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The task of relating the last
events in the life of my beloved master,
has fallen upon me. His last words
reminded me of the obligation, which I
had long since assumed, of conveying
to his Atticus a faithful account of his
death. Having performed this task, life
will cease to be any longer of value.

Having parted with his brother, he
went on board a vessel which lay at an-
chor in the road. The master was a

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Cyprian, ignorant of the Roman lan-
guage; a stupid and illiterate sailor,
whose provincial jargon was luckily un-
derstood and spoken by Chlorus, who was
by birth a Cnidian. He served us as in-

He was a stranger to the affairs of
Italy, and his knowledge was so extreme-
ly limited, that he had never heard even
the name of my master. This ignorance
we were careful not to remove; and find-
ing him unengaged, and merely waiting
till some one should offer him a cargo,
I tendered him a large sum if he would
set sail immediately. This incident de-
termined our course. No great deviation
from his usual route was necessary to
carry us to Tarsus, and there my
master would not only be under the pro-
tection of Cassius, but in the midst of his
Cilician clients. His ancient subjects
would not fail to receive, with joy and

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gratitude, a patron from whom they had
received so many benefits, and in case of
any adverse fortune, their mountains
would afford him concealment and se-

The vessel was small and crazy. It
afforded wretched accommodation, but
it behoved us to submit to every incon-
venience, and to console ourselves with
the hope that the voyage would be
short. We had scarcely got on board,
however, and made our bargain with the
master when the wind, which had lately
been propitious, changed to the south-
east, and with this wind, the master
declared it impossible to move from our
present station.

This was an untoward event. Our
safety depended upon the expedition
with which we should fly from the shores
of Italy. Our foot-steps would be dili-

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gently traced, and another hour might
bring the blood-hounds within view.

One expedient was obvious. The
search might be eluded, or, at least pro-
longed, by leaving this spot. It was
possible to move by the help of oars
along the coast. Further south, the
country near the sea was still more deso-
late and woody than here, and we
might be concealed in some obscure and
unfrequented bay, till the wind should
once more become favourable.

Additional rewards and promises in-
duced the captain to adopt this scheme.
The wind and the turbulence of the
waves increased. My master had always
an antipathy to voayages by sea, owing,
probably, to the deadly sickness, with
which the tossing of the billows never
failed to afflict him. This sickness spee-
dily came on, and added to the pent-up
air, filthiness and inconvenience of the

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ship, plunged him into new impatience
and dejection. He frequently declared
his resolution to go on shore, and offer
to his enemies a life which was a burden
to him, and relinquished his design not
till I had employed the most pathetic
and vehement remonstrances.

We had not gone two leagues before
night came on. This for a time sus-
pended our toils. We came to anchor
near the shore, and being somewhat
sheltered from the wind, by the direc-
tion of the shore, the sea became more
calm, and my master's sickness disappear-
ed. Still he was unwilling to pass the
night on board the vessel, and ordered
us to land.

This proceeding was imminently
dangerous. I endeavoured to convince
him of this danger. The town of Cir-
cœum was two or three miles distant,
but the huts of which it consited would

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afford him accommodation little better
than that which the ship afforded. He
would unavoidably be recognized by the
inhabitants, and if they had not yet
heard of the proscription, his appearance
among them would lead them to suspect
the truth, and what reliance could be
placed upon their fidelity? This town
might contain some tenant or retainer
of Caesar, or it might at this moment be
visited by the messengers of Anthony,
at least, his appearance there would
shortly be known, and would afford to
his pursuers a new clue, by which they
may be aided in their search. The same
hazards would accompany his entrance
into any of the neighbouring farm-

These reasonings made him give up
his resolution of going to Circœum, but
he retained his determination to land. If
he should pass the night in the open air,

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though the ground was covered with
snow, it was better than to breathe the
poisonous atmosphere of the ship, and
remain cooped up with the Cyprian and
his crew.

Since he would not give up this
design, I endeavoured to find reasons
for approving it. One danger against
which it was needful to provide, was the
suspicion of the sailors. The grief and
dejection of my master, our impatience
to be gone from Italy, and the secret and
abrupt manner of our embarkation, could
not but excite their notice and make them
busy at conjecture. They would be still
more at a loss to conceive why, when a
town was so near, we should prefer to
spend the night on board their vessel, and
the shelter of a tree or a rock, with the
fire which might easily be kindled, were,
in truth, not less safe or commodious

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than continuance in the ship. Prepara-
tions, were, therefore, made to land.

My caution led me to go on shore
before him, that any danger which im-
pended might be seasonably descried.
Wandering over the strand, a small hut
was discovered which appeared to have
been formerly inhabited by fishermen.
This was a season when the net was
idle, and this hut was therefore deserted.
The walls and roof were broken, but a
good fire might render it tenable for a
few hours. Here my master consented
to repose himself.

The ground within the hut, as well
as without, was covered with snow.
This was removed and a kind of bed
of withered sticks and dried leaves was
provided for him. On this he lay
down, and the servants seated them-
selves around him. He did not endea-
vour to sleep, but supporting his head

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upon his elbow, and fixing his eyes, in
a thoughtful mood, upon the fire, he
delivered himself up to meditation. A
pause of general and mournful silence

Every one's eyes were fixed upon
those venerable features. To behold
one, so illustrious, one that had so lately
governed the destinies of mankind, seated
on the pinnacle of human greatness, and
encompassed with all the goods of for-
tune, thus reduced to the condition of a
fugitive and out-law, stretched upon the
bare earth, in this wretched hovel, affect-
ed all of us alike. Every bosom seemed
to swell with the same sentiment, and
required the relief of tears. Chlorus set
us the example of this weakness, and not
one of us but sobbed aloud.

His attention was recalled by this
sound. He lifted his head, and looked
upon us by turns with an air of inexpres-

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sible benignity. My friends, said he, at
length, be not discomposed. My life has
been sufficiently long, since I have lived
to reap the rewards of virtue. Those
evils must indeed be great, which would
not be compensated by these proofs of
your affection. I need extort from you
no other testimony of the equity and
kindness of my treatment of you, than
the fidelity and tenderness with which
you have adhered to me in my distress.
This is a consolation of which it is not
in the power of the tyrants to bereave
me. Let their executioners come: I am
willing to die.

These words only heightened the
emotions which they were intended to
suppress. I desired for my own sake,
to change or to terminate this scene, and
to reflect that my duty forbade me to sit
here in inactivity, when surrounded by
so many dangers. None of us had eaten

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a morsel since we left Astura. Our
master was too much absorbed in reflec-
tions connected with his fallen fortunes,
to think of food. It was our duty to con-
tend with his indifference or aversion, in
this respect, as well as to supply our ex-
hausted strength, and prepare for the
hardships which we were yet to endure.

I determined, therefore, to go, with
two or three companions, to Circœum
and purchase necessaries, as well as as-
certain what danger was to be dreaded
from this quarter. My master was care-
less of necessity or danger, and the task
of consulting and deciding for the wel-
fare of himself and his servants, had
entirely devolved upon me. This charge,
it behoved me to perform with circum-
spection and zeal.

We set out, and crossing an angle of
the forest, quickly reached the village.

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The utmost caution was necessary to be
used, since many of the servants of
Cicero, and particularly myself, were
nearly as well known, especially in this
district, as our lord. Chlorus was least
liable to be detected, in consequence of
having spent the greater part of his life
at the Cuman Villa. He might be effec-
tually disguised, likewise, by mimicking
the accents of a Cyprian sailor, and pre-
tending that he came from the vessel.
Chlorus went forward, while I and Sura
remained at a distance, awaiting his re-
turn. He came back in a short time,
and with some tokens of alarm. He had
crept into a tavern, and after purchasing
some bread and dried fruits, had joined
a knot of persons who were earnestly
engaged in conversation in the portico.
One appeared to be a stranger, who had
just arrived, and was telling his news to
the rest. The coalition of the tyrants was

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the theme of his discourse. Pœdius, the
consul, was said to be included in the
sentence of proscription, and a tumult
was affirmed to have been raised, on this
account, in the city. The populace had
aided the magistrate in arresting the emi-
saries from the armies, and the senate
had created Pœdius dictator.

After listening some time, Chlorus
ventured to slide into the company, and
inquired, in his broken Latin, of what
proscription they were talking. The
traveller repeated his news with great
vivacity, and mentioned, among a thousand
incredible circumstances, that the
army of Brutus had revolted, and that
diligent search was making for the Cice-
ros. He had just passed near Astura,
and was told that a troop had been there,
hunting for the fugitives, and finding
them to have lately fled, they had dis-
persed themselves over the country, and

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he was sure they could not escape.
Hearing this, Chlorus withdrew, and
hastened to communicate his tidings
to me.

The revolt of the Macedonian army
was sufficiently probable. This was
mournful news, but it shewed with new
force the propriety of taking refuge in
Asia, rather than in Greece. The last
tale was noless probable, and convinced
us that no time was to be lost in leaving
this fatal shore.

To leave it, however, was not in our
power. The present state of the wind
imprisoned us in this spot. To change
it for another would merely multiply our
perils. Here we must remain till it should
please Jove to give us a prosperous gale,
or till our enemies should trace us to our
covert. It only remained for us to hasten
back to the hut, and defend our master
at the expense of our own lives.

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We returned. No interruption or
intrusion had been experienced during
our absence. On entering the hovel, I
found my master in profound sleep.
His features were tranquil and placid,
and his anxieties were, for a while, entire-
ly forgotten. The bread and fruits we
had brought were shared among our
companions, and we continued to watch
during the night.

Anxious attention was paid to the
state of the air, and fruitless wishes and
repinings were whispered by one to
another. The morning light returned.
The enemy was still distant, but the sky
was as untoward as ever.

At length, my master awoke of his
own accord. After noticing the day-light,
and recollecting his situation, he turned
to me, and said: Well, my dear Tiro,
what is now to be done? I will tell thee

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what; we will go on board; the Cyprian
shall ply his oars and carry us to Formia,
and there will I wait for my release.

He noticed the down-cast eyes and
mournful looks, which these words occa-
sioned. No one seemed inclined to
move to such a purpose. He looked
around him, and continued in the same
tone; What else, my friends, would you
purpose to be done? How unworthy of
the saviour of Rome and of Italy is it to
be thus clinging to a wretched life, and
skulking from ungrateful foes, among
rocks and woods? No: I have done
my part: All that remains is to die with
firmness and with dignity.

Hitherto, I have been the fool of
passion and inconstancy. My purposes
have wavered from day to day, but it is
time to shake off this irresolution and
trample on this cowardice. I am now

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resolved, and will be gone to Formia this

With these words he rose from the
ground, and put on an air of sternness
and command, which left me no power
to expostulate. We obeyed him in
silence, and once more put ourselves on
board the vessel. The crew were still
asleep, but being roused by our arrival,
were prevailed upon to row along the
shore towards Formia.

My master seemed to have retreived
his wonted tranquillity, in consequence
of having formed his ultimate resolution.
He was still, for the most part, wrapt in
meditation. He forebore to converse
with me, but sat upon the deck, with his
eyes fixed upon the water, which was
now less turbulent than on the former
day, and did not occasion sickness.

My own thoughts were occupied in
devising some means of escape. We

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were now approaching Sicily, and it was
possible that some conveyance could be
gained to that island. This however
must be found after our arrival at Formia,
for beyond this the Cyprian refused to
go, under pretence, which indeed, was
probably true, of being unacquainted
with the coast. Neither was I totally
without hope that the wind would sud-
denly change, and permit us to leave the
coast. On this event, I did not fear
to obtain Cicero's concurrence, with a
scheme so conducive to his safety. To
despair of himself or the republic while
the seas were open, and while Cassius
was in arms, and furnished with the
wealth of all the Asiatic provinces, was
unworthy of his understanding and his

His purpose to go to any one of his
villas was pregnant with danger. These
places would be searched, by his ene-

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mies. As long as he remained in Italy,
it was expedient to conceal himself in
unsuspected corners. Could not such
be found, where he might remain unmo-
lested for years.

I now reflected that Formia being
situated within a mile of the sea, might
be the best asylum to which he could
betake himself. A ship might be pro-
vided, ready to profit by the first wind,
to sail away to Sicily, while, in the
mean time, my master might be effec-
tually secreted in some part of his domi-
nion. The subterranean vaults, construc-
ted to preserve wine and other provisions,
on this estate, might afford him conceal-
ment till the opportunity of escape should

While brooding over these images,
we came in sight of Formia. It was
now time to mention to him this sceme.
He received it with disapprobation–I

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am too old, said he, to undergo once
more the hardships and hazards of a
camp. I have witnessed long enough the
ingratitude and perfidy of mankind. I
am tired of the spectacle, and am deter-
mined to close my eyes upon it forever.

It shall never be said, that Marcus
Cicero fled from the presence of tyrants,
that he saved the miserable remnant of
his old age, by making himself an exile
from his country. I tell thee, Tiro, I
am too old to become the sport of fortune,
and the follower of armies. Cassius and
Brutus are young, they are innured to
war; it is their element. They fight for
liberty and glory, which their age will
permit them to enjoy for many years to
come; but as to me, I have reached the
verge of the grave already, and should I
elude my enemies, and reach Rhodes or
Tarsus in safety, I should only have
reserved myself for a speedy and ignoble

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death. No: Here shall be the end of
my wanderings.

I will go to my house. I will pass
my time without anxiety or fear. When
the executioners of Antony arrive, they
will find their victim prepared. My
resolution continued he, with some im-
patience, is taken. It is to no purpose to
harass me with arguments and remon-
strances, for I shall never swerve from

I was not totally dicouraged by these
declarations. I confided in my power to
vanquish this resolution, as soon as the
means of escape should be provided.
Till then it was indeed useless to con-
tend with his despair. His imagination
saw nothing but cowardice and degrada-
tion, in hiding himself in vaults and
pits. That he who was so long at the
head of the Roman state, should seek
his safety in shifts and stratagems like

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these, was ignominious and detestable.
Death was not so terrible that it should
be shunned, life was not so dear that it
should be preserved at this price.

He proceeded to his house with an
air of fearlessness and confidence. It was
far from certain, that it was not occupied
already by assassins, expecting and
waiting his approach; of this, however,
he testified no apprehension. As soon
as he entered the porch, his arrival was
rumoured through the building, and his
servants hurried from all quarters to
welcome him. Their looks betrayed
anxiety as well as joy. It was easy to
perceive that they were not unapprised
of the dangers which encompassed their
master, and that his appearance among
them had been unexpected. He greeted
and smiled upon each, and then reti-
red to his chamber, whither he would
not allow any one to follow him.

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It was now time to adopt those mea-
sures on which my thoughts had been
engaged. As soon as I parted from my
master, I took Glauco the steward aside.
I told him what had lately happened,
and what I now designed to do, and de-
sired his assistance to procure a vessel
which might carry us without delay to

I found that there was need of the
utmost expedition, for Glauco informed
me that, not many hours before, a troop
of twenty horse-men, had come hither.
They rode furiously into the court, and
without inquiry or permission, rushed
into the house. They entered every
apartment, and not finding their victim,
indulged their resentment in impreca-
tions on the upstart of Arpinum, and in
striking their swords against the fur-
niture and pictures. Two busts, of
Brutus and Ahala, which stood in the

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library, they overturned upon the pave-

The servants, affrighted at the stern
and sullen visages of these intruders,
fled from their presence. After linger-
ing for some time in the house, they
mounted their horses and disappeared.

These tidings shewed me the magni-
tude and nearness of the danger. Not
a moment should be wasted in delibera-
tion or uncertainty. It was possible that
the assassins might not speedily return,
and the interval was to be employed in
procuring the means of flight. The sea
was to be crossed, and Cajeta was a
league distant. At Cajeta only was it
possible to find a vessel, suited to our

I now called some of the most faith-
ful servants together, and charged them
to guard the safety of their master, till
Glauco and I should return, which
should be in less than an hour. We

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were going, I told them, to Cajeta, in
hopes of finding some immediate convey-
ance from this shore, and would return
with the utmost expedition.

We set out, selecting the fleetest
horses to carry us. Three barks were
seen in the bay, Glauco imagined that
he saw on one the stern and beak which
is peculiar to Sicily. To this we imme-
diately transported ourselves. Happily
his penetration had not been deceived,
and the Sicilian readily consented to take
us on board, and proceed immediately
to Sicily.

Be exerting themselves with energy,
they might bring the vessel in a short
time to the shore nearest to my master's
house. This was better than to bring
him to Cajeta, where it would be impos-
sible for him to escape observation, and
to which he could come only by a pub-
lic road, thronged and obstructed with

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I left Glauco on board the vessel, to
hasten the motions of the sailors and to
direct them to the proper place. Mean-
while, I mounted my horse and rode
back to Formia. The vessel would be
ready to receive us by the time that we
should reach the shore.

The domestics, whom I had posted
in the atrium, were still assembled and
received me with joy, but one event had
taken place in my absence which filled
me with foreboding and anxiety. A
slave who wrought in the fields, who
formerly belonged to the Cornelian
family, and whose temper was remark-
ably perverse and malignant, had with-
drawn himself immediately after my
master's arrival. Glauco had frequently
complained of the turbulent and worth-
less character of this slave, and had ex-
horted Cicero to part with him. In the
multiplicity of more momentous concerns
this affair had been overlooked by my

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master, and he still continued in the

It was now suggested to me that he
had gone in order to recall the soldiers,
and to avenge himself in this manner,
for the punishments which his refractory
and rebellious conduct had frequently
incurred. This new danger was an ad-
ditional incitement to my diligence. I
went to my master's chamber and found
him asleep. This was no time to be
scrupulous or tardy. I awakened him.

On recovering his recollection, and
finding me beside him, with every mark
of trepidation and dismay, and silent,
from my uncertainty in what manner to
address him, he suspected that I brought
fatal tidings. He looked at me without
emotion, and said:

How is it with thee, my Tiro? With
me, all is well. I have slept soundly,
and am prepared to meet the worst. Thou

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wouldst tell me that they are coming.
I rejoice to hear it: the sooner they
arrive and execute the will of Anthony
and his Octavius, the better.

Saying this, he half rose from the
couch, and stretching his feet towards the
stove, he continued: Thanks to Jove,
that, at a time like this, nothing but my
feet are cold. I have done with hope
and with fear, and Cæsar's ministers shall
find that my heart's blood has lost none
of its warmth. He may deface and man-
gle this frame, but my spirit shall be
found invincible.

I could no longer forbear, but while
the tears flowed down my cheeks, I
pulled him by the arm towards the door,
and exclaimed: We have found a ves-
sel that will carry us to Sicily. She lies
at this moment near the shore ready to
receive us. Hasten, I beseech you, be-
yond the reach of the tyrants. Why
would you glut the vengeance of An-

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thony, and not rather live to raise up the

He shook his head, and resisting my
efforts: It is too late, said he: I never
can die in a fitter season and place than
the present, and hence I will not move.

O! Heaven! Does Cicero love his
enemies better than his friends? Is he
willing to sacrifice his country to parricides
and traitors? Shall he seek death because,
while he lives, liberty is not extinguished;
because the triumph of the wicked can
only be completed by his death?

Has Antony merited so well at your
hands, that you are willing to die, that
his ambition may be fully gratified? Is
this the issue of your warfare? After con-
tending with his treason so long, do you
now fall of your own accord at his feet,
put the poniard in his hand and call upon
him to strike? Thus will mankind regard
your conduct when the means of escape
are offered you, when the arms and trea-

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sures of Sicily and Greece and Asia are
ready to be put into your hand, you reject
the gift, you abandon the cause of your
country, of liberty, of your friends;
you invite infamous assassins to your
bosom; you die at the moment when your
life is of most value to mankind, and
nothing but your death is wanting to
ensure the destruction of Rome.

O! let it not be said that in his last
hours, Marcus Cicero was a recreant
and coward. That so illustrious a life
was closed with infamy, that his eulogies
on liberty, his efforts for the salvation of
Rome, the claims of gratitude and friend-
ship were forgotten or despised. That
mankind called on their deliverer, that
armies and provinces were offered to be
employed by him in the rescue of his
country, and the ruin of tyrants, in vain.

The road is open and direct, there is
nothing to create momentary hindrance
or delay. In a few hours, he may laugh

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at the impotent resentment of Antony;
and arm himself to punish the ingratitude
and perfidy of Cæsar–But no, he will
thrust himself within their grasp; he will
patiently wait till their assassins have
leisure to execute their sentence; he will
beg them to except his homage, and
since his death is indispensable to their
success, he will stretch out his neck to
receive it.

Perceiving that my master's resolu-
tion began to faulter. I redoubled my
remonstrances, I called up the images of
his brother, his son and his nephew, of
Cassius and Brutus and Pompeius. I
painted the effect which the tidings of
his death would produce in them; their
transports of grief awakened not so much
by the injury redounding to the common
cause, as by the infatuation and folly to
which his death must be ascribed. With
their humiliation and terror, I contrasted
the exultation of his enemies, to whose

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malice he was thus making himself a vol-
untary victim. What indignities would
not be heaped upon his lifeless remains!
How would Fulvia and Anthony feast
their eyes upon his head, which, torn
from the trunk, will be carried to their
toilets, and how will the folly of inviting
their revenge and crouching to the stroke
of their assassins be made the endless
theme of ridicule and mockery?–

At this moment, the servants entered
the chamber with a litter. I had given
previous directions to this effect. I had
resolved if persuasion should prove inef-
ficacious, to carry him away by force.
One of the bearers was Chlorus, whose
looks betokened the deepest consterna-
tion, and by his eyes and gestures be-
sought me to use dispatch. I made a
sign to the attendants, who approached
their master with diffidence and reve-
rence and prepared to remove him from
his couch to the litter.

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I renewed my supplications and re-
monstrances, to which he listened in
silence, and though his looks testified
reluctance and perplexity, he made no
resistance. He was placed in the litter.
I led the way into the garden. Chlorus
had now an opportunity to whisper me
that the soldiers had scented their prey
anew and were hastening to the house.
This intelligence induced me to strike
into an obscure path which led through
a wood and to quicken the pace of my

The litter was surrounded by sixteen
domestics well armed. They were all
faithful to their trust. Most of them
were grey with age, but vigorous and
resolute. All of them had been, during
many years, personal attendants on their
lord, and were eager to shed their blood
in his defence; I was not without hope
that should we be overtaken and at-
tacked, such resistance might be made,

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as, at least, to secure the retreat of my
master to the shore.

We had now accomplished half the
journey, and were inspired with new con-
fidence in our good fortune. Turning
an angle, however, a band of men ap-
peared in sight. They discovered us in
a moment, and shouting aloud, made
towards us with the utmost expedition.
There was now room but for one choice.
Fly, said I, to those that bore the litter,
fly with your burden to the shore and
leave us to contend with these miscre-

The enemy had been discovered by
my master as soon as by us. He now
raised himself up, and exclaimed in a
tone of irresistable authority; No: I
charge you stir not a step. Set down
the litter and await their coming. Put
up your swords, continued he, turning
to the rest, who had, in imitation of my
example unsheathed their weapons: Put

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up your swords. By the duty which you
owe me, I command you to forbear.

With whatever sternness these com-
mands were delivered, they would not
have made me hesitate or faulter. I was
prepared to conduct myself, not agreea-
ble to his directions, but to the exigen-
cies of the time; I was willing to pre-
serve his life even at the hazard of
offending him beyond forgiveness; but
my companions were endowed with less

Go on, said I, to the bearers, heed
not the words of a desperate man. It is
your duty to save him, though you for-
feit your lives by your disobedience–
They once more stooped to raise up the
vehicle, but were again forbidden. What!
said he, am I fallen so low as to be tram-
pled on by slaves? Desist, this moment!
Appalled and confounded by the energy
of his accents, they let fall the litter, and

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stood with their eyes down-cast and

The delay which this altercation pro-
duced, rendered his escape impossible.
The veteran and well-accoutred band
that was approaching, left us no hope
of victory. All that I had meditated,
was to retard their progress so long that
my master might reach the ship in safety.
For this end, we were to lay down our
own lives, but as long as he continued
in this spot all opposition would be fruit-

To stay and behold violence com-
mitted on that venerable head was not
in my power. I went forward to meet
the assassins. It was not, however, till
I had discerned the person of their leader
that I had any hopes of diverting them
from their design. He was a tribune in
the army of Cæsar, and his name was
Popilius Lænas.

 image pending 39

This man had been formerly accused
of murdering his wife's brother. This
brother had considerable property to
which Lænas expected to succeed, but
on some dissention between them, the
brother had selected a new heir and
Lænas was said to have gratified his
vengeance by his death. His wife and
children were among his accusers, and
there was too much reason to believe
the truth of the accusation.

In this extremity he besought Cicero
to be his advocate. Lænas had been
active in the Clodian tumults, had sided
with Milo and the Senate, and had, con-
sequently, promoted the interests of my
master. This service was now his plea,
and, joined with unwearied importuni-
ties, accomplished his end. Cicero was
an enthusiast in gratitude, and was not
used to scrutinize suspiciously or weigh
accurately, this kind of merit. Benefits
received from others were, if possible,

 image pending 40

repaid an hundred fold. He made him-
self the advocate of a cause, which,
without his assistance, would doubtless
have been desperate, and Lænas was
acquitted. His vows of gratitude and
service were unbounded, and now that
I discovered him at the head of Cæsar's
executioners was scarcely credible.

After a moments pause, I advanced
towards him, and offered him my hand.
He rejected it with scorn and rage, and
thrusting me aside, Out of the way,
villain, said he, and thank my mercy
that you do not share the fate of the trai-
tor you serve.

His followers surrounded me with
drawn swords, and looking at the tribune,
seemed to wait only for his signal to put
me to death. Come on, he cried; Our
prize is in view. Cut down every one
that opposes, but leave the peacable
alone. They left me and hastened to-
wards the litter.

 image pending 41

My eyes followed them instinctively.
Shuddering and a cold dew invaded my
limbs. With the life of Cicero, me-
thought, was entwined the existence of
Rome. The stroke by which one was
severed, would be no less fatal to the
other. It was indeed true that liberty
would he extinguished by his death, and
then only would commence the reign of
Anthony, and the servitude of mankind.

Would no effort avail to turn aside
the stroke? Should I stand a powerless
spectator of the deed? Might I not save
myself at least the ignominy and horror of
witnessing the fall of my master, by
attacking his assassins or failing on my
own sword?

These impulses of grief, were re-
pressed by the remembrance of the
duties, which his death would leave to
be performed by me and of the promises
by which I was bound.

 image pending 42

During these thoughts my eyes were
fixed upon the litter. My master, per-
ceiving the approach of the tribune, held
forth his head, as if to facilitate the assas-
sin's office. His posture afforded a dis-
tinct view of his countenance, which
was more thoughtful and serene than I
had seen it during our flight from.......

The eyes of the ruffians sparkled
with joy at sight of their victim. They
contended which should be foremost in
guilt. The domestics, struck with con-
sternation, looked upon each other in
silence. The soldiers, full of eagerness
to secure the reward which Anthony had
promised for the head of his enemy,
were too much occupied to speak to each
other, or to heed any foreign object.

One blow severed the devoted head!
No sooner had it fallen, than the troop
set up an horrid shout of exultation.
Lænas grasped the hair and threw the

 image pending 43

head into a large bag, held open by one
of his companions for that purpose.

Come, lads, he cried: Post we, with
our prize, with all speed to Rome? An-
thony will pay us well for this service–
So saying, they hastened away with as
much expedition as they came.

All passed in a moment. Nothing
but the headless trunk, stretched upon
the floor of the litter, which floated in
blood, remained. I approached the vehi-
cle without being fully conscious of my
movements, and gazed upon the muti-
lated figure. My thoughts were at a
stand, as well as my power of utterance
suspended. My heart seemed too small
to embrace the magnitude of this calami-
ty. It was not a single man who had
fallen, or whose violent catastrophe was
the theme of everlasting regret. The
light of the world was extinguished, and
the hopes of human kind brought to an

 image pending 44

My mind gradually recovered some
degree of activity. I mused upon the
events that led to this disaster. It seem-
ed as if the most flagitious folly, had
given birth to this insupportable evil.
Nothing was easier than to have fled to
the shore; to have embarked in the Sicillian
vessel, and quickly to have moved our-
selves beyond the reach of our enemies.
At one time, I loaded myself with the
most vehement upbraidings: Why did I
not exert myself to hinder him from leav-
ing the Cyprian barque? Had we pro-
ceeded to Cajeta, without delay, we might
have put ourselves on board the Agrigen-
tine, and set danger at defiance. The
Cyprian refused to proceed, but menaces
would have been successful where re-
wards had failed. He and his feeble
crew, would have easily been mastered
by our superior number.

But was not Cicero himself the author
of his evil destiny? Irresolute, despond-

 image pending 45

ing or perverse, he thwarted or frustrat-
ed the measures conducive to his safety.
More sensible to the stings of ingratitude
and his personal humiliation, than to the
claims of his fellow citizens; prone to
despair of liberty, though the richest
and most populous portion of the empire
was still faithful to its cause; though
veteran armies and illustrious officers
were still ranged under its banners in
Sicily, Greece and Asia, he lingered on
this fatal shore, and threw himself before
the executioner.

There were a thousand recesses on
this desolate coast, and caverns in the
Apenine, and unsuspected retreats on his
own estate, where he might have been
effectually concealed, till Cassius and
Pompey had restored the republic, till
the pursuit of his enemies had slackened,
and time and his faithful servants had
supplied the means of his escape. Had
he even permitted the generous sacrifice

 image pending 46

which his attendants were zealous to
make, and profited by the interval, which
their contest with the ruffians would have
afforded, to reach the shore; had he
looked, with a stern eye, on the tribune
and his followers, and rebuked them
with the eloquence whose force had been
so long irresistable; had he called up
the memory of past benefits, and thun-
dered indignation in the ears of the
apostate Lænas, who knows but the
blood-hounds would have been eluded or
baffled, or disarmed of their sanguinary
purpose? They were wretches, incited
by the lust of gain, void of enmity to
Cicero, or love of his oppressors. The
bribe with which Anthony had bought
their zeal, might have easily been
doubled by Cicero, to purchase their
connivance at his flight. The hope of
promotion in the legions of the east,
might have changed them into guardians
of our safety, and companions of our

 image pending 47

voyage. Thus had the magnanimity of
Marcus snatched him from worse perils,
and kept him from despairing of his life,
and his cause, though labouring under
a greater weight of years, encompassed
by enemies more numerous and more
triumphant: lonely, succourless, in chains
and immured in a dungeon!

But why do I caluminate the memory
of Cicero? Arraign the wisdom of his
conduct, and the virtue of his motives?
Had he not lived long enough for felicity
and usefulness? Was there cowardice or
error in refusing to mingle in the tumults
of war? In resigning to younger hands,
innured to military offices, the spear and
the shield? Is it more becoming the
brave to struggle for life; to preserve the
remnant which infirmity and old age had
left, than serenely to wait for death, and
encounter it with majestic composure?
Is it dishonourable to mourn over the
triumph of ambition, and the woes of our

 image pending 48

country? To be impatient of life, when
divorced from liberty, and fated to con-
template the ruin of those schemes, on
which his powers had incessantly been
exercised, and whose purpose was the
benefit of mankind?

Yes. The close of thy day was
worthy its beginning and its progress.
Thou diest with no stain upon thy vir-
tue. The termination of thy course was
coveal with the ruin of thy country.
Thy hand had upheld the fabric of its
freedom and its happiness, as long as
human force was adequate to that end.
It fell, because the seeds of dissolution
had arrived at maturity, and the basis
and structure were alike dissolved. It
fell, and thou wast crushed in its ruins.

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