 65.
Cicero introduces Cato speaking as follows of Masinissa's vigorous constitution Arbitror te uudire, Scipio, hospes tuus Masinissa quæ faciat hodie nonaginta annos natus ; cùm ingressus iter pedibus sit, in equum omnino non ascendere; cùm equo, ez equo non descendere; nullo imbre, nullo frigore adduci, ut capite nperto sit;
summam esse in eo corporis siccitatem. Itaque exequi omnia regis officia et munera. De Senec tute An seni gerenda sit Resp. p. 791, Appian. p. 65
Val. Max. l. v, c. 2. All this history of Jugurtha is extracted from Sallust.