royal to humans and pious to gods.

给大家分享一下最近读的这本地摊读物的部分摘抄和评(xia) 论(che)。看书名我本以为是十二凯撒的宫廷八卦,结果到手才发现它从罗慕路斯开始讲起。本书是十八世纪的作品,因此偏(共和国)向明显、用词考究、猛料详尽、洋溢启蒙运动学者显见的八卦之魂,是夏日不可多得的下酒佳作。


1.      The young Marcus (Brutus) early discovered anoble nature, accompanied with a sweetness and humanity that equally fitted himfor art or arms; but had intermixed a high sense of honor and a resolute independentspirit, (the mark of a hero) that rendered him impatience of wrong, and unableto brook the appearance of indignity. With this turn, he had been happy infalling into the best hands for his education; he and his great friend C.Cassius having been taught by Staberius Hiera, a person of such generosity andcourage, that during the heat of Sulla’s party-rage, he ventured to take thechildren of the forfeited families under his tuition, and taught them withoutfees. The Youth’s curiosity growing with his years, left him unacquainted withno school or sect of the Grecian philosophy; but the principles of Plato,distinguished by the name of the old academy, connecting the strictness ofmorals with the great ends of life, best suited his temper and inclinations. 



2.      An infirmity this, if it be one, to which thegreatest and best men are only obnoxious, and whose speech and stile partake ofthe strength and gravity of their conduct…Brutus breathing nothing butdisinterested goodness and exalted sentiments, at his return from Cyprus foundhis country on the precipice, and ready to be torn in pieces by a civil war. Hehad been taught to hate.



3.      In the camp, it is known that he (Brutus) spentthe time he was not with Pompey, for intent upon books, that he was busywriting an abridgement of Polybius,the night before the Pharsalianfield. But it is not well known why Caesar, with the sanguinary Order to hisveterans, to strike at the faces of the patricians, enjoyed his centurions tohave M. Brutus; the common opinion, that he was his son, being surely amistake: nor is it sufficiently noticed, that he kept afterwards at a distancefrom the dictator, when it was in his power to have been his second in theempire; and only employed his dishonoring friendship in protecting good men,and convincing the usurper by his bold defense of the great ally of the Romans,king Deiotarus, that Brutus was not be obliged by restoring the Common-Wealth.






4.      Next to Pompey the Great’s, no Roman’s name wasmore terrible to enemies, or more precious to friends in the East, than that ofC. Cassius. 



5.      As soon as the blow was struck in the Senate-house,M. Brutus stepping forward, called aloud upon Tullius Cicero, and essayed tomake a speech to the Senate: But the members were so terrified, that no one ofthem stay to hear him; such a panic had seized them, that several were crashedto death in pressing thro’ the doors of the Senate-house. Brutus therefore andCassius, with the Band of Patriots,followed out to the Street; and putting a cap, the ensign of Freedom, upon thetop of a lance, with their swords still in their hands, they proclaimed Liberty To The Romans: they neverdoubted but the People would rouse at the sound, rush into the Forum, resumetheir high-valued rights, and applaud them as their Deliverers. But the pullingdown a tyrant is too might a thought to find easy admittance into vulgar minds;and in this case was attended with startling circumstances, to leave them thefull exercise of the reason, or the ability of distinguishing theirBenefactors: A general Terror had seized the City at the first rumor, as ifthey had expected a Massacre. The courts were deserted, the markets emptied,the shops were shut up; everybody ran home, and barricaded their doors, as ifan enemy had mastered the walls.

Under this disappointment, Brutus and hisfriends, resolved for their security to betake themselves to the Capitol, andwait what Event the Night might produce in their favor; making no question butthe Senate would zealously declare for them, when its members should recovertheir spirits, and venture to hold an Assembly. But it was not the same meetingit was wont to be.

That grand Council, and indeed every branchof the Common-wealth, had been either corrupted by Julius Caesar; or, whom itwas not in his power secretly to corrupt, he had openly destroyed and put tothe sword. This had made a lamentable change both upon the appearance andsubstance of the Roman State…For now, the best and bravest of its members, hadeither fallen in the field fighting for liberty, or had afterwards fallen upontheir swords… (201-202)









6.      When this trusty friend of Caesar (M. Antony)perceived what they were about in the Senate-house, being very conscious of hisown deserts, he ran terrified home, and disguised himself in the habit of aslave, making no doubt but he would be searched for, and if apprehended,certainly put to death. But when, to his no small surprise, he heard, thatBrutus and his friends were taking no more lives, nor doing any violent thingwhatsoever, he first crept out of his luring hole, and next, with greatdiffidence, reassumed the ensigns of consul. However being still apprehensiveof the danger, which threatened him and all who had dipped in Caesar’susurpation, had they had to do with men of other depositions and designs thanthat Body of Senators united in the cause of liberty, he could not take restuntil he was in better terms with them. He therefore sent an honorable messageto these great men, desiring them to come down, with full assurance of consularprotection: They demurred a little; and the first two days of their recovered libertywere spent in negotiation, in sending and receiving proposals: He then wenthimself to the Capitol, and sent up his own son, and the Master of Horse’s son,the young Lepidus, as hostages of the security of Brutus and his friends. 




7.      They proceeded from the Capitol to the Forum,where was held the first few Free meeting it had seen for years, and M. Brutuswas placed upon the Rostra. He from thence made a speech to the people, in hisown character: It was animated with the love of liberty; it was full ofdisinterested goodness; and conceived in such elegant terms, and such anobleness of expression as commended admirations, and drew reiterated shouts ofapplause.



8.      (前文讲西塞罗预备让布鲁图等人接管共和国)But Brutus wishing to have every thing done in the most legal andunexceptional manner, to show that nothing but necessity had driven the Friendsof Liberty against its foe, chose rather, if possible, to act in concert withthe consuls, such as they were: From the Forum therefore, they went to theTemple of the Earth, the usual place of meeting. 

我觉得T. Blackwell & J. Mills这两位作者很厉害的地方在于,他们吹着吹着几乎让我恍恍惚惚要吃定“拉丁救主凯歇斯,罗马圣女布鲁图”这种世界观非黑即白的设定。他真的太好了:难道布鲁图当真只是个白莲花,或者脑子进水的蠢货吗?他的选择没有错,只有在法律的框架下,法律和秩序才能存活。如果一切能如他所愿,那的确会带来长久的自由与和平。然而,马库斯·布鲁图斯的对手不止是安东尼或其他凯撒的余党,阻碍他、最后也促使他不得不绝望战败的,是整整一个世纪以来罗马的礼崩乐坏。说到底,回天乏术了。





9.      …When the youth (Octavius) talked to him(Antony) of his design, to make good his father’s legacies to the people, heanswered him in a very provoking manner and answered him in derision againstaffecting popularity: He told him, that as he was newly come from learning hisGreek, he could not but know the proverb, that the people were unstable, comingand going, like the waves of the sea, and should be cautious of depending upontheir favor. By this treatment he soon perceived what assistance he (Octavius)was to expect from the consul: It was the harder to bear, that he had looked uponhim as his best friend; and no wonder, since he knew that Antony owedeverything to the man whose name he bore. But he laid too great stress uponfavors already bestowed; most men, and to be sure the worst, regulating theirconduct by future prospects. A court-writer in a succeeding reign says, it wasrather dread of a rising genius, than contempt of his youth, that made Antonyreceive Octavius so haughtily; and a later author ascribes it to Rage and Spite, that Caesar did notprefer his long services to distend kindred, and adopt his royal lieutenantrather than his niece’s son. 



屋大维的继承权,至少在庞培死后才被加到遗嘱的附页。有人猜测凯撒那句著名的Ettu Brutus解释了凯秃为啥死前生无可恋愣着被捅——假设马库斯·布鲁图斯或德基姆斯·布鲁图斯其中任一是他私生子,四舍五入就是tai/zi把皇帝干掉了,然鹅tai/zi并不是想提前登基而是要五族共和(等等)






10.  What prudence is proof against dissimulationand perfidy? He (Octavius) had fairly entered the good way, ---was embarkedwith in the best of causes, ---was dear to all men, and had the same friendsand enemies with the most approved patriots. He was not only making war uponAntony, grown formidable to the Senate, and odious to all lovers of liberty,but had hired assassins to stab him while consul; which, however bare, left nodoubt of his sincerity. Cicero therefore joining his professions and actions,not only believed him a real Roman, but, in a manner, undertook for his goodbehavior to the Republic; and warmed by his hopes and his own good heart, did notscruple to engage, That the young Caesarwould always be such a citizen, as he appeared to be, the day he marche to therelief of D. Brutus, and to raise the siege of Modena. 


(当然西塞罗被蒙蔽的时间并未持续多久<见adBrut.>,本文我只是比较“迷”作者实力西吹得修养——he Conqueror, and sole general 我擦了好几遍眼睛确认他说的是西塞罗)


11.  Cicero and Brutus are both great and good men;both aiming at one and the same point. But they were men of very differentcharacters; the one cautious, delicate and smooth; adapting himself to the times,and employing address to reach his ends; the other bold, resolute and plain;requiring through conscious rectitude, the times to bow to him, and to hiscontempt of the terrors that sway common men. Each of them acted and wrote (asall mankind do) in their own character. Cicero, prudent, complaisant andunwarlike; treated---soothed---complimented, and used all the arts ofnegotiations. Brutus, the Bane of tyrants, bred in camps, and born for action,disdained to demean himself, or forget his dignity; but openly threatened theenemies of liberty and Rome.


“the times to bow to him” 这句话戳中了我,它描述的布鲁图好像一个参孙式的人物——徒手撑起苍穹,天空如果要倒下,便首先压垮他吧!这种耿直到过分骄傲地脾性,让我想起提比略·格拉古,所以说,小布鲁图的确是个真正的罗马人。


12.  It has already been observed, that Brutus andCassius, at the expiration of their praetorships, were to have provinces;Brutus to have Macedon, and Cassius the province he had rescued from theParthians, Syria: They were two of the most considerable of the Empire, Syriawas the richest government, and Macedon had the greatest army lying in it thatbelonged to the Republic. It consisted of the veteran legions which Caesar hadpicked out for the Getic and Parthian wars. 

…If ever too much goodness was a fault, it was certainly so here. It putsme in mind of what Cicero said of a strictly virtuous harangue, madeunseasonably by Cato, ‘That it would have been a very proper speech in Plato’spure Republic, but was a very improper one to be made to the dregs of Rome.’Brutus’ management had too much of the simplicity and disinterestedness of ahero for a statesman in a corrupted Common-wealth: It was strictly agreeable tothe old forms, and ancient spirit of the Republic, but pernicious in thepresent necessity or preventing immediate mischief…I cannot fee where was thecrime, but rather than blame him (Brutus), let us admire the supreme virtue andabstinence of the man, whose greatest fault was of goodness incompatible withthe vicious manner of the times in which he lived. Whether he was afterwardssensible of his error I cannot tell, but he soon found himself in no safety atRome, amidst a multitude of Caesar’s veterans…











13.  接下来连着几十页都在讲安东尼露出獠牙后,各方势力蠢蠢欲动的景况:安东尼指挥着各地亲凯撒的军队谋逆,预备向罗马挺进。屋大维因为没钱没势甚至没到参加选举的年龄,所以假装忘掉了杀父之仇、甘愿做西塞罗的傀儡。西塞罗一边和布鲁图斯保持密切联系,一边将屋大维用作棋子对付安东尼,而且还组建起只供他指挥的私人军团。布鲁图看似每天痴迷于研究哲学,其实背地也在行省召集自己的军队。雷必达等人按兵不动、作壁上观,顺便捡漏抢地抢人。



14.  …heard that M. Brutus had drawn the sword, andwas in motion, that remains of the Senatorial army that was broken at Pharsaliaroused, and ranged themselves under his banners. L. Piso, lieutenant to the newgovernor C. Antony, was leading a legion to his general; but being met by theyoung Cicero, the soldiers abandoned Piso, put themselves under the braveyouth’s authority; and not long after, Brutus, admiring the spirit, capacity,and hatred of tyranny, that appeared in the young Tully, gave him command ofthe whole cavalry,




15.  …While the enemy of one of the threeusurpers(triumvirs), was a friend to either of the other, and they againdemanded compensation for the sacrifice of a brother, uncle, or other kinsmangiven up to the sword. This bloody barter is perhaps the most horridtransaction upon record in the human story. What the savages of the woods donot commit upon their own kind, and much less upon their progeny, that thesethree men committed upon their nearest relations. Lepidus consented to themurder of his own brother Emilius Paulus, as a friend to the Republic; Antony gave up the good and upright L. Caesar, his mother’s brother, for the samereason; and Octavius, with feigned reluctancy, consented to the destruction ofTorannius his tutor, and, to his eternal reproach, of the man whom for atwelvemonth he had been calling his father, M. T. Cicero. Plancus, next inpower to the three tyrants, and Afinius Pollio, had the one a brother, L.Plotius, then Pretor, and the other a father-in-law Quintius, suspected of goodinclinations, and therefore both doomed to assassination. 













BGM:  眼福眼禍