Posted by: Dr Churchill | April 17, 2018

Today’s Private markets are tomorrow’s Public Markets

“Today’s Private markets are tomorrow’s Public Markets”

Those proud and prickly Unicorns have given the middle finger to the SEC and to the public markets in favor of softer money, no regulations, and also receiving money of ill repute…

So “Today’s Private markets are tomorrow’s Public Markets” is what I throw out there to say, when I want to offer a pithy quote, and a memorable hashtag, to the journalists and to the pundits out there.

It is of course an oversimplification, and it simply shows how smug we have become about the Unicorns ruining the sport of Venture Capital for all of us.

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But it works, and before you all come down here to tear me down — let me explain.

The Unicorn in a safe space model, but he disconnect stands because what it used to be is no longer true.

Because it used to be that early-stage StartUps and speculative companies used to be private, and middle-stage growing companies used to be public, and late-stage cash-flowing incumbent companies also used to be public with dividend paying and blue chip reputations.

All that has been turned upside down with value investors losing their shit when they see now as to how that middle stage has shifted.

Because as a Startup, you can now get all the capital you need to grow while you’re private, so you stay private a hell of a lot longer.

Yet the longer you stay private — the more difficult it becomes to go public and reform yourself, because once you’re not growing as fast anymore, and when you don’t need as much capital to grow, then you seek to go through the IPO window to become a public company, in order to cash out your stock incentives, and help your employees get rich, or just to keep them around, and manage to align your goals and improve your profit discipline.

Yet, today, it is the private markets that have taken over the public markets’ role in capital raising, but the public markets have fully retained their leading role in liquidity provisioning and in the capital returns to investors.

Yet if that’s the model that persists for a few years — then you’d expect an IPO slowdown during the transition, and then a return to all the IPOs once the transition is complete.

All the big unicorns that grew while being sheltered in the safe spaces of the “Enchanted Forest” are now finally ready or even required to come out.

I say this only because this seems to be the strongest and most brilliant of the golden ages ever to exist for unicorns.

For one thing, with SoftBank Group Corp. pouring money into private technology companies, unicorns can raise all the money they want; the main inconvenience is that when private tech companies try to raise money they keep raising more money than they want:

The Silicon Valley money machine is once again in high gear, thanks largely to SoftBank. The conglomerate is injecting billions of dollars into tech, in turn causing deep-pocketed global investors—and some U.S. venture firms—to arm up in response. A record level of late-stage money is flooding in, threatening to keep some startups out of the public markets even longer while heightening concerns that the sector is overvalued.

In recent months, hotly contested companies like ride-hailing service Lyft Inc. and dog-walking app Wag Labs Inc. have received hundreds of millions of dollars more than they sought.

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Ah, but good news for unicorns is also worrying news: If unicorn fund-raising is hot and valuations are high, that just means that venture capitalists will be unable to take their unicorns public, right? But, no, actually, the exits from the Enchanted Forest seem pretty enchanted themselves:

Investors, bankers and analysts said they expected a wave of initial public offerings to bring some of the most highly valued and recognizable start-ups to the public market over the next 18 to 24 months — and billions of dollars in returns to their executives and investors. The potential bonanza would follow years of waiting as a few dozen companies amassed valuations without precedent in the private market.

Already, 2018 has gotten off to a fast start. Two of the biggest start-ups still sitting on the sidelines — Dropbox, an online file storage company, and Spotify, the streaming music service based in Sweden — successfully went public over the past month. Tech I.P.O.s have already raised more than $7 billion this year — more than all of 2015 and 2016, and more than half the $13 billion they raised last year, according to the market-data firm Dealogic.

We talk a lot around here about how private markets are the new public markets, how private companies can now get most of the benefits (limitless fund-raising, secondary liquidity, name recognition) of being public, without the inconveniences (financial disclosure, shareholder pressure) of actually going public.

So why are the big unicorns heading finally towards the exits of the private markets?

It is the SEC stupid.

And of course the Tax Code that finally favors companies.

And it might also be this dude Donald Trump who promises a level Darwinian field for public and private companies to play and win.

No more protection or safe spaces for mythical creatures like Unicorns.

I don’t know.

All the answers I’ve got are not super satisfying, nor are they forthcoming anymore…


Dr Churchill


And while private capital has been so accessible that start-ups have been able to get ample funding without the headaches of an I.P.O., several factors are encouraging companies to go public now, as major investors and bankers say they want to see happening.

Public investors are hungry to buy shares of fast-growing companies. Early employees are getting antsy to cash in their stakes.

And some start-up executives are eager to prove themselves as public company chief executives after founders like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey have said going public improved their discipline and focus on profits.

Once home to the nation’s largest plutonium-making facility, Hanford, Washington, is now one of the most toxic nuclear-waste sites in the world. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently spending $2 billion a year to clean up the 586-square-mile reservation. However, not all is well on Washington’s dusty southeastern edge: Whistle-blowers are stepping forward, claiming that taxpayer money is being spent recklessly on a project riddled with potentially deadly design defects.

The DOE is set to extend a contract to a made up consortium of Big Government Contractors that are the usual suspects, masquerading behind a fake nice name: “Washington River Protection Solutions” (WRPS) for another year at the Hanford Nuclear Site, despite numerous allegations of misconduct since the company won the initial contract for $7.1 billion in 2008.

Below is an investigative report that appeared in Seattle Weekly in 2012 on the suppression of whistleblowers by the DOE, Bechtel, URS, and WRPS, at North America’s most toxic nuclear SuperFund site.

Donna Busche, who has been employed by contractor URS (originally known as United Research Services) as acting Manager of Environmental and Nuclear Safety at Hanford’s Waste Treatment Plant (WTP) since 2009, is among the latest of these senior managers to speak out about what she sees as the silencing of those who raise concerns about possibly lethal safety issues. Last November, Busche filed a complaint of discrimination under the federal whistle-blower protection statutes with the U.S. Department of Labor, alleging retaliation against her for reporting problems at the WTP, which one day will turn Hanford’s 56 million gallons of highly hazardous radioactive waste into storable glass rods through a process known as vitrification.

Climbing the corporate ladder in the male-dominated engineering world was no easy feat. But Busche, as numerous co-workers say, is tough, politically savvy, and scientifically skilled. After attending graduate school at Texas A&M and before arriving at Hanford, Busche was the Chief Nuclear Engineer and Manager of Nuclear Safety at the DOE’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Busche’s job at Hanford is to ensure that the site’s contractors produce adequate documentation to support the contractor’s compliance with federal environmental and nuclear-safety laws, meaning that virtually no aspect of construction can take place at the WTP until Busche says it is safe to do so. “I’m where the nuclear-safety buck stops,” says Busche.

If Busche says “Stop,” the work must stop. But saying “Stop” to the wrong guys, Busche claims, has gotten her in a heap of trouble with Hanford higher-ups.

Among her grievances, Busche claims that she has been sexually harassed by URS manager Bill Gay. In Busche’s official complaint, she explains that Gay made inappropriate and sexist comments to her in an unscheduled meeting, “including comments that women react emotionally while men use logical thinking.” Gay also allegedly told Busche that, as an attractive woman, she should use her “feminine wiles” to better communicate with her male cohorts. Gay apparently also said that if Busche were single, “he would pursue a romantic relationship with her.” Busche notified Human Resources shortly after Gay made these remarks, at which point he reportedly apologized. Gay would not comment on the allegation.

Perhaps even more damaging are Busche’s claims that, beginning in 2010, the lead contractor at Hanford, Bechtel National Inc., shirked safety compliance, signing off on shoddy work in order to meet deadlines that would earn the contractor large financial incentives. For example, radioactive-waste stirrers called pulse jet mixers have had numerous design problems, such as erosion and potential leaking. Despite these concerns, Bechtel pushed through testing saying they were sound.

Their timing was impeccable: It was late June 2010, and by having their plans finalized by the end of the month, the company would receive a $5 million bonus for reaching cost and schedule goals. Busche says that during this time she was viewed as a roadblock to meeting these goals. As a result, Busche’s concerns were suppressed and Bechtel managers allegedly sought ways to retaliate against her.

But management at Bechtel and the DOE didn’t know whom they were dealing with. In October 2010, Busche took her concerns to the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB), an independent governmental organization that oversees health and safety issues at the DOE’s nuclear facilities. After her comments were made during a public hearing with DNFSB on October 7, Busche says she was “openly admonished by former DOE Assistant Secretary Inés Triay for her testimony.”

In her Department of Labor complaint, Busche alleges that after her testimony, Triay told her “If [your] intent was to piss people off [with your testimony, you] did a very good job.” (Triay, now a Visiting Scholar at Florida International University, did not respond for comment after multiple phone calls and e-mail requests.)

When Busche showed up for a second day of hearings, she claims she was approached by Frank Russo, who runs the WTP project for Bechtel; Bill Gay; and Leo Sain, a senior URS vice president. They all urged her to recant her earlier testimony when she met with the DNFSB. She replied that she would not.

Even worse, when Busche returned to work after the hearings, she alleges WTP management kept her isolated and out of meetings that she was both authorized to and required to attend. She also says that since Bechtel “controls the work and supervision of persons assigned to [her],” that the company has “actively sabotaged her work since [Bechtel] employees go around her, defy her efforts to supervise them . . . all without consequence.”

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She is currently awaiting a response from the Department of Labor about her complaint. Busche’s story—when coupled with that of the DOE’s Dr. Don Alexander, as outlined in Seattle Weekly last fall (“The Nuclear Option,” October 19)—provides ample evidence that management at both Bechtel and the DOE are at best ignoring, and at worst actively retaliating against, experts with inconvenient opinions. And because it’s nuclear waste that’s being dealt with, their alleged negligence could ultimately prove deadly

The government’s manufacturing of plutonium to fuel the atom bomb was a scientific achievement unlike any that came before it. At the nucleus of this gargantuan undertaking was Hanford. The roaring Columbia River provided the much-needed water to help keep its reactors consistently cool, and Hanford’s remoteness allowed the facility to operate with scant international attention.

Today Hanford no longer produces plutonium for nuclear weapons. Instead, the scientific and engineering minds employed there are tasked with an equally, if not more, daunting endeavor: cleaning up one of the largest radioactive nuclear-waste sites in North America.

The DOE manages the Hanford project for the federal government, but contractors such as Bechtel and URS act as the design and contract specialists for the site’s most important undertaking, the construction of the WTP. Once the glass rods roll out of the WTP, which will be a first-of-its-kind operation, they are to be stored in a safe place where a radioactive leak is far less likely than it is today—Hanford’s waste currently remains in old, underground tanks that are decades past their lifespan.

While Bechtel holds the primary contract with the DOE to build the WTP, URS acts as their subcontractor, and the companies split all fees 50/50. URS also holds another contract for managing Hanford’s Tank Farms, where the 56 million gallons of radioactive waste are held. Over the duration of the WTP contract, from 2001 to today, Bechtel has raised their proposed budget from $4.3 billion to $12.263 billion, with more increases likely to come: In late August the DOE’s Construction Project Review team estimated an extra $800 to $900 million would likely be needed to finish the job. Watchdog groups, like the Seattle-based Hanford Challenge, say the final cost could top $20 billion.

Either Bechtel drastically underestimated the cost to build the WTP, or they blatantly misled DOE when they said they could complete the project for $4.3 billion. This is not the first time Bechtel has increased a government contract and failed to deliver: In March 2006, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), an oversight group set up by Congress to keep an eye on government contracts in Iraq, found that Bechtel was mismanaging a hospital project that was way over budget.

In mid-October 2004, Bechtel scored the contract to build an Iraqi children’s cancer hospital for $50 million, promising to complete the construction by late December 2005. However, SIGIR’s report found that Bechtel likely wouldn’t finish work on the hospital until at least July 2007, with a final price tag of $169.5 million. After SIGIR’s report on Bechtel’s gross mismanagement, the government canceled the company’s contract for the hospital. Another contractor later completed the hospital construction in 2010.

This incident wasn’t unique: A 2007 SIGIR report found that fewer than half of Bechtel’s projects had met their original objectives. Additionally, the majority of Bechtel’s Iraq projects were canceled, reduced in scope, or never completed at all.

Now a number of engineers and scientists, like Don Alexander, are wondering why Bechtel isn’t coming under the same kind of congressional scrutiny for its even larger contract to build the WTP.

A high-ranking DOE scientist at Hanford, Alexander first spoke out in this publication to express his concerns with managerial and operational aspects of his work at the WTP, as well as the plant specifications that had been carelessly accepted as safe and sound. In one instance, Alexander pointed out the DOE’s and Bechtel’s refusal to re-evaluate their so-called pulse jet mixer design, which is supposed to keep the radioactive waste at the WTP constantly moving, after his own studies showed that the containers that held the mixers would erode, potentially causing a lethal radioactive leak. Alexander says that following the article, the DOE is now paying close attention to the issue, and has assigned one expert from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, nine full-time staffers, and 11 Bechtel employees to resolve these design problems.

But new evidence has emerged in a lawsuit, filed last May in Washington state court by Dr. Walter Tamosaitis of URS, that implicates high-level DOE employees in the silencing of Tamosaitis, who was removed from his management position at the WTP after he raised concerns about the plant’s faulty design. In a deposition taken in this lawsuit in July, Bechtel’s Frank Russo verified the names of DOE officials with whom he had discussed Tamosaitis: Dale Knutson, federal project director for the DOE at Hanford; DOE Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman; and Inés Triay, who served as Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management under Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu until July 2011. Triay and Poneman were Obama appointees.

In the deposition, Tamosaitis’ lawyer, Jack Sheridan, asked Russo whether or not he had, via e-mail, told his boss, Bechtel President David Walker, that Triay, Poneman, and Knutson all “understood the reason for Walt’s departure” and that “DOE can’t be seen as involved.” Russo confirmed this, admitting to telling Walker that he had briefed Triay and Poneman on the issue.

In early November 2011, Tamosaitis filed a second lawsuit against Bechtel and the DOE in federal court. Among other things, Tamosaitis’ suit alleges that Bechtel management and DOE brass were concerned that the issues Tamosaitis was raising could put an additional $50 million of WTP funding in jeopardy.

The DOE has filed a motion to delay certain evidentiary aspects of Tamosaitis’ case from being allowed in future court proceedings. On Monday, February 20, the DOE asked the court to dismiss the suit. The court trial is tentatively set for June 2013, nearly three years after Tamosaitis’ termination by Bechtel from the WTP.

Additionally, in early December, Tamosaitis testified in front of the U.S. Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee. At the hearing, he explained how he was removed from his job and forced to work in an offsite windowless basement office as a warning of sorts to others who were contemplating speaking out. The panel is currently considering legislation that would extend whistle-blower protections to employees of government contractors.

The DOE says they do not comment on issues related to pending litigation, such as that levied by Tamosaitis. But now, for the first time, two veteran Hanford scientists are adding their experiences to this unfolding saga by blowing the whistle on what they see as blatant corruption and mismanagement at Hanford’s WTP. With these endeavors, the new whistle-blowers claim, DOE management is not only complicit, but taking direct actions to hide glaring technical problems from the public—problems that could lead to a catastrophic nuclear accident.

At 78, longtime Hanford nuclear chemical process engineer David Bruce says his enthusiasm to do his job right is as great as ever. Many of his co-workers past and present see Bruce, who has worked for various Hanford contractors for more than 46 years, as a mentor of sorts—a man whose words are worth heeding.

“The pursuit to stay on schedule has crippled the entire operation,” Bruce says of the WTP. “This sucker is not going to run as currently designed, plain and simple, and a heck of a lot of people around here know it but are too afraid to speak up.”

Last December, Bruce decided he’d had enough. He was aware of glaring technical flaws, such as problems in the mixing design that could lead to lethal leaks at the WTP and prevent it from ever running properly. These problems had not yet been addressed, and in a meeting with top management, including Russo, Bruce stood up and made his points.

“After that meeting, [Frank] Russo came up to me and asked to meet with me later to discuss the issues that I raised,” Bruce says. He was a bit surprised; it was the first time anyone that high up in Bechtel management had seemed concerned with the issues he was raising. While he thought the meeting went well and felt that Russo heard him out, he still has very serious doubts about whether necessary changes will ever be made.

Russo and Bechtel would not comment directly on the claim that management continues to override technical staff, but the company insists that “[Bechtel’s] responsibility to the American taxpayer is to ensure that balance in designing and building a plant that will safely and effectively operate to protect people and the environment from the hazards of and risks from the radioactive waste.”

Yet on January 13, the DOE’s Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS), which is tasked with overseeing work carried out at the DOE’s nuclear sites, released what some—including a DOE employee who did not want his name to appear in this piece for fear of reprisal—have called the most scathing review of Hanford ever to come out of the independent oversight committee. The document was direct in its criticism of the culture that permeates Hanford’s work environment, finding that “only 30% of all survey respondents feel that they can openly challenge decisions made by management.” The report goes on to state, “There is a strong perception that you will be labeled or red-flagged, and some individuals indicated that they were transferred to another area by their supervision after having raised concerns.”

Russo responded to the HSS report by telling his employees in a letter, “I want to re-emphasize how important it is for everyone to have a questioning attitude, to stop and ask questions if something doesn’t seem right, and if there is a concern, to raise it so it can be addressed.”

Getting Russo to acknowledge even this much had proven an arduous slog. In late September 2009, frustration with their supervisors’ failure to address ineffective designs had grown so high that Bruce and URS Senior Advisory Engineer Murray Thorson, both devout Christians, retreated to their work cafeteria to pray together. Their request to their Lord was simple: They asked Him, if their perceptions were correct, to expose what they saw as waste and corruption within the DOE and contractor management.

During the previous six months, the two had worked diligently to come up with a design to eliminate precipitation in the ion-exchange system at the WTP. Buildup of precipitation in the feed to the ion-exchange columns, integral parts of the process of turning nuclear waste into glass, would cause the columns to plug or fail to function, jeopardizing the operability of the entire WTP facility.

Starting in 2007, Bruce and Thorson had reached out to management with their concerns. But after being repeatedly ignored, they met with the DOE to outline the serious technical flaws in Bechtel’s proposed design. Only then did Bechtel agree to do something about it.

An ad hoc group was then formed, with Bruce and Thorson on one team and another set of engineers from Bechtel and URS on another. The two pursued a fix for the buildup of precipitation, which became known as the Equipment Option, while the other group developed an alternative Operating Solution. The Equipment Option was projected to take five fewer years to process Hanford’s nuclear waste into glass. At an operating cost of roughly $1 billion per year, that’s a $5 billion savings for taxpayers. The Operating Solution, on the other hand, might temporarily fix the issue, but would provide less reliability and less flexibility and increase the amount of time needed to process the nuclear waste. More important to Bechtel, however: The Operating Solution would have cost less in construction dollars to implement.

Bechtel took both options to the DOE, stating their recommendation of the Operating Solution option. DOE, however, ended up opting for Thorson and Bruce’s design.

Tamosaitis, then serving as URS management advisor for the precipitation study teams, says, “Murray [Thorson] and Dave [Bruce] had the undisputed answer to the problem. Everyone knew it, but despite this fact, Bechtel management did not want to accrue the costs of the fix. So they picked the cheaper, less adequate solution.

“Bechtel knew darn well DOE would [not pick the Operating Solution], and would go with the Equipment Option,” Tamosaitis continues. “But they pursued this approach anyway, so that DOE would ultimately cover the cost”—because, according to their contract, if the DOE picks a more expensive solution to a problem, they, rather than Bechtel, have to cover the costs by adding funds to Bechtel’s [baseline] budget.

“Bechtel is the best at playing the game of getting the most taxpayer money to address technical issues that are their responsibility,” says Tamosaitis. “They wait for DOE to give them more money. This maximizes their profits at taxpayer expense. If they don’t get the money, they just move on. It’s the only business where not doing it well leads to more profits—all of which is taxpayer money.”

Bechtel spokesperson Suzanne Heaston defends her company via e-mail, stating, “The Operations option fully met all technical requirements and had a lower installed cost.”

“Bechtel was not very excited about our approach,” Bruce says with a chuckle before turning serious. “Murray Thorson is a brilliant engineer, one of the best I’ve ever worked with, and the fact that Bechtel didn’t even really want to hear what we had to say on the issue was very disheartening, to say the least.”

Thorson’s other accomplishments at the WTP are well-documented. From 2002 to 2008 he led a highly successful effort that resulted in changing the type of resin used in the WTP’s ion-exchange columns. This resin acts as a sponge to separate radioactive cesium from the waste, helping to decontaminate Hanford’s radioactive material before it is processed into glass. Bechtel was not supportive of Thorson’s efforts, however, because more than $11 million worth of research and testing was required to develop and qualify the resin, despite its potential long-term savings of billions of dollars. Another resin already existed, and despite all its problems and associated high cost, Bechtel contended it was acceptable, and told Thorson to stop the development effort.

All indications were that the original resin was not going to work—it gummed up, potentially plugging and causing the system to fail. Even so, URS and Bechtel management disagreed with staff recommendations and claimed the resin was fine as it was. The DOE thought otherwise, and the agency’s federal director at the time, John Eschenberg, authorized the group Thorson was working in to move ahead with the new resin development, agreeing to cover the research costs, which were added to Bechtel’s WTP budget. After several years of research and testing, Thorson’s efforts paid off, and his resin was demonstrated to be a tremendous success.

The new resin was substantially less expensive than the original resin. When all is said and done, Thorson’s resin will save taxpayers at least $3 billion.


Shortly after the DOE chose Thorson and Bruce’s Equipment Option, Thorson wanted out. He did not feel his work was being adequately appreciated at the WTP, though he’d saved the project billions of dollars. When an opening arose at Hanford’s Tank Farm, which handles the underground storage containers that hold the toxic site’s remaining nuclear waste, Thorson went after it, even though it carried a lesser title.

“I want to be clear: Bechtel did not force me to leave my job at WTP,” says Thorson. “But the environment they created there, where good work isn’t recognized, was one that I could no longer [work in]. I wanted WTP to operate properly, and believed my new job would continue in these efforts.”

Thorson’s new job was to work on an oversight group called CLIN 3.2, responsible for looking at long-term operability issues at the WTP. Though technically still a URS employee, Thorson would be working for a company called Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS), which led CLIN 3.2’s evaluations. WRPS is a joint company accountable under their contract to URS.

CLIN 3.2 stands for Contract Line Item Number 3.2, which was included in Hanford’s Tank Farm contract between the DOE and URS, the company put in charge of Tank Farm operations. The Tank Farm contract is separate from the WTP contract. Bechtel is not involved in the Tank Farm contract, but URS acts as its lead contractor, responsible for safely retrieving, treating, storing, and disposing of Hanford’s Tank Farm waste, which currently sits in 177 underground concrete tanks that are grouped into 18 “farms.” The Tank Farm contract is worth $7.1 billion.

Waste from the Tank Farms will one day move to the WTP through piping and different treatment facilities. The final phase of this process will turn this processed waste into glass. So the Tank Farm and the WTP are to work in conjunction to ensure optimum success. In the Tank Farm contract, CLIN 3.2 called for the establishment of biannual independent evaluations to ensure the WTP would run properly.

“This isn’t your typical project design,” says Thorson, referring to areas in the WTP called black cells that hold piping and equipment. Once sealed, these cells will be off-limits to maintenance. If something like erosion causes a radioactive leak in these vessels, nothing can be done.

One of the primary tasks assigned to the CLIN 3.2 evaluation group was to ensure everything inside these black cells would function as designed. Two sources, who worked as managers and engineers at Hanford and are familiar with the contract, say that CLIN 3.2 was a “top objective” of the Tank Farm contract, which would help ensure that Bechtel was kept honest since they would have a stake in both the Tank Farm and the WTP contracts.

The first CLIN 3.2 report was issued in September 2010 and found numerous risks, including problems with reliability, operability, maintainability and throughput, hydrogen-vent control, precipitation of solids that could plug equipment, control-system documentation, and contamination control.

After the report was issued, Bechtel said they would not answer design questions or support any reviews, asserts Thorson. “Since DOE did not require them to do so—which Bechtel argued was not required by their contract—it really knocked the wind out of us.” Though the reviews would benefit the WTP’s potential success, Bechtel claimed they had no money to do reviews unless the DOE handed over more funds. Essentially, CLIN 3.2 was an elite technical review board without any real teeth.

The DOE would not comment on Thorson’s claim that they did not require Bechtel to address the issues raised in CLIN 3.2’s first report. But, says Thorson, “It was clear that Bechtel was not pleased with the long-term operability issues we had raised [regarding the WTP]. DOE was simply not supportive of [CLIN] 3.2’s original scope.”

WRPS soon reduced CLIN 3.2 from a 12-person operation to half that. Even with the significant downsize, Thorson and others continued to work to put together an annual report—the “Annual Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) Operational Support Report (For Fiscal Year 2011),” released last September. Once again, the evaluation found serious vulnerabilities with the WTP that would likely require design changes and testing to remedy. The results of the report were briefed to the DOE.

At that point, however, the report’s classification was revised, then reissued as “business sensitive” and for “official use only,” rather than being released publicly as intended. “The stated reason from the DOE at the meeting was to keep it out of the hands of potential critical reviewers such as the [DNFSB],” says Thorson.

“Why wouldn’t they want it in the hands of [DNFSB]?” says Tamosaitis. “Because it would bring a big spotlight to the whole WTP operation.”

Asked about the delay in releasing the September report, DOE spokesperson Carrie Meyer did not directly address the allegation, saying “The report will be checked for factual accuracy, and released in the spring.”

“[Bechtel and DOE] do not want to look at long-term operability of WTP,” Thorson adds. “They’d rather build the thing and let the problems be fixed later. But you can’t do that in the black cells. This is not a normal construction job, it’s a first-of-a-kind with a lot of unforeseen issues if it doesn’t work right.”

Seattle Weekly has obtained a copy of the September report. It is the same as the version now classified as “official use only,” a DOE source notes. The report’s authors identify numerous vulnerabilities, including the potential for hydrogen buildup due to faulty venting that could lead to a shutdown of the WTP—or worse, an explosion.

Despite such potential calamities, at the end of 2011 the DOE verbally requested in a meeting that all CLIN 3.2 evaluations of the WTP in the form of annual reports be stopped for the indefinite future. Thorson says that he and others were also instructed by management to halt work on CLIN 3.2. Additionally, a draft alteration to WRPS’s contract with the DOE has been circulated outlining this change in CLIN 3.2’s work scope.

No immediate justification was given by the DOE, but Meyer states that the DOE is now going to implement a “one-system integrated approach” that does not eliminate the CLIN 3.2 analysis, but rather combines work and safety reviews of the Tank Farm with those taking place at the WTP.

“Despite what they say, they aren’t going to allow us to do any more long-term operability analysis at all,” Thorson responds. “Since Bechtel doesn’t believe a factual accuracy check is in their contract, there is no mechanism to ever release the report or get the issues addressed—apart from DOE direction.”

One reason the DOE may be supporting Bechtel’s decision to largely ignore CLIN 3.2’s work could have to do with a March 2011 paper titled the 2020 Vision. Seattle Weekly has obtained an internal copy of the 2020 Vision plan, which was primarily put together by WRPS, DOE, and Bechtel personnel who, as the documents state, were “tasked with identifying the optimum approach to startup, commissioning, and turnover of WTP facilities for operations.”

The plan, marked “Business Sensitive and Proprietary,” reads in part “An important feature of our proposed approach is acceleration of the transition” of activities “from the WTP line item to operating expense.” The goal, the 2020 Vision notes, is to ensure that the WTP cost is capped at $12.263 billion. With this, the 2020 Vision lays out a plan for Bechtel to stay within their proposed budget.

What this means is that the WTP will be shifting some of their research work to the Tank Farms, says a URS employee who wishes to stay anonymous for fear of retribution. Unlike Bechtel’s WTP contract, the URS Tank Farm contract is not nearly as strapped for cash. By moving some work to the Tank Farm contract, Bechtel and the DOE can publicly contend that they have kept their WTP costs lower than they actually are.

Giving the appearance that the WTP budget is not growing provides cover for the project, protecting against interrogation from outside watchdog groups and organizations like the Government Accountability Office and DNFSB, says Tamosaitis.


Dr Churchill


“Bechtel management here turns over every three years, and guys like me stay around to see the damage they’ve caused,” claims an engineer who has worked for Bechtel for well over a decade and wishes to remain anonymous for fear of being fired for speaking out.

“The Bechtel mantra is ‘Build Something, Be Paid, Be Gone,’ ” adds Tamosaitis.

Turnover at Bechtel typically occurs within management. For example, Bechtel has changed out project presidents on four separate occasions since they took over the WTP contract in 2000, most recently installing Russo as director just over two years ago. The anonymous Bechtel engineer says this is a clear sign that they don’t have the project under control, and the DOE’s Alexander admits his agency does not have enough technical staff to oversee the WTP project.

With the CLIN 3.2 oversight group’s objective essentially being dismantled, Murray Thorson is once again frustrated. As is David Bruce. “If Bechtel won’t listen to the issues I am raising, I’m going to make a big, big stink,” he promises, saying that if he isn’t given a fair hearing, he’ll identify many more design flaws.

“Bechtel management’s shenanigans have gone on for far too long.”


So who needs enemies like the North Koreans losing nuclear missiles on top of our heads when we have our own Nuclear Spillers working for our own government?

Do you ever wonder, why our AngloSaxon Western Civilization and the Christian Culture of America are under continued & constant assault today, from both within and from outside?

Better yet — have you ever thought that under that constant barrage of attacks, we are facing an imminent threat?

A terrible invasive siege is what we are under.

A siege the likes of which we have never seen before.

A siege, that perhaps we can withstand or we may not…

Nobody knows the future, except those that fight to create it upon their designs.

Yet, this future looks bleak because the forces that are fighting us, are stacked sky high.

And as we, the resolute warriors of what’s Right, Proper, and Correct, we should never flinch from defending our Civilization. We should never fail to be active yet pensive and, to think through about these things, as we walk the ramparts of our defenses against the evil enemies of Light, that conspire to drive us back to the Dark Ages.

We should be vigilant for ever.


What about you?

Do you ever think of past events of cultural extinction?

What about the tens of thousands of ancient empires, kingdoms, and nations that are now buried deep under the sands of History as Herodotus the father of History reminds us?

Do you not know that they also faced existential headwinds that they did not address?

Make a search for it, because you need to be educated about it, since our civilization in today’s world is under the same level of threat of extinction.

And it’s not only that our nation is weak, or that the Deep State has sapped our will to fight, or that our people are too soft.

But it is largely because our national religion is weak.

Same as our basic institutions that are weak.

Our laws are weak.

And perhaps our will to live is weak.

And therefore our people tend to succumb too easily to the invasion of the desert goat-herding prophets and their strange religious apparatus.

And maybe the siren song of egalitarianism and socialism is too bubbly, moist, pink and juicy, for our young people to resist…

Yet at every turn we find turncoats that are fighting against us.

Indeed, the intelligent ones amongst us, already know that the western European AngloSaxon civilization is nothing but an amalgamation of the various ethnic and national cultures, that work well together as a mosaic, joined by the strong cement of the GrecoRoman Christian civilization that forged itself through the cauldron of fire over the last couple of Millennia.

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And yet even within that strong adhesive cement — it is ultimately only the Christian religion that provides the strong deterrent to the invaders of our lands, and protects us from the alteration of our enlightened, liberal, and democratic Civilization.

And this is what we have come to know that we need to defend against, if we want to avoid falling willing victims, and having our throats slashed, slain in plain view like sacrificial lambs, upon the altar of this nasty totalitarian and absolutist darkness, that was spawned out of impressionably fertile mind of a goatherd from the 7th century backwaters of the huge sandlots that represent the deep deserts of today’s middle east.

We think that we are strong, and yet we are not.

Because we are fast being diluted, since the strong unifier — our common adherent is no longer the Christian and Aristotelian logic, but a comedic politically correct expression of baby culture, that resembles the mush that passes for baby food today.

And also because our Aristotelian and Christian belief system, in the House of Justice and Human Rights is being replaced by the illogical faith of the muslim multitude’s bazaar of street thug justice and debauchery of slavery.

But it is the civil law code that has been adopted by all the European and Western nations — that suffers the most today. Because it is the law that is trounced by the Democrats and their deep state government apparatchiks that like good Socialist and Communists want to control the sheeple to the fullest extent, so they can drive us all off the cliff without complaints and revolutions.

And we have let down the guard and Horatio is nowhere to be found to defend the ramparts and the bridge that leads into the fair city of our Nations. We stopped defending the Law of our Lands, and since we cannot administer the Law — our enemies and those lawless individuals have takes that as a signal that our defenses are down.

And that is the only American & Western European Defense remaining: The GrecoRoman Law, and the Democracy enshrined within the Human Rights of the ancient Democracy of Athens. That along with the Magna Carta of Runnymede in England. And of course the Habeas Corpus. The American Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and the Emancipation proclamation, and all other important milestone documents that stand firm as agreements written in the stone tablets of our National Civilization. Agreements that also include international law, and today’s inalienable Carta of Human Rights as established in America under the banner of the nascent United Nations in San Francisco.

That is our true defense.

The Laws of a Liberal Republic that chooses it’s leaders democratically and exerts it’s benevolent influence across the Globe.

Contrast that to Sharia Law that bedevils a billion Muslims across the planet that live like oxen under the yoke. Think of those poor souls that live under the constant threat of having their throat slashed for no reason whatsoever, or being stoned to death as a woman the her husband got tired of, or as a person of black colored skin, that gets customarily enslaved because the Koran says so.

What about all the other Koran induced manners of indignity, or inequity, forced punishments, state sponsored maiming, and killings by decapitation, in a barbaric death as prescribed by Sharia?

What about all the killings of women and slaves that are treated like goats, and offered little or no reprieve?

What about the female ultimate punishment without a trial or without any representation?

Take today’s Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Iraq, Turkey, Algeria, and all those hapless African countries or portions thereof, whose infiltration by the Muslim religion has resulted in a culture that closely resemble that of the Islamic Caliphate of the 7th century and the time of the warring tribes of Mecca and Medina, and the constant jihad with its baggage trains of hundreds of thousands of slaves, and tell me that Islam is a better religion for the culture of any of the advanced nations living in peace and harmony all over the rest of the world today.

Can anyone claim that?

Yet this is the incursive enemy army that has inundated the nations of Europe and America today, and this infiltration closely resembles the fall of the Roman empire, and the subsequent fall of Byzantium in 1453.

Maybe if we were to study that History of these old Empires — we may draw the lessons necessary that could teach us how to persevere, and how to preserve our Civilization and Culture in the here and now.

Or not…

But what is the practical lesson to be had here?

Cultures are only preserved in the face of invasion when the invading force has an internal desire to adopt the culture of the host nation.

When the desire is lacking, the culture will fade away into obscurity. After all, a culture can only ever hope to survive if its people are there to uphold it.

History tells us that it was the year 476 when the Western Roman Empire finally fell to the Huns and their Gothic forces, streaming down from the North (today’s Germany) that sacked the city of Rome in a debaucherous bloodbath that lasted three months.

Odoacer a Hun, was the new ruler of the greatly diminished city of Rome and surrounding lands, and thus here we have an example of a great Empire that was infiltrated to the point of collapse, and then was taken over by the “barbarian” hordes.

These invaders at the time, were the only people of Europe, that had not received the benefits of the Roman conquest that usually brought with it the Religion, the Law and the Civil administration, and therefore did not belong to anyone of the great civilizations of the time. These northern barbarians were not Greek, Roman, Christian, or civilized. And yet they had been allowed to live and work within the borders of the empire for generations, always seeking to overthrow Law & Order.

So the question today, for us, becomes, what happened to life in Rome with these invaders usurping the throne?

Because going from the minority Barbarians living peaceably within Rome, and yet undermining the Roman law, and authority, to the point that they usurp power through the invasion of Odoacer in Rome, is the same story of what happens today in Europe.

Yet after the Odoacer conquest of Rome — much changed for the Romans.

The Roman Empire have had the occasional barbarian emperor in the past, but not as an invading and usurping leader. Indeed Rome had allowed barbarians to join its military, where they were able to rise through the ranks to become generals. Once they were a mighty general with a loyal army behind them, it became easy to claim the throne. Roman emperors ruled generally short amounts of time, and dynasties were never formed.

Odoacer was crowned as the first barbarian king in Rome who made his own laws, contrary to the custom of barbarian emperors before him, who had acceded to the Roman Law, and had sworn to uphold the Roman constitution.

Therefore, culturally, these earlier Germanic emperors, unlike Odoacer, had become more Roman than barbarian.

Without a doubt these barbarians looked to Rome in great awe. Rome was the superpower of the Western World and even if they may have hated the Romans, they held Roman culture in a certain respect. Hence, the system of law was kept alive. On Roman law after all, our civil law is founded. It is a system of law showing justice and equality before the law, as the laws are written down and to be applied in the same way to whoever is wronged. It opposes a system of law based on religion, or based on whatever the current opinion of the tribal chief may be.

Rome conquered the Germanic barbarians, but long before the fall of Rome, Rome itself had been conquered internally by those same Germanic barbarians.

We may see this as an example of how a culture can outlive being conquered by foreigners, as long as those foreigners desire to adopt the host culture.

Rome survived because the barbarians looked up to it.

However … the story is very different for the Eastern Roman Empire, the storied Byzantium.

Because after the fall of the Western Roman Empire the Byzantine Empire in the Greek led Eastern part of the Empire lived on for almost another thousand years under the name Byzantium, and with it’s potent symbol being the double headed eagle, who is able to be looking simultaneously towards both East and West.
The imperial capital city of Byzantium was Constantinople, which did not fall until the year 1453.

And it had only been “sacked” once before bu=y the friendly forces of the Christian conquerors on their way to the “Holly Lands” during the 4th crusade. The Eastern Roman Empire embraced for the most part a similar culture as that of the West, with Greek replacing Latin as it’s administrative language, and with diplomacy and cunning, replacing the mighty legions for most of it’s dealings with the Islamic barbarians. But a strong army was always required, yet it was always outnumbered when facing the hordes of Muslim fanatics seeping inside the Great City and undermining the Byzantine culture from within.

The biggest part of that culture was the Roman law code, which was expanded upon under emperor Justinian, and was named the Justinian Codex.

Yet, changing the Law was all the Barbarians wanted and the demands for Sharia law in the lands under titular control of the Byzantine emperors and occupied by the Muslims, were allowed.

That was the biggest mistake the Byzantines made in their cosmopolitan approach to managing their vast empire and their multitude of Peoples, Nation-states, and Religions: They allowed the minority Islamists to prevail upon their administrators to be allowed to not assimilate and instead of the Roman Law, they were allowed to use their own muslim sharia law. This foolish and yet compassionate administrative system was expanded in all the Eastern Empire lands that were under the Byzantine command, and thus overtime, they all fell under the Muslim population growth and eventual control, throughout the Empire and Constantinople, the capital itself.

Today, you know that city with it’s bastardized muslim name Istanbul.

Naturally, the muslim horde first came into the great Capital city of Byzantium Constantinople as refugees, fleeing border wars, as carpet traders, as merchants, as poor laborers, and as agriculturalists and goat herders. Yet soon enough all of their friends followed them, and they all offered themselves as defenders of the City. And yet when the chips were down and the City fell under Muslim siege — these new Muslim immigrants betrayed their Host and open the doors to the invaders, and even participated in the immense slaughter of their Christian neighbors and friends, after the Fall of Constantinople to the savage hordes of the Othman tribal Muslims.

Not surprisingly the Muslims living inside Constantinople, although drafted and serving in the imperial army against the Muslim invaders who had besieged the city, and although they were dressed in the uniforms of the defenders of the city — they were turncoats, and they simply arranged to open the gates at a certain night when the Emperor and the knights, were all praying at church, and the invading Muslim horde came in and slaughtered all the Christians found praying inside their churches in the Capital of Byzantium, the last remnant of the Holy Roman Empire, East & West.

This put a firm stop, to the Roman empire’s humanizing influence, and it also meant the complete end of Roman law in the world. “Codex Romanus” and it’s civilizing effects would not be available to anyone anymore, in any court of Law.

Throughout Byzantium, and throughout the Roman empire — it was superseded by Sharia law, that was implemented by the Ottomans.

And it was in this rather important distinction, that the Ottomans differed greatly from the Goths, the Huns, the Visigoths, and the Ostrogoths — in to how they ruled, after they had occupied the Capital City of the Empire.

The Goths and the Huns, asme as the Visigoths, and the Ostrogoths, along with all the other Barbarians, viewed the Byzantines, the Greeks, and the Romans, with respect, and were awed by their civilization. So they embraced it. And they instituted the Roman Law and Religion into their own tribes.

But the Muslims saw the Roman Empire and Byzantium, as a land of debauched infidels, and because of that, they sought to kill, to enslave, to rape, to rob, to burn the libraries, to tear down the monuments, to destroy the churches, to kill all the men of fighting age, to destroy the cemeteries because of the Christian cross, to convert the churches to mosques, and to foist all kinds of inhumane acts upon the conquered Byzantines — because for the Ottomans, the Greeks, the Romans, and the Byzantines, were infidels who deserved no quarter, no salvation, and no respect, whatsoever.

And the pent up anger of the Muslims who went from servants, goatherds, shepherds, and grunts, to owning the Great City — it was indeed a heady experience as they occupied the palaces of the old Emperors and turned them into harems.

And along the way, they of course blamed the Byzantines for failing to embrace Islam and they used that as an excuse of why they had butchered them. Because in that solipsistic and self serving logic, since the Byzantines had not embraced the true faith of Islam, they were infidels, and not deserving of any measure of compassion — as is traditional to give to those who have surrendered and laid down their arms.

No white flag of truce is ever respected by Muslims in history, and that is why the defenders of Constantinople were all butchered to the last man.


Dr Churchill


And as the children of a weakened empire, with ancient laws that did not inspire any confidence or any awe in the Muslim goatherds — the Byzantines were completely destroyed, debased, sold in slavery, and erased from history, simply because the Muslim invaders saw them as useless infidels and they saw themselves as superior due to the desert goatherd beliefs of a deeply flawed prophet and his adherents.

Yet that Prophet’s medieval dark age religion vested flawed and bloodthirsty men with their own sense of superiority that allowed them to perform all manner of evil in the name of their religion.

And that is a good lesson to learn for today’s invasion…

Posted by: Dr Churchill | April 14, 2018

Too Much Ado About Nothing…

“Too much Ado about Nothing” this is how the old Shakespearean play was titled and this has inspired the saying, that is now an apt description of the very limited missile airstrikes that were launched on Syria yesterday, by the combined mighty Mediterranean fleet of the United States, Great Britain and France.

The missile barrage was unleashed overnight, and it came after several tweets from President Trump, that resulted in threats of military retaliation by the Russian diplomats, and in Doomsday scenarios by the criers and the panty-liner wearing boys and girls of CNN and MSNBC.

Only Al Jazeera held firm that this was a rather limited effort and that it would not alter the balance of power in Syria for one iota.

That is all now, because Peace has been largely restored in Syria finally.

But the fireworks on display were spectacular to behold.

Something like the First Iraq war and the second invasion that lit up the skies above the desert, these fireworks were also familiar, and resulted in some fear and headaches for the regime of Bashar Al Assad as well…

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Of all the options available, the US-led coalition chose the one involving minimal action and geared not to provoke Russia or Iran. This was a one-off attack on three suspected Syrian chemical weapons facilities, one in Damascus and two west of Homs. It was more of a gesture of disapproval than an attempt to damage President Bashar al-Assad’s military machine. Hours after the missiles had struck, his supporters were understandably demonstrating their defiance in the centre of Damascus.

Trump, reportedly under pressure from his military chiefs, may have chosen the most cautious option, but in fact there were no good options. Assad has all but won the civil war. Even if it was possible to weaken him, this might present opportunities to Isis and al-Qaeda, which are battered but not entirely out of business.

The attacks may or may not deter Assad from using poison gas in the future, but they will not change the balance of power against him. Chemical weapons are only a small part of his arsenal and have played only a minor military role in the war. Out of the half million Syrians who have died in the conflict over the last seven years, just 1,900 are estimated to have been killed by chemical weapons.

In the event, the fears of a “Russian-American clash of civilizations” were overblown by the Fake News brigade led by CNN & MSNBC.

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As for the Armagedon that inevitably follows all the Middle Eastern war yells, it was a nothing burger, and the runaway modeling confrontation leading to a “third world war” also turned out to be wishful thinking of the leftist boys & girls club of perpetual indulgence of crying “wolf” to the world each and every night at the 10 o’clock TV news, like coyotes howling to the moon.

The bailing and the baiting of the sniggering lemony pundits did not look quite so exaggerated earlier in the week when Trump tweeted about US missiles: “Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice, new, and smart” but they have now caught up with the lost ground, because as expected the dutiful Russians have now hinted that their retaliation might include American targets and they will be informing the CNN, and Rachel “Crying Game” Maddow, about their plans soon as they draw them up.

But what was the reason for the chemical attack that forced the hand of the President in the first place?

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Possibly it was the Syrian government’s frustration at the continued resistance of part of Jaysh al-Islam, the Saudi-backed jihadi movement in Douma, that led it to use chlorine gas. It had done so before without provoking an international reaction, but this time authentic-looking video was broadcast around the world showing dying children gasping for breath. The pictures provoked a wave of international fury which culminated in the US-led airstrikes on 14 April.

If the Syrian government’s purpose in launching a chemical weapons attack was to force the final surrender of the Douma rebels, then it succeeded. Within hours of it happening, Russian military police moved into Douma to supervise the departure of rebel fighters and to suppress looting by government forces.

On the 12th of April, the Syrian national flag was finally raised over a building in central Douma and the long siege was over.

Thus the military balance of power really has changed in Syria over the last week, although the reason for this has largely passed unnoticed internationally because of the focus on the gas attack in Douma and its consequences. The big development is that Douma, the last armed opposition stronghold in Eastern Ghouta, surrendered to the Syrian armed forces on 8 April. The remaining Jaysh al-Islam fighters have been taken by bus to Turkish-held territory in northern Syria during the course of the week. This is Assad’s greatest victory of the war, surpassing in importance even the recapture of East Aleppo at the end of 2016.

The Syrian army began its so-called Rif Dimashq offensive against the towns and villages of Eastern Ghouta on 20 February. For seven years, the survival of this opposition enclave in east Damascus had been a sign that Assad did not control all of his own country. There were rebels within mortar range of the heart of his own capital who regularly bombarded the Old City. In the past there were other such opposition enclaves, but they have fallen one by one.

Eastern Ghouta had a population of 400,000 and was partly agricultural so could feed itself to some degree. It was at first blockaded rather than besieged, with supplies coming in through a vast tunnel network and permissive or corrupt government checkpoints.

But in the last year the government has closed entry and exit through its checkpoints and has blocked the tunnels. Inhabitants started to suffer from an acute shortage of food, fuel and medical supplies. The scarcity got worse when the government began its offensive in February. Much of the population took refuge in basements where they could only see in the dark by using small torches. Those who lived there complained of the lack of fresh water and food, the stench because of broken sewage pipes and the presence of venomous scorpions…

Sound like a biblical scourge was upon them…

And as soon as they saw the writing on the wall — they surrendered and stopped the fighting.

Dr Churchill


Maybe time now for the refugees to return to Syria en masse.

Well Done everybody.

Well Done Mr President.

Well Done…

The meaning of “Genos” in the past has been “kinfolk” …

It is as close to the core kernel of the meaning of “Nation” as we can ever come.

In ancient Greece, a “genos” (plural “gene”) meant race, stock, kin, and kinfolk, and it was a basic social construct describing a group claiming common descent, heritage and familiar bonds, and all together referred to by a single name.

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Ellenes, was the common name for the Ancient Greek genos, and this had come from the original family tribe that evolved around the shores of the Gulf of Maleas where some of the earliest Paleolithic and Neolithic settlements have been excavated in recent years. That was the family of a patriarch named “Elin” (Ellen) and the original tribal “genos” of the Greek people. Since this was an early tribe of people, there was a proto-democratic tribal council that included only members of the GENOS of ELLEN, as only the rightful kinfolk including men and women, that was able to elect a leader, decide the important questions, participate in mysteries, offer justice, seek guidance, perform ceremonies, and wage war.

In the same vein, the Americans of today, hold the common name AMERICAN for the citizens of the United States of America. This is the genos of today … and the members of this widespread 325 Million strong kinfolk have the right to involve themselves in choosing their own Leader through proto-democratic elections, in meting out justice, in solving mysteries, in tribal matters, and in the decision making process of waging war or not.

Never in the History of FREE PEOPLE have anyone outside of the specific “Genos” been allowed to participate in the selection or election of a Leader, or in the familiar tribal bodies, in tribunals or councils of decision making, and in electoral bodies.

Only ENSLAVED NATIONS allow their Masters to dictate those terms and to participate in their electoral affairs. And yet today in American with over 22 Million illegal aliens that are allowed to vote — seems to me that we are fast becoming a SLAVE NATION if we are not one already…

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Because most ancient “genos” seem to have been composed of noble families and of traditional indigenous family folks, as Herodotus the leading historian, uses the term to denote noble families, since much of early Greek politics seems to have involved struggles between the various genos. The many “Gene” in one city are best attested in Athens, where they all vied for supremacy, as the various ancient historical writers like Herodotus & Aristotle told us about them, in “the Wars of the Genos” …

Early modern historians postulated that “genos” had been the original & basic organizational group of the Sea People, the Dorian, and even the Ionian tribes that successively settled Greece during the Greek Ages, but more recent scholarship has reached the conclusion that various “gene” arose later as certain families staked a claim to noble lineage and created the photo-national identity. In time, some, but not necessarily all, national gene, came to be associated with the Nation’s mysteries and ceremonies, and evolved some type of hereditary priestly functions. Very much like the hereditary functions of the CIA (Bush clan), the FBI (Comey clan), and the MOB (Clinton clan) today.

The Hellenic Greek word GENOS comes originally from the Indo-European people’s Sanscrit language where “gaṇa” (/ˈɡɑːnə/; Sanskrit: गण) from Sanskrit and Pali meaning flock, troop, multitude, number, tribe, series or class. It can also be used to refer to a “body of attendants” and can also refer to a company, any assemblage or association of men formed for the attainment of the same aims, and a council of citizens. The word “gana” can also refer to councils or assemblies convened to discuss matters of politics, religion, or other topics.

In Hinduism, the “Gaṇas” are attendants of Shiva and live on Mount Kailash. Ganesha was chosen as their leader by Shiva, hence Ganesha’s title gaṇeśa or gaṇapati, “lord or leader of the ganas”.

So genos (pronounced ghe’nos) means, “kin” in an abstract yet literal or figurative collective form. It is the man born in a certain country, a person of the big national family, a countryman, a generation, kindred person, nation, offspring, national stock, common stock, tribe, nation, nationality or descent from a particular people, the aggregate of many individuals of the same nature, of the same kind, and of the same sort.

It is always the ancients that keep us honest by reminding us, that History repeats itself…

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Because indeed history repeats itself, until it becomes a nightmare, and it is then and there that the People, through popular wisdom of the Crowds — elect, choose, or appoint Leaders that might wake them up and get them out of that nightmare.

And indeed the People expect that this New Leader — the Right Statesman — will emerge, and like Moses will find a way forward out of the slavery, and out of the nightmarish quagmire.

From his perspective, the Leader has to balance the safety of his people, VS the long term Good of his nation, and ought to make provision for finding a way forward…

A way that might cut through the deserts and through the red tape, or through the status quo and the ruling elites that enjoy the mental and physical slavery they have assigned to the people.

We live in revolutionary times today.

Especially about the directions towards where the True America is heading.

And for that very reason, each and every thought, word, and deed, has to be balanced against the purpose we have as a Republic to make our path in the world and survive amongst the landmines of Communist aggression from China & it’s North Korean outpost, domestic Islamic terrorism, toxic international affairs, and from such a potent and toxic division that resembles a looming civil war at home.

And to top it all up — all of these terribly important issues must be balanced and subordinated to the internal need for peace, for robust economic growth, and for widespread prosperity at home.

And if there is one man that understands that, this man is the current President Donald J Trump that all his life had to meet payroll, and create wealth, and prosperity, by adjusting his development projects and his finances in order to keep his people happy, by winning some special victories. Indeed he is the only one amongst the fat cats of Washington DC, that sees the Big Picture, and respects people’s needs, and that is why he has fashioned the primary meaning of “America First” to be straightening up our screwed up and severely skewed priorities as a NATION of peaceful people, as a GENOS, and as a Democratic Republic that thrives in argumentative Democracy.

And that is what MAGA is all about and that is why he has made it also a priority to stop the domestic terrorists like the illegal alien gangsters, the Islamic Jihadists, and the Antifa groups.

And  you don’t think that ANTIFA is a terrorist organization, let me tell you this:

Further here is the very definition of Antifa as it comes a book from an apologist of Antifa and a friend of these domestic terrorists, Mark Bray’s “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook” that is in reality, a nasty piece of anti-American propaganda. It is also a Gestapo manual, and a handbook for brownshirts, in as much as it is an anti-scholarly, and anti-ethical P.O.S. of a book. It is also a sedition and rebellion manual, and a treasonous combination of anecdotes, guidance, and extended thoughts from Western or former Western colonies about “how to do it.”

Bray’s most interesting extended thought examines when the use of violent tactics is most appropriate, and concludes that there’s no general rule, because it all depends on local circumstances. Representative Keith Ellison was recently photographed carrying a copy of Antifa, so it certainly has some contemporary political significance as the Leaders of the Democratic party seem to have ben encouraging that sort of violent domestic terrorism and the Gestapo tactics that go with it.

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“Antifa” is short for “antifascism,” but Bray, a visiting professor at Dartmouth, doesn’t really define the enemy. Quoting historian Robert Paxton, he classifies fascism as:

a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensating cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.
Bray never mentions the two most important features of fascism: its revolutionary nature, and its roots in war, primarily the First World War. But I already said that this isn’t a scholarly book. It’s a manual for would-be reshapers of our world, a guide to political action. Basically, for Bray, fascism is what comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth or computer.

What about his own, antifascist movement? Here, there are shorter sentences and clearer definitions. “Anti-fascism is “an illiberal politics of social revolutionism (sic) applied to fighting the Far Right, not only literal fascists…” And its goal?

Destroying fascisn is really about promoting a revolutionary socialist alternative … to a world of crisis, poverty, famine and war that breeds fascist reaction.

Inevitably, we are lectured about race, the current Left’s core issue. Long before Ekow Yankah wrote “Can My Children be Friends With White People” in the New York Times, Antifa offered a polemic against whiteness, while posing as an account of global antifascist movements. Both Yankah and Bray are professors at prestigious universities and both call for the throttling of “white supremacy,” with “white” mostly standing for power rather than skin color. Or does it? Bray enthusiastically quotes W.E.B. Du Bois on the horrors of World War I: “This seeming Terrible is the real soul of white culture—back of all culture—stripped and visible today, as a modern identity forged through slavery and class rule, whiteness is indefensible.”

So we’re not all born white, but you can certainly identify “whiteness.”

You can also become white, regardless of skin color. There’s upward mobility. We – like Bray’s Jewish and Irish forbears — can become “white.” But Bray and his colleagues are not interested in prestige and the ability to shape a new generation, they want a “revolutionary socialist alternative,” that will target “sources of white privilege and struggling in solidarity with the disinherited of the world.”

Bray is not a doctrinaire Marxist; his language is simple and straightforward, he’s interested in winning a political struggle, and he recognizes that his enemies are often popular and savvy. He’s clearly ambivalent towards the sort of street violence practiced by the (mostly European) Black Bloc, who disrupt our cities whenever controversial speakers appear or when the World Bank or IMF hold meetings. He rejects the notion that nonviolent action is more effective in building a successful mass movement. But he also rejects the claim, very popular in histories of fascism, that left-wing violence provoked support for the fascists in the twenties and thirties. He suggests that left-wing electoral gains were far more important for the growth of fascist parties.

As you’d expect, his ultimate argument amounts to: if you think your tactic will work, do it, but also build a nonviolent political movement.

Oddly, we don’t hear much about the Bolshevik revolution, or the Maoist or Castro revolutions. Bray’s silence about these important matters tells us a lot about Antifa, because ultimately Bray and his comrades are utopian radicals who invariably lose the debate if the audience comes to believe that they are just running dogs for the revival of communism. If they are to achieve widespread political success, they will have to confront this basic issue.

They’re not likely to succeed. No sensible person believes we are threatened by a massive fascist revival in the West, embodied in Donald Trump. Sensible people know that Antifa’s demonstrations, violent or otherwise, are part of a crazy leftist campaign against free speech and free institutions. You aren’t likely to see big trade unions, let alone a substantial political party, join the “antifascist” movement, because the utopianism Antifa embraces has never worked anywhere. Professor Bray and his ilk don’t have a mass following and aren’t likely to gain one. Their comrades and followers have had success on college campuses and have followers in plenty of newsrooms, but for the most part Americans don’t want them to win.

If you leaf through Antifa and look at the sources and authorities Professor Bray asks us to take as canonical, you’ll be amused at the authorities (largely marginal publications) and baffled that a university professor could ask us to take seriously the testimony and philosophy of the likes of “Ole from Denmark,” “New Jersey ARA veteran Howie,” or “Daniel, a Carabanchel anti-fascist organizer.”

Why should we believe what they say, or give it the status of serious thinking?

Jack Dorsey the churlish hipster CEO of San Francisco-based social media platform Twitter, applauded an article in the Medium, in which some other hipster CEO described how liberals intend to crush Normal Americans into serfdom in a bloodless “civil war.”

Here it is.


It will just sort of happen. Why? Because. Americans will simply decide to be like California because of reasons and phew, no more troublesome conservatives and Gaia is saved!

So basically, wishing.

Well, that’s a kind of war plan. Perhaps by unleashing the power of hoping so they can utterly subjugate the half of America that voted against Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit and drive the people who actually operate and defend this country into silent obedience.

Or not.

Now, I know what you’re saying. You’re saying, “Why do a bunch of San Francisco dorks think that 150 million Americans with 300 million guns are just going to give up their rights and their say in their own governance and submit to the commands of people who eat kale by choice?” That’s a fair question, and they have an answer.

Because you just are.

I didn’t say it was a good answer.

Recently I wrote a long column here describing the ugly realities of an actual Second Civil War – realities that are much uglier for the anti-freedom liberal side in terms of terrain, combat power, and morale. Naturally, this cry for sanity, which was only the latest in my long history of pleas to liberals to avoid the kind of civil strife I witnessed the consequences of overseas, was greeted by a torrent of outright lies. “You are advocating a civil war blah blah blah blah.” All liberal bull Schiff, including some by shameful collaborationist Fredocons who should know better, but not at all unexpected. The modern liberals’ rhetorical toolbox is filled exclusively with lies, which has the effect of making actual reasoned discussion impossible. Of course, that is their goal – they don’t want to defeat your argument. They want you bullied into silence. Tellingly, no one even bothered to try and counter the indisputable facts we have offered many times showing why liberals will fail if they choose violence – instead, they tried to shut me up by removing my One and a half million Twitter followers.

Yet, as I have shown before, the leftist liberal socialist dream of an America where they can crush all dissent from their orthodoxy, is not a scenario that I’m comfortable to be playing with.

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Indeed the leftists want to silence you too, same as every other patriot. But that’s a short-sighted tactic because people who are silenced, particularly uppity Americans who take their natural rights seriously, won’t just shrug and give up. They will stew and fume at the injustice of their oppression and then they will radicalize and then, because they have been wrongfully denied access to the means of participation in the governance of their own society, they will inevitably exercise their power in the only way left to them. They will rebel. They have before. Sometimes it’s peaceful – like by electing Donald Trump. But if peaceful doesn’t work, they are going to give not being peaceful a try. That’s just human nature.

This is where the liars pounce again with their fussy faux-outrage. The socialist liberal leftists love violence directed at Normal Americans – but facts are facts. If the liberal plan to drive non-liberal Americans from the public square – the NRA, Laura Ingraham, and even Kevin Williamson silencing campaigns are just some recent examples – succeeds, it will only succeed for a little while. The fact is that if Normal people are barred from “legitimate” participation, they will participate “illegitimately.” Just ask the redcoats how taxation without representation worked out.

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Here’s a hint: We Americans have good teeth, and don’t eat spotted dick.

But the liberal campaign plan hand waves away that whole unwillingness to be disenfranchised thing by announcing that this new “civil war” to totally disenfranchise half of America will be bloodless. Good – I’m all for bloodless – but did they ask the people they intend to disenfranchise about that? Because, as liberals love to point out when excusing urban mobs that riot and burn down their own neighborhoods because of real or imagined grievances, people don’t always choose to be peaceful when they are confronted by what they perceive as systemic injustice.

Systemic injustice is, of course, exactly what the liberals are proposing. They want to impose the traditional leftist governing mode of “one man, one vote, one time” on all of America, and cite California as a shining example of our future. According to the article, not coincidentally written in a state where recreational weed is now legal, California is “a thriving work in progress that gives hope that America can pull out of the political mess we’re in.” But there are problems with using California as a role model, starting with the fact that California sucks.

Oh, it doesn’t suck for rich guys living by the beach like Jack and his hipster buddies. California is pretty great for bros like him. But the guys who mo his lawn, wash his Tesla, and feed his pet pandas, well, not so much. The article claims, “California Democrats actually cared about average citizens.” Yeah, uh huh. Drive 10 miles inland from the beach and California dreamin’ becomes California nightmarin’.

California is a bankrupt failed state that is essentially Illinois with palm trees and better weather. Outside the coastal urban enclaves where Jack and his pals mingle, drinking kombucha and apologizing for their white privilege to their baffled servants, it’s a crowded, decaying disaster. Bums wander the streets, littering the sidewalks with human waste. Crime is rising. Illegal aliens abound, more welcome in the Golden State than actual Americans. California is an example all right, but a cautionary one.

So how did California go from conservative in the 80s to the blue hellhole it is today? The leftist zillionaires and the Democrat government unions bought the elections. It also got so expensive and so crowded here that a lot of the kind of people who made California red, and not terrible, moved away. Now you have a relatively small elite of really rich liberal jerks, and a large class of serfs to the Democrat welfare state – many imported for their delightful obedience and complacency – but no more huge middle class of Normals.

Those Normals went east, toward opportunity.

And the leftist started stealing votes to keep getting elected for ever. Late in 2016, we created a stir by suggesting that Donald Trump was likely right when he claimed that millions of noncitizens had illegally voted in the U.S. election. Now, a study by a New Jersey think tank provides new evidence that that’s what happened.

Last November, just weeks after his Electoral College win that gave him the presidency, then President-elect Donald Trump tweeted, “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

The reaction was angry and swift, with the left accusing him of being an “internet troll” and of hatching a “Twitter-born conspiracy theory.”

At the time, we noted that a group called True The Vote, an online anti-voter-fraud website, had claimed that illegals had cast three million votes last year. The media and left-wing groups immediately portrayed True The Vote as a fringe group with little credibility.

The only problem is, a study in 2014 in the online Electoral Studies Journal made a quite similar claim: In the 2008 and 2010 elections, they said, as many as 2.8 million illegal noncitizen votes were cast, “enough to change meaningful election outcomes including Electoral College votes and congressional elections,” said the study, authored by Jesse T. Richman and Gushan A. Chattha, both of Old Dominion University, and David C. Earnest of George Mason University.

The bombshell was this: “Noncitizen votes likely gave Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress.”

It got little coverage in the mainstream media, and what coverage it did get was almost entirely dismissive.

Now comes a new study by Just Facts, a libertarian/conservative think tank, that used data from a large Harvard/You.Gov study that every two years samples tens of thousands of voters, including some who admit they are noncitizens and thus can’t vote legally.

The findings are eye-opening. In 2008, as many as 5.7 million noncitizens voted in the election. In 2012, as many as 3.6 million voted, the study said.

In 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there were 21.0 million adult noncitizens in the U.S., up from 19.4 million in 2008. It is therefore highly likely that millions of noncitizens cast votes in 2016.

And it was no accident. Democrats had extensive get-out-the-vote campaigns in areas heavily populated by illegal aliens. As far back as 2008, Obama made sure that those who wanted to vote knew it was safe, announcing that election records would not be cross-checked with immigration databases.

And last year, the Obama White House supported a court injunction that kept Kansas, Alabama and Georgia from requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote. The message was sent, loud and clear: If you’re a noncitizen or here illegally, don’t be afraid. You’re free to vote. No one will stop you.

We don’t know the exact number of illegal votes. No one does. But the data that are available suggest that the number of illegal votes was substantial — probably in the millions, as Trump said — and likely had a significant impact on the election’s outcome.

Even Democrats should find this troubling; every vote cast by a noncitizen voter negates the vote of a citizen voter. It’s that simple. It’s time the Democratic Party started living up to its name and stop encouraging noncitizens and illegal aliens to vote in our election.

Otherwise, we’ll have a Civil War soonest…

Of course, the liberal plan for civil war does not take into account how prosperous states like Texas went hard right in the 90s and show no sign of changing colors, and there is no mention of how Republicans hold more elected offices today than at any time in history.

Well, as any successful general knows, when faced with unpleasant realities you ignore them and hope it all somehow works out.

Or not.

In the end, the “civil war” is going to be won, according to the warplan for Operation CARACAS REDUX, when America just sort of opts to be like Cali and elects all Democrats. Why would it do that? That part remains unclear. Part of it is because it is obvious that Democrats care so much more for the workin’ man, but apparently no one asked the workin’ men because the workin’ man voted for The Donald. Also, people really care that the weather in a century might be slightly warmer, so there’s that. None of these are really good reasons. Their warplan seems to be, “Wish hard, and it will be so.”

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But it won’t be so. Normal Americans are not going to simply give up their rights and their self-determination because a bunch of liberals want them to. Sure, the weaponization of culture with corporations and tech companies trying to silence and marginalize decent citizens is troubling, but in short order there will be a backlash as Normals react to these new, overtly fascist tactics.

A much more realistic scenario is the country splitting apart, probably with some level of violence. That’s not a wish, though that won’t stop the liberal liars from claiming it is. Ignore what they say and watch what they do. Liberals are repudiating the entire idea of rights and democracy in favor of an ideology that embraces their own elite rule by decree. That they admit that it is impossible to reconcile our rights and our self-determination with their lust for unchallenged power is the one accurate thing in the liberal “civil war” game plan.

They are correct when they say “in this current period of American politics, at this juncture in our history, there’s no way that a bipartisan path provides the way forward.” Yep, true. They are also correct when they observe that, “America today does exhibit some of the core elements that move a society from what normally is the process of working out political differences toward the slippery slope of civil war.” Yep, also true, and it ought to scare the hell out of them.

If the liberals ever get their wish for a new civil war, my money is on the side with all the guts, the guns, and the glory. Ahhhh… and let’s not forget the side with the trillion plus bullets, ammunition clips, along with the reloadable cells, and all the powder & magazines that the good American gun totting patriots keep for hunting, for self protection, for target practice, and for protecting our Republic, as well as occasionally aiming and shooting the fascist “Antifa” thugs, should they attempt to destroy our country in earnest.

MAGA has got it all figured out as far as the 2nd amendment is concerned, but because “America First” has an equally compelling meaning internationally, it also implies taking seriously what the United States might do for itself vis-à-vis foreign nations—beyond simply using them as weapons in domestic battles, as so many politicians and commentators do today in what passes for discussion of Russia policy.

America is in the throes of revolution. The 2016 election and its aftermath reflect the distinction, difference, even enmity that has grown exponentially over the past quarter century between America’s ruling class and the rest of the country. During the Civil War, President Lincoln observed that all sides “pray[ed] to the same God.” They revered, though in clashing ways, the same founders and principles. None doubted that those on the other side were responsible human beings. Today, none of that holds. Our ruling class and their clients broadly view Biblical religion as the foundation of all that is wrong with the world. According to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy, or any form of intolerance.”

The government apparatus identifies with the ruling class’s interests, proclivities, and tastes, and almost unanimously with the Democratic Party. As it uses government power to press those interests, proclivities, and tastes upon the ruled, it acts as a partisan state. This party state’s political objective is to delegitimize not so much the politicians who champion the ruled from time to time, but the ruled themselves. Ever since Woodrow Wilson nearly a century and a half ago at Princeton, colleges have taught that ordinary Americans are rightly ruled by experts because they are incapable of governing themselves. Millions of graduates have identified themselves as the personifiers of expertise and believe themselves entitled to rule. Their practical definition of discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, etc., is neither more nor less than anyone’s reluctance to bow to them. It’s personal.

On the other side, some two thirds of regular Americans chafe at insults dropping from on high, and believe that “the system” is rigged against them and, hence illegitimate elected and appointed officials, plus the courts, business leaders, and educators, are all leading the country in the wrong direction. The non-elites blame the elites for corruptly ruling us against our will, for impoverishing us, for getting us into wars and losing them. Indeed many people demand payback with interest.

So many on all sides have withdrawn consent from one another, as well as from Republicanism as defined by the Constitution and as it was practiced until the mid-20th century, that it is difficult to imagine how the trust and sympathy necessary for good government might ever return. Instead, we have been running a cool, or even frigid cold civil war.

However, Statesmanship’s first task is to prevent this frozen cold civil war from turning hot, because in today’s circumstances, fostering mutual forbearance may require loosening the Union in unfamiliar and unwelcome ways in order to accommodate differences that may otherwise become far worse.

Since the Ruling Elites and the Deep State see Trump as Spartacus and a Giant Leader of the Enslaved People rising up — they have unleashed Mueller to keep those they perceive as their own slaves in check. Mueller is engaged in regular WaterGate type of tactics masquerading as “truth seeking” and he is the ultimate representative of the Deep State so that the people call this era of politics Watergate Redux — which simply means that the Deep State and the Ruling Oligarchy elites are using Gestapo techniques, Nazi attitudes of political propaganda, and are weaponizing the FBI, the DOJ, and plenty of security agencies to spread misinformation, in order to attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election, that ushered this popular rebellion.

Same as in the early seventies, when political operatives disguised as delivery men broke into a Washington D.C. office, and “bugged” the DNC offices located in the WaterGate building, these illegal efforts to spy on the political opposition and smear the opponents — would culminate in what we now know as the historical “Watergate” political scandal.

In the late teens, political operatives disguised as FBI agents, NSA personnel and other employees of the Federal government eavesdropped, harassed and raided the offices of the political opposition.

The raids of Michael Cohen’s hotel room, home and office are just this week’s Watergate.

Political operatives have now seized privileged communications between the President of the United States and his lawyer. Despite fairy tales about a clean process, these communications will be harvested by the counterparts of Peter Strzok, who unlike him are still on the case at the FBI, some of it will appear in the Washington Post and the New York Times, and some will be passed along to other political allies.

That’s what happened at every juncture of Watergate 2.0. And it only follows that it will happen again.

Just like the eavesdropping, the process will be compartmentalized for maximum plausible deniability. The leakers will be protected by their superiors. The media will shrilly focus the public’s attention on the revelations in the documents rather than on the more serious crimes committed in obtaining them.

Nixon couldn’t have even dreamed of doing this in his wildest fantasies. But Obama could and did. Now his operatives throughout the government are continuing the work that they began during his regime.

Attorney-client privilege is just one of those rights we have to give up to protect ourselves from a conspiracy theory invented by the Clinton campaign. (But no amount of dead Americans can ever justify ending immigration from Islamic terror states or deporting illegal alien gang members.)

We are at the latest stage of a process that began when the Clinton campaign funded a dossier alleging foreign ties by her political opponent. It did this using a law firm while lying on its FEC disclosures about payments to that firm. (But unlike Cohen, Hillary’s lawyers will never be raided by the FBI.)

That dossier was then used to justify eavesdropping on Trump associates by political allies in the State Department, the FBI, the CIA and the National Security Council. This wasn’t really breaking new ground. Obama had already been caught using the NSA to spy on members of Congress opposed to his Iran Deal.

The contents of the dossier were rambling nonsense. Its claims about Michael Cohen were easily disproven. But that covert investigation was transformed into an overt one with Mueller. And Mueller’s very public investigation follows the same path as the secret investigation by Obama associates. Both used the dubious claims of the Clinton dossier as the starting point for an endless fishing expedition.

Eavesdrop enough, raid enough, squeeze enough and you will eventually find something. And even if you don’t, you can always manipulate them into denying something and nail them for lying to the FBI. Indeed, Mueller’s and Rosenstein’s technique is to keep “squeezing” people, hoping that they may find someone who is weak, or afraid, and maybe willing to lie under oath for these hoodlums masquerading as Law Enforcement. And maybe they will then be able to trap the President based on fake testimony, that the Mueller & Rosenstein Deep State and Ruling Elites Cabal have themselves manufactured.

Mueller has yet to deliver anything on Russian collusion. But so did Susan Rice and Samantha Power who couldn’t find anything related to it either. Instead they all assembled a vast network of international conspiracy theories, some badly made porn, and a hooker (Stormy – “huge planters” – Daniels), along with the liars of the leftist pink pussy hat wearing misguided “Les Miserables” who openly wish to remain SLAVES, and who fight for that wish along with those whose only purpose in speaking out is to justify more Gestapo raids, more Stazi style eavesdropping, and more Stalin purges and expeditions.

These are the Orwellian Police State tactics usually used by Communist dictatorships, or by the NAZIs, where domestic security agencies accuse the political opposition of treason, spy on them, raid their homes on fake charges, and then look for anything that can be used to put them away. Just like in Hitler’s nazi Germany, and in Stalin’s Russia. And they all do that for the exact same reason.

They want to deny people their choice of government, and want to keep the populace enslaved for good.

Russian domestic security agencies, from the KGB to the FSB, used these tactics against political opponents who might pose a threat to their rule. That is exactly what’s happening here.

This isn’t just an ideological war that Washington D.C. is fighting to suppress a political revolution. It is a straight up Orwellian nightmare. Simple as that.

Even Obama and Hillary’s political operatives couldn’t have pushed the DOJ and other agencies this far outside their comfort zone under ordinary circumstances. There had been previous abuses of power, under JFK, LBJ, Nixon and Clinton, but there has been nothing like this since the Alien and Sedition Acts or Madison’s Machiavellian scapegoating of the Federalists, for the disastrous War of 1812.

To the empowered by a badge political operatives of Hillary Clinton, like Comey, Rosenstein, Mueller, Strzok, Page, Steele, and their many comrades, and allies within the FBI — President Donald J. Trump is an unprecedented threat to the business of the Federal government.

These people don’t care about Americans, they shrug at whatever the economy is doing, they care none about health care, tax reform, housing, or justice. All they care is where it affects them in the mad wish for power and control. Any kind of social issues don’t move them in any way, either. They are as interested in the ideological left-right battles as the nomenklatura of the Soviet Union were, in reading the works of Karl Marx, besides a cursory memory reading so that when quizzed they could give intelligent answers…

There are indeed two Americas. One is your country. The other consists of the people who run it. Both have their headquarters in Washington D.C. And they get along pretty well most of the time.

Except when this New Spartacus shows up and wishes to upend their apple cart…

The people are allowed to vote for whomever their party chooses. They can even vote for less respectable choices as long as they understand that those people will never get anywhere. Then the people they select will go to Washington D.C. and be briefed on what they can and can’t do. There they will rent pricey condos, bicker with each other, eat at nice restaurants and, in theory, make laws.

Then the nomenklatura, the bureaucracy that runs the country, will transform laws into policy. The policy will be shaped by judicial rulings and expert opinion. By the time the policy sausage comes out the other end of the Imperial City, it will have very little to do with what the voters might have wanted.

There are plenty of gatekeepers to keep a common sense idea from being implemented. If a congressman proposes that sensible measure you suggest to him, it will never leave the committee or it’ll be watered down. The Senate will neuter it or the president, on the advice of his advisors, will veto.

And then along came Trump and the American people and shook the whole thing up… and the Praetorian guard starting getting terrified at their loss of power, their shaking caused the Saul Alinski Doctrinaires, to start reacting badly, and now are preparing for an all out war.

Meanwhile, the gates began to collapse. The nomenklatura propped them up. Judicial rulings were used to block everything. The petty bureaucracies within government agencies stalled and sabotaged. Former agency bosses, their internal allies and the media colluded to target Trump’s agency heads with scandals.

The elected head of the government and the unelected heads of the government were at war.

Mueller is the tip of the nomenklatura’s spear. The DOJ is the bluntest weapon in the D.C. arsenal and for the first time it’s been completely unleashed to undo the results of a presidential election.

The same leftists that fought for the civil rights of terrorists and drug dealers, cheer government eavesdropping on the political opposition and the violation of attorney-client privilege because it was never about civil rights, it was about protecting their political allies and punishing their enemies.

Radical movements are inherently totalitarian. And totalitarians view process, whether of elections or criminal justice proceedings, as a train that they ride until they take power and then disembark.

As Roger Nash Baldwin, a co-founder of the ACLU, wrote, “If I aid the reactionaries to get free speech now and then… it is only because those liberties help to create a more hospitable atmosphere for working class liberties… When that power of the working class is once achieved, as it has been only in the Soviet Union, I am for maintaining it by any means whatever.”

The working class of Washington D.C. has achieved quite a bit of power along with a fortune in overseas bank accounts, mansions, private schools and all the privileges of membership in the ruling class.

But the leftists cheering Mueller’s abuses might pause to consider the consequences.

The Romans broke their republic. Now we’re breaking ours. The pink hat brigade enlisted the Praetorian Guard to bring down Trump. But the Roman lesson is that once you break the republic, it stays broken. Once you use political mercenaries like Mueller to overturn an election for you, they might not stop.

The left likes to believe that it can close Pandora’s Box whenever it pleases. History tells us differently.

The Praetorian Guard didn’t stop. What can be done once, will be done again. When control of the DOJ and FBI matters more than elections, then voters will be irrelevant and the Praetorian of D.C. will rule.

And then a new Watergate really will happen each and every week.

Taking Sides

Well-nigh the entire ruling class—government bureaucracies, the judiciary, academia, media, associated client groups, Democratic officials, and Democrat-controlled jurisdictions—have joined in “Resistance” to the 2016 elections: “You did not win this election,” declared Tom Perez recently, the Democratic National Committee’s chairman. This is not about Donald Trump’s alleged character defects. The Resistance would have arisen against whoever represented Americans who had voted not to be governed as they have been for the past quarter-century. It is a cold civil war against a majority of the American people and their way of life. The members of the Resistance mean to defend their power. Their practical objective is to hamper and otherwise delegitimize 2016’s winners. Their political objective is to browbeat Trump voters into believing they should repent and yield to their betters. This campaign might break the Trump presidency.

In the meantime, however, it exacerbates the spirit of discontent in the land. In 2016 the electorate, following the pattern it had set in 2010 and 2014 (and even in 2012, except for the presidential election), voted Republican to show its desire to reduce government’s intrusion in American life, to get out from under the ruling class’s socio-economic agenda and political correctness. But the Republican leadership did not and does not share the electorate’s concerns. Cycle after cycle, Americans who vote to “throw the rascals out” get ever more unaccountable rules piled on by the same unelected bureaucrats; and even modest attempts to hold back capillary intrusion into their lives get invalidated by the same judges. They come to believe that the system is rigged. In short, they want to drain the swamp.

Yet such revolutionary sentiments do not amount to a coherent program to reverse the past century’s course. Donald Trump’s promises with regard to the swamp and to restoring America’s greatness would be extraordinarily difficult to keep even were they matched with due understanding and forceful execution. But the ruling class is so big, so pervasive, and so committed to its ideas, that sidelining it, and even more so, undoing its work, would require at least matching its power, pretensions, and vehemence. In other words, it would take raising the temperature of our cold civil war’s right side to match or overmatch the temperature of its left side. Statesmanship’s task, however, is to maximize peace, not strife.

American society has divided along unreconcilable visions of the good, held by countrymen who increasingly regard each other as enemies. Any attempt by either side to coerce the other into submission augurs only the fate that has befallen other peoples who let themselves slide into revolution. It follows that the path to peace must lie in each side’s contentment to have its own way—but only among those who consent to it. This implies limiting the U.S. government’s reach to what it can grasp without wrecking what remains of our national cohesion.

Lincoln’s Example

The events preceding the Civil War, which killed some 10% of military-age American men, may offer some guidance. The conflict loomed for 30 years because Northerners and Southerners wanted to impose their views about slavery, the tariff, and much else on the other. South Carolina had nullified the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832. Because war was the only way by which it could have been forced to accept the tariffs, President Andrew Jackson and Congress, while threatening the use of force, offered a compromise that effectively let South Carolina get what it wanted out of nullification.

By 1858, America had become a “house divided” by a cold civil war that, Lincoln warned, would lead eventually to total victory for one side or the other. Lincoln left no doubt which side he wanted to prevail. But, until the firing on Fort Sumter left him no other option, he focused on cooling the conflict. He would send no obnoxious officials to the South—effectively agreeing to at least temporary nullification of federal law—though he made clear he would defend federal forts and arsenals in the South. He would faithfully enforce the fugitive slave law in the North, and even consider a constitutional amendment specifically protecting slavery where it existed. He believed that, so long as slavery was not allowed to expand into the territories, regardless of what the Southern states did within their boundaries, the best features of diverse America would triumph in the end.

To this extent, Lincoln was following the standard American way of getting along with people with whom one disagrees. Ever since Roger Williams led his band out of Massachusetts to found Rhode Island, Americans have avoided contention by sorting out into more congenial groups. The Constitution was written to reflect the reality of very different ways of life, united by a common commitment to “the laws of nature and of nature’s God” and to the supreme law of the land. The waning of agreement among ourselves regarding first principles has increased the need for—and the difficulty of—tolerating differences among ourselves.

As with Lincoln, the practical limits of the U.S. government’s reach should guide its grasp. Of what would similar statesmanship today consist? Much of the heat in contemporary American politics comes from the attempt, principally from the Left but increasingly from the Right as well, to force the entire nation to live in precisely the same way with precisely the same values. Statesmanship should begin by questioning and moderating that tendency.

Accepting Reality

Consider sanctuary cities (and states). Some hundreds of cities in America have declared that they are taking no part in enforcing national immigration laws. The government of great big California has set up an executive office to figure out all the ways in which to evade or just to stiff anything it does not like coming from the Trump Administration. And why not? Practically speaking, the federal government doesn’t have the power to make local officials enforce its rules, or even court judgments, against significant popular opposition. Yes, nowadays every federal agency has its SWAT team. But state or city officials, backed by the voters, can nullify or simply ignore a federal law, regulation, or court order, because countering peaceful nullification is hard—and usually unwise, too. Sending paramilitaries to arrest elected officials or citizens who comply with local law or policy is a blind alley. Yes, President Eisenhower sent the 101st airborne to Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957 to enforce school desegregation after Brown v. Board of Education. But that symbolic act (no resistance, no force, no arrests) succeeded because the government then enjoyed a moral authority that it has since squandered. Nothing like that will ever happen again.

The reality is that, today, the people of California and Massachusetts continue to diverge from those of Texas and the Dakotas in so many ways that applying the administrative state’s formulae to them requires ever more force. Substituting administrative force for waning consensus makes for less national unity, not more. Why not, then, deal with the problem by accepting reality?

Texas passed a law that, in effect, closes down most of its abortion clinics. The U.S. Supreme Court struck it down. What if Texas closed them nonetheless? Send the Army to point guns at Texas rangers to open them? What would the federal government do if North Dakota declared itself a “Sanctuary for the Unborn” and simply banned abortion? For that matter, what is the federal government doing about the fact that, for practical purposes, its laws concerning marijuana are being ignored in Colorado and California? Utah objects to the boundaries of national monuments created by decree within its borders. What if the state ignored those boundaries? Prayer in schools? What could bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., do if any number of states decided that what the federal courts have to say about such things is bad?

Now that identity politics have replaced the politics of persuasion and blended into the art of war, statesmen should try to preserve what peace remains through mutual forbearance toward jurisdictions that ignore or act contrary to federal laws, regulations, or court orders. Blue states and red states deal differently with some matters of health, education, welfare, and police. It does no good to insist that all do all things uniformly. Why shouldn’t each spend its money and legislate as it wishes? Regarding sanctuary cities, the federal government can, and should, withdraw whatever money such jurisdictions receive from the federal government for the functions in question. Indeed, as jurisdictions on the Left and Right effectively nullify some of the administrative state’s functions, fewer and fewer congressmen and senators will be inclined to maintain those functions. America’s founders had learned from the history of empires that keeping diverse peoples under the same roof requires interfering as little as possible with their views of themselves and of the good. Time to relearn federalism.

The limits to such forbearance are set by the Declaration of Independence’s requirement that no one may rule another without his consent; such unity as may be possible, therefore, has to result from the politics of persuasion. Today, states and cities ruled by the Left are seizing disproportionate influence in national politics by counting the votes of non-citizens. California issued drivers’ licenses—de facto voter registration—to a million illegals. Countless localities, such as New York City, Detroit, and Florida’s Broward County, do similar things. A few million votes here and there add up to a wall protecting today’s ruling class as it imposes itself on the rest of the country. Because this fraud so threatens the body politic’s integrity, a federal law requiring positive proof of citizenship for voting in federal elections is a sine qua non of continued national cohesion.

The Common Defense

Revolution narrows statesmanship’s focus to first principles regarding foreign affairs, too. The fundamentals never change: foreign policy must serve internal needs first. It must speak softly and carry a big stick. In revolutionary times or times of profound discord, this approach is especially important: minimize interference in others’ affairs so as to minimize occasions for others’ interference in ours, and maintain such military capacity as would discourage anyone from taking advantage of our temporary distraction. The overarching challenge is to secure such respect from other peoples as may be needed to live safely and without interference as our body politic secures internal peace.

George Washington’s Farewell Address stressed the priority of avoiding foreign commitments that set Americans against one another, encouraging them to be partisans of contending foreign causes. Contrary to Washington’s warnings, U.S. foreign policy has oscillated between support for, and opposition to, governments and factions entangled in the Middle East’s perennial struggle between Sunni and Shia Muslims. Like its predecessors, the Trump Administration seems preoccupied, for example, with the question of which sect will hold the mayoralty of Mosul. But attention to such questions exacerbates divisions that already exist among Americans. Our incapacity to make lasting changes in other peoples’ arrangements with one another continues to subtract from the respect that we Americans need in order to secure ourselves from foreign interference at a time when this is crucial. The same is true of official U.S. pronouncements on world events that are not of our making and are beyond our control. They bark without biting, furthering contrasting reactions among Americans and increasing foreigners’ contempt for us all.

We should take to heart Washington’s injunction to treasure and defend America’s peculiar, yet exceptional nature, and circumstances.

Military preparedness naturally unifies Americans of disparate views insofar as it is directed to “the common defense.” Since political divisiveness results from suspicions that our military power is directed to partisan ends, military power can contribute mightily to national unity by focusing unambiguously on protecting Americans and killing those who harm us.

In this regard, nothing has ever enjoyed so near-unanimous support as defense against ballistic missile attack.

Most Americans mistakenly believe it already exists, and strain to comprehend why U.S. policy remains not to raise any obstacles whatever to Russian and Chinese missiles hitting our country.

Americans of all sorts (elites of a certain age excluded) could unite around missile defense as essential to themselves and to their neighbors.

Revolutions end when a coherent, persuasive idea of the common good returns to the public mind. Only then can statecraft be practiced rationally, as more than a minimalist calling designed to prevent the worst from happening.

Or as in the Book of Kings, (Samuel 1:14) Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer:

“Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those enemies of ours, the hated Philistenes. Perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf, because nothing can hinder the Lord from saving us from death and giving us Victory — whether by many or by few.”


Dr Churchill


And if there is a civil war to come — here is the Warrior’s lament for our tribe of fearless fighters…

“Not many bows will be drawn,
nor will slings be common,
for whenever battle will be joined,
it will not be in the broad plains;
instead the much-sighing work,
will belong to the clashing swords,
that will slash deep wounds everywhere,
everywhere where men are found,
for the warlike lords are experienced,
and want to fight in person, seeing the
enemy’s eyes, and killing them hastily,
in that manner of everywhere war.”
–Dr Churchill

Posted by: Dr Churchill | March 30, 2018

The Progress of Humanity on Good Friday

Dear Friend,

On this Good Friday, we must share deep and crucial thoughts because the day requires a solemn commitment to examine our lives…

It is notable that Condorcet gave up his life because of his propensity towards Civic duty, since Condorcet’s republicanism demanded of him to be involved as a Leader of Men in the Political Arena of his day. This is an example I follow keenly in his footsteps because our Nation today needs enlightened citizens and educated leaders, who are urgently needed for our Democracy to become truly a Republic. Democracy implies free citizens, and as we daily see through fake news and misinformation from all the mass media — ignorance is the source of mental and physical servitude.

Citizens have to be provided with the Liberty and the Education to be able to DISCERN and thus acquire the necessary knowledge to deploy their rights, to exercise their freedoms, and to understand the rights and laws that guaranteed their enjoyment of our Democratic Republic.

Although education could never eliminate disparities in talent, wealth, application, industry, choices, and physical propensity — all citizens, including women, must have the right to free education, even if only to be able to expose themselves to the vote and to be able to v one intelligently.

Therefore, much like Condorcet — I stand in opposition to those who rely on fashion, fads, or even revolutionary zeal, and the attentive zealot’s enthusiasm, to help them educate and form the thoughts & the minds of the young, the uneducated, and of the new citizens, who are uncertain, pliable, and immature.

Myself very much like my “teacher” Condorcet believe and maintain that the 1776  American Revolution was not made to last, and that revolutionary institutions were not intended to prolong the revolutionary experience, but they were meant in order to establish political rules and legal mechanisms that would insure future generations the Liberty and the Rights, our Founders intended for all the CITIZENS, as prescribed in the Constitution of this Great Nation.

Many legal and procedural changes have and will be made without resorting to revolution, but the basic tenets of the original Revolution must remain inviolate. Because in a democratic Republic, there will always be Free Speech, Liberty, Separation of Church and State, and the Right to protect all those aforementioned RIGHTS through a well armed Citizenry that has access to high quality public education, open discourse & dialogue, and the necessary freedom of the press and freedom to information access, that would in turn help form free and responsible citizens for the long term.

The Republic needs Free and Responsible Citizens all the time, but not revolutionaries. Revolutionaries, like Disruptors, and Changemakers, are only needed when the Republic is in danger of wallowing in the dark and getting lost — and if we have enough educated Citizens — we are sure that the Revolutionaries will appear then and there.

And so I choose to share with you, one of the deeper sources of my personal enlightenment about Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, as it came to me directly from one of the European Fathers of the Age of Enlightenment — Mathematician, Political Scientist and Political Activist and Philosopher, Nicolas Marquis De Condorcet.

And here bellow is a total synopsis of his last book “Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind” that was conceived and written by Marquis Nicolas De Condorcet, after he was served a death sentence in absentia, from a Kangaroo court, convened by the French Proto-Communists Socialist Democratic Revolutionaries in 1795.

He went into hiding during the days prior to his arrest and assassination, and that is when he made his peace with the Lord and accepted his fate, and also chose to write this pivotal work as a source of Enlightenment for future generation of FREE WILL human beings.

He wrote this pamphlet as his last will and testament, and he offered it to the people, hoping that they would see that he cared none for himself or for his Life, because he had found a strong dose of Christian Faith, and after his communion — he placed all the worldly cares in the hands of the Lord.

This treatise proves that not only that he had no bitterness about his earthy fate — but that he cherished the conclusion of the prophesy that once he himself had made… in that he wanted his life to somehow pay a measure of respect to the Life of the Greatest Teacher ever to have walked this Earth — Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Condorcet’s “Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind” was written in 1795, while Nicolas was in hiding in Paris attempting to evade the Revolutionary secret police who had orders from Maximillien Robespierre to arrest him, and kill him, by public execution in the guillotine…

Yet, this amazing man – instead of escaping to England, or other parts of Europe and indeed to the Free World where he would have been welcomed — stayed in hiding with just enough candles to assist him in writing his Magnus Opus, at the end of which, he gave the manuscript to his friends in the countryside and then returned to his home to face his accusers, knowing full well that he will be killed.

It is a fundamental story that during Holy Week reminds us of someone else who entered Jerusalem triumphantly although he knew full well that he would be crucified and killed…

Today is Good Friday of 2018, and as a Day of Peace and abundant Love that is given to all of us through Jesus Christ’s promise of a better Life — the fundamental ideas of Condorcet’s Sketch are also those of the continual progress of mankind towards enlightenment on the road to perfection…

Indeed here was a man made for the era of the Enlightenment.

Here was an advocate of economic freedom, religious toleration and educational reform.

And now as we allow Condorcet to tell his own story — let us recall that he is a philosopher like no other. A philosopher of Mathematics, and of Political Science. A high level thinker of Economics and of Religion. And a rather decent human being and an extraordinarily gifted leader…

So here is Nicolas in his own searing words and thoughts, seeking to remind us of Liberty that is a God given right:

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“The aim of the work that I have undertaken, and its results will be to show by appeal to reason and fact that nature has set no term to the perfection of human faculties; that the perfectibility of man is truly indefinite; and that the progress of this perfectibility, from now on words independent of any power that might wish to halt it, has no other limits than the duration of the globe upon which nature has cast us. This progress will doubtless vary in speed, but it will never be reversed as long as the earth occupies its present place in the system of the universe, and as long as the general laws of the system produce neither a general cataclysm nor such changes as will deprive the human race of its present faculties and its present resources. . . .

It will be necessary to indicate by what stages what must appear to us today a fantastic hope ought in time to become possible, and even likely; to show why, in spite of the transitory successes of prejudice and the support that it receives from the corruption of governments or peoples, truth alone will obtain a lasting victory; we shall demonstrate how nature has joined together indissolubly the progress of knowledge and that of liberty, virtue, and respect for the natural rights of man. . .

After long periods of error, after being led astray by fake were incomplete theories, publicists have at last discovered the true rights of man and how they can all be deduced from the single truth, that man is a sentient being, capable of reasoning and of acquiring moral ideas. . . .

At last man could proclaim aloud his right, which for so long had been ignored, to submit all opinions to his own reason and to use in the search for truth the only instruments for its recognition that he has been given. Every man learnt with a sort of pride that nature had not forever condemned him to base his beliefs on the opinions of others; the superstitions of antiquity and the basement of reason before the rapture of supernatural religion disappeared from society as from philosophy.

Thus an understanding of the natural rights of man, the belief that these rights are inalienable and cannot be forfeited, a strongly expressed desire for liberty of thought and letters, of trade and industry, and for the alleviation of the people’s suffering, for the elimination of all penal laws against religious dissenters, and the abolition of torture and barbarous punishments, the desire for a milder system of criminal legislation and jurisprudence which should give complete security to the innocent, and for a simpler civil code, more in conformance with reason and nature, indifference in all matters of religion which now were relegated to the status of superstitions and political deception, a hatred of hypocrisy and fanaticism, a contempt for prejudice, zeal for the propagation of enlightenment, all these principles, gradually filtering down from philosophical works to every class of society whose education went beyond the catechism and the alphabet, became the common faith of enlightened people. In some countries these principles formed a public opinion sufficiently widespread for even the mass of the people to show a willingness to be guided by and to obey it. . . .

Force or persuasion on the part of governments, priestly intolerance, and even national prejudices, had all lost their deadly power to smother the voice of truth, and nothing could now protect the enemies of reason for the oppressors of freedom from a sentence to which the whole of Europe would soon subscribe. . .

Our hopes for the future condition of the human race can be subsumed under three important heads: the abolition of inequality between nations, the progress of equality within each nation, and the true perfection of mankind. Will all nations one day attain that state of civilization which the most enlightened, the freest and the least burdened by prejudices, such as the French and the Anglo-Americans [by virtue of their revolutions], have attained already? Will the vast gulf that separates these peoples from the slavery of nations under the rule of monarchs, from the barbarism of African tribes, from the ignorance of savages, little by little disappear? . . .

Is the human race to better itself, either by discoveries and sciences and the arts, and so in the means to individual welfare and general prosperity; or by progress in the principles of conduct or practical morality; or by a true perfection of the intellectual, moral, or physical faculties of man, an improvement which may result from a perfection either of the instruments used to heighten the intensity of these faculties and to direct their use or of the natural constitution of man?

In answering these three questions we shall find in the experience of the past, in the observation of the progress at the sciences and civilization have already made, in the analysis of the progress of the human mind and of the development of its faculties, the strongest reasons for believing that nature has set no limit to the realization of our hopes. . . .

The time will therefore come when the sun will shine only on free man who know no other master but their reason; when tyrants and slaves, priests and their stupid or hypocritical instruments will exist only in works of history and on the stage; and when we shall think of them only to pity their victims and their dupes; to maintain ourselves in a state of vigilance by thinking on their excesses; and to learn how to recognize and so to destroy, by force of reason, the first seeds of tyranny and superstition, should they ever dare to reappear among us.”



Dr Churchill


This small book, or rather a pamphlet, is similar to Socrates’ Apologia, and should be seen as such. A great thing in a small package, much like a diamond is a tremendous storehouse of value and beauty, so is Condorset’s last writing, a final testament to Humanity and it’s Divinely endowed destiny of Faith and Progress.

Because the book “Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind” was written by Marquis De Condorcet in the days preceding his pre-announced “Death Sentence” when his mind was clear from all worldly things, and he had made Peace with his destiny.

Please do read it in that manner and you will understand volumes of thoughts condensed in this page long pamphlet that in the long term Cannon of Human Philosophy and Wisdom — ought to occupy a place of Honor like that given to the
American pamphlet of Thomas Paine, titled “Common Sense”

Both are the works of giants amongst men, and are intimately related in a deep current, of intellectual Liberty, honest wisdom, and thoughts of enlightenment and human actualization.

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Have a good Good Friday.

May God Bless You and Your Family, and may he bless the United States of America.


DURING THE FRENCH REVOLUTION’S OVERHEATED YEARS and specifically in the year 1789, when the Estates-General was called by Louis XVI, only a small fraction of the delegates selected were members of the French Democratic party, the Jacobins…

However, by 1793 the most radical Jacobins had established a virtual One party, dictatorship.

Burt let us see, how did this political minority experience such a meteoric rise?

How did Revolutionary France transform from a constitutional monarchy into a Democratic party dictatorship?

The downfall of the revolutionary republic cannot be explained by any one factor. The execution of Louis XVI, war, political factionalism, and revolutionary fervor can all be attributed to the political gains of the Jacobin club. It is telling that within the National Assembly the extreme wing of the Jacobins would become known as the Montagnard, or the Mountain.

The Girondins were the dominant political faction within the Jacobin club until 1793, when their relative moderation and support for foreign wars led to their increasing unpopularity.

The end of the constitutional monarchy was critical to the rise of the Jacobins; the monarchy fell largely due to the Varennes flight. On the 20-21st of June 1791 King Louis XVI and his family attempted to flee France to the Austrian Netherlands. With the King’s flight and eventual arrest, debate ensued on whether or not France should remain a constitutional monarchy.

When public papers began printing the king’s declaration explaining his flight (where he denounced many revolutionary decrees) hundreds of political clubs began to be created across France; over 400 houses were affiliated with the Jacobin club. By mid July of that year popular opinion was decisively against the monarch, with only 1 in 6 provinces showing any sympathy towards the King. This is in stark contrast to the previous public opinion immediately after the king’s capture: citizens had been more inclined to believe that the King was ill-advised or kidnapped.

In the late summer of 1792, one year after the flight to Varennes, France was declared a republic and Louis was officially arrested and stripped of all his titles. Before the Flight, the large majority of French citizens believed in the monarchy; this was true even among those who supported the Revolution. After Louis tried to flee France, the people came to believe that their king no longer cared for them. Louis XVI was stripped of his regal nomen and became known as Louis Capet; whether or not he should be put on trial was yet to be determined.

The Jacobins within the National Convention were divided into three factions. The Mountain formed the radical left and was made of Jacobins and Cordeliers; these were the more radical deputies. Also at the convention was the more moderate (but still radical) Girondins. Everyone else was in the Plain (La Plaine). In the Plain were deputies unaffiliated with either the Mountain or the Girondins. In the month after the King’s capture the Convention was polled on their opinions on the former Kings status. According to author Reilly Benjamin, 133 of the 749 members of the Conventions published trial opinions with, 51% of those opinions using radical arguments.

In the Convention, the Girondins dominated after the fall of the monarchy. The Girondins were led by Jacques-Pierre Brissot, a journalist and writer from Chartres. The American revolutionary Thomas Paine was an influential member. The Girondins took inspiration from American federalism and had among its ranks land-owners, business owners and sympathetic members of the petty nobility. This constituency was reflected in the group’s general moderation compared to other members of the Jacobin Club. Like the Mountain the Girondins supported the abolition of slavery, but differed sharply in the thoughts on foreign wars. Brissot encouraged an aggressive foreign policy meant on spreading French Revolutionary values abroad in Europe; Robespierre and the Mountain disagreed vehemently.

When the King went to trial both the Girondins and the Montagnard took the stage to make their argument. The Girondins wanted to make an “appeal to the people” using this as a sort of a rallying cry to popular sovereignty. The Montagnards accused the Girondins of being traitors and that this so-called appeal would drag the trial out for months and possibly save the guilty king’s life. They also argued that since a large portion of people in the countryside were illiterate, they wouldn’t be well informed enough to make a responsible decision on the trial.

The King’s flight is the decisive point when the French revolution became radicalized. There was no repairing the damage done to his reputation. He was no longer a father figure to French citizens; he had become a traitor to the French nation.

Jacobins like Saint Just (“No-one can reign innocently”–Saint Just) and Robespierre, were lobbying for the execution of Louis XVI. As the King was not previously subject the rule of law, in their view, he could not be counted as a citizen deserving of a fair trial. Therefore, they reasoned, Louis must be executed. Although the Jacobins were a minority in the Convention, their extreme views were disproportionately influential.

The end of the monarchy encouraged the development of factionalism in the Convention. Political alliances such as the one between the Cordeliers and the Jacobin club were significant to the balance of power within the Convention. We also see reactionary politics between the Jacobins and their rivals the Girondins. The Girondins supported war against Austria and Prussia, but also discouraged popular violence within France. They were also against the execution of the King. As many as 200 deputies were affiliated to the Girondins club.

The sans-culottes were a class of Parisians within the 3rd estate. They were not part of the bourgeoisie even though they were better off than peasants. These street-people became some of the most vociferous protesters of the regime. Because of their willingness to engage in violence (like in the September massacres) they held to ability to sway opinion within the national assembly. In the early part of the revolution the Girondins were popular with the sans-culottes. But after the flight of the king the Girondists quickly lost their support.

The Paris Commune, formed at the inception of the Revolution in 1789,was a government separate from the National Assembly, and remained separate from its successor, the Convention .The Commune was dominated by the Jacobin club. Of the 24 deputies from Paris in the National convention, 21 were with the Mountain faction. As the trial took place in Paris, the Girondins believed that the radical views of the commune influenced by the opinion of Paris rather than the opinion of the nation.

After the King’s execution in 1793, the War of the First Coalition raged in the east, inflaming political tensions in Paris. Austria, Prussia, Britain, Spain, Portugal, Sardinia, the Netherlands, Naples, and other Italian states united against revolutionary France. The Girondins were a pro-war faction, who believed war against foreign enemies would unite the revolution. They promised spreading the revolution would unite all peoples from their aristocratic oppressors. The Jacobins were staunchly against these foreign wars, as they believed it could be used as a launching-pad for military dictatorship. France suffered setbacks in 1792 with defeats and soldiers deserting the army. This greatly damaged the Girondin’s hawkish cause.

After the execution of Louis XVI the Girondins were denounced as pro-royalist and federalist from radicals in the convention. Pressure from Paris and the National Guard forced the National Convention to expel the Girondins. This left the Montagnard as the sole faction within the National Convention. Within the first half of 1793 the Committee of General Security, Revolutionary Tribunal, and Committee of Public safety were put in place. These institutions implemented widespread terror against French citizens who were deemed anti-revolutionaries.

The Jacobins were successful because they fed off the passions of the people in the Paris Commune. They did not condemn the horrors of the 1792 September massacres, but had encouraged them. The Jacobins moved quickly to implement violence while the Girondins were dragging their feet on these decisions. The mass conscriptions used for fighting the foreign conflicts did not help the Girondist popularity.

“The new government was called revolutionary because it was not ‘constituted’ in the manner demanded by contemporary ideas of law.” –R.R. Palmer, The “Twelve Men” who ruled France, from an outsider’s point of view had allowed the State to fall into complete anarchy. French citizens were angry, particularly in rural areas, as the chaos that was the revolution was asking everything from them but giving little. The stability that came with the monarchy was gone and priests were being killed and taxes were being raised. Yet that was their plan for the “spending” of the terrible passions of the people that led to “Robespierre’s Terror” and for cooling the “French Fever,” both actions that led eventually to the liberal Republican Girordin triumph that came to supplant the collapse of the Montagnards and Robespierre, who was their patron God of Terror…

Yet, history comes in stages, and so on July 13th 1793, the radical writer Jean-Paul Marat was assassinated by Charlotte Corday in his bath. In the eyes of the Jacobinian Montagnards, Jean-paul Marat, became a martyr killed by the royalist Corday. His death increased the political influence of the Jacobins. The painting The Death of Marat by Jacques Louis David is an example of his martyred image. It is similar to the Pieta of Michelangelo, which depicts a dead Christ in his mother’s arms.

By mid-to-late 1793, the Jacobins dominated the National Convention. Victories against the enemies of France emboldened Robespierre, President of France, who further implemented terror as a national policy. In September of 1793 the Law of Suspects was passed which allowed the creation of the Revolutionary Tribunal and the Judgement of former civil servants and former nobles. By passing this law, the revolutionary government was allowed to bring those who were suspected of treason. Many were executed as suspected loyalists or counter-revolutionaries.

Robespierre was known as “The incorruptible” and anyone who was seen as corrupt or unpatriotic could be sent to the guillotine. France had been turned turn into a Salem State where people made false accusations based on no evidence. Secret police listened for counter revolutionary activity in the streets, pubs, and villages of France.

The Trial and Execution of Danton would be the ultimate undoing of the Jacobins. Danton was accused of corruption. Danton, his Girondist compatriots and the many Cordeliers were sent to the guillotine for execution. These execution were widely un-popular and they led to Robespierre being accused of tyranny. Danton’s execution was an important event leading to the Thermidor Reaction, the coup against Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety.

While the Jacobins did not set out to create a dictatorship, their ideals of universal male suffrage and popular education were overshadowed by the Terror and anti-democratic policies of their most radical members. Their violent vision for radical politics have forever stained the legacy of the French Revolution.

Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, Marquis of Condorcet known as Nicolas de Condorcet, was a French philosopher, mathematician, and early political scientist whose “Condorcet-method” in voting tally selects the candidate who would beat each of the other candidates in a run-off election.

Unlike many of his … contemporaries, Condorset refined the mathematical model for Crowd Wisdom in the midst of the French civil war between Monarchists, Democrats, and proto-Communists, where the Communists won…

These Proto-Communists were the Jacobins, and their extreme wing, the Montagnards. Under their President Robespierre, these wild men, operating under the guise of Democracy, sought to exterminate their truly democratic opponents, the political group of moderate Republicans within the French Revolution.

The internecine conflict within the Revolutionaries, pitted the Jacobins to clash with the Girordins with disastrous result for thew later. Because of this enmity and the fervent prosecutions and the killings of it’s children — the French Revolution’s madness and the TERROR they produced all contributed to bring the real revolution to a swift end. The Girordins, were so called, because their central members were deputies of the Gironde district and were easily rounded up, and swiftly assassinated by their arch-enemies, the Montagnards.

Unfortunately it was during that terrible time for Democracy, when Nicolas De Condorset became a “wanted man” and was “killed” by these seemingly most rabid supporters of Jacobin revolution — the Montagnards of the Democratic fraction that had gone terribly wrong and sought to round up Condorset along with the other Girordin leaders in order to guillotine them.

Much like Hillary Clinton ordered Julian Assange to be “droned” because he exposed the corruption and the criminality, of the US Democratic party and her electoral campaign during the 2016 United States of America Presidential elections — Robespierre ordered the revolutionary and rather popular Marquis De Condorset, who was loved by the people — to be arrested and executed.

Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, Marquis of Condorcet; 17 September 1743 – 28 March 1794, known as Nicolas de Condorcet, was a French philosopher, mathematician, and early political scientist whose “Condorcet Theorem” & the attendant “Condorset Method” in forecasting elections, and in voting tallies, selects the candidate who would most definitely beat each of the other candidates, in a run-off election.

With the help of the Condorset Political Science Mathematical Modeling Method — we can see who will be the run-off candidate in the jungle primaries we have in Washington State. Imagine that. By utilizing Condorset’s theorem — we can see that I would be the runoff candidate after winning the “Jungle Primary” and that is why I attracted the wrath and the freakish fear and enmity of the Democratic party’s US Senate candidate Patty Murray — who chose to order my assassination instead of wanting to face me again in elections a few years after her corrupt and dirty campaign tricks sidelined my electoral effort in 2016. Patty is an evil person right up there with Robespierre and Hillary Clinton, only not that smart…

SO here we are.

Condorset’s theorem being utilized by my evil & crooked opponent to disable me from running against her and depriving her of her staying in office for a century or longer, as if this a hereditary position assigned to her by the Teacher’s Union. What a crock of shit. Shame upon you ugly woman — shame upon your reptilian soul. Shame of You, and shame on us, the citizens of Washington State that we have you as a representative in Washington DC, because You and your pedophile nephew the Ex-Mayor of Seattle, Ed Murray, both belong in federal jail and not in federal office.

What a sorry person that is. Patty Murray, is an aerobics instructor for little children, and yet through the power of Democratic party Corruption and Electoral fraud — she now sits as the Senator from Washington state in the other Washington DC.

Yet unlike her — myself, much like Condorset — advocate an open mind and an open market, same as he was tooting the virtues of a liberal economy, free and equal public instruction, constitutionalism, and equal rights for women and people of all races.

Indeed, Condorset’s ideas and writings were said to embody the ideals of the Age of Enlightenment and rationalism, and remain influential to this day. As a philosopher — he was beloved by all who had read his writings and heard his arguments.

Yet, he died a mysterious death in prison, after a period of flight from French Revolutionary authorities that sought to arrest him and decapitate him through the services of the swift blade of the Guillotine.

Going back in the jungle of the French Revolution, even at this eleventh hour, Marquis De Condorset, was able to be a true Philosopher, and to support his true Enlightenment ideas, like that of mathematically correct political Science and Democracy, even further, by writing while in hiding — the amazing booklet “On the Progress of Man” and by bolstering his earlier mathematical and political science works about the “Crowd-Wisdom” in which “The wisdom of the Crowds” is the collective opinion of a group of individuals rather than that of any single expert. A wealth of data suggests that averaging the answers of many people, always outperforms any individual expert opinion.

And that is the basic empirical data driven approach through mathematics, that ultimately and fully validates the idea about Democracy, being the best political system for the governance of people, as the ancient Greeks have given us more than two thousand years earlier.

Thus we can safely say today that Marie-Jean, Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat, Marquis of Condorcet, known colloquially as “Nicolas de Condorcet” was a French philosopher, mathematician, and the earliest mathematical political scientist and data scientist, whose mathematical method of averaging voting tally is today’s simplest and strongest means of Political Scientific persuasion and governance through the rigorous and scientific democratic polling.

Now his book on the Progress of Humanity, was Condorcet’s “Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of Humanity” is his final treatise, illustrating his faith in human reason and in man’s eventual perfectibility. The “Sketch … ” is a tiny book that regardless of size — it is fully illustrating his faith in human reason and man’s eventual perfectibility thought the application of Logical Republican and Scientific Democracy, as the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People, ought to be.

He died during the French Revolution which he describes as the suppression of the liberal spirit, which was widely seen by his opponents at the time, as a necessary step for creating the dictatorship of the proletariat. Or rather as the proto-communists who now wish to distance themselves from, and instead describe it as the “Dictatorship” named the “Terror” of Robespierre.

One of the many sad victims of this Socialistic process called “the Dictatorship of the Proletariat” that was seen by Marx as a necessary interlude for our societies experiencing the Socialist revolution, in order to reach the exalted state of Communist paradise on earth.

Yet it was precisely this state of affairs that took away the life of the Man who was the most important mathematician and social theorist, Nicolas Condorcet who earlier in his life, had devised the mathematical theory underpinning DEMOCRACY.

In the History of Liberty, Condorset, must be defined as a Supreme Republican and a Democratic Libertarian who death defined also the stain of the French Revolution. His extraordinary work as a mathematician and as a political scientist and leading member of the liberal Girondin faction, led to his death, because all the liberal leaders of the Girordins were arrested, persecuted, exiled, and even killed by their Robespierrist Montagnard opponents.

Still, Nicolas De Condorset, while in hiding from Robespierre’s thugs — wrote a wonderful paean to the human possibilities of liberty, enlightenment, and economic growth.

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Condorset’s early years:
Condorcet was born in Ribemont (in present-day Aisne), and descended from the ancient family of Caritat, who took their title from the town of Condorcet in Dauphiné, of which they were long-time residents. Fatherless at a young age, he was raised by his devoutly religious mother. He was educated at the Jesuit College in Reims and at the Collège de Navarre in Paris, where he quickly showed his intellectual ability, and gained his first public distinctions in mathematics. When he was sixteen, his analytical abilities gained the praise of Jean le Rond d’Alembert and Alexis Clairaut; soon, Condorcet would study under d’Alembert.

From 1765 to 1774, he focused on science. In 1765, he published his first work on mathematics entitled Essai sur le calcul intégral, which was well received, launching his career as a mathematician. He would go on to publish more papers, and on 25 February 1769, he was elected to the Académie royale des Sciences (French Royal Academy of Sciences).

Jacques Turgot was Condorcet’s mentor and longtime friend…
In 1772, he published another paper on integral calculus. Soon after, he met Jacques Turgot, a French economist, and the two became friends. Turgot was to be an administrator under King Louis XV in 1772, and became Controller-General of Finance under Louis XVI in 1774.

Condorcet worked with Leonhard Euler and Benjamin Franklin. He soon became an honorary member of many foreign academies and philosophic societies including the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (1785), Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1792),[2] and also in Prussia and Russia.

His political ideas, however, many of them in continuity with Turgot’s, were criticized heavily in the English-speaking world, most notably by John Adams, who wrote two of his principal works of political philosophy to oppose Turgot and Condorcet’s unicameral legislature and radical democracy.

Early political career:
In 1774, Condorcet was appointed inspector general of the Paris mint by Turgot. From this point on, Condorcet shifted his focus from the purely mathematical to philosophy and political matters. In the following years, he took up the defense of human rights in general, and of women’s and Blacks’ rights in particular (an abolitionist, he became active in the Society of the Friends of the Blacks in the 1780s). He supported the ideals embodied by the newly formed United States, and proposed projects of political, administrative and economic reforms intended to transform France.

In 1776, Turgot was dismissed as Controller General. Consequently, Condorcet submitted his resignation as Inspector General of the Monnaie, but the request was refused, and he continued serving in this post until 1791. Condorcet later wrote Vie de M. Turgot (1786), a biography which spoke fondly of Turgot and advocated Turgot’s economic theories. Condorcet continued to receive prestigious appointments: in 1777, he became Permanent Secretary of the Académie des Sciences, holding the post until the abolition of the Académie in 1793, and in 1782 secretary of the Académie française.

Condorcet’s Paradox and the Condorcet Method:
In 1785, Condorcet wrote an essay on the application of analysis of the probability of decisions made on a majority vote, one of his most important works. This work described several now famous results, including Condorcet’s jury theorem, which states that if each member of a voting group is more likely than not to make a correct decision, the probability that the highest vote of the group is the correct decision increases as the number of members of the group increases, and Condorcet’s paradox, which shows that majority preferences can become intransitive with three or more options – it is possible for a certain electorate to express a preference for A over B, a preference for B over C, and a preference for C over A, all from the same set of ballots.

The paper also outlines a generic Condorcet method, designed to simulate pair-wise elections between all candidates in an election. He disagreed strongly with the alternative method of aggregating preferences put forth by Jean-Charles de Borda (based on summed rankings of alternatives). Condorcet was one of the first to systematically apply mathematics in the social sciences.

Other works:
In 1781, Condorcet wrote a pamphlet, Reflections on Negro Slavery, in which he denounced slavery. In 1786, Condorcet worked on ideas for the differential and integral calculus, giving a new treatment of infinitesimals – a work which was never printed. In 1789, he published Vie de Voltaire (1789), which agreed with Voltaire in his opposition to the Church. In 1791, Condorcet along with Sophie de Grouchy, Thomas Paine, Etienne Dumont, Jacques-Pierre Brissot, and Achilles Duchastellet published a brief journal titled Le Républicain. Its main goal being the promotion of republicanism and the rejection of establishing a constitutional monarchy. The theme being that any sort of monarchy is a threat to freedom no matter who is leading, which emphasized that liberty is freedom from domination.

In 1795, Condorcet had a book published called Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind. It dealt with theoretical thought on perfecting the human mind and analyzing intellectual history based around social arithmetic. Thomas Malthus wrote An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798) partly in response to Condorcet’s views on the “perfectibility of society.”

French Revolution Deputy:
Condorcet took a leading role when the French Revolution swept France in 1789, hoping for a rationalist reconstruction of society, and championed many liberal causes. As a result, in 1791 he was elected as a Paris representative in the Legislative Assembly, and then became the secretary of the Assembly.

In April 1792 Condorcet presented a project for the reformation of the education system, aiming to create a hierarchical system, under the authority of experts, who would work as the guardians of the Enlightenment and who, independent of power, would be the guarantors of public liberties. The project was judged to be contrary to the republican and egalitarian virtues, giving the education of the Nation over to an aristocracy of savants. The institution adopted Condorcet’s design for the state education system, and he drafted a proposed Bourbon Constitution for the new France.

He advocated women’s suffrage for the new government, writing an article for Journal de la Société de 1789, and by publishing De l’admission des femmes au droit de cité (“For the Admission to the Rights of Citizenship For Women”) in 1790.

In terms of political party, Condorcet was quite independent, but still counted many friends among the Girondins. However, he distanced himself from them during the National Convention because he disliked their factionalism.

At the Trial of Louis XVI, Condorcet, who opposed the death penalty but still supported the trial itself, spoke out against the execution of the King during the public vote at the Convention – he proposed to send the king to the galleys.

Condorcet was on the Constitution Committee and was the main author of the Girondin constitutional project. The constitution was not put to vote. When the Montagnards gained control of the Convention, they wrote their own, the French Constitution of 1793. Condorcet criticized the new work, and as a result, he was branded a traitor. On 3 October 1793, a warrant was issued for Condorcet’s arrest.

Arrest and death:
Condorcet was symbolically interred in the Panthéon (pictured) in 1989.
The warrant forced Condorcet into hiding. He hid for five (or eight) months in the house of Mme. Vernet, on Rue Servandoni, in Paris. It was there that he wrote Esquisse d’un tableau historique des progrès de l’esprit humain (Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Spirit), which was published posthumously in 1795 and is considered one of the major texts of the Enlightenment and of historical thought. It narrates the history of civilization as one of progress in the sciences, shows the intimate connection between scientific progress and the development of human rights and justice, and outlines the features of a future rational society entirely shaped by scientific knowledge.

On 25 March 1794 Condorcet, convinced he was no longer safe, left his hideout and attempted to flee Paris. He went to seek refuge at the house of Jean-Baptiste Suard, a friend of his whom he resided with in 1772. But they refused him on the basis that one of their current residents would betray his presence. Two days later he was arrested in Clamart and imprisoned in Bourg-la-Reine (or, as it was known during the Revolution, Bourg-l’Égalité, “Equality Borough” rather than “Queen’s Borough”). Two days after that, he was found dead in his cell. The most widely accepted theory is that his friend, Pierre Jean George Cabanis, gave him a poison which he eventually used. However, some historians believe that he may have been murdered (perhaps because he was too loved and respected to be executed). Jean-Pierre Brancourt (in his work L’élite, la mort et la révolution) claims that Condorcet was killed with a mixture of Datura stramonium and opium.

Condorcet was symbolically interred in the Panthéon in 1989, in honor of the bicentennial of the French Revolution and Condorcet’s role as a central figure in the Enlightenment. However his coffin was empty. Interred in the common cemetery of Bourg-la-Reine, his remains were lost during the nineteenth century.

In 1786 Condorcet married Sophie de Grouchy, who was more than twenty years his junior. His wife, reckoned one of the most beautiful women of the day, became an accomplished salon hostess as Madame de Condorcet, and also an accomplished translator of Thomas Paine, and Adam Smith. She was intelligent and well-educated, fluent in both English and Italian. The marriage was a strong one, and Sophie visited her husband regularly while he remained in hiding. Although she began proceedings for divorce in January 1794, it was at the insistence of Condorcet and Cabanis, who wished to protect their property from expropriation and to provide financially for Sophie and their young daughter, Louise ‘Eliza’ Alexandrine.

Condorcet was survived by his widow and their four-year-old daughter Eliza. Sophie died in 1822, never having remarried, and having published all her husband’s works between 1801 and 1804. Her work was carried on by their daughter Eliza Condorcet-O’Connor, wife of former United Irishman Arthur O’Connor. The Condorcet-O’Connors brought out a revised edition between 1847 and 1849.

Gender Equality:
Condorcet’s work was mainly focused on a quest for a more egalitarian society. This path led him to think and write about gender equality in the Revolutionary context. In 1790, he published “De l’admission des femmes au droit de cité”(“On the Admission of Women to the Rights of Citizenship”) in which he strongly advocated for women’s suffrage in the new Republic as well as the enlargement of basic political and social rights to include women. One of the most famous Enlightenment thinkers at the time, he was one of the first to make such a radical proposal. A visionary, he identified gender as a social construction based on perceived differences in sex and rejected biological determinism as being able to explain gender relations in society. He denounced patriarchal norms of oppression, present at every institutional level, and continuously subjugating and marginalising women. Like fellow Enlightenment thinker Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his book Emile ou De l’Education (1762), Condorcet identified education as crucial to the emancipation of individuals. He stated: ″ I believe that all other differences between men and women are simply the result of education″. He saw it as the only solution for women to deconstruct gender roles and promote another kind of masculinity, not based on violence, virility and the subjugation of women but rather on shared attributes such as reason and intelligence. In his book “Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism”, Hooks calls this new concept “feminine masculinity”, ″new models of self‐assertion that do not require the construction of an enemy ‘other,’ be it a woman or the symbolic feminine, for them to define themselves against″.

Condorcet’s whole plea for gender equality is founded on the recognition that the attribution of rights and authority comes from the false assumption that men possess reason and women do not. This is according to Nall, an obvious example of an individual practicing and advocating this feminist masculinity. As such, women should enjoy the same fundamental “natural right”.

Scholars, often disagree on the true impact that Condorcet’s work had on pre-modern feminist thinking. His detractors point out that when he was eventually given some responsibilities in the constitutional drafting process, his convictions did not translate into concrete political action and made limited efforts to push these issues on the agenda. Some scholars on the other hand, believe that this lack of action is not due to the weakness of his commitment but rather to the political atmosphere at the time and the absence of political appetite for gender equality on the part of decision-makers. Along with authors such as Mary Wollstonecraft, d’Alembert or Olympe de Gouges, Condorcet made a lasting contribution to the pre-feminist debate.

The Idea of Progress:
Main article: Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Spirit
Condorcet’s Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Spirit (1795) was perhaps the most influential formulation of the idea of progress ever written. It made the Idea of Progress a central concern of Enlightenment thought. He argued that expanding knowledge in the natural and social sciences would lead to an ever more just world of individual freedom, material affluence, and moral compassion. He argued for three general propositions: that the past revealed an order that could be understood in terms of the progressive development of human capabilities, showing that humanity’s “present state, and those through which it has passed, are a necessary constitution of the moral composition of humankind”; that the progress of the natural sciences must be followed by progress in the moral and political sciences “no less certain, no less secure from political revolutions”; that social evils are the result of ignorance and error rather than an inevitable consequence of human nature.[19]

Condorcet’s writings were a key contribution to the French Enlightenment, particularly his work on the Idea of Progress. Condorcet believed that through the use of our senses and communication with others, knowledge could be compared and contrasted as a way of analyzing our systems of belief and understanding. None of Condorcet’s writings refer to a belief in a religion or a god who intervenes in human affairs. Condorcet instead frequently had written of his faith in humanity itself and its ability to progress with the help of philosophers such as Aristotle. Through this accumulation and sharing of knowledge he believed it was possible for any man to comprehend all the known facts of the natural world. The enlightenment of the natural world spurred the desire for enlightenment of the social and political world. Condorcet believed that there was no definition of the perfect human existence and thus believed that the progression of the human race would inevitably continue throughout the course of our existence. He envisioned man as continually progressing toward a perfectly utopian society. He believed when the great potential towards growth that man possessed.

However, Condorcet stressed that for this to be a possibility man must unify regardless of race, religion, culture or gender.[20] To this end, he became a member of the French Société des Amis des Noirs (Society of the Friends of the Blacks).[21] He wrote a set of rules for the Society of the Friends of the Blacks which detailed the reasoning and goals behind the organization along with describing the injustice of slavery and put in a statement calling for the abolition of the slave trade as the first step to true abolition.

Condorcet was also a strong proponent of women’s civil rights. He claimed that women are equal to men in nearly every aspect and asked why then should they be debarred from their fundamental civil rights. The few differences that do exist are due to the fact that women are limited by their lack of rights. Condorcet even mentioned several women who are more capable then average men such as Queen Elizabeth and Maria-Theresa.

Civic duty:
For Condorcet’s republicanism the nation needed enlightened citizens and education needed democracy to become truly public. Democracy implied free citizens, and ignorance was the source of servitude. Citizens had to be provided with the necessary knowledge to exercise their freedom and understand the rights and laws that guaranteed their enjoyment. Although education could not eliminate disparities in talent, all citizens, including women, had the right to free education. In opposition to those who relied on revolutionary enthusiasm to form the new citizens, Condorcet maintained that revolution was not made to last and that revolutionary institutions were not intended to prolong the revolutionary experience but to establish political rules and legal mechanisms that would insure future changes without revolution. In a democratic city there would be no Bastille to be seized. Public education would form free and responsible citizens, not revolutionaries.

Rothschild (2001) argues that Condorcet has been seen since the 1790s as the embodiment of the cold, rational Enlightenment. However she suggests his writings on economic policy, voting, and public instruction indicate different views both of Condorcet and of the Enlightenment. Condorcet was concerned with individual diversity; he was opposed to proto-utilitarian theories; he considered individual independence, which he described as the characteristic liberty of the moderns, to be of central political importance; and he opposed the imposition of universal and eternal principles. His efforts to reconcile the universality of some values with the diversity of individual opinions are of continuing interest. He emphasizes the institutions of civilized or constitutional conflict, recognizes conflicts or inconsistencies within individuals, and sees moral sentiments as the foundation of universal values. His difficulties call into question some familiar distinctions, for example between French, German, and English-Scottish thought, and between the Enlightenment and the counter-Enlightenment. There was substantial continuity between Condorcet’s criticism of the economic ideas of the 1760s and the liberal thought of the early 19th century.

The Lycée Condorcet in the rue du Havre, in the 9th arrondissement of Paris is named in his honour, as are streets in many French cities.

Condorcet’s Political Writings (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought) edited by Steven Lukes, and Nadia Urbinati (2012)
He concluded his work with this stirring vision of a man about to die: “Such are the questions with which we shall terminate the last division of our work. And how admirably calculated is this view of the human race, emancipated from its chains, released alike from the dominion of chance, as well as from that of the enemies of its progress, and advancing with a firm and indeviate step in the paths of truth, to console the philosopher lamenting the errors, the flagrant acts of injustice, the crimes with which the earth is still polluted?”

It is indeed the contemplation of this prospect, that rewards Nicolas De Condorset, for all his efforts to assist the progress of Mankind, the progress of Reason, and the robust establishment of Liberty, as a God given Right.

Nicolas, dares to regard these efforts as a part of the eternal chain of the destiny of mankind. And in this persuasion he finds the true delight of virtue, in the pleasure of having performed a durable service, which no vicissitude will ever destroy in the Robespierre’s “Terror” fatal operation, calculated to restore the reign of prejudice and slavery.

This Author’s sentiment alone is the “sanctuary” into which he retires, and to which the memory of his persecutors cannot follow him, because he unites himself in imagination with “Man restored to his Rights” and delivered from oppression, as he proceeds with rapid strides down the path of happiness.

It is at this path, that this particular Man — Nicolas de Condorset, forgets his own misfortunes while his thoughts are thus employed, and he manages to live no longer in adversity, calumny and malice, but becomes the associate of these wiser and more fortunate beings, whose enviable condition he so earnestly contributed to produce.

He is a great supporter and an intellectual precursor of the FREE HUMANS of AMERICA. He was also an intimate of Thomas Jefferson whom he instructed upon the nuances of his philosophy, and he was a great influence to the young American Ambassador to France.

And that might very well be his greatest contribution to the political future of humankind, and to the political science and philosophy of the American Republic’s path to a politically strong development as a Democratic Republic.

In his mathematical treatise expressing the “Wisdom of the Crowds” Nicolas Condorset, had expressed the correct choices of people living under a form of government termed “Democracy” in mathematical terms, as “crowd-wisdom” and yet when this type of government was coming into effect in his native country — it went sideways and drifted into proto-communism and started decapitating people by the thousands.

The French guillotines were functioning at overdrive, and all the good and great people left to exile, went into hiding, or lost their heads in the basket. To wit, this is where the popular expression “Go to hell in a hand basket” comes from…

Yet, it was at this terrible time that Nicolas Condorset, while in hiding for his life — concentrated and wrote an optimistic vision of what a free society would look like.

It is significant to know that he wrote that treatise, just a few days before taking his own life in his prison cell, like another Socrates, after being arrested. While in jail overnight, he took poison and died, fully knowing that his captors would have ordered him executed, since he had already been denounced and judged as a criminal agains the Commune of the people.

How ironic…

But the last laugh was his, because surely upon his death — it must have become obvious to all that both Democracy and Liberty had perished from France during this photo-communist revolution.

During the agony of this period of Parisian and French TERROR, when nobody’s head was safe upon their shoulders, and after Nicolas de Condorset, had found out that he had been denounced as an Aristocrat and a Reactionary, and been sentenced to death by guillotine — Condorcet went into hiding and found temporary shelter under an assumed name, in a lodging-house of” Paris. There, and while living briefly under the “Reign of Terror” of Robespierre, he wrote the little book “On Human Progress” which contains his second most important legacy to mankind.

The leading idea here may be, that perhaps, there only exist a score or two, amongst the dozens of decisive and characteristic views that govern the world, and that every man should master — in order to fully understand his own Life, the Times, & the Age, that he lives into…

Condorset’s ideas inside the book “On Human Progress” is certainly one of them.

When this small book was finished — it appeared as if the author’s part had played out, and that Nicolas had nothing more to live for… And as his retreat was known to at least one person amongst the Montagnards, Condorset feared to compromise those friends who had taken him in, and had hidden him, at the risk of their own lives, and thus he assumed a beggar’s disguise, and crept out of the house with a book of poems by Horace stuffed in one pocket, and a “healthy” dose of poison in the other.

When it was dark, he came to a friend’s door in the countryside. What passed there has never been known, but the fugitive philosopher of mathematical Political Science & Democracy, did not remain at his friend’s home, and he took the path to return to Paris. However, just a few miles outside Paris he was arrested on suspicion, and thrown in the gaol.

When his gaolers checked on him, in the morning — they found him lying dead.

Yet the irony remains that this most Democratic man, was hunted down with orders to be killed, by the Montagnards, who were the radical wing of the Democratic party, the Jacobins in the National Convention during the French Revolution, and who were best known for their rabid and wild proletarian democratic party terror that was unleashed by these so called “Montagnards” while they controlled the French government during the climax of the Revolution in 1793–94 under Robespierre and his Period of Terror.

A revolutionary period of terror so pervasive, that came to simply be called “The Terror” whose main instrument of terror, was that even the suspicion of a thought to commit a crime in the future, would cause you to be denounced and the “Thought Police” would come to arrest you on the mere suspicion of future crime doing.

This craziness, had led to mass killings through the continuous use of the Guillotine, that just in the month of July (early Thermidor), the Commune of PARIS alone, saw more than 1300 victims of the guillotine, whose heads rolled into the baskets.

This eventually swayed the pendulum too far to the other extreme, and it truly revolted the French people so much, that they erupted and overthrew Robespierre, the “Terror” and the Jacobins, in what is known today as the Thermidor reaction.

Thermidorian Reaction, in the French Revolution, the parliamentary revolt initiated on 9 Thermidor, year II (July 27, 1794), which resulted in the fall of Maximilien Robespierre and the collapse of revolutionary fervour and the Reign of Terror in France.

By June 1794 France had become fully weary of the mounting executions (1,300 in June alone), and Paris was alive with rumours of plots against Robespierre, member of the ruling Committee of Public Safety and leading advocate of the Terror. On 8 Thermidor (July 26) he gave a speech full of appeals and threats. The next day, the deputies in the National Convention shouted him down and decreed his arrest. He was arrested at the Hôtel de Ville, along with his brother Augustin, François Hanriot, Georges Couthon, and Louis de Saint-Just. The same guillotine that on 9 Thermidor executed 45 anti-Robespierrists executed, in the following three days, 104 Robespierrists, inaugurating a brief “White Terror” against Jacobins throughout France.

The coup was primarily a reassertion of the rights of the National Convention against the Committee of Public Safety and of the nation against the Paris Commune. It was followed by the disarming of the committee, the emptying of the prisons, and the purging of Jacobin clubs. Social and political life became freer, more extravagant, and more personally corrupt.

There was a splurge of fashion and a conspicuous consumption of bourgeois wealth, while the poor suffered from harsh economic conditions.

Never fear for History…

Because a good Leader for the people will soon emerge.

And soon enough Napoleon Bonaparte showed up to lead the French people in 1799, when he orchestrated a “Coup D’Etat” in November of 1799 and became the First Consul of the Republic, thus closing the French Revolution and it’s “Terror” for good. In a few years he would be the Emperor of the French Republic and would unleash the torrent of wars of conquest against the world, thus expiating the French Fervor and wasting it’s youth as cannon fodder, sapping any energy the French people had for the next couple of hundreds of years…

Indeed the country of France to this day — and I mean today — it hasn’t yet recovered from all that “Terror” unleashed by the proto-communists of the Jacobin revolution and it’s leader the infamous Robespierre’s vision of Hell on Earth as expressed on his slippery slope way, towards achieving the vaunted Worker’s Paradise on Earth…

Isn’t this what Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders promised us too?

You could tell me I am wrong — but this certainly is what Tom Perez the chair of the Democratic National Committee indicates, that he wants.

And that is the clear message sent to all American people, through his support of the Antifa criminals, the BLM racists, and the militant jihad thugs, that he and the DNC have chosen as their favorite allies on the war they have unleashed against the legal American citizens.

As for the support of criminal aliens that the joint forces of all the above characters have shown — it is no wonder that the Democratic party today is seen as a sponsor of terrorism for political gains, and also in order to be allowed to continue getting the illegal votes from all those that are not allowed to vote legally, since they are not citizens of this country.

Simple as that. And because the American people object to that, the DNC and the leaders of the Democratic party, Mr Schumer and Ms Pelosi, support the same thugs and terrorists that Tom Perez of the DNC does.

And as long as they continue to support these people that engage in terrorism within these United States — the Democratic party, it’s leaders, and it’s TERROR — will still be the enemy of the people.

As for myself — I am a SURVIVOR of that terror that was unleashed by the Democratic opponent of mine Ms Patty Murray, and her minions at the Moxie Media and their moron followers inside Microsoft corporation’s HQ campus.


Indeed it was the Microsoft high level employees, that conspired along with the Redmond police department that acts as Microsoft Security, and saw that no security would be present at my talk, so that the Antifa bastards and their muslim jihadist friends who work there as MicrosSerfs — sought to assassinate me, while I was giving a speech inside their Redmond HQ Campus.

They failed to kill me but their succeeded in injuring me gravely and now it’s time for payback, from all these accursed dogs of terror and treason, who tried to kill a Candidate for the US Senate, in order to benefit my Democratic party opponents Ms Patty Murray, and Maria Cantrell.

We now have the information that my opponent, the Democratic Senator Patty Murray ordered the attack against me…


Imagine how sad it is that the Democratic party operatives are resorting to assassination attempts to remove their opponents because they are so evil minded, corrupt, and criminal — that they reduce themselves to acting like Mafia Capos and not at all like decent human beings Kill — let alone real leaders of people. Of course how can they be leaders of people in a legislative capacity if they do not respect the laws that we already have in the books, and they also diss the number ONE divine law: “You shall Not Kill.”


But my opponent Patty Murray does not believe in any laws, if they interfere with her addiction to power, and her need to serve her Evil Masters, the Reptilian creatures of the Democratic party and the deep state Washington DC Swamp.


Yet, by the amazing Grace of God and my strong brand of Faith — I survived. And since then I have had an even more amazing recovery through the help of our Savior Jesus Christ that allowed me to recover sufficiently, in order to be able to live-on, and to fight another day…

And that is why I decided to run once again for the United States Senate position, on behalf of the State of Washington.

Because as a denizen of Liberty, and a Citizen of Freedom, running for the position of a Lawgiver in this Great Democratic Republic of the United States of America — I am a veteran that has shed blood in this dirty war that is waged against our Constitution, against our Liberty, and against our Democracy.


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And as a survivor of this dastardly terrorist assassination attempt — I now know that we all have to fight-on, and win this battle against the insidious enemy that seeks to destroy our Republic from within.

So I admonish you that for the sake of this country, you need to vote for me.


If not — then you shall, have the quiet fascist Patty Murray as the leader you deserve.

And if you want to see one of Patty Murray’s heroes — here is the Architect of Terror Maximillien Robespierre, on whose shadow-ghost she prays as she unleashes murder, terror, and assassination against her opponents.

Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre (French: [ɛ̃ fʁɑ̃.swa ma.ʁi i.zi.dɔʁ də ʁɔ.bɛs.pjɛʁ]; 6 May 1758 – 28 July 1794) was a French lawyer and politician, as well as one of the best known and most influential figures associated with the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror.

As a member of the Estates-General, the Constituent Assembly and the Jacobin Club, Robespierre was an outspoken advocate for the poor and for democratic institutions. He campaigned for universal male suffrage in France, price controls on basic food commodities and the abolition of slavery in the French colonies. He was an ardent opponent of the death penalty, but played an important role in arranging the execution of King Louis XVI, which led to the establishment of a French Republic.

He is perhaps best known for his role in the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. He was named as a member of the powerful Committee of Public Safety launched by his political ally Georges Danton and exerted his influence to suppress the left-wing Hébertists. As part of his attempts to use extreme measures to control political activity in France, Robespierre later moved against the more moderate Danton, who was accused of corruption and executed in April 1794. The Terror ended a few months later with Robespierre’s arrest and execution in July, events that initiated a period in French history known as the Thermidorian Reaction.[1] Robespierre’s personal responsibility for the excesses of the Terror remains the subject of intense debate among historians of the French Revolution.[2][3]

Influenced by 18th-century Enlightenment philosophes such as Rousseau and Montesquieu, Robespierre was a capable articulator of the beliefs of the left-wing bourgeoisie. His steadfast adherence and defence of the views he expressed earned him the nickname l’Incorruptible (The Incorruptible).[4]

Robespierre’s reputation has gone through several cycles of re-appraisal. During the Soviet era, Robespierre was used as an example of a revolutionary figure.[5] His reputation peaked in the 1920s with the influence of French historian Albert Mathiez.[6] In more recent times, his reputation has suffered as historians have associated him with an attempt at a radical purification of politics through the killing of enemies.[7][8][a]

Early life
Maximilien de Robespierre was born in Arras in the old French province of Artois. His family has been traced back to the 12th century in Picardy; some of his ancestors in the male line worked as notaries in Carvin near Arras from the beginning of the 17th century.[9] It has been suggested that he was of Irish descent, his surname possibly a corruption of “Robert Speirs”.[10]

His paternal grandfather, also named Maximilien de Robespierre, established himself in Arras as a lawyer. His father, François Maximilien Barthélémy de Robespierre, was a lawyer at the Conseil d’Artois. He married Jacqueline Marguerite Carrault, the daughter of a brewer, on 2 January 1758. Maximilien was the oldest of four children and was conceived out of wedlock. His siblings were Charlotte (born 21 January 1760),[b] Henriette (born 28 December 1761),[c] and Augustin (born 21 January 1763).[11] On 7 July 1764, Madame de Robespierre gave birth to a stillborn son; she died nine days later. Devastated by his wife’s death, François de Robespierre subsequently left Arras and travelled throughout Europe. Until his death in Munich on 6 November 1777, he lived in Arras only occasionally; his two daughters Charlotte and Henriette were brought up by their paternal aunts, and his two sons were taken in by their maternal grandparents. The children would visit each other on Sundays.[12]

Already literate at age 8, Maximilien started attending the collège (middle school) of Arras.[10] In October 1769, on the recommendation of the bishop, he received a scholarship at the Collège Louis-le-Grand, University of Paris in Paris. Robespierre studied there until age 23, receiving his training as a lawyer. Upon his graduation, he received a special prize of 600 livres for twelve years of exemplary academic success and personal good conduct.[13]

In school, he learned to admire the idealised Roman Republic and the rhetoric of Cicero, Cato and other figures from classic history. His fellow pupils included Camille Desmoulins and Stanislas Fréron. He also studied the works of the Swiss philosophe Jean-Jacques Rousseau and was attracted to many of his ideas. Robespierre became intrigued by the idea of a “virtuous self”, a man who stands alone accompanied only by his conscience.[8] His study of the classics prompted him to aspire to Roman virtues, but he sought to emulate Rousseau in particular.[14] Robespierre’s conception of revolutionary virtue and his programme for constructing political sovereignty out of direct democracy came from Rousseau, and in pursuit of these ideals he eventually became known during the Jacobin Republic as “the Incorruptible”.[15] Robespierre believed that the people of France were fundamentally good and were therefore capable of advancing the public well-being of the nation. [16]

Early politics
Having completed his law studies, Robespierre was admitted to the bar of Arras. The Bishop of Arras, Louis François Marc Hilaire de Conzié, appointed him criminal judge in the Diocese of Arras in March 1782. Robespierre soon resigned, owing to discomfort in ruling on capital cases arising from his early opposition to the death penalty.[8] Instead, he quickly became a successful advocate for poor clients. During court hearings he was often known to promote the ideals of the Enlightenment and to argue for the rights of man.[17] Later in his career, he read widely, and also became interested in political and social theory in general. He became regarded as one of the best writers and most popular young men of Arras.

In December 1783 he was elected a member of the academy of Arras, the meetings of which he attended regularly. In 1784 the academy of Metz awarded him a medal for his essay on the question of whether the relatives of a condemned criminal should share his disgrace. He and Pierre Louis de Lacretelle, an advocate and journalist in Paris, divided the prize. Many of his subsequent essays were less successful, but Robespierre was compensated for these failures by his popularity in the literary and musical society at Arras, known as the “Rosatia”. In its meetings he became acquainted with Lazare Carnot, who later became his colleague on the Committee of Public Safety.

In 1788 Robespierre took part in a discussion of how the French provincial government should be elected, arguing in his Addresse à la nation artésienne (Address to the Nation of Artois) that if the former mode of election by the members of the provincial estates was again adopted, the new Estates-General would not represent the people of France. It is possible he brought up this issue so that he could have a chance to take part in the proceedings and thus change the policies of the monarchy.[original research?] King Louis XVI later announced new elections for all provinces, thus allowing Robespierre to run for the position of deputy for the Third Estate.[8][need quotation to verify]

Portrait of Robespierre by Boilly, c. 1791 (Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille).
Although the leading members of the established provincial estates of Artois were elected to the Estates-General, Robespierre succeeded in getting elected with them – even though he was their chief opponent. In the assembly of the bailliage, rivalry ran still higher, but Robespierre had begun to make his mark in politics with the Avis aux habitants de la campagne (Notice to the Residents of the Countryside) of 1789. With this, he secured the support of the country electors. Although he was only thirty, comparatively poor, and lacking patronage, he was elected as the fifth deputy of the Third Estate of Artois to the Estates-General. When Robespierre arrived at Versailles few of the other deputies knew him, but he became part of the representative National Assembly (13 June 1789) declared by the Third Estate, soon to transform itself (9 July 1789) into the National Constituent Assembly.[8]

While the Constituent Assembly occupied itself with drawing up a constitution, Robespierre turned his attention away from the assembly of provincial lawyers and wealthy bourgeois in favour of the lower classes of France, particularly Jews, Blacks, and actors.[18][19] As a frequent speaker in the Constituent Assembly, he voiced many ideas in support of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Constitutional Provisions, often with great success. During this period Robespierre coined the famous motto “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” (Freedom, Equality, fraternity).[d][8] He was eventually recognised[by whom?] as second only to Pétion de Villeneuve as a leader of the small body of the extreme left, “the thirty voices”, as Mirabeau referred to them with contempt.

Jacobin Club
After his arrival in Paris from Versailles in 1789, along with the National Assembly, Robespierre soon became involved with the new Society of the Friends of the Constitution, known eventually as the Jacobin Club.[20] Originally, this organisation was made up only of deputies from Brittany. After the National Assembly moved to Paris, the Club began to admit various leaders of the Parisian bourgeoisie to its membership. As time went on, many of the more educated artisans and small shopkeepers became members of the club.[20]

Among such men, Robespierre found a sympathetic audience. As the wealthier bourgeois of Paris and right-wing deputies seceded from the club of 1789, the influence of the old leaders of the Jacobins, such as Antoine Barnave, Adrien Duport, and Alexandre de Lameth, diminished. Alarmed at the progress of the Revolution, they founded the club of the Feuillants in 1791.[21] As a result, the left, including Robespierre and his friends, dominated the Jacobin Club.

On 15 May 1791, Robespierre proposed and carried the motion that no deputy who sat in the Constituent Assembly could sit in the succeeding Assembly. This self-denying ordinance, designed to demonstrate the disinterested patriotism of the framers of the new constitution, had the effect of accelerating political change as deputies with experience and knowledge of the difficulties faced by France were to be replaced by new and often more enthusiastic men.[22]

The Flight to Varennes on 20 June and the subsequent arrest of Louis XVI and his family resulted in Robespierre’s declaration at the Jacobin Club that he was “ni monarchiste ni républicain” (“neither monarchist nor republican”).[23] This stance was not unusual at this time, since there were still few republicans among the politicians in France.

In 1790, Robespierre moved to rue de Saintonge, No. 9 near the Tuileries Palace.[24] After the massacre on the Champ de Mars on 17 July 1791, he moved to the house of Maurice Duplay, a cabinetmaker and ardent admirer of Robespierre who lived in the Rue Saint-Honoré.[25] He was motivated by fears for his safety and a desire to live closer to the National Assembly and the meeting places of the Jacobins. Robespierre lived there until his death except for two short intervals. According to his doctor Joseph Souberbielle, the revolutionary juror Joachim Vilate, and Duplay’s daughter Élisabeth, Robespierre became engaged to Duplay’s eldest daughter Éléonore, but no marriage ever took place.[26]

On 30 September, on the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, the people of Paris named Pétion and Robespierre as the two incorruptible patriots in an attempt to honour their purity of principles, their modest ways of living, and their refusal of bribes.[17] With the dissolution of the Assembly, Robespierre returned to Arras for a short visit, where he met with a triumphant reception. In November, he returned to Paris to take the position of public prosecutor of Paris.[27]

Opposition to war with Austria

Terracotta bust of Robespierre by Deseine, 1791 (Musée de la Révolution française)
In February 1792, Jacques Pierre Brissot, one of the leaders of the Girondist party in the Legislative Assembly, urged that France should declare war against Austria. Jean-Paul Marat and Robespierre opposed him, because they feared the influence of militarism, which might be turned to the advantage of the reactionary forces. Robespierre was also convinced that the internal stability of the country was more important. This opposition from expected allies irritated the Girondists, and the war became a major point of contention between the factions. Robespierre countered, “A revolutionary war must be waged to free subjects and slaves from unjust tyranny, not for the traditional reasons of defending dynasties and expanding frontiers…” Indeed, argued Robespierre, such a war could only favour the forces of counter-revolution, since it would play into the hands of those who opposed the sovereignty of the people. The risks of Caesarism were clear, for in wartime, the powers of the generals would grow at the expense of ordinary soldiers, and the power of the king and court at the expense of the Assembly. These dangers should not be overlooked, he reminded his listeners, “…in troubled periods of history, generals often became the arbiters of the fate of their countries.”[28]

Robespierre warned against the threat of dictatorship stemming from war, in the following terms (1791):

If they are Caesars or Cromwells, they seize power for themselves. If they are spineless courtiers, uninterested in doing good yet dangerous when they seek to do harm, they go back to lay their power at their master’s feet, and help him to resume arbitrary power on condition they become his chief servants. [29]

Robespierre also argued that force was not an effective or proper way of spreading the ideals of the Revolution (1792):

The most extravagant idea that can arise in a politician’s head is to believe that it is enough for a people to invade a foreign country to make it adopt their laws and their constitution. No one loves armed missionaries… The Declaration of the Rights of Man… is not a lightning bolt which strikes every throne at the same time… I am far from claiming that our Revolution will not eventually influence the fate of the world… But I say that it will not be today.[30]

In April 1792, Robespierre resigned the post of public prosecutor of Versailles, which he had officially held, but not practised since February, and started a journal, Le Défenseur de la Constitution (The Defender of the Constitution). The journal served multiple purposes: to counter the influence of the royal court in public policy; to defend Robespierre from the accusations of Girondist leaders; and to give voice to the economic interests of the broader masses in Paris and beyond.[31]

The National Convention
When the Legislative Assembly declared war against Austria on 20 April 1792, Robespierre responded by working to reduce the political influence of the officer class and the king. While arguing for the welfare of common soldiers, Robespierre urged new promotions to mitigate the domination of the officer class by the aristocratic École Militaire. Along with other Jacobins, he also urged the creation of popular militias (staffed by revolutionaries known as the fédérés) to defend France.[32] This sentiment reflected the perspective of more radical Jacobins including those of the Marseille Club, who in May and June 1792 wrote to Pétion and the people of Paris, “Here and at Toulon we have debated the possibility of forming a column of 100,000 men to sweep away our enemies… Paris may have need of help. Call on us!” [33]

Because French forces suffered disastrous defeats and a series of defections at the onset of the war, Robespierre and Danton feared the possibility of a military coup d’état,[34] above all one led by the Marquis de Lafayette, who in June advocated the suppression of the Jacobin Club. Robespierre publicly attacked him in scathing terms: “General, while from the midst of your camp you declared war upon me, which you had thus far spared for the enemies of our state, while you denounced me as an enemy of liberty to the army, national guard and Nation in letters published by your purchased papers, I had thought myself only disputing with a general… but not yet the dictator of France, arbitrator of the state.”[35]

In early June 1792, Robespierre proposed an end to the monarchy and the subordination of the Assembly to the popular will.[36] Following the king’s veto of the Legislative Assembly’s efforts to raise a militia and suppress non-juring priests, the monarchy faced an abortive insurrection on 20 June, exactly three years after the Tennis Court Oath.[37] Fédérés entered Paris without the king’s approval, and on 10 August 1792, the insurrectionary National Guard of Paris, fédérés and sans-culottes led a successful assault upon the Tuileries Palace with the intention of overthrowing the monarchy.[38]

On 16 August, Robespierre presented a petition to the Legislative Assembly from the Paris Commune (the municipal government of the city) to demand the establishment of a revolutionary tribunal and the summoning of a convention chosen by universal suffrage.[39] Dismissed from his command of the French Northern Army, Lafayette fled France along with other sympathetic officers.

In September, Robespierre was elected first deputy for Paris to the National Convention. Robespierre and his allies took the benches high at the back of the hall, giving them the label “the Montagnards”, or “the Mountaineers”; below them were the “Manège” of the Girondists and then “the Plain” of the independents. The Girondists at the Convention accused Robespierre of failing to stop the September Massacres. On 26 September, the Girondist Marc-David Lasource accused Robespierre of wanting to form a dictatorship. Rumours spread that Robespierre, Marat and Danton were plotting to establish a triumvirate. On 29 October, Louvet de Couvrai attacked Robespierre in a speech, possibly written by Madame Roland. On 5 November, Robespierre defended himself, the Jacobin Club and his supporters in and beyond Paris:

Upon the Jacobins I exercise, if we are to believe my accusers, a despotism of opinion, which can be regarded as nothing other than the forerunner of dictatorship. Firstly, I do not know what a dictatorship of opinion is, above all in a society of free men… unless this describes nothing more than the natural compulsion of principles. In fact, this compulsion hardly belongs to the man who enunciates them; it belongs to universal reason and to all men who wish to listen to its voice. It belongs to my colleagues of the Constituent Assembly, to the patriots of the Legislative Assembly, to all citizens who will invariably defend the cause of liberty. Experience has proven, despite Louis XVI and his allies, that the opinion of the Jacobins and of the popular clubs were those of the French Nation; no citizen has made them, and I did nothing other than share in them.[40]

Turning the accusations upon his accusers, Robespierre delivered one of the most famous lines of the French Revolution to the Assembly:

I will not remind you that the sole object of contention dividing us is that you have instinctively defended all acts of new ministers, and we, of principles; that you seemed to prefer power, and we equality… Why don’t you prosecute the Commune, the Legislative Assembly, the Sections of Paris, the Assemblies of the Cantons and all who imitated us? For all these things have been illegal, as illegal as the Revolution, as the fall of the Monarchy and of the Bastille, as illegal as liberty itself… Citizens, do you want a revolution without a revolution? What is this spirit of persecution which has directed itself against those who freed us from chains?[41]

Robespierre’s speech marked a profound political break between the Montagnards and the Girondins, strengthening the former in the context of an increasingly revolutionary situation punctuated by the fall of Louis XVI, the invasion of France and the September Massacres in Paris.[42] It also heralded increased involvement and intervention by the sans-culottes in revolutionary politics.[43]

Execution of Louis XVI

The interrogation of Louis XVI at the National Convention
The Convention’s unanimous declaration of a French Republic on 21 September 1792 left open the fate of the king. A commission was therefore established to examine evidence against him while the Convention’s Legislation Committee considered legal aspects of any future trial. Most Montagnards favoured judgment and execution, while the Girondins were divided concerning Louis’s fate, with some arguing for royal inviolability, others for clemency, and some advocating lesser punishment or death.[44] On 20 November, opinion turned sharply against Louis following the discovery of a secret cache of 726 documents consisting of Louis’s personal communications.[45]

Robespierre had been taken ill in November and had done little other than support Saint-Just in his argument against the king’s inviolability. Robespierre wrote in his Defenseur de la Constitution that a Constitution which Louis had violated himself, and which declared his inviolability, could not now be used in his defence.[46] Now, with the question of the king’s fate occupying public discourse, Robespierre on 3 December delivered a speech that would define the rhetoric and course of Louis’s trial.[47] Robespierre argued that the king, now dethroned, could function only as a threat to liberty and national peace, and that the members of the Assembly were not fair judges, but rather statesmen with responsibility for public safety:

Louis was a king, and our republic is established; the critical question concerning you must be decided by these words alone. Louis was dethroned by his crimes; Louis denounced the French people as rebels; he appealed to chains, to the armies of tyrants who are his brothers; the victory of the people established that Louis alone was a rebel; Louis cannot therefore be judged; he already is judged. He is condemned, or the republic cannot be absolved. To propose to have a trial of Louis XVI, in whatever manner one may, is to retrogress to royal despotism and constitutionality; it is a counter-revolutionary idea because it places the revolution itself in litigation. In effect, if Louis may still be given a trial, he may be absolved, and innocent. What am I to say? He is presumed to be so until he is judged. But if Louis is absolved, if he may be presumed innocent, what becomes of the revolution? If Louis is innocent, all the defenders of liberty become slanderers. Our enemies have been friends of the people and of truth and defenders of innocence oppressed; all the declarations of foreign courts are nothing more than the legitimate claims against an illegal faction. Even the detention that Louis has endured is, then, an unjust vexation; the fédérés, the people of Paris, all the patriots of the French Empire are guilty; and this great trial in the court of nature judging between crime and virtue, liberty and tyranny, is at last decided in favour of crime and tyranny. Citizens, take warning; you are being fooled by false notions; you confuse positive, civil rights with the principles of the rights of mankind; you confuse the relationships of citizens amongst themselves with the connections between nations and an enemy that conspires against it; you confuse the situation of a people in revolution with that of a people whose government is affirmed; you confuse a nation that punishes a public functionary to conserve its form of government, and one that destroys the government itself. We are falling back upon ideas familiar to us, in an extraordinary case that depends upon principles we have never yet applied.[48]

In arguing for a judgment by the elected Convention without trial, Robespierre supported the recommendations of Jean-Baptiste Mailhe, who headed the commission reporting on legal aspects of Louis’s trial or judgment. Unlike some Girondins, Robespierre specifically opposed judgment by primary assemblies or a referendum, believing that this could cause civil war. [49] While he called for a trial of queen Marie Antoinette and the imprisonment of the Dauphin, Robespierre argued for the death penalty in the case of the king:

As for myself, I abhor the death penalty administered by your laws, and for Louis I have neither love, nor hate; I hate only his crimes. I have demanded the abolition of the death penalty at your Constituent Assembly, and am not to blame if the first principles of reason appeared to you moral and political heresies. But if you will never reclaim these principles in favour of so much evil, the crimes of which belong less to you and more to the government, by what fatal error would you remember yourselves and plead for the greatest of criminals? You ask an exception to the death penalty for him alone who could legitimise it? Yes, the death penalty is in general a crime, unjustifiable by the indestructible principles of nature, except in cases protecting the safety of individuals or the society altogether. Ordinary misdemeanours have never threatened public safety because society may always protect itself by other means, making those culpable powerless to harm it. But for a king dethroned in the bosom of a revolution, which is as yet cemented only by laws; a king whose name attracts the scourge of war upon a troubled nation; neither prison, nor exile can render his existence inconsequential to public happiness; this cruel exception to the ordinary laws avowed by justice can be imputed only to the nature of his crimes. With regret I pronounce this fatal truth: Louis must die so that the nation may live.[50]

On 14 January 1793, the king was unanimously voted guilty of conspiracy and attacks upon public safety. On 15 January, the call for a referendum was defeated by 424 votes to 287, which was led by Robespierre. On 16 January, voting began for the king’s sentence, and the session continued until 18 January. During this time, Robespierre worked fervently to ensure the king’s execution. Of the 721 deputies who voted, at least 361 had to have voted for death. Louis was executed two days later, on 21 January, in the Place de la Révolution.[51]

Destruction of the Girondists

Journées des 31 Mai, 1er et 2 Juin 1793, an engraving of the riots organized by the Commune.
After the execution of the king, the influence of Robespierre, Danton and the pragmatic politicians increased at the expense of the Girondists. The Girondists refused to have anything more to do with Danton and because of this the government became more divided.

The economic situation in France was rapidly deteriorating and the Paris populace became restless. Rioting persisted and a commission of inquiry of twelve members was set up, on which only Girondins sat. Popular militants were arrested. On 25 May, the Paris Commune demanded that arrested patriots be released and sections drew the list of 22 prominent Girondists to be removed from the Convention. Maximin Isnard declared that Paris would be destroyed if it came out against the provincial deputies. Robespierre preached a moral “insurrection against the corrupt deputies” at the Jacobin Club. The Jacobins declared themselves in state of insurrection. On 29 May, the delegates representing thirty-three of the Paris sections formed an insurrectionary committee.[52]

On 2 June, 80,000 armed sans-culottes surrounded the Convention. After an attempt of deputies to exit collided with their guns, the deputies resigned themselves to declare the arrest of 29 leading Girondins. During the insurrection Robespierre had scrawled a note in his memorandum-book:

What we need is a single will (il faut une volonté une). It must be either republican or royalist. If it is to be republican, we must have republican ministers, republican papers, republican deputies, a republican government. The internal dangers come from the middle classes; in order to defeat the middle classes we must rally the people. … The people must ally itself with the Convention, and the Convention must make use of the people.[53][e]

Reign of Terror
Main article: Reign of Terror

Cartoon showing Robespierre guillotining the executioner after having guillotined everyone else in France.
After the fall of the monarchy, the revolutionary French government faced serious internal and external challenges, including the War of the First Coalition and insurrectionary War in the Vendée. French revolutionary politicians believed a stable government was needed to quell the chaos.[17] On 11 March 1793, a Revolutionary Tribunal was established by Jacobins in the Convention.[54] On 6 April, Maximin Isnard and Georges Danton spearheaded the creation of a nine-member Committee of Public Safety to replace the larger Committee of General Defence. On 27 July 1793, Robespierre was elected to the Committee, although he had not sought the position.[55]

The Committee of General Security began to manage the country’s internal police. Terror was formally instituted as a legal policy by the Convention on 5 September 1793 in a proclamation that read, “It is time that equality bore its scythe above all heads. It is time to horrify all the conspirators. So legislators, place Terror on the order of the day! Let us be in revolution, because everywhere counter-revolution is being woven by our enemies. The blade of the law should hover over all the guilty.”[55]

In the winter of 1793–94, a majority of the Committee decided that the Hébertist party would have to perish or its opposition within the Committee would overshadow the other factions due to its influence in the Commune of Paris. Robespierre also had personal reasons for disliking the Hébertists for their “atheism” and “bloodthirstiness”, which he associated with the old aristocracy.[27]

In early 1794, he finally broke with Danton, who had angered many other members of the Committee of Public Safety with his more moderate views on the Terror, but whom Robespierre had, until this point, persisted in defending. Subsequently, he joined in attacks on the Dantonists and the Hébertists.[8] Robespierre charged his opponents with complicity with foreign powers.

In Report on the Principles of Political Morality of 5 February 1794, Robespierre praised the revolutionary government and argued that terror and virtue were necessary:

If virtue be the spring of a popular government in times of peace, the spring of that government during a revolution is virtue combined with terror: virtue, without which terror is destructive; terror, without which virtue is impotent. Terror is only justice prompt, severe and inflexible; it is then an emanation of virtue; it is less a distinct principle than a natural consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing wants of the country … The government in a revolution is the despotism of liberty against tyranny.[56]

From 13 February to 13 March 1794, Robespierre withdrew from active business on the Committee due to illness. On 15 March, he reappeared in the Convention. Hébert and nineteen of his followers were arrested on 19 March and guillotined on 24 March. Danton, Desmoulins and their friends were arrested on 30 March and guillotined on 5 April.

Georges Couthon, his ally on the Committee, introduced and carried on 10 June the drastic Law of 22 Prairial, named for the day it was passed in the French Republican Calendar. Under this law, the Tribunal became a simple court of condemnation without need of witnesses. Historians frequently debate the reasons behind Robespierre’s support of the Law of 22 Prairial. Some consider it an attempt to extend his influence into a dictatorship, while others argue it was adopted to expedite the passage of the reformist, land-redistributive Ventôse Decrees.[citation needed]

“To punish the oppressors of humanity is clemency; to forgive them is barbarity.”
— Maximilien Robespierre, 1794[57]

Though nominally all members of the committee were equal, Robespierre was later presented during the Thermidorian Reaction by the surviving protagonists of the Terror, especially Bertrand Barère, as prominent. They may have exaggerated his role to downplay their own contribution and used him as a scapegoat after his death. [58]

Historian William Doyle writes, “It is not violent fulminations that characterise Robespierre’s speeches on the Terror. It is the language of unmasking, unveiling, revealing, discovering, exposing the enemy within, the enemy hidden behind patriotic posturings, the language of suspicion.[59] Doyle argues that Robespierre was never a dictator nor meant to become one, but that his own paranoia, in the face of plots and assassination attempts, drove him into mortal conflict with his political opponents in the Revolution.[59]

Robespierre saw no room for mercy in his Terror, stating that “slowness of judgments is equal to impunity” and “uncertainty of punishment encourages all the guilty”. Throughout his Report on the Principles of Political Morality, Robespierre assailed any stalling of action in defence of the Republic. The report was a tract that urged the furtherance of the Revolution at all costs. In his thinking, there was not enough that could be done fast enough in defence against enemies at home and abroad. A staunch believer in the teachings of Rousseau, Robespierre believed that it was his duty as a public servant to push the Revolution forward, and that the only rational way to do that was to defend it on all fronts. The Report did not merely call for blood but also expounded many of the original ideas of the 1789 Revolution, such as political equality, suffrage and abolition of privileges.[60]

Abolition of slavery
Throughout the course of the Revolution, Robespierre both ambivalently and outspokenly opposed slavery on French soil or in French territories and played an important role in abolishing it.[61][62]

In May 1791 Robespierre argued passionately in the National Assembly against the Colonial Committee, dominated by slaveholders in the Caribbean. The colonial lobby declared that political rights for blacks would cause France to lose her colonies. Robespierre responded, “We should not compromise the interests humanity holds most dear, the sacred rights of a significant number of our fellow citizens,” later shouting, “Death to the colonies!”[63] Robespierre was furious that the assembly gave “constitutional sanction to slavery in the colonies,” and argued for equal political rights regardless of skin colour.[64] Robespierre did not argue for slavery’s immediate abolition. Nevertheless, pro-slavery advocates in France regarded Robespierre as a “bloodthirsty innovator” and as a traitor plotting to give French colonies to England.[63] Only months later, hundreds of thousands of slaves in St Domingue led a revolution against slavery and colonial rule.[65]

In the following years, the slaves of St. Domingue effectively liberated themselves and formed an army to oppose re-enslavement. Robespierre denounced the slave trade in a speech before the Convention in April 1793.[66] The radical 1793 constitution supported by Robespierre and the Montagnards, which was ratified by a national referendum, granted universal suffrage to French men and explicitly condemned slavery. But the constitution was never implemented.[66] In November 1793, Robespierre gave his support to a proposal to investigate the colonial general Léger-Félicité Sonthonax, a Girondist who had freed slaves in the colonies.[66] At the same time, Robespierre denounced the French minister to the newly formed United States, Edmond-Charles Genêt, who had sided with Sonthonax.[66]

By 1794, French debates concerning slavery reached their apogee. In late January, delegations representing both former slaveholders and former slaves arrived in France to petition for slavery or its abolition.[66] Briefly imprisoned, the delegation opposing slavery was freed on the orders of the Committee of Public Safety, on which Robespierre sat. Receiving the delegation on their release, the National Convention passed a decree banning slavery on 4 February.[66] Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety, at the same time, heard a petition from the slaveholders, which they did not act upon. On the day after the emancipation decree, Robespierre delivered a speech to the National Convention in which he praised the French as the first to “summon all men to equality and liberty, and their full rights as citizens,” using the word slavery twice but without specifically mentioning the French colonies.[66] Despite petitions from the slaveholding delegation, Robespierre and the Committee decided to endorse the decree in full.[66]

Several weeks later, in a speech before the committee of public safety, Robespierre linked the cruelty of slavery with serfdom:

Ask a merchant of human flesh what is property; he will answer by showing you that long coffin he calls a ship… Ask a gentleman [the same] who has lands and vassals… and he will give you almost the identical ideas.

— Robespierre, “The Principles of Property”, 24 April 1794. [67][68]
He attended a meeting of the Jacobin club in June 1794 to support a decree ending slavery, and later signed orders to ratify it. [67] The decree led to a surge in popularity for the Republic among blacks in St-Domingue, most of whom had already freed themselves and were seeking military alliances to guarantee their freedom.[64]

Cult of the Supreme Being
Main article: Cult of the Supreme Being

The Festival of the Supreme Being, by Pierre-Antoine Demachy (1794)
Robespierre’s desire for revolutionary change was not limited to the political realm. He opposed the power of the Catholic Church and the pope, particularly in opposition to their celibacy policies.[69] Having denounced the excesses of dechristianisation, he sought to instill a spiritual resurgence in the French nation based on Deist beliefs. Accordingly, on 7 May 1794, Robespierre supported a decree passed by the Convention that established an official religion, known historically as the Cult of the Supreme Being. The notion of the Supreme Being was based on ideas that Jean-Jacques Rousseau had outlined in The Social Contract. A nationwide “Festival of the Supreme Being” was held on 8 June (which was also the Christian holiday of Pentecost). The festivities in Paris were held in the Champ de Mars, which was renamed the Champ de la Réunion (“Field of Reunion”) for that day. This was most likely in honour of the Champ de Mars Massacre, where the Republicans first rallied against the power of the Crown.[70] Robespierre, who happened to be president of the Convention that week, walked first in the festival procession and delivered a speech in which he emphasised his concept of a Supreme Being:

Is it not He whose immortal hand, engraving on the heart of man the code of justice and equality, has written there the death sentence of tyrants? Is it not He who, from the beginning of time, decreed for all the ages and for all peoples liberty, good faith, and justice? He did not create kings to devour the human race. He did not create priests to harness us, like vile animals, to the chariots of kings and to give to the world examples of baseness, pride, perfidy, avarice, debauchery and falsehood. He created the universe to proclaim His power. He created men to help each other, to love each other mutually, and to attain to happiness by the way of virtue.[71]

Throughout the “Festival of the Supreme Being”, Robespierre was beaming with joy; not even the negativity of his colleagues could disrupt his delight. He was able to speak of the things about which he was truly passionate, including Virtue and Nature, typical deist beliefs, and his disagreements with atheism. Everything was arranged to the exact specifications that had been previously set before the ceremony. The ominous and symbolic guillotine had been moved to the original standing place of the Bastille, all of the people were placed in the appropriate area designated to them, and everyone was dressed accordingly.[72] Not only was everything going smoothly, but the festival was also Robespierre’s first appearance in the public eye as a leader for the people, and also as president of the Convention, to which he had been elected only four days earlier.[72]

While for some it was an excitement to see him at his finest, many other leaders involved in the festival agreed that Robespierre had taken things too far. Multiple sources state that Robespierre came down the mountain in a way that resembled Moses as the leader of the people, and one of his colleagues, Jacques-Alexis Thuriot, was heard saying, “Look at the bugger; it’s not enough for him to be master, he has to be God”.[73]

Marc-Guillaume Alexis Vadier used a report to the Convention on Catherine Théot as an opportunity to attack Robespierre and his beliefs. [74] Théot was a seventy-eight-year-old, self-declared “prophetess” who had, at one point, been imprisoned in the Bastille.[74] By stating that Robespierre was the “herald of the Last Days, prophet of the New Dawn”[74] (because his festival had fallen on the Pentecost, traditionally a day revealing “divine manifestation”), Catherine Théot made it seem that Robespierre had made these claims himself, to her. She also claimed that he was a reincarnation of Saul, the saviour of Israel, and the chosen of God.[75] Many of her followers were also supporters or friends of Robespierre, which made it seem as if he was attempting to create a new religion, with him as its god. Although Robespierre had nothing to do with Catherine Théot or her followers, many assumed that he was on a path to dictatorship, and it sent a current of fear throughout the Convention, contributing to his downfall the following July.

Main articles: Fall of Maximilien Robespierre and Thermidorian Reaction
On 23 May 1794, one day after the attempted assassination of Collot d’Herbois, another member of the Committee of Public Safety, Cécile Renault was arrested after having approached Robespierre’s residence with two small knives; she was executed one month later. At this point, the Law of 22 Prairial was introduced to the public without consultation from the Committee of General Security, which, in turn, doubled the number of executions permitted by the Committee of Public Safety.[76]

This law permitted the execution of citizens thought to be counter-revolutionaries, even under simple suspicion and without extensive trials. When the Committee of Public Safety allowed the law to be passed, the Convention began to question it out of fear that Robespierre and his allies might come after certain members of the Convention, and even the Committee itself, due to the excesses carried out by its representatives, such as Joseph Fouché, Jean-Baptiste Carrier and Jean-Lambert Tallien, who had been sent to various regions of France to stamp out opposition to the revolutionary government in Paris.[77] Robespierre worked tirelessly (and almost alone) to curb their excesses against the opposition of others who condemned him for his moderation in defending revolutionary ideals. He had them recalled to Paris to account for their actions and expelled from the Jacobin Club. Nonetheless, they were able to evade arrest. Fouché spent the evenings moving house to house, warning members of the Convention that Robespierre was after them while organising his own coup d’état.[78]

Robespierre appeared at the Convention on 26 July (8 Thermidor, according to the French Republican Calendar), and delivered a two-hour-long speech. He defended himself against charges of dictatorship and tyranny, and then proceeded to warn of a conspiracy against the Republic. Specifically, he railed against the bloody excesses he had observed during the Terror. He also implied that members of the Convention were a part of this conspiracy, though when pressed, he refused to provide any names. The speech alarmed members, particularly given Fouché’s warnings. The members who felt that Robespierre was alluding to them tried to prevent the speech from being printed, and a bitter debate ensued until Barère forced an end to it. Later that evening, Robespierre delivered the same speech again at the Jacobin Club, where it was very well received.[79]

The following day, Saint-Just began to give a speech in support of Robespierre in the Convention. Those who had seen him working on his speech the night before expected accusations to arise from it. Saint-Just had time to give only a small part of his speech before Tallien interrupted him. While the accusations began to pile up, Saint-Just remained uncharacteristically silent. Robespierre then attempted to secure the tribune to speak, but his voice was shouted down. Robespierre soon found himself at a loss for words after one deputy called for his arrest and Vadier gave a mocking impression of him. When one deputy witnessed Robespierre’s inability to respond, the man shouted, “The blood of Danton chokes him!”[80] Robespierre then finally regained his voice to reply with his one recorded statement of the morning, a demand to know why he was now being blamed for the other man’s death: “Is it Danton you regret? … Cowards! Why didn’t you defend him?”[81]


Painting of Charles-André Merda shooting Robespierre.

Valery Jacobi’s painting “Ninth Thermidor” showing the wounded Robespierre
The Convention ordered the arrest of Robespierre that same day, 27 July, along with his brother Augustin, Couthon, Saint-Just, François Hanriot, and Philippe-François-Joseph Le Bas. Troops from the Paris Commune, under General Coffinhal, arrived to free the prisoners and then marched against the Convention itself. The Convention responded by ordering troops of its own under Paul Barras to be called out. When the troops of the Paris Commune heard this news, order began to break down, and Hanriot ordered his remaining troops to withdraw to the Hôtel de Ville, headquarters of the Paris Commune, where Robespierre and his supporters also gathered. The Convention declared them to be outlaws, meaning that upon verification, the fugitives could be executed within twenty-four hours without a trial.

As the night went on, the forces of the Paris Commune deserted the Hôtel de Ville and, at around two in the morning, those of the Convention under the command of Barras arrived there. In order to avoid capture, Augustin Robespierre threw himself out a window, only to break both of his legs; Couthon was found lying at the bottom of a staircase, having fallen from his wheelchair; Le Bas committed suicide by shooting himself in the head; and Hanriot jumped from another window and landed in an open sewer, but did not die as a result of the fall. Robespierre tried to kill himself with a pistol, but only managed to shatter his lower jaw,[82] although some eyewitnesses claimed that he was shot by Charles-André Merda.[83]


The execution of Robespierre. The beheaded man is not Robespierre, but Couthon; the body of La Bas is shown lying on the ground; Robespierre {#10} is shown sitting on the cart closest to the scaffold holding a handkerchief to his mouth.
For the remainder of the night, Robespierre was laid on a table in the room of the Committee of Public Safety, where he awaited execution. He lay on the table bleeding profusely until a doctor was brought in to attempt to stanch the bleeding from his jaw. Robespierre’s last recorded words may have been “Merci, monsieur” (“Thank you, sir”) to a man who had given him a handkerchief for the blood on his face and clothing.[84] Later, Robespierre was placed in the cell where Marie Antoinette, the wife of King Louis XVI, had been held.

The same day, 28 July 1794, in the afternoon, Robespierre was guillotined without trial in the Place de la Révolution. His brother Augustin, Couthon, Saint-Just, Hanriot, and twelve other followers, among them the cobbler Antoine Simon, the jailor of Louis-Charles, Dauphin of France, were also executed.[85] When clearing Robespierre’s neck, the executioner tore off the bandage that was holding his shattered jaw in place, causing Robespierre to produce an agonised scream until the fall of the blade silenced him.[86] Together with those executed with him, he was buried in a common grave at the newly opened Errancis Cemetery[87] (near what is now the Place Prosper-Goubaux). A plaque indicating the former site of this cemetery is located at 97 rue de Monceau, Paris. Between 1844 and 1859 (probably in 1848), the remains of all those buried there were moved to the Catacombs of Paris.

Legacy and memory

La Place Robespierre in Marseille with inscription: “Lawyer, born in Arras in 1758, guillotined without trial on 27 July 1794. Nicknamed L’Incorruptible. Defender of the people. Author of our republican motto: Liberté Égalité Fraternité”
At the time of his death, Robespierre had no debts, and his property was sold at auction in the Palais Royal early in 1796, fetching 38,601 livres (over £100).[88]

Robespierre’s reputation has gone through several cycles of re-appraisal. During the Soviet era, he was used as an example of a Revolutionary figure.[5] It peaked in the 1920s after the influential French historian Albert Mathiez argued that he was an eloquent spokesman for the poor and oppressed, an enemy of royalist intrigues, a vigilant adversary of dishonest and corrupt politicians, a guardian of the French Republic, an intrepid leader of the French Revolutionary government, and a prophet of a socially responsible state.[6] In more recent times, his reputation has suffered as historians have associated him with an attempt at a radical purification of politics through the killing of enemies.[89][8] In 1989, historian Francois Furet argued that this reappraisal of Robespierre has been technically inaccurate:

There are two ways of totally misunderstanding Robespierre as historical figure: one is to detest the man, the other is to make too much of him. It is absurd, of course, to see the lawyer from Arras as a monstrous usurper, the recluse as a demagogue, the moderate as bloodthirsty tyrant, the democrat as a dictator. On the other hand, what is explained about his destiny once it is proved that he really was the Incorruptible? The misconception common to both schools arises from the fact that they attribute to the psychological traits of the man the historical role into which he was thrust by events and the language he borrowed from them. Robespierre is an immortal figure not because he reigned supreme over the Revolution for a few months, but because he was the mouthpiece of its purest and most tragic discourse.[90]

Nevertheless, Robespierre remains controversial to this day. Apart from one Metro station in Montreuil (a Paris suburb) and several streets named after him in about twenty towns, there are no memorials or monuments to him in France. By making himself the embodiment of virtue and of total commitment, he took control of the Revolution in its most radical and bloody phase: the Jacobin republic. His goal in the Terror was to use the guillotine to create what he called a “republic of virtue”, wherein terror and virtue would be imposed at the same time. He argued, “Terror is nothing more than speedy, severe and inflexible justice; it is thus an emanation of virtue; it is less a principle in itself, than a consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing needs of the patrie [the ‘fatherland’].”[91]

Terror was thus a tool to accomplish his overarching goals for democracy. Historian Ruth Scurr wrote that, as for Robespierre’s vision for France, he wanted a “democracy for the people, who are intrinsically good and pure of heart; a democracy in which poverty is honourable, power innocuous, and the vulnerable safe from oppression; a democracy that worships nature—not nature as it really is, cruel and disgusting, but nature sanitised, majestic, and, above all, good.”[92]

In terms of historiography, he has several defenders. Marxist historian Albert Soboul viewed most of the measures of the Committee for Public Safety as necessary for the defence of the Revolution and mainly regretted the destruction of the Hébertists and other enragés:

Robespierre’s main ideal was to ensure the virtue and sovereignty of the people. He disapproved of any acts which could be seen as exposing the nation to counter-revolutionaries and traitors, and became increasingly fearful of the defeat of the Revolution. He instigated the Terror and the deaths of his peers as a measure of ensuring a Republic of Virtue; but his ideals went beyond the needs and wants of the people of France. He became a threat to what he had wanted to ensure and the result was his downfall.[8]

Soboul, according to Ishay, argues that he and Saint-Just “were too preoccupied in defeating the interest of the bourgeoisie to give their total support to the sans-culottes, and yet too attentive to the needs of the sans-culottes to get support from the middle class.”[93] For Marxists like Soboul, Robespierre’s petit-bourgeois class interests were fatal to his mission.[94]

Jonathan Israel is sharply critical of Robespierre for repudiating the true values of the radical Enlightenment. He argues, “Jacobin ideology and culture under Robespierre was an obsessive Rousseauiste moral Puritanism steeped in authoritarianism, anti-intellectualism, and xenophobia, and it repudiated free expression, basic human rights, and democracy.”[95]

Robespierre has continued to fascinate biographers. Recent books in English include Colin Haydon and William Doyle’s Robespierre (1999), John Hardman’s Robespierre (1999), Ruth Scurr’s Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution, Otto J. Scott’s Robespierre: The Voice of Virtue (2011), and most recently Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life by Peter McPhee (2012).

During the October Revolution and Red Terror, Robespierre found ample praise in the Soviet Union, resulting in the construction of two statues of him: one in Saint Petersburg, and another in Moscow (the Robespierre Monument). The monument was commissioned by Vladimir Lenin, who referred to Robespierre as a “Bolshevik avant la lettre” or a “Bolshevik before his time”. Due to the poor construction of the monument (it was made of tubes and common concrete), it crumbled within three days of its unveiling and was never replaced.


Dr Churchill


And I know how Nicolas de Condorset must have felt, when he knew that people were coming to kill him.

I know that feeling well enough too.


And I know the feeling of surviving an assassination attempt.

I know the feeling of being a survivor too.

But there is some unfinished business that needs to be addressed.


So, I am thinking now that if Nicolas, the Marquis De Condorset had been allowed to continue to live, and to be involved in the nasty Democratic process of his time — he would have been using his method of “collective intelligence” to improve our lives even further.

And he would have found crowd-sourcing solutions for our Republic, that go beyond the mathematical and political science support that he the gave us. Mind you his mathematical political science method is a boon for the governance of our Republic through the system of indirect Democracy that runs as “Government by the people, from the people, and for the people…” as Abraham Lincoln stated in the Gettysburg address, and as those wily Greeks fashioned some two thousand years ago — but much more can be done, and should be done.

Sadly, Nicolas did not survive the TERROR, but I did, and it is now up to my thinking and my scientific method for Mathematical Political Science to bear fruit for the people of this country and for all great Democratic Republics out there.

And I am dong this through my system that works for Politics, as well as it works for my “gaming” of the stock markets is easy … and diligently applied twelve steps. And this methodology helps me invest by deducing the expectant wishes of the people and then follow their estimations of how their brethren would have voted the stocks up or down…

And I’ve been making money through this method constantly over the last decade — better than anyone else, because I took the Condorset theorem to the next level, by combining the “Crowd-Wisdom” with the opinions of majority voting, where I ask people not only for their own decision, but also what proportion of people they think will agree with them if they were the winners.

This is far more instructive for my purposes, because it helps people focus on the afterdata, and the metadata, of their individual choices — and thus when all that information is combined — it makes for an even more accurate Political Science predictor of Elections, or of the movements of the Stock Market, etc…

The longer-term goal is to be able to produce good-to-right, estimates for questions without known, or well-defined answers.

The real test of this would be some important question like the one about the Existence of God.

Or maybe the one about the Purpose and the Meaning of Life.

Or other important questions, that should be something that we can define far better, and with appropriately certain results, such as the question of “Who’s going to win the next US presidential election?

Or for that matter, any elections thereof in any democratic poll… which is everything really.

John Adams

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John Adams (1735-1826) was one of the principal framers of the American republic and the successor to Washington as president. Before the Revolution he wrote some of the most important documents on the nature of the British Constitution and the meaning of rights, sovereignty, representation, and obligation. And it was Adams who, once the colonies had declared independence, wrote equally important works on possible forms of government in a quest to develop a science of politics for the construction of a constitution for the proposed republic.

“Obsta principiis” nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society.

John Adams uses the Latin phrase above, in order to warn his fellow colonists to put an end to the growing arbitrary power of the British crown: “obsta principiis” (or “nip it in the bud”). In 1774 they were close to taking the final step and seeking a separation from the Crown in an act of independence and revolt. One of the most dangerous aspects of arbitrary government, in Adams’ view, was that it created swarms of “pensioners” who lived off the tax revenues. These “pensioners” of the state revenue urge the government to increase the taxes in order to expand their own incomes as well as those of their “dependents and expectants” until they “swallow up the whole society”.

Here is the correspondence between John Adams (1735-1826) and Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) who maintained an antagonistic relationship all their lives, since both were Presidents of the United States and both died on the same day July 4th of 1824 within hours of each other, and exactly 50 years after the glorious revolution led to the creation of the country they led.

In their last years they corresponded about the future of Liberty and the role of revolution in bringing free societies into existence. We include here extracts from three letters which they wrote in August and September 1823 on this topic:

Adams to Jefferson, Quincy, 15 August, 1823: I am no king killer, merely because they are kings. Poor creatures! they know no better; they sincerely and conscientiously believe that God made them to rule the world. I would not, therefore, behead them, or send them to St. Helena to be treated like Napoleon; but I would shut them up like the man in the mask, feed them well, and give them as much finery as they please, until they could be converted to right reason and common sense.

Jefferson to Adams, Monticello, September 4, 1823: The generation which commences a revolution rarely completes it. Habituated from their infancy to passive submission of body and mind to their kings and priests, they are not qualified when called on to think and provide for themselves; and their inexperience, their ignorance and bigotry make them instruments often, in the hands of the Bonapartes and Iturbides, to defeat their own rights and purposes. This is the present situation of Europe and Spanish America. But it is not desperate. … The kings and the rabble, of equal ignorance, have not yet received its rays; but it continues to spread, and while printing is preserved, it can no more recede than the sun return on his course. A first attempt to recover the right of self-government may fail, so may a second, a third, &c. But as a younger and more instructed race comes on, the sentiment becomes more and more intuitive, and a fourth, a fifth, or some subsequent one of the ever renewed attempts will ultimately succeed.

Adams to Jefferson, Quincy, 17 September, 1823: It is melancholy to contemplate the cruel wars, desolations of countries, and oceans of blood, which must occur before rational principles and rational systems of government can prevail and be established; but as these are inevitable, we must content ourselves with the consolations which you from sound and sure reasons so clearly suggest. These hopes are as well founded as our fears of the contrary evils. On the whole, the prospect is cheering. I have lately undertaken to read Algernon Sidney on Government There is a great difference in reading a book at four-and-twenty and at eighty-eight …

“John Adams on how absolute power intoxicates those who excercise that power (1814).”

John Adams (1735-1826) was prompted by John Taylor’s book An Inquiry into the Principles and Policy of the Government of the United States (1814) to defend his idea of democracy:

“You say, sir, that I have gravely counted up several victims “of popular rage, as proofs that democracy is more pernicious than monarchy or aristocracy.” This is not my doctrine, Mr. Taylor. My opinion is, and always has been, that absolute power intoxicates alike despots, monarchs, aristocrats, and democrats, and jacobins, and sans culottes. I cannot say that democracy has been more pernicious, on the whole, than any of the others. Its atrocities have been more transient; those of the others have been more permanent. The history of all ages shows that the caprice, cruelties, and horrors of democracy have soon disgusted, alarmed, and terrified themselves. They soon cry, “this will not do; we have gone too far! We are all in the wrong! We are none of us safe! We must unite in some clever fellow, who can protect us all,—Cæsar, Bonaparte, who you will! Though we distrust, hate, and abhor them all; yet we must submit to one or another of them, stand by him, cry him up to the skies, and swear that he is the greatest, best, and finest man that ever lived!”

John Adams was stung by criticism from John Taylor that he had argued that democracy was more “pernicious” than other forms of government such as monarchy. Here, he takes pains to defend democracy which he does in very strong terms concluding that “Democracy must be respected; democracy must be honored; democracy must be cherished; democracy must be an essential, an integral part of the sovereignty.” Yet he is also aware that democracies, like all forms of government, can result in abuses of political power. In making this point Adams comes up with a formulation which equals the famous one by Lord Acton that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” In Adams phrasing of the problem of power he states “My opinion is, and always has been, that absolute power intoxicates alike despots, monarchs, aristocrats, and democrats”.

Author: Revolutionary Writings
Author: The Works of John Adams, 10 vols.
Author: The Works of John Adams, vol. 1 (Life of the Author)
Author: The Works of John Adams, vol. 2 (Diary, Notes of Debates, Autobiography)
Author: The Works of John Adams, vol. 3 (Autobiography, Diary, Notes of a Debate in the Senate, Essays)
Author: The Works of John Adams, vol. 4
Author: The Works of John Adams, vol. 5 (Defence of the Constitutions Vols. II and III)
Author: The Works of John Adams, vol. 6
Author: The Works of John Adams, vol. 7 (Letters and State Papers 1777-1782)
Author: The Works of John Adams, vol. 8 (Letters and State Papers 1782-1799)
Author: The Works of John Adams, vol. 9 (Letters and State Papers 1799-1811)
Author: The Works of John Adams, vol. 10 (Letters 1811-1825, Indexes)

John Adams argues that the British Empire is not a “true” empire but a form of a “republic” where the rule of law operates (1763)
John Adams predicts a glorious future for America under the new constitution and is in “reverence and awe” at its future prospects (1787)
John Adams thought he could see arbitrary power emerging in the American colonies and urged his countrymen to “nip it in the bud” before they lost all their liberties (1774)
John Adams on how absolute power intoxicates those who excercise that power (1814)
Adams and Jefferson reflect on the Revolution and the future of liberty (1823)

Adam Smith

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Adam Smith (1723-1790) is commonly regarded as the first modern economist with the publication in 1776 of The Wealth of Nations. He wrote in a wide range of disciplines such as moral philosophy, jurisprudence, rhetoric and literature, and the history of science. He was one of the leading figures in the Scottish Enlightenment.

Smith also studied the social forces giving rise to competition, trade, and markets. While professor of logic, and later professor of moral philosophy at Glasgow University, he also had the opportunity to travel to France, where he met François Quesnay and the physiocrats; he had friends in business and the government, and drew broadly on his observations of life as well as careful statistical work summarizing his findings in tabular form.

He is viewed as the founder of modern economic thought, and his work inspires economists to this day. The economic phrase for which he is most famous, the “invisible hand” of economic incentives, was only one of his many contributions to the modern-day teaching of economics.

On his book “Theory of Moral Sentiments and Essays on Philosophical Subjects” of 1869, Adam Smith talked about “rank” rather than class and thought the former came about as a result of the accumulation of both political power and economic wealth. However, in passages like this one he is aware that there are significant differences between how one goes about acquiring wealth and reputation peacefully, through market activity and how one acquires political power and the wealth which often comes with that, through the same means.

It is in this pivotal book, the “Theory of Moral Sentiments and Essays on Philosophical Subjects” where Adam Smith contrasts, how “the middling and inferior stations of life” have to live within the law, that is to respect the property rights of others and not engage in fraudulent activities, whereas those who belong to “the highest stations”, that is senior political and military leaders, face no such limitations on their behaviour. They can and do rise to positions of power by means of “fraud, falsehood, intrigue, murder, assassination, rebellion and civil war.”

Smith also notes in the previous chapter the perverse fact that people in “the middling and inferior stations of life” show extraordinary deference and respect to their monarchs and others in “high station” even when this is not deserved on the grounds of justice.

In many governments the candidates for the highest stations are above the law; and, if they can attain the object of their ambition, they have no fear of being called to account for the means by which they acquired it. They often endeavour, therefore, not only by fraud and falsehood, the ordinary and vulgar arts of intrigue and cabal; but sometimes by the perpetration of the most enormous crimes, by murder and assassination, by rebellion and civil war, to supplant and destroy those who oppose or stand in the way of their greatness.

As an economist, Adam Smith (1723-1790) contrasts how people from “the middling and inferior stations of life” acquire their reputations and their fortune with those from “the superior stations of life”

Adam Smith argued that the “propensity to truck, barter, and exchange” was inherent in human nature and gave rise to things such as the division of labour (1776)
Adam Smith argues that the Habeas Corpus Act is a great security against the tyranny of the king (1763)
Adam Smith notes that colonial governments might exercise relative freedom in the metropolis but impose tyranny in the distant provinces (1776)
Adam Smith observes that the true costs of war remain hidden from the taxpayers because they are sheltered in the metropole far from the fighting and instead of increasing taxes the government pays for the war by increasing the national debt (1776)
Adam Smith claims that exorbitant taxes imposed without consent of the governed constitute legitimate grounds for the people to resist their rulers (1763)
Adam Smith argues that retaliation in a trade war can sometimes force the offending country to lower its tariffs, but more often than not the reverse happens (1776)
Adam Smith on the natural ordering Tendency of Free Markets, or what he called the “Invisible Hand” (1776)
Adam Smith on the Dangers of sacrificing one’s Liberty for the supposed benefits of the “lordly servitude of a court” (1759)
Adam Smith on the “Wonder, Surprise, and Admiration” one feels when contemplating the physical World (1795)
Adam Smith on the Sympathy one feels for those Vanquished in a battle rather than for the Victors (1762)
Adam Smith on the rigorous education of young Fitzmaurice (1759)
Adam Smith on how Government Regulation and Taxes might drive a Man to Drink (1766)
Adam Smith on the greater productivity brought about by the division of labor and technological innovation (1760s)
Adam Smith on how governments learn from each other the best way of draining money from the pockets of the people (1776)
Adam Smith on the ridiculousness of romantic love (1759)
Adam Smith on how “furious monopolists” will fight to the bitter end to keep their privileges (1776)
Adam Smith on compulsory attendance in the classroom (1776)
Adam Smith on social change and “the man of system” (1759)
Adam Smith debunks that idea that when it comes to public debt “we owe it to ourselves” (1776)
Adam Smith on the need for “peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice” (1755)
Adam Smith on the “liberal system” of free trade (1776)
Adam Smith on why people obey and defer to their rulers (1759)
Adam Smith on the dangers of faction and privilege seeking (1759)
Adam Smith thinks many candidates for high political office act as if they are above the law (1759)

The book “Theory of Moral Sentiments and Essays on Philosophical Subjects” by Adam Smith, far surpasses his known economic work that launched his career: “The Wealth of Nations” although by all accounts this book, “the Theory of Moral Sentiments and Essays on Philosophical Subjects” is by far the superior and utterly correct work amongst all of his writings.

Dr Churchill


These two seemingly very different men saw political & economic life in remarkably similar ways, because their moral philosophy was aligned to the good as they both saw fit.

And indeed, when they met each other at the time that Adams served as the Minister to the Court of St James in London — they discussed these subjects and came to a positive agreement about all things, but above all else about their deep and unwavering FAITH to a Good God and to the Christian Promise of a better life after our sojourn of service on this earth.

They kept friendship but as they lived across the pond in very different style and professional occupation — they never saw each other again.

Yet the libraries of both men contained all of the other’s tracts, books, and written pamphlets.

Well Done.

Posted by: Dr Churchill | March 25, 2018

The Spirit of Liberty

Occasionally I host a dinner meeting that examines our Life as a Community and as a Society by asking the Great Questions and engaging in Free and Unfettered Intellectual Discourse.

We find many pain points this way and sometimes we also happen upon some form of remedy, solution, or policy suggestion.

And we always do this in the spirit of the First Amendment, whereas with loving kindness we respect all points of view.

And that is the kernel of truth within our Spirit of Freedom, or what our founding fathers termed “The Spirit of Liberty” which resides within each and everyone of us — yet it is shunned and measured as an external light by most of us.

And that is why most men reside in an awful darkness, mental slavery, and drudgery of feeling as part of the mindless army of ants working for the machine… and living in a screaming in a personal hell of desperation.

Yet, that’s exactly where philosophy comes to the rescue.

That is if we feel that philosophy should be at hand for our rescue from the quagmire of popular thought.

But for the ones who are already adept in philosophy and specifically at matters of Liberty, and especially those of us who have shed blood for the cause of Liberty — we recognize that we need a moral revolution to bring America back up on her feet.

Three things are required in this age of nihilism. You need faith and belief in the divine providence, you need to strengthen your position through intellectual discourse, reason & logic to find what is the truth of every situation, and you ought to govern yourself properly with a strong moral compass.

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Simply put, these are the three pillars of wisdom coming form the founders of this country:

1) Be moral with a strong faith in God… (Nichomachean Ethics)

2) Be kind to other people… (Seneca & Epictetus)

3) Govern yourself in earnest… (Cicero De Officiis)

This is the best way to live, behave, and observe moral obligations, in order to even be a good Citizen of the United States of America.

This constitutional republic founded by the framers and the founders who believed and behaved as per these principles above.

And here bellow is proper conduct of “Governing Yourself” as prescribed based on the suggestion of the great Cicero as given in his own writings to his sons, so that they can live like Free people, as decent Roman citizens, in procession of their own personal Dignity, Liberty, and Agency.

Decent Citizens and maybe one day Leaders of the Roman Senate as their father wanted them to be, based on the right of all Roman Citizens to become Questors, Senators, and Consuls…

Marcus Tullius Cicero, Ethical Writings I (On Moral Duties) [-44]

Author: Marcus Tullius Cicero
Ethical Writings (On Moral Duties, On Old Age, On Friendship, Scipio’s Dream)

Table of Contents:













Copyright, 1883, By Andrew P. Peabody.

University Press: John Wilson and Son, Cambridge.


There are two systems of ethical philosophy, which in every age divide speculative moralists, and are recognized with a more or less distinct consciousness in the conduct of life by all in whom the moral sense has attained mature development. They are, indeed, in different ages and by different writers stated more or less explicitly, in widely varying terminology, and with modifications from culture, religion, national character, and individual proclivities. They are, also, sometimes blended by an eclecticism which cannot wholly transcend the lower, yet feels the intense attraction of the higher sphere. One system is that which makes virtue a means; the other, that which makes it an end. According to the one, we are to practise virtue for the good that will come of it to ourselves or our fellow-beings; according to the other, we are to practise virtue for its own sake, for its intrinsic fitness and excellence, without reference [x]to ulterior consequences, save when, and so far as, those consequences are essential factors in determining the intrinsic quality of the action.
Of course, this general division admits of obvious subdivisions. The former system includes the selfish and the utilitarian theory of morals, — the selfish making the pursuit of our own happiness our duty, and adaptation to that end the sole standard of right; the utilitarian identifying virtue with benevolence, accounting the greatest good of the greatest number the supreme aim, and beneficent utility the ultimate standard of duty. The alternative system, according to which virtue is to be practised, not for what it does, but for what it is, includes, also, various definitions of virtue, according as its standard is deemed to be intrinsic fitness, accordance with the aesthetic nature, the verdict of the moral sense, or conformity to the will of God. These latter theories, widely as they differ, agree in representing the right as having a validity independent of circumstances and of human judgment, as unaffected by the time-and-place element, as possessed of characteristics connate, indelible, eternal; while the selfish and utilitarian schools alike represent it as mutable, dependent on circumstances, varying with time and place, and possessed of no attributes distinctively its own.[xi]
In Cicero’s time the left and the right wing in ethical philosophy were represented by the Epicureans and the Stoics respectively, while the Peripatetics held a middle ground. The Epicureans regarded happiness — or, according to their founder, painlessness — as the sole aim and end of moral conduct, and thus resolved all virtue into prudence, or judicious self-love, — a doctrine which with such a disciple as Pliny the Younger identified virtue with the highest self-culture as alone conducive to the happiness of the entire selfhood, intellectual and spiritual as well as bodily; but with Horace and his like, and with Rousseau, who professed adherence to that school, afforded license and amnesty to the most debasing sensuality.
The Stoics regarded virtue as the sole aim and end of life, and virtue is, in their philosophy, the conformity of the will and conduct to universal nature, — intrinsic fitness thus being the law and the criterion of the right. Complete conformity, or perfect virtue, is, according to this school, attainable only by the truly wise; and its earlier disciples, while by no means certain that this ideal perfectness had ever been realized in human form even by Zeno, the great master, yet admitted no moral distinction between those who fell but little short of perfection and those who had made no progress toward it. The later Stoics, however, [xii]recognized degrees of goodness, and were diligent expositors and teachers of the duties within the scope of those not truly wise, by the practice of which there might be an ever nearer approach to perfection. This philosophy was, from Cicero’s time till Christianity gained ascendency, the only antiseptic that preserved Roman society from utter and remediless corruption.

The Peripatetic philosophy makes virtue to consist in moderation, or the avoidance of extremes, and places each of the individual virtues midway between opposite vices, as temperance between excess and asceticism; generosity between prodigality and avarice; meekness between irascibility and pusillanimity. It admits the reality of the intrinsically right as distinguished from the merely expedient or useful; but it maintains that happiness is the supreme object and end of life, and that for this end, virtue, though essential, is not sufficient without external goods, — so that the wisely virtuous man, while he will never violate the right, will pursue by all legitimate means such outward advantages as may be within his reach.

The New Academy, whose philosophy was a blending of Platonism and Pyrrhonism, while it denied the attainableness of objective truth, maintained that on all subjects of speculative philosophy probability is attainable, and that wherever [xiii]there is scope for action, the moral agent is bound to act in accordance with probability, — of two courses to pursue that for which the more and the better reasons can be given. The disciples of this school accepted provisionally the Peripatetic ethics.

Cicero professed to belong to the New Academy, and its ethical position was in close accordance with his nature. Opinion rather than belief was his mental habit, — strong opinion, indeed, yet less than certainty. His instincts as an advocate — often induced by professional exigencies, not only to cast doubt on what he had previously affirmed, but with the ardor of one who threw himself with his whole soul into the case in hand to feel such doubt before he gave it utterance — made the scepticism of this school congenial to him. At the same time, his love of elegant ease and luxury and his lack of moral enterprise — though not of courage when emergencies were forced upon him — were in closer affinity with the practical ethics of the Peripatetics than with the more rigid system of the Stoics; while his pure moral taste and his genuine reverence for the right brought him into sympathy with the Stoic school. Under no culture short of that Christian regeneration which is less a culture than a power could he have become heroically virtuous; under no conceivable influence [xiv]could he, such as he was in his early manhood, have become grossly vicious. He believed in virtue, admired it, loved it. His aesthetic nature was pre-eminently true and pure. His private character indicates high-toned principle. In an age when all things were venal, no charge of corruption was ever urged against him, even by an enemy. He neither bought office, nor sold its functions. Associating familiarly with well-known convivialists, who regarded a wine-debauch as always a welcome episode in the pursuits whether of war or of peace, we have no vestige of a proof that he ever transgressed the bounds of temperance, and there is not a word in his writings that indicates any sympathy with excesses of the table. Living at a time when licentiousness in its foulest forms was professed without shame and practised without rebuke, we have reason to believe that he led a chaste life from his youth; and though as an advocate he was sometimes obliged to refer to subjects and transactions offensive to purity, and in his letters there are passages which might seem out of place in the correspondence of a Christian scholar of the nineteenth century, it may be doubted whether in all his extant writings there is a single sentence inconsistent with what a purist of his own age would have deemed a blameless moral character.

He has been, indeed, charged by some of his biographers with motives of the lowest order in the divorce of the mother of his children after a union of thirty years, and his marriage with a young heiress, his own ward. But by the best standard that he knew, though not by the Christian standard so profligately ignored and outraged in our own section of Christendom, he was more than justified. His wife was no little of a virago, had wasted a great deal of money for him in his absence, and had willed property under her control in such a way as to give him just displeasure; and it appears from his letters that he exercised the then unquestioned right of divorce solely on these grounds, with no specific marriage in view, and that the alliance which he actually made was preceded by overtures both to and from other candidates for that honor. Moreover, the charge of mercenary views in this marriage is negatived by its speedy dissolution on his part, with the sacrifice of the entire and large fortune which it brought to him, on the sole ground that his bride had manifested unseemly satisfaction in the death of his daughter Tullia, whom she regarded as her rival in her husband’s affection.

Yet there were heights of virtue beyond Cicero’s scope. He was wholly destitute of the martyr-spirit. [xvi]He was much of a Sybarite in his habits. His many villas, furnished with equal taste and splendor, gave him the sumptuous surroundings and the aesthetic leisure without which he could not regard even virtue as sufficient for his happiness, and times of enforced absence from wonted pursuits and enjoyments were filled with unmanly complaint and self-commiseration. He loved applause, suffered keenly from unpopularity, and vacillated in his political allegiance, sometimes with the breeze of public opinion, sometimes with his faith in the fortunes of an eminent leader. He often worshipped with manifest sincerity the ascending star, and had little sympathy with fallen greatness. He was thoroughly patriotic, would have sacrificed for his country anything and everything except his own fame, and coveted nothing so much as opportunities like that afforded by the Catilinian conspiracy for winning celebrity by signal service to the republic. He had, too, large and profound wisdom as a statesman; but his best judgment generally came too late for action, so that had he derived a surname from classic fable, it would have been Epimetheus, not Prometheus. As an advocate he was supple and many-sided, yet he always impresses his reader with his sincerity, and probably a prime element of his pre-eminent success in the courts was the capacity of making a cause his own, [xvii]and throwing into it for the time genuine feeling and not its mere eloquent semblance.

His lot was cast in an age when only an iron will could have maintained, along with the conscious integrity which, as I think, characterized Cicero’s whole life, the perfect self-consistency which no stress could bend or warp. When we compare him with his most illustrious contemporaries, it is impossible not to assign to him a preeminent place both as to private virtues and as to public services. It is only when we try him by his own standard that we have a vivid sense of his deficiencies and shortcomings.

Cicero’s only son, with the heritage of his name, Marcus Tullius, seems to have inherited few of his father’s distinguishing characteristics, and not improbably may have borne, in some respects, a close moral kindred to his high-spirited mother. He was impetuous, irascible, headstrong, brave as a soldier, and though indolent except when roused to action, not without ability and learning. At the age of sixteen he served with great credit in Pompey’s army. After the defeat of Pharsalia he was sent to Athens to complete his education. He fell there into habits of gross dissipation, being led astray by one of his teachers. He, however, yielded to his father’s earnest remonstrances, expressed great grief and shame for his misconduct, [xviii]and entered upon a regular and studious course of life, winning high credit with Cratippus his teacher, and receiving warm commendation from his father’s friends resident or sojourning in Athens. He subsequently fought with distinction under Marcus Brutus, and after the battle of Philippi joined Sextus Pompeius in Sicily. Returning to Rome when peace was concluded with the Triumvirate, he was an object of special regard with Augustus, and after holding several offices of lower grade, became his colleague in the consulship. He afterward went as proconsul to Asia Minor, where his name drops from history, which but for his father might never have found place for it.
When it appeared that Brutus and Cassius had effected nothing for the republic, and Antony was becoming all-powerful in the state, in the spring of 44 b. c., Cicero, deeming his life insecure, left Rome, and spent the summer successively at several of his villas in Western Italy. He beguiled his disappointment and sorrow at the issue of public affairs by philosophy and ethics, and this summer seems to have been, at least for posterity, the most fruitful season of his life, being the epoch of the completion of his Tusculan Disputations and his De Natura Deorum, and of the composition of several of his smaller treatises. In June of that [xix]year he says, in a letter to Atticus, that he is writing for his son’s benefit an elaborate treatise on Morals. “On what subject,” he asks, “can a father better write to a son?” In the latter part of the summer he started on a journey to Athens to visit his son, but was recalled by the intelligence of a probable understanding on amicable terms between Antony and the Senate. Deceived in this hope, he repaired to Rome, and pronounced his first Philippic against Antony in the beginning of September. In November he writes again about his ethical work, tells Atticus that he has completed two books and is busy on the third, and announces and explains the title. The work was completed before the end of the year.
Cicero’s time was a period of eclecticism in philosophy, especially so among the cultivated Romans, with whom philosophy was not indigenous, but a comparatively recent importation. Cicero himself was pre-eminently a lover of philosophical thought, study, and discussion, and probably was more intimately conversant with the history of opinions and the contents of books in that department than any man of his time; yet he seems to have lacked profound convictions on the subjects at issue among the several schools. Thus in the De Officiis, while he repeatedly professes his adherence to the New Academy and [xx]the Peripatetic doctrine of morals, he bases his discussion on the Stoic theory, and intimates very clearly that he thought his son safer under the rigid discipline of the Stoic school than under the more lax though wise tuition of his Peripatetic preceptor. It is as if a Mohammedan, while recognizing the divine mission of the Arab prophet, were to write for his son a treatise on the ethics of the New Testament as better adapted than the moral system of the Koran for the training and confirming of a young man in the practice of virtue.
This treatise, then, may be regarded as an exposition of the ethical system of the Stoics of Cicero’s time, yet with a special limitation, purpose, and adaptation. It is not designed for the ideally perfect philosopher, nor for a candidate for that exalted position, but for one on the lower plane of common life. It therefore defines not the moral consciousness of the truly wise man, but the specific duties by the practice of which one may grow into the semblance of true wisdom. Nor does it purport to be a compendium even of these duties. It is simply a directory for a young Roman of high rank and promise, who is going to enter upon public life, and to be a candidate for office and honor in the state. It prescribes the self-training, the social relations, and the habits of living, by which [xxi]such a youth may both deserve and attain distinction and eminence, and the respect and confidence of his fellow-citizens. Of course, many of the details in this treatise were of merely local and transient import and value; but its underlying principles are in such close harmony with the absolute and eternal right that they can never become obsolete. At the same time, the division and arrangement of the treatise give it, so far as I know, the precedence over all other ethical treatises ancient or modern. The division is exhaustive. The arrangement is such as to leave an open space for the insertion and full treatment of any topic within the scope of ethical philosophy.
The First Book treats of the Right. The right consists in accordance with nature, with the nature of things, with the nature of man. Hence is derived its imperative obligation upon the human conscience. Its duties are evolved from man’s own consciousness. Man by his very nature desires knowledge, and craves materials for the active exercise of his cognitive powers. He is by his birth, by his instinctive cravings, by the necessity of his daily life, a gregarious being, a member of a family, of society, of the state, and as such cannot but recognize justice, including benevolence, as his imperative duty. He postulates distinction, eminence, a position from which he can look down on [xxii]earthly fortunes as beneath him, and can sacrifice all exterior good for the service of mankind and the attainment of merited fame. He has also an innate sense of order, proportion, harmony, which can satisfy itself only by practical reference to the due time, place, manner, and measure of whatever is done or said. Hence the four virtues of Prudence or Wisdom, Justice, Fortitude or Magnanimity, and Order, Temperance, or Moderation. These virtues in their broadest significance include all human obligations,1 and form a series of divisions, under one or another of which may be classed every specific duty. Under each of these heads Cicero shows what was demanded by the highest sentiment of his time from a youth of spotless fame and of honorable ambition.
The Second Book has Expediency, or Utility, for its subject. Outside of the province of duty or of things required there is large room for choice among things permitted, — consistent with the Right, yet forming no part of it. The question that underlies this Book is, By what honorable methods, other than the discharge of express duty, can a young man secure for himself the favor, gratitude, assistance, and — in case of need — the suffrages of his fellow-citizens? This Book has its proper place in a treatise on morals, because it is [xxiii]the author’s aim throughout to discriminate between the immoral and the legitimate modes of obtaining reputation and popularity.
The Third Book deals with the alleged or seeming discrepancy between the Expedient and the Right. Cicero denies the possibility of such mutual repugnance, and maintains that whatever is expedient must of necessity be right, and that what is right cannot be otherwise than expedient.
In this translation I have attempted to give, not a word-for-word version of the Latin text, but a literal transcript in English of what I suppose that Cicero meant to write in his own tongue. I have not used his moods and tenses in the instances in which our English idiom would employ a different form of the verb. I have not infrequently omitted the connective and illative words that bind sentence to sentence, in cases in which we should use no such words.1 In the few obscure [xxiv]passages I have sought the aid of the best commentators, but have generally found them hazy or ambiguous in their interpretation where there was any room for doubt. I may have made mistakes in translating; but if so, it has not been for lack of close and careful study, with the help of the best editions which I could procure for myself or find in the Harvard College Library.
I have used Beier’s text as the basis for my translation, and have preferred not to deviate from it even where a different reading seemed to me intrinsically probable; for in every such instance Beier gives satisfactory reasons for his preferred reading, and destitute as I am of the needed apparatus for textual criticism, I cannot but regard his judgment in such a case as much better than my own.

1. Although you, my son Marcus, having listened for a year to Cratippus, and that at Athens, ought to be well versed in the maxims and principles of philosophy, on account of the paramount authority both of the teacher and of the city, — the former being able to enrich you with knowledge; the latter, with examples, — yet, as for my own benefit I have always connected Latin with Greek, and have done so, not only in philosophy, but also in my self-training as a public speaker, I think that you, too, ought to do the same, in order that you may be equally capable of either style of discourse.1 To this end I have, as it seems to me, been of no small service to my fellow-citizens, so that not only those ignorant of Greek literature, but highly educated men also, think that they have [2]gained somewhat from me, both as to public speaking and as to philosophical discussion. Therefore, while you will be the pupil of the first philosopher of our time, and will continue so as long as you please, — and that ought to be as long as you can profit by his instruction, — yet by reading my writings, which dissent very little from the Peripatetics (for both they and I regard ourselves as disciples both of Socrates and of Plato), though on the subjects of discussion I would have you freely exercise your own judgment, you will certainly acquire a fuller command of the Latin tongue. Nor in speaking thus ought I to be regarded as presumptuous. For while in the science of philosophy I may have many superiors, if I claim for myself what belongs properly to the orator, aptness, perspicuity, and elegance of diction, since I have passed my life in this pursuit, it is not without a good measure of right that I proffer the claim. Wherefore I earnestly exhort you, my Cicero, to read carefully not only my orations, but these books of mine on philosophy, which already in bulk are nearly equal to the orations. For while in oratory there is a greater force of expression, the more even and moderate style of writing that belongs to philosophy ought also to be cultivated. And indeed I do not see that it has fallen to any Greek author to exercise himself in both styles, and to pursue at once forensic eloquence and unimpassioned philosophical discussion; unless, perchance, this may be [3]said of Demetrius Phalereus,1 — a keen disputant, and at the same time an orator, though of no great power, yet with a winning grace by which one might recognize him as a disciple of Theophrastus. But what proficiency I have made in either style let others judge; I certainly have pursued both. Indeed, I think that Plato, too, if he had been disposed to attempt forensic eloquence, would have spoken with equal fluency and power; and that Demosthenes, if he had retained and had wished to put into writing what he had learned from Plato, would have done so in a style both graceful and magnificent. I have the same opinion of Aristotle and Isocrates, each of whom, charmed with his own department, held the other in low esteem.
2. But, having determined to write expressly for your benefit something at the present time, much hereafter, I have thought it best to begin with what is most suitable both to your age and to my parental authority. Now, among the many important and useful subjects in philosophy that have been discussed by philosophers with precision and fulness of statement, their traditions and precepts concerning the duties of life seem to have the widest scope. [4]Indeed, no part of life, whether in public or in private affairs, abroad or at home, in your personal conduct or your social relations, can be free from the claims of duty; and it is in the observance of duty that lies all the honor of life, in its neglect, all the shame. This, too, is a theme common to all philosophers. For who would dare to call himself a philosopher, if he took no cognizance of duty? Yet there are some schools of philosophy that utterly pervert duty by the view which they propose as to the supreme good, and as to the opposite extreme of evil. For he who so interprets the supreme good as to disjoin it from virtue, and measures it by his own convenience, and not by the standard of right, — he, I say, if he be consistent with himself, and be not sometimes overcome by natural goodness, can cultivate neither friendship, nor justice, nor generosity; nor can he possibly be brave while he esteems pain as the greatest of evils, or temperate while he regards pleasure as the supreme good. These things, though too obvious to need discussion, I yet have discussed elsewhere.1 Those schools, therefore, can, if self-consistent, say nothing about duty; nor can any precepts of duty, decisive, immutable, in accordance with nature, be promulgated, except by those who maintain that the right is to be sought solely,2 or chiefly,3 for its own sake. This [5]prerogative belongs to the Stoics, the Academics, and the Peripatetics; for the opinions of Ariston, Pyrrho, and Herillus1 were long since exploded, though they might fittingly have discussed subjects pertaining to duty, if they had left any ground for the preference of one thing over another, so that there might be a way open for the ascertainment of duty. In this treatise I shall follow the Stoics, not as a translator, but drawing from their fountains at my own discretion and judgment, as much, and in such way, as may seem good.

I think it fit, however, since duty is to be my sole subject, to define duty at the outset.2 I am surprised that Panaetius should not have done this; for the rational treatment of any subject ought to [6]take its start from definition, that readers may understand what the author is writing about.

3. The discussion of duty is twofold. One division relates to the supreme good in itself considered; the other, to the rules by which the conduct of life may in all its parts be brought into conformity with the supreme good. Under the first head belong such questions as these: Whether all duties are of perfect obligation; whether any one duty is greater than another; and, in general, inquiries of a similar kind. But the duties for which rules are laid down belong, indeed, to the supreme good, as means to an end; yet this is the less obvious, because they seem rather to have reference to the ordering of common life. It is of these that I am going to treat in the present work. There is also another division of duty. Duty may be said to be either contingent or perfect. We may, I think, give the name of perfect duty to the absolute right, which the Greeks term κατόρθωμα;1 while contingent duty is what they call καθη̂κον.2 According to their definitions, what is right in itself is perfect duty; that for the doing of which a satisfactory reason can be given is a contingent duty.

According to Panaetius, in determining what we ought to do there are three questions to be considered. It is first to be determined whether the contemplated [7]act is right or wrong, — a matter as to which there often are opposite opinions. Then there is room for inquiry or consultation whether the act under discussion is conducive to convenience and pleasure, to affluence and free command of outward goods, to wealth, to power, in fine, to the means by which one can benefit himself and those dependent on him; and here the question turns on expediency. The third class of cases is when what appears to be expedient seems repugnant to the right. For when expediency lays, as it were, violent hands upon us, and the right seems to recall us to itself, the mind is distracted, and laden with two-fold anxiety as to the course of action. In this distribution of the subject, while a division ought by all means to be exhaustive, there are two omissions. Not only is the question of right or wrong as to an act wont to be considered, but also the question, of two right things which is the more right; equally, of two expedient things which is the more expedient. Thus we see that the division which Panaetius thought should be threefold ought to be distributed under five heads. First, then, I am to treat of the right, but under two heads; then, in the same way, of the expedient; lastly, of their seeming conflict.

4. In the beginning, animals of every species were endowed with the instinct that prompts them to take care of themselves as to life and bodily well-being, to shun whatever threatens to do them harm, and to seek and provide whatever is necessary for [8]subsistence, as food, shelter, and other things of this sort. The appetite for sexual union for the production of offspring is, also, common to all animals, together with a certain degree of care for their offspring.

But between man and beast there is this essential difference, that the latter, moved by sense alone, adapts himself only to that which is present in place and time, having very little cognizance of the past or the future. Man, on the other hand — because he is possessed of reason, by which he discerns consequences, sees the causes of things, understands the rise and progress of events, compares similar objects, and connects and associates the future with the present — easily takes into view the whole course of life, and provides things necessary for it. Nature too, by virtue of reason, brings man into relations of mutual intercourse and society with his fellow-men; generates in him a special love for his children; prompts him to promote and attend social gatherings and public assemblies; and awakens in him the desire to provide what may suffice for the support and nourishment, not of himself alone, but of his wife, his children, and others whom he holds dear and is bound to protect. This care rouses men’s minds, and makes them more efficient in action. The research and investigation of truth, also, are a special property of man. Thus, when we are free from necessary occupations, we want to see, or hear, or learn something, and regard the knowledge [9]of things either secret or wonderful as essential to our living happily and well.1 To this desire for seeing the truth is annexed a certain craving for precedence, insomuch that the man well endowed by nature is willing to render obedience to no one, unless to a preceptor, or a teacher, or one who holds a just and legitimate sway for the general good. Hence are derived greatness of mind and contempt for the vicissitudes of human fortune. Nor does it indicate any feeble force of nature and of reason, that of all animals man alone has a sense of order, and decency, and moderation in action and in speech. Thus no other animal feels the beauty, elegance, symmetry, of the things that he sees; while by nature and reason, man, transferring these qualities from the eyes to the mind, considers that much more, even, are beauty, consistency, and order to be preserved in purposes and acts, and takes heed that he do nothing indecorous or effeminate, and still more, that in all his thoughts and deeds he neither do nor think anything lascivious. From these elements the right, which is the object of our inquiry, is composed and created; and this, even if it be not ennobled in title, yet is honorable, and even if no one praise it, we truly pronounce it in its very nature worthy of all praise.

5. You behold, indeed, my son Marcus, the very form and, as it were, the countenance of the right, which, were it seen by the eyes, as Plato says, would awaken the intensest love of wisdom. But whatever is right springs from one of four sources. It consists either in the perception and skilful treatment of the truth; or in maintaining good-fellowship with men, giving to every one his due, and keeping faith in contracts and promises; or in the greatness and strength of a lofty and unconquered mind; or in the order and measure that constitute moderation and temperance.1 Although these four are connected and intertwined with one another, yet duties of certain kinds proceed from each of them; as from the division first named, including wisdom and prudence, proceed the investigation and discovery of truth, as the peculiar office of that virtue. For in proportion as one sees clearly what is the inmost and essential truth with regard to any subject, and can demonstrate it with equal acuteness and promptness, he is wont to be regarded, and justly, as of transcendent discretion and wisdom. Therefore truth is submitted to this virtue as the [11]material of which it treats, and with which it is conversant. The other three virtues have for their sphere the providing and preserving of those things on which the conduct of life depends, so that the fellowship and union of society may be maintained, and that superiority and greatness of mind may shine forth, not only in the increase of resources and the acquisition of objects of desire for one’s self, and for those dependent on him, but much more in a position from which one can look down on these very things. But order, and consistency, and moderation, and similar qualities have their scope in affairs that demand not merely the movement of the mind, but some outward action; for it is by bringing to the concerns of daily life a certain method and order that we shall maintain honor and propriety.

6. Of the four heads into which I have divided the nature and force of the right, the first, which consists in the cognizance of truth, bears the closest relation to human nature. For we are all attracted and drawn to the desire of knowledge and wisdom, in which we deem it admirable to excel, but both an evil and a shame to fail, to be mistaken, to be ignorant, to be deceived. In this quest of knowledge, both natural and right, there are two faults to be shunned, — one, the taking of unknown things for known, and giving our assent to them too hastily, which fault he who wishes to escape (and all ought so to wish) will give time and diligence to reflect on the subjects proposed for his consideration. The [12]other fault is that some bestow too great zeal and too much labor on things obscure and difficult, and at the same time useless. These faults being shunned, whatever labor and care may be bestowed on subjects becoming a virtuous mind and worth knowing, will be justly commended. Thus we learn that Caius Sulpicius was versed in astronomy,1 as I myself knew Sextius Pompeius to be in geometry,2 as many are in logic, many in civil law, — all which sciences are concerned in the investigation of truth, but by whose pursuit duty will not suffer one to be drawn away from the active management of affairs. For the reputation of virtue consists wholly in active life, from which, however, there is often a respite, and frequent opportunities are afforded for returning to the pursuit of knowledge. At the same time mental activity, which never ceases, may retain us, without conscious effort, in meditation on the subjects of our study. But all thought and mental action ought to be occupied either in taking counsel as to the things that are right and that appertain to a good [13]and happy life, or in the pursuit of wisdom and knowledge. I have thus spoken of the first source of duty.

7. Of the remaining three heads, the principle which constitutes the bond of human society and of a virtual community of life has the widest scope. Of this there are two divisions, — justice, in which consists the greatest lustre of virtue, and which those who possess are termed good; and in close alliance with justice, beneficence, which may also be called benignity or liberality. The first demand of justice is, that no one do harm to another, unless provoked by injury;1 the next, that one use common possessions as common, private, as belonging to their owners. Private possessions, indeed, are not so by nature, but by ancient occupancy, as in the case of settlers in a previously uninhabited region; or by conquest, as in the territory acquired in war; or by law, treaty, agreement, or lot.2 Thus it comes to pass that the territory of Arpinas is said to belong to the Arpinates, that of Tusculum to the Tuscans, and a similar account is to be given of the possessions of individual owners. Because each person thus has for his own a portion of those [14]things which were common by nature, let each hold undisturbed what has fallen to his possession. If any one endeavors to obtain more for himself, he will violate the law of human society. But since, as it has been well said by Plato, we are not born for ourselves alone; since our country claims a part in us, our parents a part, our friends a part; and since, according to the Stoics, whatever the earth bears is created for the use of men, while men were brought into being for the sake of men, that they might do good to one another, — in this matter we ought to follow nature as a guide, to contribute our part to the common good, and by the interchange of kind offices, both in giving and receiving, alike by skill, by labor, and by the resources at our command, to strengthen the social union of men among men. But the foundation of justice is good faith, that is, steadfastness and truth in promises and agreements. Hence, though it may seem to some too far-fetched, I may venture to imitate the Stoics in their painstaking inquiry into the origin of words, and to derive faith1 from the fact corresponding to the promise.

Of injustice there are two kinds, — one, that of those who inflict injury; the other, that of those who do not, if they can, repel injury from those on whom [15]it is inflicted. Moreover, he who, moved by anger or by some disturbance of mind, makes an unjust assault on any person, is as one who lays violent hands on a casual companion; while he who does not, if he can, ward off or resist the injury offered to another, is as much in fault as if he were to desert his parents, or his friends, or his country. Indeed, those injuries which are purposely inflicted for the sake of doing harm, often proceed from fear, he who meditates harm to another apprehending that, if he refrains, he himself may suffer harm. But for the most part men are induced to injure others in order to obtain what they covet; and here avarice is the most frequent motive.

8. Wealth is sought sometimes for the necessary uses of life, sometimes for indulgence in luxury. In those possessed of a higher order of mind the desire for money is entertained with a view to the increase of the means of influence and the power of generous giving. Thus, not long ago, Marcus Crassus1 pronounced [16]no property sufficient for one who meant to hold a foremost place in the republic, unless its income would enable him to support an army. Others, again, delight in magnificent furniture, and in an elegant and profuse style of living. In all these ways there has come to be an unbounded desire for money. Nor, indeed, is the increase of property, without harm to any one, to be blamed; but wrong-doing for the sake of gain is never to be tolerated. Most of all, however, large numbers of persons are led to lose sight of justice by the craving for military commands, civic honors, and fame. The saying of Ennius,

“Where kingship is concerned,
No social bond or covenant is sacred,”
has a much broader application; for, as to whatever is of such a nature that but few can be foremost in it, there is generally so keen a rivalry that it is exceedingly difficult to keep social duty inviolate. This was recently illustrated by the audacity of Caius Caesar, who overturned all laws, human and divine, to obtain the sovereignty which he had shaped for himself in the vagaries of his fancy. In this respect it is indeed unfortunate that it is, for the most part, in the greatest minds and in men of transcendent genius that the desire for offices civil and military, for power and for fame, is rife. The more heed, therefore, is to be taken against criminal conduct in this matter.

But in every form of injustice it makes a very essential difference whether the wrong be committed in some disturbance of mind, which is generally brief and temporary, or whether it be done advisedly, and with premeditation. For those things which are done from some sudden impulse are more venial than what is done with plan and forethought. Enough has now been said with regard to the infliction of injury.

9. For omitting to defend the injured, and thus abandoning duty, there are many reasons in current force. Men are sometimes unwilling to incur the enmity, or the labor, or the cost involved in such defence; or by mere carelessness, indolence, sloth, or engrossment in pursuits or employments of their own, they are so retarded in their movements as to leave undefended those whom they ought to protect. It will thus be seen that Plato is not entirely in the right when he says of philosophers, that because they are engaged in the investigation of truth, and because they despise and count as naught what most persons eagerly seek and are always ready to fight with each other for, they are therefore just men.1 They indeed attain one part of justice, in injuring no one: they fail as to the other part; for, kept inactive by their zeal for learning, they forsake those whom they ought to defend. Plato thinks, too, that they will take no part in public [18]affairs, unless by compulsion. But it were more fitting that they should do this of their own accord; for the very thing which it is right to do, can be termed virtuous only if it be voluntary. There are, also, those who, either from the over-anxious care of their property or from misanthropic feeling, profess to confine their attention to their own affairs, so as to avoid even the appearance of doing injury to any one. They are free from one kind of injustice: they fall into the other; for they forsake social duty, inasmuch as they bestow upon it neither care, nor labor, nor cost. Since, then, we have assigned to each of the two kinds of injustice its inducing causes, having previously determined the constituent elements of justice, we shall easily ascertain the specific duty of any particular occasion, unless we be blinded by inordinate self-love. However, the care of other men’s concerns is difficult. Although Chremes, in Terence’s play, thinks nothing human indifferent to him, yet because we perceive and feel the things, prosperous or adverse, which happen to ourselves more keenly than those that happen to others, which we see, as it were, at a great distance, we decide concerning them otherwise than we should concerning ourselves in like case. Therefore those give good counsel who forbid our doing that as to the equity of which we have any doubt. For equity is self-evident; doubt implies a suspicion of wrong.
10. But there are frequent occasions when those [19]things which are generally regarded as worthy of a just man, and one of good report, such as the restoring of a trust or the fulfilment of a promise, are reversed, and become the opposite of right, and what belongs to truth and good faith seems to change its bearing, so that justice demands its violation. Here reference is fittingly made to what I have laid down as the fundamental principles of justice, first, that injury should be done to no one, and in the next place, that service should be rendered to the common good. When these principles are modified by circumstances, duty is also modified, and is not always the same. There may perchance be some promise or agreement, the fulfilment of which is harmful to him to whom the promise was made or to him who made it. Thus, to take an instance from the popular mythology, if Neptune had not kept his promise to Theseus,1 Theseus would not have been bereft of his son, Hippolytus; for, of the [20]three wishes which Neptune had promised to grant him, the third, as the story runs, was his demand in anger for the death of Hippolytus, the granting of which plunged him into the deepest sorrow. Promises, then, are not to be kept, when by keeping them you do harm to those to whom they are made; nor yet if they injure you more than they benefit him to whom you made them, is it contrary to duty that the greater good should be preferred to the less.1 For instance, if you engaged to appear as an advocate in an impending lawsuit, and meanwhile your child became severely ill, you would not fail in your duty to your client by breaking your promise; on the other hand, he to whom you made the promise would be false to his duty, if he complained of your deserting him. Again, who does not perceive that promises extorted by fear,2 or obtained by fraud, are not to be kept? Indeed, such promises are made void, in [21]most cases by praetorian edict,1 in some by express statutes.

There are, also, wrongs committed by a sort of chicanery, which consists in a too subtle, and thus fraudulent, interpretation of the right. Hence comes the saying: The extreme of right is the extreme of wrong. Under this head, there have been many violations of the right in the administration of public affairs, as in the case of him who, during a thirty days’ truce with an enemy, ravaged the enemy’s territory by night, on the pretext that the truce had been agreed upon for so many days, not nights.2 Nor can we approve of our fellow-citizen, if the story is true, that Quintus Fabius Labeo, or some one else, — I know of the matter only by hearsay, — being appointed by the Senate as an umpire between the people of Nola and those of Neapolis about their boundaries, when he came to the spot, argued with each party separately that they should not be greedy or covetous, but should rather recede than advance in their demands of each other. When they had [22]both complied with his advice, there remained some territory between these previously contiguous states; and so he fixed their bounds in accordance with their respective claims, and adjudged the intermediate territory to the Roman people.1 This, indeed, is swindling, not arbitration. Shrewdness like this is to be shunned in transactions of every kind.

11. There are also certain duties to be observed toward those who may have injured you. For there is a limit to revenge and punishment, — nay, I know not whether it may not be enough for him who gave the provocation to repent of his wrong-doing, so that he may not do the like again, and that others may be the less disposed to do as he has done. In the public administration, also, the rights of war are to be held sacred. While there are two ways of contending, one by discussion, the other by force, the former belonging properly to man, the latter to beasts, recourse must be had to the latter if there be no opportunity for employing the former. Wars, then, are to be waged in order to render it possible to live in peace without injury; but, victory once gained, those are to be spared who have not been cruel and inhuman in war, as our ancestors even admitted to citizenship [23]the Tuscans, the Aequi, the Volsci, the Sabines, the Hernici; while they utterly destroyed Carthage and Numantia. I could wish that they had not destroyed Corinth; but I believe that they had some motive, especially the convenience of the place for hostile movements, — the fear that the very situation might be an inducement to rebellion.1 In my opinion, peace is always to be sought when it can be made on perfectly fair and honest conditions. In this matter had my opinion been followed, we should now have, not indeed the best republic possible, but a republic of some sort, which is no longer ours. Still further, while those whom you conquer are to be kindly treated, those who, laying down their arms, take refuge in the good faith of the commander of the assailing army, ought to be received to quarter, even though the battering-ram have already shaken their walls.2 In this respect justice used to be so carefully observed by our people, that by the custom of our ancestors those who received into allegiance states or nations subdued in war were their patrons. Indeed, the rights of war are prescribed with the most sacred care by the fecial law3 of the Roman people, from which it may be [24]understood that no war is just unless after a formal demand of satisfaction for injury, or after an express declaration and proclamation of hostilities. Popilius, as commander, held control of a province. A son of Cato served his first campaign in his army. When Popilius saw fit to discharge one of the legions, he discharged also Cato’s son, who served in that same legion. But when the youth remained in the army for love of military service, Cato wrote to Popilius that if he permitted his son to stay, he must make him take a second oath of military duty, else, the term of the first oath having expired, he could not lawfully fight with the enemy. Thus there used to be the most scrupulous observance of the right in the conduct of war. There is, indeed, extant a letter of Marcus Cato the elder to his son Marcus, in which he writes that he has heard of his son’s discharge by the consul, after service in Macedonia in the war with Perseus, and warns him not to go into battle, inasmuch as it is not right for one who is no longer a soldier to fight with the enemy.1

12. In this connection it occurs to my mind that in the early time the name denoting an enemy engaged in actual war was the word employed to denote a foreigner, the unpleasantness of the fact being thus relieved by the mildness of the term; for he whom we call a foreigner bore with our ancestors the appellation which we now give to an enemy. The laws of the Twelve Tables show this, as, for instance, “A day assigned for trial with a foreigner,” “Perpetual right of ownership as against a foreigner.”1 What can more truly indicate gentleness [26]of spirit than calling him with whom you are at war by so mild a name? Yet time has made that word harsher; for it has ceased to denote a foreigner, and has retained, as properly belonging to it, its application to an adversary in arms. Even when there is a contest for power, and fame is sought in war, there ought still to underlie the conflict the same grounds that I have named above as just causes for war. But the wars waged for superiority in honor or in dominion should be conducted with less bitterness of feeling than where there are actual wrongs to be redressed. For as we contend with a fellow-citizen in one way if he is an enemy, in a very different way if he is a rival, — the contest with the latter being for honor and promotion, with the former for life and reputation, — so our wars with the Celtiberi and the Cimbri were waged as with enemies, to determine not which should come off conqueror, but which should survive; while with the Latins, the Sabines, the Samnites, the Carthaginians, Pyrrhus, the contest was for superiority. The Carthaginians, indeed, violated their treaties; Hannibal was cruel; the others were more worthy of [27]confidence. Indeed, what Pyrrhus said about restoring the captives of war is admirable: —

“I ask that you should give no gold, no price;
In war I ply no trade but sword with sword;
With steel, and not with gold, stake we our lives.
Wills queenly Fortune you or I should rule,
Try we by might. And bear this message with you, —
For those whose prowess Fortune spared in battle
Freedom is also spared by my decree.
Lead them away, — I grant, — the gods approve.”1
A sentiment truly royal, and worthy of the race of the Aeacidae.2

13. Still further, if any person, induced by stress of circumstances, makes a promise to a public enemy, good faith must be observed in keeping such a promise. Thus Regulus, in the first Punic war, taken captive by the Carthaginians, sent to Rome to negotiate an exchange of prisoners, and bound by an oath to return, in the first place, on his arrival, gave his opinion in the Senate that the prisoners should not be sent back, and then, when his kindred and friends tried to retain him, preferred returning to punishment to breaking his faith with the enemy.

But in the second Punic war, after the battle of Cannae, the ten men whom Hannibal sent to Rome bound by an oath that they would return unless they obtained the redemption of the prisoners of war, were all disfranchised for life1 by the censors, because they had perjured themselves. Nor did that one of the ten escape who had incurred guilt by the fraudulent performance of his oath. He, having been suffered by Hannibal to leave the camp, returned shortly afterward, saying that he had forgotten something. Then going out again from the camp, he imagined himself acquitted of his oath, and he was so in words alone, not in fact. But in a promise, what you mean, not what you say, is always to be taken into account. The most illustrious example of justice toward an enemy was presented by our ancestors, when the Senate and Caius Fabricius sent back to Pyrrhus a deserter who promised the Senate to kill the king by poison. Thus they refused to sanction the murder of an enemy, and a powerful one, and one who was making war on them without provocation.

Enough has now been said about duties connected with war.

We should also bear it in mind that justice is to be maintained even toward those of the lowest condition. But the lowest condition and fortune is that of slaves, who, it has been well said, ought [29]to be treated as hired servants, to have their daily tasks assigned them, and to receive a just compensation for their labor.1 In fine, while wrong may be done in two ways, either by force or by fraud, the latter seems to belong, as it were, to the fox, the former to the lion, and neither to be congenial with man. Yet of the two, fraud is the most detestable. But of all forms of injustice, none is more heinous than that of the men who, while they practise fraud to the utmost of their ability, do it in such a way that they appear to be good men. Enough has been said about justice.

14. In the next place, as was proposed, let us speak of beneficence and liberality, than which, indeed, nothing is more in harmony with human nature; yet at many points it demands circumspection. In the first place, care must be taken lest our kindness be of disadvantage to those whom we seem to benefit, or to others; in the next place, lest our generosity exceed our means; still further, that our benefactions be apportioned to the merit of our beneficiaries, — a fundamental principle of justice to which reference should be had in whatever we do for others. Now, those who bestow on any person what is likely to be of disadvantage to [30]him to whom they seem to be kind, are to be regarded not as beneficent and liberal, but as harmful flatterers; and those who injure some that they may be generous to others, are as much in the wrong as if they directly converted what belongs to others into their own property. Yet there are many, especially those greedy for show and fame, who take from some what they mean to lavish on others, and these persons think that they shall seem beneficent toward their friends if they enrich them, no matter how. But this is so remote from duty, that nothing can be more contrary to duty. We must, then, take care that in our generosity, while we do good to our friends, we injure no one. Therefore the transfer of property by Lucius Sulla and Caius Caesar1 from its rightful owners to those to whom it did not belong ought not to be deemed generous; for nothing is generous that is not at the same time just. The second caution is that our generosity should not exceed our means; for those who want to be more generous than their property authorizes them to be, in the first place are blameworthy because they are unjust toward their nearest kindred, giving to strangers what ought to be employed for the needs of their own families or [31]bequeathed for their future use. There is, too, connected with generosity of this type, in almost every instance, a disposition to seize and appropriate wrongfully the property of other men, in order to furnish means for prodigal giving. We can see, also, that a large number of persons, less from a liberal nature than for the reputation of generosity, do many things that evidently proceed from ostentation rather than from good will. It was said, in the third place, that in beneficence regard should be had to merit, in which matter we should take into consideration the character of the candidate for our favor, his disposition toward us, the degree of his familiarity and intimacy with us, and the good offices which he may have previously rendered for our benefit. That all these reasons for our kindness should be combined, is desirable; if some of them are wanting, preponderant weight must be given to the more numerous and more important reasons.

15. But since we pass our lives, not among perfect and faultlessly wise men,1 but among those in whom it is well if there be found the semblance of virtue, it ought, as I think, to be our purpose to leave none unbefriended in whom there is any trace of virtue; but at the same time those have the highest claim to our kind offices who are most richly endowed with the gentler virtues, moderation, self-control, and this very justice about which I [32]have said so much. For in a man not perfect or wise, a bold and ambitious mind is generally too impetuous; while the virtues that I have just named seem to be more in accordance with the character of a truly good man. Thus far I have spoken only of the character of those to whom our kind offices are to be rendered. In the next place, as to the good will borne to us, our first duty is to bestow the most on those who hold us in the dearest regard. We ought, however, to judge of their good will not, as young people often do, by ardent expressions of love, but rather by the firmness and constancy of their attachment. But if there are obligations on our part, so that kindness is not to begin with us, but to be returned by us, there is all the greater responsibility laid upon us; for there is no more essential duty than that of returning kindness received. If Hesiod bids us to restore what we have borrowed for use in a greater measure, if we can, what ought we to do when appealed to by unsolicited beneficence? Ought we not to imitate fertile fields, which bring forth much more than they received? If we do not hesitate to confer favors on those who, we hope, will be of service to us, what ought we to be toward those who have already done us service? For while there are two kinds of generosity, one that of bestowing, the other that of returning good offices, — whether we bestow or not, it is for us to choose; but to omit the returning of kindness is impossible for a good man, if he [33]can do so without wronging any one. But there is room for discrimination as to the benefits received; nor can it be denied that the greater the benefit, the greater is the obligation. In this matter the first thing to be considered is, with what degree of earnestness, zeal, and true benevolence one has shown us kindness. For many bestow benefits at haphazard, without judgment or method, or roused to action by some sudden impulse of mind, as if by a blast of wind; and their kindnesses are not to be esteemed so great as those which are conferred with judgment, deliberately and continuously. But alike in bestowing benefit and in returning kindness, other things being equal, it is in the highest degree incumbent upon us to do the most for those who need the most. The contrary is the common habit. Him from whom men hope the most, even if he has no need, they are the most ready to serve.

16. Still further, human society and fellowship will be best maintained, if where there is the most intimate relation, the greatest amount of kindness be bestowed. Here it may be well to trace back the social relations of men to their principles in nature. The first of these principles is that which is seen in the social union of the entire race of man. Its bond is reason as expressed in language,1 which by teaching, learning, imparting, discussing, deciding, conciliates mutual regard, and unites men by [34]a certain natural fellowship; nor in any respect are we farther removed from the nature of beasts, in which, we often say, there is courage, as in the horse and the lion, but not justice, equity, goodness, inasmuch as they have neither reason nor language. Indeed, it is through this society, so broadly open to men with one another, to all with all, that common possession is to be maintained as to whatever nature has produced for the common use of men; so that while those things that are specially designated by the statutes and the civil law are held as thus decreed, according to these very laws other things may be regarded in the sense of the Greek proverb, “All things are common among friends.” Indeed, all those things seem to be common among men, which are of the kind designated by Ennius in a single example, but comprehending many others: —

“Who kindly shows a wanderer his way,
Lights, as it were, a torch from his own torch, —
In kindling others’ light, no less he shines.”
This one instance suffices to illustrate the rule, that whatever one can give without suffering detriment should be given even to an entire stranger. Thus among common obligations we may reckon, to prohibit no one from drinking at a stream of running water; to permit any one who wishes to light fire from fire; to give faithful advice to one who is in doubt, — which things are useful to the receiver, and [35]do no harm to the giver. But since the resources of individuals are small, while the multitude of those who need them is unbounded, this indiscriminate giving should have the limit suggested by Ennius, “No less he shines,” so that we may have the means of generosity to those peculiarly our own.

17. But there are several degrees of relationship among men. To take our departure from the tie of common humanity, of which I have spoken, there is a nearer relation of race, nation, and language, which brings men into very close community of feeling. It is a still more intimate bond to belong to the same city; for the inhabitants of a city have in common among themselves forum, temples, public walks, streets, laws, rights, courts, modes and places of voting, beside companionships and intimacies, engagements and contracts, of many with many. Closer still is the tie of kindred; for by this from the vast society of the human race one is shut up into a small and narrow circle. Indeed, since the desire of producing offspring is common by nature to all living creatures, the nearest association consists in the union of the sexes;1 the next, in the relation with children; then, that of a common home and a community of such goods as appertain to the home. Then the home is the [36]germ of the city, and, so to speak, the nursery of the state. The union of brothers comes next in order, then that of cousins less or more remote, who, when one house can no longer hold them all, emigrate to other houses as if to colonies. Then follow marriages1 and affinities by marriage, thus increasing the number of kindred. From this propagation and fresh growth of successive generations states have their beginning. But the union of blood, especially, binds men in mutual kindness and affection; for it is a great thing to have the same statues of ancestors, the same rites of domestic worship, the same sepulchres. But of all associations none is more excellent, none more enduring, than when good men, of like character, are united in intimacy. For the moral rectitude of which I have so often spoken, even if we see it in a stranger, yet moves us, and calls out our friendship for him in whom it dwells. Moreover, while every virtue attracts us to itself, and makes us love those in whom it seems to exist, this is emphatically true of justice and generosity. At the same time, nothing is more lovable, and nothing brings men into more intimate relations, than the common possession of these moral excellences; for those who have the same virtuous desires and purposes love one another as they love themselves, and they realize what Pythagoras would have in friendship, the unifying [37]of plurality. That also is an intimate fellowship which is created by benefits mutually bestowed and received, which, while they give pleasure on both sides, produce a lasting attachment between those who thus live in reciprocal good offices. But when you survey with reason and judgment the entire field of human society, of all associations none is closer, none dearer, than that which unites each of us with our country. Parents are dear, children are dear, so are kindred and friends; but the country alone takes into her embrace all our loves for all, in whose behalf what good man would hesitate to encounter death, if he might thus do her service? The more detestable is the savageness of those who by every form of guilt have inflicted grievous wounds on their country, and are and have been employed in her utter subversion. Now, if you make an estimate and comparison1 of the degree of service to be rendered in each relation, the first place must be given to our country and our parents, bound as we are to them by paramount benefits; next come our children, and the entire family which looks to us alone, nor in stress of need can have any other refuge; then, afterward, the kindred with whom we are on pleasant terms, and with whom, for the most part, we are in the same condition of [38]life. For the reasons indicated we owe chiefly to these that I have named the necessary protection of daily life; but companionship, conviviality, counsel, conversation, advice, consolation, sometimes reproof also, have their most fruitful soil in friendship, and that is the most pleasant friendship which is cemented by resemblance in character.

18. In discharging all these duties, we ought to consider what is most needful for each person, and what each person either can or cannot obtain without our aid. Thus the degrees of relationship will not correspond with those of the occasions for our kind offices; and there are duties which we owe to some rather than to others, on grounds independent of their connection with us. Thus you would help a neighbor rather than a brother or an intimate friend in harvesting his crops; while in a case in court you would appear as an advocate for your kinsman or friend rather than for your neighbor. These and similar points are to be carefully considered in every department of duty, and we should practise and exercise ourselves so that we may be good calculators of duty, and by adding and subtracting may ascertain the remainder, and thus know how much is due to each person. Indeed, as neither physicians, nor commanders, nor orators, though they understand the rules of their art, can accomplish anything worthy of high commendation without practice and exercise; so, though the precepts for the faithful discharge of duty be delivered, [39]as I am delivering them now, the very greatness of the work which they prescribe demands practice and exercise. I have now shown, with nearly sufficient fulness of detail, how the right, on which duty depends, is derived from the constituent elements of human society.

It is to be observed that of the four sources from which right and duty flow, the greatest admiration attends that consisting in a large and lofty mind which looks down on human fortunes. Thus, when reproach is intended, nothing occurs more readily than utterances like this, —

“Ye, youths, indeed show but a woman’s soul;
That heroine, a man’s;”—
or this, —

“Give, Salmacis,1 spoils without sweat and blood.”2

On the other hand, in panegyrics, our speech rolls on with a fuller flow when we praise deeds that have been wrought with a large mind, bravely and grandly. Hence the field for eloquent discourse about Marathon, Salamis, Plataea, Thermopylae, Leuctrae; hence the fame of our own fellow-countrymen, [40]Cocles, the Decii, Cneius and Publius Scipio; hence the glory of Marcus Marcellus, and of others more than can be numbered; and the Roman people, as a nation, excels other nations chiefly in this very greatness of soul. In particular, the prevailing love for glory in war is manifested in the almost uniform clothing of statues in military attire.1

19. But this loftiness of spirit, manifested in peril and in toil, if devoid of justice, and contending for selfish ends, not for the public good, is to be condemned; for not only does it not appertain to virtue, — it belongs rather to a savageness that spurns all human feelings.2 Therefore courage is well defined by the Stoics as the virtue that contends for the right. No one, then, who has sought a reputation for courage by treachery and fraud, has won the fame he sought. Nothing that is devoid of justice can be honorable. It was well said by Plato: “Not only is knowledge, when divorced from justice, to be termed subtlety rather than wisdom; but also the soul prompt to encounter danger, if moved thereto by self-interest, and not by the common good, should have the reputation [41]of audacity rather than of courage.” Therefore I would have brave and high-spirited men also good and simple, friends of truth, remote from guile, — traits of character which belong to the very heart of justice. But the mischief is, that in this exaltation and largeness of soul obstinacy and an excessive lust of power very easily have birth. For as, according to Plato, the entire character of the Lacedaemonians was set on fire by the desire for victory, so now, in proportion as one surpasses others in grandeur of soul, he is ambitious to hold the foremost place among those in power, or rather, to rule alone. Now it is hard, when you covet pre-eminence, to maintain the equity which is the most essential property of justice. Hence it is that such men suffer themselves to be overcome neither in debate nor by any legal or constitutional hindrance, and in the state they, for the most part, employ bribery and intrigue that they may acquire the greatest influence possible, and may rise by force, rather than maintain equality with their fellow-citizens by justice. But the greater the difficulty, the greater the glory. Nor is there any occasion that ought to be devoid of justice. Therefore not those who inflict, but those who repel, wrong ought to be deemed brave and magnanimous. A soul truly and wisely great regards the right to which the nature of man aspires as consisting in deeds, not in fame; it chooses to be chief rather than to seem so. On the other hand, he who depends [42]on the waywardness of the undiscerning multitude does not deserve to be reckoned among great men. But in proportion to a man’s towering ambition, he is easily urged by the greed of fame to deeds averse from justice. His is a slippery standing-ground;1 for we seldom find a man, who, for labors undertaken and dangers encountered, does not demand fame as the price of his exploits.

20. A brave and great soul is, in fine, chiefly characterized by two things. One of these is the contempt of outward circumstances in the persuasion that a man ought not to admire or wish or seek aught that is not right and becoming, or to yield to human influence, or to passion, or to calamity. The other is that, with this disposition of mind, one should undertake the conduct of affairs great, indeed, and, especially, beneficial, but at the same time arduous in the highest degree, demanding severe toil, and fraught with peril not only of the means of comfortable living, but of life itself. Of these two things, all the lustre and renown, and the utility too, belong to the latter: but their cause and the habit of mind that makes men great lie in the former; for in this is inherent that which renders souls truly great, and lifts them above the vicissitudes of human fortune. Moreover, this first constituent of greatness consists in two things, in accounting the right alone as good, and in freedom from all disturbing passions: [43]for to hold in light esteem, and on fixed and firm principles to despise, objects which to most persons seem excellent and splendid, is the token of a brave and great soul; and to bear those reputedly bitter experiences which are so many and various in human life and fortunes, in such a way as to depart in no wise from the deportment that is natural to you, in no wise from the dignity befitting a wise man, is the index of a strong mind and of great steadfastness of character. But it is incongruous for one who is not broken down by fear to be broken down by the love of gain, or for him who has shown himself unconquered by labor, to be conquered by sensuality. These failures must be provided against, and the desire for money must especially be shunned. For nothing shows so narrow and small a mind as the love of riches; nothing is more honorable and magnificent than to despise money if you have it not, — if you have it, to expend it for purposes of beneficence and generosity. The greed of fame, also, as I have already said, must be shunned; for it deprives one of liberty, which every high-minded man will strive to the utmost to maintain. Indeed, posts of command1 ought not to be eagerly sought, nay, they should sometimes rather be refused, sometimes resigned. One should also be free from all disturbing emotions, not only from desire and fear, but [44]equally from solicitude, and sensuality, and anger, that there may be serenity of mind, and that freedom from care which brings with it both evenness of temper and dignity of character. But there are and have been many who, in quest of the serenity of which I am speaking, have withdrawn from public affairs, and taken refuge in a life of leisure. Among these are the most eminent philosophers, including those of the very first rank, and also some stern and grave men, who could not endure the conduct either of the people or of their rulers. Some, too, have taken up their abode in the country, engrossed in the care of their own property. Their design is the same as that of kings, to lack nothing, to obey no one, to enjoy liberty, the essence of which is to live as one pleases.

21. While the purpose of living as one pleases is common to those greedy of power and to the men of leisure of whom I have spoken, the former think that they can realize it if they have large resources; the latter, if they are content with what they have, and with little. Nor is either opinion to be despised. But the life of the men of leisure is easier, and safer, and less liable to give trouble or annoyance to others; while that of those who have fitted themselves for the public service and for the management of large affairs, is more fruitful of benefit to mankind, and more conducive to their own eminence and renown. All things considered, we ought, perhaps, to excuse from bearing part in public [45]affairs those who devote themselves to learning with superior ability, and those who, from impaired health, or for some sufficiently weighty reason, have sought retirement, abandoning to others the power and the praise of civic service. But as for those who have no such reason, yet say that they despise what most persons admire, places of trust and honor in the military or civil service,1 this, I think, is to be reckoned to their discredit, not to their praise. They, indeed, deserve approval for despising fame and thinking it of no account. But they seem to dread not only toil and trouble, but a certain imagined shame and disgrace from the disappointments and repulses which they must encounter. For there are those who in opposite circumstances fail to act consistently, — who have the utmost contempt for pleasure, yet are unmanned by pain, — who scorn fame, yet are broken down by unpopularity; and these are, indeed, manifest incongruities in a man’s character. But those whom nature has endowed with qualities that fit them for the management of public affairs ought, without needless delay, to become candidates for office and to take the interests of the state in charge; for only thus can the state be well governed, and only thus can commanding power of mind be made manifest. At the same time, for those who undertake public trusts, perhaps even more than for philosophers, there is need of elevation of mind, [46]and contempt of the vicissitudes of human fortune, and that serene and unruffled spirit of which I often speak, in order that they may be free from solicitude, and may lead dignified and self-consistent lives. This is easier for philosophers, inasmuch as their condition in life is less open to the assaults of fortune, their wants are fewer, and in case of adverse events they encounter a less heavy fall. On the other hand, those who hold public trusts are obviously liable to stronger mental excitement, and are more heavily burdened with care than those who live in retirement; and they should therefore bring to their duty a corresponding strength of mind, and independence of the ordinary causes of vexation. But let him who meditates entering on any important undertaking, carefully consider, not only whether the undertaking is right, but also whether he has the ability to carry it through; and here he must beware, on the one hand, lest he too readily despair of success from mere want of spirit, or, on the other hand, lest he be over-confident from excessive eagerness. In fine, in all transactions, before you enter upon them, you should make diligent preparation.

22. Moreover, since military achievements are very commonly regarded as outranking civil service, this opinion needs to be refuted; for wars have often been encouraged from the desire of fame, especially by men of superior intellect and genius, when they have the requisite ability for the [47]service of arms, and are ambitious of the places of command which it offers. Yet if we will only look at facts, there have been many civic transactions that have surpassed feats of arms in importance and in renown.1 Thus, although Themistocles be rightly held in honor, and his name be more illustrious than that of Solon, and Salamis be cited as witness of a most splendid victory which may have a higher place in the popular esteem than Solon’s establishing the Areopagus,2 yet this last must be regarded as no less glorious than the victory. For this was once of benefit; that will always be of benefit to the state, as preserving inviolate the laws of the Athenians and the institutions of their ancestors. And Themistocles could have named no particular in which he could have given help to the Areopagus; while the Areopagus rendered substantial aid3 to Themistocles, the war having been conducted by the counsel of that same Senate established by Solon. The like may be said of Pausanias1 [48]and Lysander.2 Although the common idea is that the Lacedaemonian empire owed its enlargement to their prowess, yet their achievements bear no comparison with the laws and discipline of Lycurgus. For was it not these very institutions that made their armies both more obedient and more courageous? Nor, indeed, when I was a boy, did I regard Marcus Scaurus3 as inferior to Caius Marius; nor, when I was in public life, did I think Quintus Catulus4 inferior to Cneius Pompeius.

“Valor abroad is naught, unless at home be wisdom.”5

Nor yet did Africanus, of rare worth both as a man and as a commander, do greater service to the republic in exterminating Numantia, than at the same time did Publius Nasica, a private citizen, in killing Tiberius Gracchus. This last transaction, [49]indeed, is not wholly of a civil character, — as it was performed by force and arms, it borders on the military; yet it was effected by civic policy without military array. That verse of mine, against which, as I hear, unprincipled and envious men are wont to rail, —

“Let arms yield to the robe, the laurel to the tongue,”1

is by no means devoid of excellence. Not to mention others, when I was at the helm of the republic, did not arms yield to the gown? For there was never in the republic greater danger, and never a more profound peace. Thus by my counsels and my assiduity their very weapons fell speedily from the hands of the most audacious citizens. What equally great achievement was ever performed in war? What triumph is to be compared with it? I may take the liberty of boasting to you, my son Marcus, to whom belong both the heritage of this fame and the imitation of my deeds. Forsooth, Cneius Pompeius, a man rich in military renown, in the hearing of many did me the honor of saying that he would in vain have obtained his third triumph, unless by my service to the state he would have had a place for the celebration of his triumph. There are, then, cases of civic courage [50]not inferior to those in war, nay, demanding even a larger amount of labor and of zeal.

23. Of a certainty, the virtue which we demand of a lofty and large mind is generated by strength of mind, not of body. Yet the body must be disciplined, and brought into a condition in which it can obey counsel and reason in following out affairs to their issue, and in enduring toil. But the virtue which we demand consists in mental care and thought, in which those who preside over the state in the robe of peace, perform no less service than those who take the lead in war. Indeed, by the counsel of the former, wars have been often prevented or terminated, sometimes, also, begun, as the third Punic war, by the counsel of Marcus Cato,1 then dead, whose authority outlived him. Therefore skill in the settlement of controversies is more desirable than courage in disputing them by arms; but care must be taken lest we resort to peaceful measures rather to avoid fighting than for the public good.

But war should be undertaken in such a way that it may seem nothing else than a quest of peace. Moreover, it belongs to a brave and firm man not to be disturbed in misfortune, nor to be so thrown off his balance as to be, in the trite [51]phrase, hustled down from his position, but to take prompt thought and counsel, and not to be betrayed into unreason. While as much as this belongs to a great mind, it is also the part of a man of transcendent ability to anticipate the future in thought, and somewhat beforehand to consider what is liable to happen on either side, and what is to be done in case of any possible event, so as not to be compelled at any time to say, “I had not thought of this.” Such is the work of a mind large, and lofty, and trusting in discretion and good counsel. But to make rash manoeuvres in battle, and to come to close quarters with the enemy, is something savage and beastlike. Yet when occasion and need demand, there must be hand-to-hand fighting, and death is to be preferred to slavery or poltroonery.

24. As to the destruction and plundering of conquered cities, care must be taken that nothing be done precipitately, nothing cruelly; and it is the part of a truly great man, in times of disorder, to punish the guilty, to spare the many, and, whatever takes place, to keep rectitude and honor inviolate. For as there are those, as I have already said, who prefer military to civil service, so you may find many to whom perilous and hot-headed counsels seem more splendid and imposing than calm and deliberate measures. Never, certainly, are we by shunning danger to make ourselves seem tame and timid; but equally are we to avoid encountering needless perils, than which nothing can be more [52]foolish. Therefore, in impending danger, we should imitate the custom of physicians, who employ mild treatment for those but slightly ill, but are compelled to use dangerous and doubtful remedies for severer diseases. Thus it is the part of a madman, in a calm sea to desire a storm with a head-wind; but that of a wise man, to withstand the storm as best he may, especially if the benefits obtained by carrying the matter through successfully are greater than the evil that may be incurred in the conflict. But public transactions are perilous, sometimes to those who undertake them, sometimes to the state; and, again, some run the risk of life, others of fame, and of the good-will of their fellow-citizens. We ought to be more ready to encounter danger for ourselves than for the state, and to contend more promptly for honor and fame than for anything else that concerns ourselves personally.

Yet there have been found many who were ready to pour out not only their money, but even their blood for their country, who would not make the least sacrifice of reputation, even when the well-being of the state demanded it; as, for instance, Callicratidas, who, after having been at the head of the Lacedaemonian forces in the Peloponnesian war, and having repeatedly rendered excellent service, at last reversed everything by rejecting the advice of those who thought it best to remove the fleet from the Arginusae and not to fight with the Athenians. He answered them that the Lacedaemonians, [53]if they lost that fleet, could equip another, while he could not retreat without disgracing himself.1 This was, indeed, to the Lacedaemonians a blow of moderate severity; that, a ruinous one, by which, when Cleombrotus,2 for fear of unpopularity, fought rashly with Epaminondas, the power of the Lacedaemonians utterly collapsed. What a contrast here to the advantage of Quintus Maximus,3 of whom Ennius writes: —

“One man by slow delays restored our fortunes,
Preferring not the people’s praise to safety,
And thus his after-glory shines the more.”
This same kind of error is also to be shunned in civil affairs; for there are those who, for fear of unpopularity, dare not say what they think, even if it be the very best that could be said.

25. In fine, let those who are to preside over the state obey two precepts of Plato, — one, that they so watch for the well-being of their fellow-citizens that they have reference to it in whatever they do, forgetting their own private interests; the other, [54]that they care for the whole body politic, and not, while they watch over a portion of it, neglect other portions. For, as the guardianship of a minor, so the administration of the state is to be conducted for the benefit, not of those to whom it is intrusted, but of those who are intrusted to their care. But those who take counsel for a part of the citizens, and neglect a part, bring into the state an element of the greatest mischief, and stir up sedition and discord, some siding with the people, some with the aristocracy, and few being equally the friends of all. From this cause arose great dissensions among the Athenians, and in our republic it has led not only to seditions, but also to destructive civil wars. Partiality of this kind, a citizen who is substantial and brave, and worthy of a chief place in the state, will shun and abhor, and will give himself wholly up to the state, pursuing neither wealth nor power; and he will so watch over the entire state as to consult the well-being of all its citizens. Nor will he expose any one to hatred or envy by false accusation, and he will in every respect so adhere to justice and right as in their behalf to submit to any loss however severe, and to face death itself rather than surrender the principles which I have indicated. Most pitiful in every aspect is the canvassing and scrambling for preferment, of which it is well said by the same Plato, that those who strive among themselves which shall be foremost in the administration [55]of the state, act like sailors who should quarrel for a place at the helm. The same writer exhorts us to regard as enemies those who bear arms against us, not those who desire to care for the interests of the state in accordance with their own judgment, as in the case of the disagreement without bitterness between Publius Africanus and Quintus Metellus.1

Nor are they to be listened to who think that anger is to be cherished toward those who are unfriendly to us on political grounds, and imagine that this betokens a large-minded and brave man; for nothing is more praiseworthy, nothing more befitting a great and eminent man, than placability and clemency. Moreover, in free states and where all have equal rights, there is a demand for courtesy, and for a soul superior to petty causes of vexation, lest if we suffer ourselves to be angry with those who intrude upon us inopportunely, we fall into irritable habits equally harmful and hateful. Yet an easy and accommodating temper is to be approved only so far as may be consistent with the strictness demanded in public business, without [56]which the state cannot be administered. But all punishment and correction ought to be free from personal insult, and should have reference, not to the pleasure of him who administers punishment or reproof, but to the public good. Care also must be taken lest the punishment be greater than the fault, and lest for the same cause some be made penally responsible, and others not even called to account. Most of all is anger to be eliminated in punishment; for he who enters on the office of punishment in anger will never preserve that mean between too much and too little, of which the Peripatetics make so great account,1 and rightly too, if they only would not commend anger, and say that it is implanted by nature for useful ends. On the other hand, it is under all circumstances to be shunned, and it is desirable that those who preside over the state should be like the laws, which are led to inflict punishment, not by anger, but by justice.

26. Again, in prosperity, and when affairs flow on as we would have them, we should with the utmost care avoid pride, fastidiousness, and arrogance; for it is the token of a frivolous mind to bear either prosperity or adversity otherwise than [57]moderately, and pre-eminently praiseworthy is an equable temperament in one’s whole life, the same countenance and the same mien always, as we learn was the case with Socrates, and equally with Caius Laelius.1 I regard Philip, king of the Macedonians, though surpassed by his son in achievements and in fame, as having been his superior in affability and kindness. Thus the one was always great, the other often very mean, — so as to give good ground for the rule of those who say that the higher our position is, the more meekly we should carry ourselves. Panaetius, indeed, tells us that Africanus, his pupil and friend, used to say, that as it is common to give horses that, from having been often in battle, rear and prance dangerously, into the hands of professional tamers, that they may be ridden more easily, so men, when at loose reins in prosperity, and over self-confident, should be brought, as it were, to the ring2 of reason and instruction, that they may fully see the frailty of man’s estate, and the fickleness of fortune. Still further, in the extreme of prosperity, especially, [58]resort is to be had to the counsel of friends, and even greater authority to be given to them than under ordinary circumstances. In such a condition we must also take heed lest we open our ears to flatterers, and suffer ourselves to be cajoled. In yielding to sycophancy, we are always liable to be deceived, thinking that we deserve the praise bestowed upon us, whence proceed numberless mistakes, men who are inflated by self-conceit becoming the objects of coarse derision, and committing the most egregious eccentricities in conduct. But enough on this point.

From what has been said, it is to be inferred that the most important affairs, and those indicative of the highest tone of spirit, come under the direction of men in public life, their official duty having the widest scope, and extending to the largest number of persons; but that there are and have been many men of great mind in private life, engaged in important investigations or enterprises, yet attending to no affairs but their own; while others, no less great, midway between philosophers and statesmen, are occupied with the care of their property, not, indeed, increasing it by every means in their power, nor yet depriving their friends of the benefit of it, but rather, whenever there is need, giving freely to their friends and to the state. Property thus held should, in the first place, have been fairly obtained, and not by any mean or offensive calling; then it should show itself of service to as many [59]as possible, if they only be worthy; then, too, it should be increased by industry and frugality, and should not lie open to the demands of sensuality and luxury rather than to those of generosity and beneficence. He who observes these rules may live in splendor, dignity, and independence, and at the same time with simplicity, with integrity, and in friendly relations with mankind.

27. I have now to speak of the only remaining division of the right, embracing modesty, which gives a certain lustre to life, temperance, discretion, serenity of soul, and moderation in all things. Under this head is included what we may fitly call decorum, or becomingness;1 the Greeks call it πρέπον.2 The property of this is that it cannot be separated from the right; for whatever is becoming is right, and whatever is right is becoming. In what way the right and the becoming differ is more easily felt than told; for whatever it is that constitutes becomingness, it makes its appearance when the right has gone before; and thus the becoming is not confined to the division of the right now under discussion, but is equally manifest in the three other divisions. For it is becoming to employ both reason and speech with discretion, and [60]to do what you do deliberately, and on every subject to perceive and discern the truth; and, on the other hand, it is as unbecoming to be deceived, to misjudge, to commit grave mistakes, to be deluded into unwise conduct, as it is to be delirious or insane. Then, too, whatever is just is becoming; on the other hand, whatever is unjust, as it is base, is also unbecoming. The case is the same with courage; for whatever is done manfully and high-spiritedly seems worthy of a man, and becoming; whatever is the opposite of this, as it is base, is also unbecoming. Thus this becomingness of which I speak belongs, indeed, to all virtue, and so belongs to it that it is not discerned by any abstruse process of reasoning, but is perfectly obvious. For there is, in truth, a certain something which is becoming — and it is understood to be contained in every form of virtue — which can be separated from virtue in thought rather than in fact. As grace and beauty of body cannot be separated from health, so this becomingness of which I am speaking is entirely blended with virtue, yet is distinguished from it in conception and thought. It has a twofold definition; for there is a certain general becomingness which has its place in every kind of virtue; and another, subordinate to this and included within it, which belongs to single departments of virtue. The former is usually defined somewhat in this way: That is becoming which is in accordance with the superiority of man in those respects [61]in which his nature differs from that of other animals. The special type included under this general head may be defined as designating that as becoming which is so in accordance with nature as to present the aspect of moderation and self-restraint, together with the air and manner that befit ingenuous breeding.

28. That these things are so understood, we may infer from that becomingness which is the poet’s aim, about which I speak more at large in another treatise.1 We say that poets observe what is becoming, when they represent that which befits each individual character as both done and said. Thus were Aeacus or Minos2 to say, —

“No matter how they hate me while they fear me,”


“The very father is his children’s tomb,”3

it would seem unbecoming; for the tradition is that they were just men. But when Atreus4 so speaks, the audience applaud; for the speech befits the character. Now, the poets will determine from the type of the character in hand, what befits each character. To us, however, Nature has assigned [62]a character endowed with great excellence and superiority over other animals. The poets, on their part, in a great diversity of characters, will determine what is suitable and becoming to each, even to the very worst. But since the parts of consistency, moderation, self-restraint, modesty, are assigned to us by Nature, and since the same Nature teaches us not to be indifferent as to the manner of our conduct toward men, we may thus see how broad is the scope, both of that becomingness which belongs to all virtue, and of this which is made manifest in each several kind of virtue. For as the beauty of the body attracts notice by the symmetry of the limbs, and gives delight by the very fact that all its parts harmonize with a certain graceful effect, so this becomingness which shines in the life calls forth the esteem of society by the order, consistency, and moderation of all that is said and done. A certain measure of respect should indeed be shown toward all men, whether in superior position or on the common level; for indifference to the opinion of others is the token, not only of self-sufficiency, but of utter recklessness. But in the treatment of men there is a difference between justice and courtesy.1 It is the part of justice not to injure men; of courtesy, not to give them offence, and it is in this last that the influence of becomingness [63]is most clearly seen. With this exposition, I think that the nature of what we term becoming may be sufficiently understood.

The duty derived from it first leads to conformity with Nature and observance of her fitnesses, whom if we follow as a leader, we shall never err, and shall attain equally that which is in its essence keen and clear-sighted, that which is adapted to human society, and that which is strong and brave.1 But the chief province of becomingness is in the division of virtue now under discussion; for not only movements of the body fitted to nature, but much more those movements of the mind which are in harmony with nature, claim approval. The natural constitution of the human mind is twofold. One part consists in impulse, ὁρμὴ2 in Greek, which hurries a man hither and thither; the other, in reason, which teaches and explains what is to be done and what to be avoided. Thus it is that reason fitly presides, and impulse obeys.

29. Every purpose ought to be free alike from rashness and from negligence, nor ought anything to be done for which a reason worthy of approval cannot be given. This, indeed, is almost a complete definition of duty.3 Moreover, the impulses [64]must be made obedient to reason, and neither get the advance of it, nor yet from stupidity or indolence lag behind it, and they must be quiet and free from all excitement, — a state of things which will show consistency and moderation in their full lustre. For impulses which rove too far, prancing, as it were, either in the pursuit or avoidance of objects within their scope, and not sufficiently held in by reason, evidently transcend bound and measure; for they desert and repudiate obedience, nor do they submit themselves to reason, to which they are subject by the law of nature. By such impulses not only minds, but bodies are thrown into disturbance. You can discriminate at sight the very countenances of the angry, of those who are excited by sensual passion or by fear, or of those who are beside themselves through excess of pleasure, in all of whom face, voice, gait, and posture are changed. Hence, — to return to the delineation of duty, — it is inferred that all the appetites must be checked and calmed, and that watchfulness and care must be on the alert to prevent us from doing anything rashly and at haphazard, inconsiderately and carelessly. For we are not so constituted by nature as to seem made for sport and jest, but rather for sobriety and for certain more weighty and important pursuits. It is, indeed, right to indulge in sport and jest, but only as in sleep and other relaxations, when we have done full justice to grave and serious concerns. Still further, the very style of jesting [65]ought not to be extravagant or immoderate, but in pure taste and with genuine humor. For as we do not give boys the unlimited liberty of play, but only that degree of freedom which is consistent with good conduct, so in jest itself there ought to shine forth something of the radiance of a pure character. There are, in truth, two kinds of jokes, — the one vulgar, impertinent, vicious, obscene; the other, elegant, refined, witty, humorous. This last kind fills not only our own Plautus and the old comedy of the Athenians, but also the books of the Socratic philosophers; and many things of this sort have been wittily said by many persons, as, for instance, those sayings collected by the elder Cato1 which they call ἀποϕθέγματα.2 The distinction between a refined and a vulgar joke is easily made. The one, if not untimely, is worthy of any man at leisure; the other, unworthy of any man above the condition of a slave, if polluted by vile images or filthy words. A certain limit is to be observed [66]in sport, also, lest we run into excess, and, carried away by pleasure, lapse into some kind of disgraceful conduct. Our field1 for athletic exercises, and the amusement of the chase, furnish proper examples of sport.

30. It is appropriate to every discussion of duty, always to bear in mind how far the nature of man excels that of cattle and other beasts. They feel nothing save sensual pleasure, and toward that they are borne by every instinct; but the mind of man is nourished by learning and reflection, is constantly thinking or doing something, and is led by the pleasure and profit derived from what is seen and heard. And even if one is unduly inclined to sensual pleasure, if he only be not on a level with brute beasts, — for there are some who are men, not in fact, but in name, — if he be ever so little above them, although captivated with the mere delight of the senses, he hides and dissembles the appetite for such pleasure from very shame. Hence it is inferred that bodily pleasure is unworthy of man’s superior endowments, and ought to be despised and spurned; and if there be any one who sets some value on sensual gratification, he should carefully keep it within due limits. Thus food and the care of the body should be ordered with reference to health and strength, not to sensual pleasure. [67]Indeed, if we will only bear in mind what excellence and dignity belong to human nature, we shall understand how base it is to give one’s self up to luxury, and to live voluptuously and wantonly, and how honorable it is to live frugally, chastely, circumspectly, soberly.

But it is to be borne in mind that we are endowed by nature as it were with two characters, one of which is common to us with other men, inasmuch as we all partake of reason, and of the traits which raise us above the brutes, from which all that is right and becoming is derived, and from which we seek the method of ascertaining our duty; while the other is that which is assigned to each of us individually. For as in bodies there are great dissimilarities, — we see some excelling in speed for the race, others in strength for wrestling; also in personal appearance, some have dignity, others grace, — so in minds there are even greater diversities. Lucius Crassus and Lucius Philippus had a great deal of pleasantry; Caius Caesar, the son of Lucius, even more and more elaborate; while in their contemporaries, Marcus Scaurus and Marcus Drusus the younger, there was an unusual severity of manner; in Caius Laelius, much mirthfulness; in his friend Scipio, greater ambition, a more austere type of character. Among the Greeks, too, we have learned that Socrates was pleasant and facetious, and had a jocose way of talking, and meant more than he said, one whom the Greeks [68]call εἴρωνα;1 on the other hand, that Pythagoras and Pericles obtained the highest authority in their intercourse with men without any seasoning of mirthfulness. We are informed that, of the Carthaginians, Hannibal was crafty, and of our own commanders, that Quintus Maximus readily practised concealment, kept silence, dissembled, laid snares, anticipated the plans of his enemies. In these traits the Greeks assign the foremost place to Themistocles and Jason of Pherae, and accord pre-eminent praise to the cunning and crafty procedure of Solon, who, for his own safety, and that he might render additional service to the state, feigned insanity.2 There are others of very unlike character, simple and open, who think that nothing should be done covertly or insidiously, votaries of truth, enemies of fraud; others still, who will endure anything whatever, and will be subservient to any one whomsoever, till they attain what they desire, as we saw in the case of Sulla and of Marcus Crassus. Of this class of men we learn that Lysander, the Lacedaemonian, was unsurpassed in crafty [69]plotting and in his power of endurance, while Callicratidas, who succeeded Lysander in the command of the fleet, was of the opposite character. Also in speech, we sometimes see a man of surpassing ability contrive to appear like one of the multitude, as we witnessed in Catulus, both father and son, and in Quintus Mucius Mancia. We have heard from those of an earlier generation that this was the habit of Publius Scipio Nasica, and, on the other hand, that his father, the man who avenged the nefarious enterprises of Tiberius Gracchus, had nothing genial in his address. We learn, too, that Xenocrates, indeed the sternest of philosophers, was on this very score eminent and renowned.1 There are other innumerable diversities of nature and of manners, which yet give no good ground for obloquy.

31. Every one ought to hold fast, not his faults, but his peculiarities, so as to retain more easily the becomingness which is the subject of our inquiry. We ought, indeed, to act in such a way as shall be in no respect repugnant to our common human nature; yet, holding this sacred, let us follow our individual nature, so that, if there are other pursuits in themselves more important and excellent, [70]we yet may measure our own pursuits by the standard of our own nature. For it is of no avail to resist nature, or to pursue anything which we cannot reach. It is the more apparent of what quality is the becomingness under discussion, when we consider that nothing is becoming that is done, as the phrase is, without Minerva’s sanction, that is, with the opposition and repugnancy of nature. In truth, if anything is becoming, nothing surely is more so than uniform consistency in the whole course of life and in each separate action, which you cannot preserve if, imitating the nature of others, you abandon your own. For as we ought to use our native tongue, and not, like some who are perpetually foisting in Greek words, incur well-deserved ridicule, so we ought not to introduce any discordance into our conduct and our general way of living. This difference of natures, indeed, has so much force that sometimes one person ought, and another under the same circumstances ought not, to commit suicide.1 For was the case of Marcus Cato different from that of the others who surrendered to Caesar in Africa? Yet had they killed themselves, they might perhaps have been worthy of censure, because their mode of life was [71]less severe, and their characters were more pliant; while, since Nature had given Cato an incredible massiveness of character, and he himself had strengthened it by undeviating self-consistency, and had always been steadfast in the purpose once conceived and the design once undertaken, it seemed fit for him to die rather than to look upon the face of a tyrant. How many things did Ulysses endure in his long wandering, while he submitted to the service of women, — if Circe and Calypso are to be called women, — and while he strove to be affable and pleasant to all in his whole social intercourse! At home, also, he bore the jeers of slaves and maidservants, that he might attain the object of his desire. But Ajax, with the temper which he is said to have had, would have faced death a thousand times rather than have borne such insults. In view of these things, it will be each man’s duty to weigh well what are his own peculiar traits of character, and to keep them in serviceable condition, and not to desire to try how far another man’s peculiarities may be becoming to him; for that is most becoming to each man which is most peculiarly his own. Let each of us, then, know his own capacities and proclivities, and show himself a discriminating judge of his own excellences and defects, lest performers on the stage may evince more discretion than we do. For they choose, not the best plays, but those the best adapted to their respective abilities, — those who rely on voice, the [72]Epigoni and Medus; those who depend on action, Menalippa or Clytaemnestra; Rutilius, whom I remember, Antiopa always; Aesopus, not often Ajax.1 An actor, then, will look to this fitness on the stage; shall not the wise man have equal regard to it in life? Let us therefore bestow our diligence chiefly on those concerns for which we are the best fitted. But if at any time necessity shall have forced us to undertake things outside of our specialty, we must employ all possible care, thought, and diligence, that we may be able to dispose of them, if not becomingly, yet with the least degree of unbecomingness; nor ought we in that case to endeavor to attain capacities not our own, so much as to avoid mistake or failure.

32. To the two characters which, as I have said, every man must sustain, is added a third, imposed upon us by chance, or by circumstances beyond our power; a fourth, also, which we assume at our own discretion. Posts of authority, military commands, high rank, honors, wealth, and their opposites, at the disposal of chance, are controlled by circumstance. But it depends on our own choice what character we will assume as to a favorite pursuit or profession. Thus some apply themselves to [73]philosophy; some, to the civil law; some, to oratory; and of the several virtues some prefer to excel in one, some in another. Those, indeed, whose fathers or ancestors have held any special distinction, generally aim at eminence in the same department, as Quintus Mucius, the son of Publius, in the civil law; Africanus, the son of Paulus, in military service. But some add to the honors inherited from their fathers a special reputation of their own, as this very Africanus crowned his military renown by eloquence. Timotheus, the son of Conon, also did the like, being fully his father’s equal in military reputation, and adding to it the praise of learning and genius. It is, however, now and then the case that young men, forsaking the example of their ancestors, pursue some plan of their own; and this is the course, almost always, of those who, of obscure origin, set before themselves large aims. All these things ought to be taken into careful consideration when we inquire what is becoming.

At the outset, we should determine in what condition we wish to be, in what kind of pursuits, and whether in private or public life, — a decision the most difficult of all; for it is in early youth, when judgment is the weakest, that one chooses some mode of life with which he has become enamored, and thus is involved in a fixed avocation and course before he is capable of judging what is best for him. For as to what they say of the Hercules of [74]Prodicus, as quoted by Xenophon,1 that when he was just approaching maturity — the time given by nature to every one to choose what course of life he will enter — he went into a solitary place, and sitting there, hesitated long and seriously within himself, which of the two paths before him, one of pleasure, the other of virtue, it was better for him to take, — this might perchance happen to Hercules, the son of Jupiter, but not in like manner to us, who imitate whomsoever we see fit, and feel impelled toward their pursuits and modes of life, yet still oftener, imbued with the advice of our parents, are drawn into their manners and habits; while others, still, are carried away by popular opinion, and make choice of those things that seem most charming to the multitude. Yet some, whether by happy fortune, or by goodness of nature, or by parental discipline, enter upon the right way of living.

33. But the rarest description is of those who, endowed either with the prestige of surpassing genius, or with pre-eminent culture and learning, or with both, have time to deliberate what course of life they would prefer to follow, — in which deliberation the issue should be made to conform to one’s own natural bias. For while in the details of conduct we determine what is becoming from a man’s native disposition, so in ordering the entire [75]course of life much greater care should be taken that we may be consistent with ourselves so long as we live, and may not falter in the discharge of any one duty. But while in determining our course nature has the greatest influence, fortune comes next in controlling power, and account must be taken of both in choosing a mode of life, — yet most, of nature. For Nature is far the more stable and consistent of the two, so that Fortune — herself mortal — sometimes seems to be in conflict with Nature, the immortal. Let him, then, who refers his entire plan of life to his nature so far as it is unvitiated, go on as he has begun (for this is in the highest degree becoming), unless he be made aware that he was mistaken in his choice. If this take place (and it may), a change of habits and of plans is requisite. If circumstances favor this change, we can make it with a good measure of ease and convenience; otherwise, it must be made gradually and step by step, just as it is more becoming, in the opinion of the wise, to unknit gradually friendships which no longer please or satisfy us, than to cut1 them in sunder with a single stroke. But when our mode of life is changed, we ought by all means to take heed that we present some show of sufficient reason. To return to what I said awhile ago as to the fitness of imitating parents and ancestors, an exception is to be made, in the first place, as to their faults, which we are not to reproduce; and, in [76]the next place, if nature will not permit this imitation in certain particulars, — as the son of the elder Africanus1 (who adopted the younger Africanus, the son of Paulus) on account of feeble health could not resemble his father as his father had resembled his grandfather, — if, for instance, one cannot frequent the courts as an advocate, or hold the ear of the people in their assemblies, or conduct military enterprises, he ought at least to exhibit the qualities which are at his own command, justice, good faith, generosity, moderation, temperance, so that public opinion may not require of him those things in which he is inevitably deficient. But the best inheritance that fathers can give their children, more precious than any patrimony however large, is reputation for virtue and for worthy deeds, which if the child disgraces, his conduct should be branded as infamous and impious.

34. Since the same duties are not assigned to different periods of life, some belonging to the [77]young, others to those more advanced in years, this distinction needs to be spoken of. It is, then, the part of the young man to revere his elders, and to choose from among them the best and the most approved, on whose advice and authority he may rely; for the inexperience of early life demands the wisdom of older men for its stability and its right direction. But most of all is this early age to be guarded against sensuality, and to be trained in labor and endurance, both of mind and of body, that the capacity of persistent diligence may be developed alike for military service and for civic duty. Moreover, when the young wish to relax their minds and to give themselves up to enjoyment, let them beware of excess, let them keep modesty in mind, which they will do the more if their elders will interest themselves also in matters of this sort. But for old men it would seem that bodily labor ought to be slackened, while mental efforts are to be even increased. At the same time they should take pains to aid their friends, and the young men, and, above all, the state, as much as possible by their counsel and experience. But nothing is to be more shunned by old age than self-surrender to listlessness and indolence. Luxurious living, too, unbecoming at any period of life, is most shameful for old age; and if to this licentiousness be added, the evil is double; for thus old age at once disgraces itself, and makes the excess of youth still more shameless.

Still further, it is not irrelevant to treat of the duties of magistrates and of those in private life, of citizens1 and of foreigners. It is, then, the special function of the magistrate to regard himself as representing the person of the state, and bound to maintain its dignity and honor, to enforce the laws, to define conflicting rights, and to bear in mind whatever is committed to his good faith. The private citizen ought to live on fair and equal terms with his fellow-citizens, neither cringing and grovelling, nor yet assuming supercilious airs. Then too, in the state he ought to choose those things which are peaceful and honorable; for we are wont to feel and to say that such a man is a good citizen. It is the duty of a foreigner and a temporary resident to do nothing beyond his own business, not to pry into the concerns of other people, and, least of all, to be meddlesome in the affairs of the state in which he is an alien. Thus, for the most part, duties can be ascertained, when the inquiry is raised what is becoming and what is fitting for different persons, occasions, and ages. But there is nothing which is so becoming as to maintain consistency in all that we do and undertake.

35. Since becomingness in all that is done and said has its place also in the movement and attitude [79]of the body, and consists in three things, beauty, order, and attire fitted for the work in hand, difficult to express in words, — but it will be enough if they are felt, — and since in these is included our care to win the approval of those among whom we live, a few things ought to be said as to these particulars. In the beginning Nature seems to have made great account of our bodies, having placed in plain sight our frame and such parts of our structure as have a comely appearance, while she has covered and concealed those parts of the body bestowed for the needs of nature, which might have an unshapely and ugly aspect. This so careful construction of Nature the modesty of men has followed; for the very things which Nature has hidden all persons of sound mind keep out of sight, and are at pains to obey the necessities connected with them as secretly as possible. Moreover, as to these same parts of the body, whose uses are necessary, they call neither them nor their uses by their proper names, and what it is not disgraceful to do, if it be only in secret, it is obscene to name. Thus the open doing of these things and the obscene mention of them are equally liable to the charge of immodesty. Nor is any heed to be given to the Cynics, or to those Stoics who are almost Cynics,1 who make it a matter of reproach [80]and ridicule that we deem things that are not shameful in fact unfit to be called by their right names, while we apply their proper names to things that are really shameful. Thus theft, fraud, and adultery are shameful in fact, but it is not obscene to call them by their names; while to perpetuate one’s family is right in fact, yet obscene in name. On this notion those same philosophers hold prolix arguments at the expense of modesty. But let us follow Nature, and refrain from whatever lacks the approval of eye and ear. Let attitude, gait, mode of sitting, posture at table, countenance, eyes, movement of the hands, preserve the becomingness of which I speak. In these matters there are two extremes to be especially shunned, — on the one hand, effeminacy or daintiness, on the other, coarseness or rusticity. Nor ought it to be admitted that these rules, though proper for actors and public speakers, are matters of indifference to us. The custom of actors, from ancient tradition, carries modesty so far that no one is permitted to go upon [81]the stage without drawers, in the fear that in case of the accidental exposure of certain parts of the body they may present an unbecoming spectacle. Our usage also forbids sons of ripe age from bathing with their fathers, sons-in-law with their fathers-in-law. This kind of modesty is to be adhered to, especially as Nature herself is mistress and guide.

36. While there are two kinds of beauty, in one of which grace, in the other dignity, predominates, we ought to regard grace as belonging to woman, dignity to man. Let then every species of apparel or adornment unworthy of a man be removed from his person, and let him guard against similar faults in attitude and gesture. For the manners of the wrestling ground1 are apt to be somewhat disagreeable, and the affected attitudes of actors frequently give offence; while in the entire carriage of the body whatever is direct and simple receives commendation. Dignity of person is to be made sure by healthiness of complexion, and the complexion is to be maintained by bodily exercise. There should be rendered, with reference to neatness, a regard not offensively remiss, nor yet over-punctilious, just sufficient to avoid rustic and ill-bred slovenliness. The same rule is to be observed in dress, in which, as in most things, that which is [82]becoming lies between the two extremes. Care must also be taken lest in our gait we accustom ourselves to effeminate slowness, like the litters that carry in procession the images of the gods, or when time presses attempt excessive speed, in consequence of which panting ensues, the countenance is changed, the features are distorted, from all which the obvious inference is that there is a lack of stead-fastness in the character. But much greater pains should be taken lest the movements of the mind should transcend their natural equipoise; and this we shall effect if we guard against violent emotions and fits of despondency, and if we keep our minds intent on the observance of what is becoming. But the operations of the mind are of two kinds, — the one of thought, the other of impulse. Thought is occupied chiefly in seeking the truth; impulse urges to action. Care, then, is to be taken that we employ thought on the best subjects possible, and that we make impulse obedient to reason.

37. To pass to another subject, the power of speech being great, and of two kinds, the one of oratory, the other of conversation, let oratory find place in the arguments of courts, popular assemblies, and the Senate; let conversation have its scope in smaller circles, in the discussion of ordinary affairs, in the gatherings of friends, — let it also follow1 [83]convivial entertainments. The rhetoricians give rules for oratory; there are none for conversation. Yet I know not but that conversation might also have its rules. Masters are found when learners want them; but there are none who make conversation a study, while the rhetoricians have crowds of pupils. Yet the rules given about words and sentences apply to conversation no less than to oratory. And since we have the voice as the organ of speech, let us at least attempt two things as to the voice, — to have it distinct, and to have it pleasing to the ear. For both we must of course look to nature; but the one may be improved by practice, the other by imitating those who pronounce neither too broadly nor too rapidly. There was nothing in the Catuli1 that would make you think them of exquisite taste in literature, — though they were men of letters, but only as others are, — yet they were thought to speak the Latin language as perfectly as it could be spoken. Their pronunciation was sweet to the ear; the separate letters were neither drawled nor clipped, so as to avoid equally indistinctness and affectation; they spoke without effort, in a voice neither languid nor shrill. [84]Lucius Crassus1 had a more copious flow of language, with no less humor; yet the reputation of the Catuli as good talkers was fully equal to his. Caesar, the brother2 of the elder Catulus, surpassed them all in wit and humor, so that when he spoke in the courts in his conversational way he was more efficient than other advocates with their set speeches. On all these matters we must bestow labor, if we aim at what is becoming in every detail of conduct.

Let then conversation, in which the followers of Socrates are pre-eminent, be easy, and by no means prolix; let politeness be always observed, nor must one debar others from their part, as if he had sole right to be heard; but, as in all things else, so in social intercouse, let him regard alternation as not unfair. Then, too, let him at the outset consider on what sort of subjects he is talking; if on serious things, let him show due gravity; on amusing, grace. Especially let him take heed lest his conversation betray some defect in his moral character, which is most frequently the case when the absent are expressly ridiculed or spoken of slanderously and malignly, with the purpose of injuring their reputation. For the most part, conversation [85]relates to private affairs, or politics, or the theory and practice of the arts. Pains must then be taken that, if the conversation begins to wander off to other subjects, it be recalled to these. Yet reference must be had to the persons present; for we are not all interested in the same things, at all times, and in a similar degree. We should always observe, also, the length of time to which the pleasure of conversation extends, and as there was reason for beginning, so let there be a limit at which there shall be an ending.

38. But as it is a most fitting rule for the entire life, that we shun passion, by which I mean emotions that transcend the control of reason, so conversation ought to be free from emotions of this kind, that thus no anger or inordinate desire may show itself, and that at the same time there be no appearance of listlessness, or indifference, or anything of the kind. We must also take special care to preserve the bearing of respect and esteem for those with whom we converse. There is sometimes occasion for administering reproof, in which we must perhaps use a greater stress of voice and a keener severity of diction; indeed, this may need to be carried so far as to make us seem under the influence of anger. But we shall have recourse to this kind of oral castigation, as to the cautery and the knife, rarely and reluctantly, nor ever, unless it be necessary in the absence of any other remedy. And at all events let anger be kept far away; for [86]with anger nothing can be done rightly, nothing judiciously. But in most cases we can administer mild reproof, yet combined with earnestness, so that at once due severity may be employed and invective avoided. Moreover, the very bitterness which our reproof carries with it should be made to appear as designed for the benefit of the person reproved. It is right, also, even in our disputes with those the most hostile to us, and even though we receive from them unmerited reproach, to maintain a serious bearing indeed, but to exclude irritation. For what is done under some degree of excitement cannot be done with self-respect or with the approval of bystanders. Still further, it is in bad taste to talk about one’s self, especially to lie about one’s self, and with the derision of the audience to play the part of the Braggart Soldier.1

39. Since I want to make a thorough discussion of everything involving the question of duty, — for such is my purpose, — I ought to say also what sort of a house, in my opinion, should belong to a man in high office and conspicuous station. The ultimate end, of course, is convenience, and to this the plan of the building should be adapted, while at the same time care should be taken as regards [87]stateliness of appearance and amplitude of accommodation. We are told that it redounded to the honor of Cneius Octavius, the first of his family that was made consul, that he had built a splendid house, one in all respects magnificent, on the Palatine Hill,1 which, being seen by the people at large, was thought to have procured for the owner, belonging to a family that had before held no high office, the votes that raised him to the consulship. This house Scaurus demolished, and built where it stood an addition to his own house. And so the former of the two, first of his race, brought the consulship into his house; the latter, the son of a man of distinguished eminence and renown, bore home to his enlarged house on the same spot not only failure as a candidate for the consulship, but disgrace and disaster.2 In truth, high standing in the community should be adorned by a house, not sought wholly from a house; nor should the owner be honored by the house, but the house by the owner. Moreover, as in matters of various kinds one must take account not of himself alone, but of others also, so in the house of a distinguished man, [88]into which many guests are to be received, and a multitude of men of all kinds are to be admitted, care must be taken to have it roomy. Under other circumstances a very large house is apt to bring discredit to its owner if it have the air of loneliness, especially if under some former owner it used to be thronged. For it is offensive to have it said by those who pass by, —

“O ancient house! Ah, how unlike a lord
Now lords it over thee!”1
which in these times may be said about many a house. But special care should be taken, if you build yourself, not to go beyond reasonable limits in costliness and splendor. In such extravagance great mischief is done by mere example; for very many are anxious, especially in this direction, to follow the example of distinguished men. Thus who imitates the virtue of Lucius Lucullus, a man of the highest character? But how many have imitated the magnificence of his villas!2 Here there certainly is need of a limit, and of a return to a moderate standard. This same standard ought [89]to be applied to the entire habit and style of living. But enough on this head.

In whatever we do there are three things to be endeavored. The first is that impulse be subservient to reason, than which there is no more fitting rule for the observance of duty. In the next place, we should make ourselves acquainted with the magnitude of the object in hand, so that we may take upon ourselves neither more nor less care and labor than the case demands. The third rule is that the outlay for show and parade be brought within moderate limits; and those limits are best kept when we maintain the becomingness of which I have already spoken, and suffer ourselves not to go beyond it. Yet of these three the most excellent is that impulse should be subservient to reason.

40. In the next place, I am to speak of the order of our doings and the fit arrangement of time, which are comprehended in the science which the Greeks term εὐταξίαν, yet not in its sense of moderation (which involves the idea of measure or quantity), but in that sense of εὐταξία1 which implies the observance of order in time and place. Yet in favor of our calling this moderation, we might cite the definition of the Stoics, who say that moderation is the art of putting in the right place whatever is done or said. Thus the import of order and that of collocation seem identical with [90]it; for they define order to be the putting of things in fit and suitable places, and say that the fit time is the place of an action, — the fit time for an action, which we call occasion, being called in Greek εὐκαιρία.1 Thus it is that moderation, which I interpret as I have said, comes to denote skill in determining the fitness of times for specific acts. But the same definition may be given of prudence, of which I treated in the earlier part of this essay.2 Here, however, our subject is regularity, self-control, and virtues of that kind. What belongs peculiarly to prudence has been spoken of in its proper place; but of the class of virtues which has of late occupied our attention, it remains for me to [91]speak of what may fall under the head of modesty and of regard for the approval of those among whom we live.

Such, then, should be the order applied to whatever we do, that, as in a coherent speech, so in the life, all things should be fitted to one another, and in harmony with one another. For it is disgraceful and exceedingly blameworthy, on a serious subject to introduce the kind of talk that belongs to a festive occasion, or any wanton strain of utterance. When Pericles had Sophocles for a colleague in military command, and they had met on their common official duty, and, a handsome boy happening to pass by, Sophocles said, “Oh, Pericles, what a beautiful boy!” Pericles very fittingly answered, “It becomes a commander, Sophocles, to have his eyes as abstinent1 as his hands.”2 Yet had Sophocles said the same at a trial of skill among athletes, he would have incurred no just censure. So great is the significance of both place and time. Thus, if one who is going to plead a cause should, on a journey or in walking, be self-absorbed in meditation, or if at such a time he be wrapt in earnest thought on any other subject, he cannot be blamed; but if he present this appearance on a festive occasion, he would be regarded as ill-bred, because unmindful of the fitness of time. Such things, indeed, as are at a very great remove from propriety, like singing in the forum, or any [92]other gross misconduct, are readily perceived, nor do they stand in special need of admonition and direction. But one should avoid with peculiar care offences that seem small, and cannot be appreciated by the many. As in stringed instruments or flutes an expert detects discord, however slight, so we should in our lives be on the watch for even the least discord, and all the more so, inasmuch as the harmony of actions is greater and better than that of musical notes.

41. Therefore, as in stringed instruments the ears of musicians detect the slightest falsity of tone, so shall we, if we are willing to be keen and careful observers of faults, often learn great things from small. From the glance of the eyes, from the expansion or contraction of the brows, from depression, from cheerfulness, from laughter, from the tone of the voice, from silence, from a higher or lower key of utterance, and other similar tokens, we may easily determine which of the greater things that they typify are fittingly done and which of them are at variance with duty and nature. Nor is it unsuitable in matters of this sort to judge of the character of our actions by looking at others, so that we may ourselves avoid whatever is unbecoming in them; for it is the case — I know not how — that we perceive any delinquency more readily in others than in ourselves. Therefore those pupils whose faults their masters mimic in order to cure them are most easily corrected. Nor yet is it out [93]of place, before forming our judgment in doubtful cases, to consult men of superior natural intelligence or those who have become wise by experience, and to ask them what they think as to any matters in which the question of duty is involved. Indeed, most persons are wont to be drawn in nearly the direction in which their nature leads them, and we want to learn of men, not merely what they say, but what they think, and also why.1 As painters, and sculptors, and poets, too, like to have their work pass under review by the people, that if any fault is found by a considerable number of persons it may be corrected, and as they earnestly inquire both of themselves and of others wherein the fault consists, so for us there are many things to be done and left undone, and changed and corrected by the opinion of others. Concerning things done by established custom or in order to obey the laws of the state, there are no rules to be given; for custom and law are themselves rules. Nor ought any one to be led into the error of supposing that, if Socrates or Aristippus2 did or said [94]anything contrary to custom and to legal usage, he may regard the like as lawful for himself. They obtained this liberty by superior and divine endowments. The entire system of the Cynics also is to be shunned; for it is opposed to modesty, without which there can be neither right nor honor. But we ought to respect and revere those whose life has been passed in the transaction of honorable and important affairs, who have a right feeling toward the state, and have rendered or are still rendering it service, no less than those in civil office or military command; to pay great deference to old age; to yield precedence to the magistrates; to make a distinction between citizens and foreigners, and in the case of foreigners, between those who come in a private and those who come in a public capacity. In short, not to treat of particulars, we ought to cherish, defend, preserve, the common harmony and fellowship of the whole human race.

42. Now as to the trades and modes of getting gain that are to be regarded as respectable,1 and those that are to be deemed mean and vulgar, the general opinion is as follows: In the first place, those callings are held in disesteem that come into collision with the ill will of men, as that of taxgatherers, as that of usurers. The callings of hired [95]laborers, and of all who are paid for their mere work and not for skill, are ungenteel1 and vulgar; for their wages are given for menial service. Those who buy to sell again as soon as they can are to be accounted as vulgar; for they can make no profit except by a certain amount of falsehood, and nothing is meaner than falsehood. All mechanics are engaged in vulgar business; for a workshop can have nothing respectable about it. Least of all can we speak well of the trades that minister to sensual pleasures, —

“Fishmongers, butchers, cooks, poulterers, and fishermen,”

as Terence says. Add, if you please, to this list perfumers, ballet-dancers, and the whole tribe of dice-players. The professions which require greater skill and are of no small benefit to the community, such as medicine, architecture, the instruction of youth in liberal studies, are respectable for those whose rank they suit.2 Commerce,3 if on a [96]small scale, is to be regarded as vulgar; but if large and rich, importing much from all quarters, and making extensive sales without fraud, it is not so very discreditable. Nay, it may justly claim the highest regard, if the merchant, satiated, or rather contented with his profits, instead of any longer leaving the sea for a port,1 betakes himself from the port itself to an estate in the country. But of all means of acquiring gain nothing is better than agriculture, nothing more productive, nothing more pleasant, nothing more worthy of a man of liberal mind. Since I have said enough of this in my Cato Major, you will find there what belongs to the subject.

43. I think that I have sufficiently expounded the way in which specific duties are derived under the several divisions of the right. But as to the very things that are right there may be sometimes a question as to alternatives,2 of two right things which is the more imperatively right, — a subject omitted by Panaetius. Since all that is right is deduced from four divisions of virtue, the first, knowledge; the second, social obligation; the third, elevation of mind; the fourth, moderation, — these must of necessity be often brought into comparison with one another in determining a specific duty.

In my opinion the duties derived from the relations of society have a closer adaptation to nature1 than those which are derived from knowledge, as may be established by this argument, — that should such a life fall to the lot of a wise man that in the full abundance of all things and in entire leisure he could consider and contemplate within his own mind whatever is worth knowing, yet, were his solitude such that he could never see a human face, he would rather die. Then, too, the chief of all the virtues, that wisdom which the Greeks term σοϕίαν2 (for prudence, which the Greeks call ϕρόνησιν,3 has another, narrower meaning, namely, the knowledge of things to be sought and shunned), — the wisdom which I have designated as chief of the virtues is the knowledge of things divine and human, which comprises the mutual fellowship and communion of gods and men. But if wisdom is the greatest of the virtues, as it undoubtedly is, it follows of necessity that the duty derived from this fellowship and communion is the greatest of duties. Moreover, the knowledge and contemplation of nature are [98]somehow defective and imperfect, unless they lead to some result in action; and this appropriate action is best recognized in care for the well-being of mankind. The virtue from which it springs belongs, then, to the sodality of the human race, and is therefore to be preferred to knowledge. That this is so, every excellently good man shows and indicates in very deed. For who is there so deeply interested in penetrating and understanding the nature of things, that if, while he is handling and contemplating subjects most worthy of being understood, there is suddenly announced to him some danger and peril of his country in which he can render aid and succor, will not abandon and fling away his learned pursuits, even though he imagines that he can number the stars and find out the dimensions of the universe? And he would do the same thing in the business or in the peril of a father or a friend. It is thus seen that the duties of justice which concern the interests of our fellow-men, than which nothing ought to be more sacred to man, are to have precedence over the pursuits and duties of knowledge.

44. Now those whose pursuits and whose entire life have been devoted to the acquisition of knowledge, have nevertheless not withdrawn from the obligation of contributing to the advantage and benefit of mankind; for they have so instructed many as to make them better citizens and more useful to their respective states. Thus Lysis, the [99]Pythagorean, taught Epaminondas of Thebes, and Plato was the preceptor of Dion of Syracuse, and many others have had numerous pupils. I myself, in whatever I have contributed to the well-being of the state (if I have indeed contributed anything), entered upon the public service well furnished in point of teachers and teaching. Nor is it only when these men are living and present that they instruct and teach those desirous of learning; but they follow up this same work even after death by the records of their knowledge and wisdom. For there is no topic omitted by them that could relate to laws, to morals, to the government of the state; so that they seem to have bestowed their leisure on our business.1 Thus the very men who are devoted to the pursuit of learning and wisdom employ their intelligence and practical discretion chiefly for the benefit of mankind. Therefore it is better to speak fluently, if wisely, than to think, no matter with what acuteness of comprehension, if the power of expression be wanting; for thought begins and ends in itself, while fluent speech extends its benefit to those with whom we are united in fellowship. Moreover, as swarms of bees are not gathered for the purpose of making honeycombs, but make honeycombs because they are gregarious by nature, so, and even much more, men, sociable by nature, [100]bring to their union skill in joint and associate action. Therefore, unless the virtue which consists in caring for the well-being of men, that is, in the maintenance of human society, accompany the knowledge of things, that knowledge must seem isolated and meagre; and equally loftiness of mind, if divorced from human society and fellowship, becomes mere brutality and savageness. Thus it is that the society and fellowship of men transcend in importance the pursuit of knowledge. Nor is it true, as some say, that it is on account of the necessities of life — because we could not obtain and accomplish what nature demands without the aid of others — that fellowship and society were initiated among men, but that if everything appertaining to subsistence and comfortable living were supplied for us, so to speak, as by a magic wand, every person of excelling genius, giving up all other concerns, would occupy himself wholly in knowledge and science. It is not so; for man in that case would shun solitude, and seek companionship in his pursuits, — would want now to teach, then to learn; now to hear, then to speak. Therefore every form of duty which is of avail for the union of men and the defence of society is to be regarded as of higher obligation than the duty which is dependent on abstract study and science.

45. It may perchance be asked whether this human fellowship which is most closely allied to nature is also always to have the precedence over [101]modesty and decency. I think not. For there are certain things, some so repulsive, some so scandalous, that a wise man would not do them even to save his country. Posidonius1 has brought together a great many of these things, some of them so foul, so indecent, that it would be offensive even to name them. These things, then, one will not do for the sake of the state, nor yet will the state demand that they should be done for its sake. But the question is the more easily settled, inasmuch as there cannot come any crisis in which it can be for the interest of the state that a wise man should do any of these things.

This, then, may be regarded as settled, that in choosing between conflicting duties preference must be given to the class of duties essential to the maintenance of human society. Moreover, considerate action is the result of knowledge and prudence. It therefore follows that to act considerately is of more worth than to think wisely.2 But I have said enough on this point; for this division of the subject has been so laid open that it cannot be difficult in an inquiry as to duty to see in any particular case which duty is to be regarded as of prime and which of secondary obligation.

But in society itself there are gradations of duties, from which it may be determined what one owes in any individual relation. Thus we are bound in obligation, first to the immortal gods, secondly to our country, thirdly to our parents, then by successive degrees to other persons more or less nearly related to us.

From this brief discussion light may be thrown, not only on the question whether certain specific acts are right or wrong, but also, when the choice lies between two right things, on the question which of the two is of the highest obligation. This last head, as I said above, is omitted by Panaetius. Let us go on now to what remains of the subject.


1. I think, my son Marcus, that it has been sufficiently explained in my first book how duties are to be derived from the right, and from each of the four virtues which I named as divisions of the right. It comes next in order, to treat of those kinds of duties that belong to the adornment of life and the command of its utilities, to influence and resources of every description. Under this head I have said that the inquiry is, first, what is expedient and what inexpedient, and then, of expedient things which is the more expedient, which the most expedient. I shall proceed to the discussion of these things, after saying a few words concerning my design and method in writing on philosophical subjects.

Although, indeed, my books have roused not a few to the desire not only of reading, but of writing, still I sometimes fear that the mere name of philosophy may be offensive to certain worthy men, and that they may marvel that I spend so much labor and time upon it. In truth, so long as the state was administered by men of its own choice, I bestowed upon it all my care and thought. But [104]when all things were held under the absolute sway of one man, and there was no longer room for advice or influence, while at the same time I had lost my associates in the guardianship of the state, men of the highest eminence, I did not abandon myself to melancholy, which would have consumed me had I not resisted it, nor yet, on the other hand, to sensual pleasures unworthy of a philosopher. And oh that the state had continued in the condition in which it recommenced its life,1 and had not fallen into the hands of men desirous not so much of reforming as of revolutionizing its constitution! In that case, in the first place, as I used to do when the state stood on a firm basis, I should expend more labor in pleading than in writing; and in the next place, I should commit to writing not the subjects now in hand, but my arguments before the courts, as I have often done. But when the state, on which all my care, thought, labor, used to be expended, had utterly ceased to be, my forensic and senatorial literature was of course silenced. Yet since my mind could not be unemployed, having been conversant with these studies from my early days, I thought that my chagrin could be most honorably laid aside if I betook myself to philosophy, to which I devoted a large part of my youth as a learner, while after I began to hold [105]important offices and gave myself wholly to the service of the state, philosophy had as much of my time as was not taken up by the claims of my friends and the public. Yet this time was all consumed in reading; I had no leisure for writing.

2. I seem, then, in the severest calamities to have attained at least this good fortune, that I am able to commit to writing subjects not sufficiently familiar to my fellow-countrymen, and yet preeminently worthy of their cognizance. For what, in the name of the gods, is more desirable than wisdom? What more to be prized? What better? What more worthy of man? It is the seekers of this, then, who are called philosophers; nor is philosophy, if you undertake to translate it, anything else than the love of wisdom. But wisdom, as defined by the ancients, is the knowledge of things divine and human, and of the causes by which these things are kept in harmony. I cannot well understand what he who blames the pursuit of this knowledge can regard as commendable. For if gratification of the mind and repose from care be sought, what pleasure can be compared with the pursuits of those who are always searching out what may look and tend toward a good and happy life? Or if regard is paid to consistency of character and to virtue, either this is the science1 by which we may attain them, or there is none at all. To say that there is no science of these greatest of human interests [106]when there are none of the smallest concerns that have not their science, is the language of men who talk without thinking, and who deceive themselves in matters of the highest moment. Then, too, if there is any instruction in virtue, where should it be sought, when you turn away from this department of learning? But these things are usually discussed with greater precision in urging readers to the study of philosophy, as I have done in another treatise.1 My present purpose was simply to say why, deprived of opportunities for the service of the state, I chose this department of study above all others.

It is objected to me, and that too by educated and learned men, that I seem not to act consistently, when I say that nothing can be known with certainty, and yet am accustomed to give my opinion on other subjects, and am now setting forth the rules of duty. I could wish that these persons had an adequate understanding of my philosophical doctrine.2 For I am not one of those whose minds drift about in uncertainty, and never have any definite aim. Indeed, what sort of an intellect, or rather of a life, would remain, if fixed principles not only of reasoning, but of conduct, were abolished? This is not my case; but while others say that some things are certain, some doubtful, so I, differing from them, call some things probable, some improbable. What is there, then, that can [107]hinder me from pursuing those things that seem to me probable, rejecting those things that seem improbable, and, while I shun the arrogance of positive assertion, escaping the recklessness which is at the farthest remove from wisdom? All opinions are controverted by our school, on the ground that this very probability cannot be brought to light unless by a comparison of the arguments on both sides. These things, however, are, as I think, expounded with sufficient care in my Academics. But though you, my Cicero, are becoming versed in the most ancient1 and noble of philosophies, under the guidance of Cratippus, who bears the closest resemblance to the illustrious founders of the school, I am unwilling that these speculations of mine, nearly allied to those of your school, should be unknown to you. But let us now take up the plan proposed for our discussion.

3. At the outset I proposed for the full discussion of duty five divisions, two relating to what is becoming and right; two to the conveniences of life, resources, influence, wealth; the fifth to the determination of our choice, whenever the right and the expedient might seem mutually repugnant. The divisions relating to the right, which I would have you thoroughly understand, are finished. This [108]of which I am now going to treat is what is termed expediency, with reference to which custom has turned out of the right way, and has been gradually brought to the point of separating the right from the expedient, and of maintaining that what is not expedient may be right, and what is not right, expedient, than which there could be no doctrine more pernicious to human well-being. There are, indeed, philosophers of the very highest authority who on strict and tenable grounds make a distinction in theory between three several kinds of excellence, which yet, as they admit, are inseparable in their nature; for whatever is just they regard as expedient, and likewise what is right as just. Hence it follows that whatever is right is also expedient.1 Those who imagine that the distinction is not in mere theory, but in fact, often admiring adroit and crafty men, take roguery for wisdom. Their mistake ought to be eliminated, and the universal opinion brought over to the hope that men may learn to expect the attainment of what they desire by right purposes and honest deeds, not by fraud and roguery.

The means of sustaining human life are in part inanimate, as gold, silver, the products of the earth, and other things of that sort; in part, living beings that have their own instincts and appetites. Of these last some are destitute of reason, others are rational. Those destitute of reason are horses, oxen, other [109]cattle, bees, by whose labor contribution is made to the service and subsistence of men. Of the rational there are named two classes, — the one of gods, the other of men. Reverence and purity will make the gods propitious. But next to and close after the gods, men can be of the greatest service to men. The same division applies to those things that cause injury and obstruction. But because it is thought that the gods do no injury, these being out of the question, men are regarded as most of all interfering injuriously with men.

Indeed, the very things that I have called inanimate are produced for the most part by the labor of men, nor could we have them unless handicraft and skill had given their aid, nor could we utilize them except under the management of men. Nor without the labor of man could there be any care of health, or cultivation of the soil, or harvesting and preservation of grain and other products of the ground. Nor could there be the exportation of our superfluous commodities, nor the importation of those in which we are lacking, unless men performed these offices. By parity of reason the stones that we need for our use could not be quarried from the earth,

“Nor iron, brass, silver, gold, be dug from their deep caverns,”1

without the labor and handicraft of men.

4. Whence, indeed, could houses, to dispel the severity of the cold and to allay the discomfort of the heat, have been furnished for mankind in the beginning, or how could they have been repaired, when made ruinous by storm, or earthquake, or age, unless society had learned to seek aid in these things from men? Take into the account also aqueducts, canals, works for the irrigation of fields, breakwaters, artificial harbors. Whence could we have these without the labor of men? From these and many other things it is obvious that we could in no wise have received the revenues and uses derived from inanimate objects without the skill and labor of men. Then, again, what revenue or what convenience could be derived from beasts, unless by the aid of men? For it was men certainly who were foremost in discovering what use we might make of the several beasts in our service; nor could we now without the labor of men either feed them, or tame them, or keep them, or receive returns from them in their season.1 By men also those beasts that do harm are killed, and those that can be of use are captured. Why should I enumerate the multitude of arts without which life could not have been at all? How would the sick be cured, what would be the enjoyment of the healthy, what would be our food or our mode of living, did not so many arts give us their ministries? It is by these things [111]that the civilized life of men is so far removed from the subsistence and mode of living of the beasts. Cities, too, could not have been built and peopled but for the association of men, in consequence of which laws and rules of moral conduct have been established, as also an equitable distribution of rights, and a systematic training for the work of life. These things have been followed by mildness of disposition and by modesty, and the consequence is that human life is better furnished with what it needs, and that by giving, receiving, and interchanging commodities and conveniences we may have all our wants supplied.

5. I am dwelling on this subject longer than is necessary; for who is there to whom what Panaetius says with no little prolixity is not perfectly obvious, that no one, either as a military commander or as a civil magistrate, could ever have carried into effect important and serviceable measures without the zealous co-operation of men? He names Themistocles, Pericles, Cyrus, Agesilaus, Alexander, who, he says, could not have accomplished such great things without the aid of men. He cites witnesses that are unnecessary in a matter beyond doubt.

Still further, as we obtain great benefits by the sympathy and co-operation of men, so there is no degree of evil, however execrable, which may not spring from man for man. There is extant a book [112]about the destruction of men,1 by Dicaearchus, a distinguished and eloquent Peripatetic, who, after enumerating other causes, — such as inundation, pestilence, perils of the desert, the sudden inrush of destructive beasts2 (by whose assaults, he says, whole races of men have been consumed), — then shows by comparison how many more men have been exterminated by the violence of men, that is, by wars or seditions, than by all other forms of calamity.

Since, then, there is no doubt on this point, that men transcend all other causes both of benefit and of injury to men, I maintain that it is a special property of virtue to conciliate the minds of men, and to make them availing for its own uses. Thus, while whatever in inanimate objects and in the use and management of beasts redounds to human benefit is to be ascribed to the mechanic arts, the [113]good will of men, prompt and ready for the improvement of our condition, is elicited only by the wisdom and virtue which belong to men of superior excellence.

Indeed, all virtue may be said to consist in three things,1 one of which lies in the clear discernment of what is true and real in every subject, of the correspondences of things, of their consequences, sources, and causes; the second, in the restraining of those troubled movements of mind which the Greeks call πάθη,2 and in making the impulses which they call ὁρμάς3 obedient to reason; the third, in the considerate and wise treatment of those with whom we are associated, by whose good will we may have in full and overflowing measure whatever nature craves, and by whose agency we may ward off impending evil, may exact retribution of those who attempt to do us harm, and visit them with such punishment as justice and humanity will permit.

6. By what means we can attain this capacity of winning and holding men’s affections, I will shortly expound; but there are a few things to be said first. Who does not know that Fortune has great power on either side, whether toward prosperous or adverse [114]events? For when we sail under her propitious breath, we reach our desired port, and when she sends a contrary wind, we founder. Fortune herself, then, occasions some calamities — though comparatively rare — independently of human agency: in the first place, from inanimate things, as by gales, tempests, shipwrecks, falling buildings, conflagrations; then from beasts, by stings, bites, assaults. These, as I have said, are comparatively infrequent. But the destruction of armies, as of three very recently,1 and of many others in former times; the murder of commanders, as lately that of an eminent and remarkable man;2 the enmity, also, of the multitude, and by its means the exile,3 ruin, flight, often of well-deserving citizens; and, on the other hand, prosperous events, civic honors, military commands, victories, — these, although they are partly dependent on fortune, cannot be brought to pass on either side without the aid and endeavor of men. This, then, being understood, I am to explain how we can elicit and call forth the good will of men for our own benefit. If the discussion shall seem too long, let it be compared with the advantage to be derived from it. It will then, perhaps, seem too brief.

Whatever, then, men bestow upon a man to enrich and ennoble him, they do it, either from kind feeling to a person whom for some reason they hold dear; or from respect for one to whose virtue they look up, and whom they think worthy of as ample good fortune as can accrue to him; or for one in whom they have confidence, and whose counsel and aid for their own benefit they hope in return; or for one whom they hold in dread for his capacity to injure them; or, on the other hand, for those from whom they have expectations, as when kings and demagogues distribute largesses; or, finally, when they are moved by price and bribe, which is the meanest and vilest way, both for those whose favor is held by it and for those who endeavor to resort to it; for it is a bad case when what ought to be effected by virtue is attempted by money. Yet since subsidies of this kind are sometimes necessary,1 I will define their proper use, when I shall have first spoken of things which bear a closer relation to virtue. Moreover, men put themselves under the command and power of others for several reasons. They are led to this either by kind feeling, or by the greatness of favors received, or by the high social position of him to whom they yield deference, or by hope that such a course will be of use to them, or by fear of being forcibly compelled to render obedience; or they are attracted by the [116]prospect of generous gifts and by promises; or, lastly, as we often see in our state, they are hired for wages.

7. But of all things nothing tends so much to the guarding and keeping of resources as to be the object of affection; nor is anything more foreign to that end than to be the object of fear. Ennius says most fittingly: —

“Hate follows fear; and plotted ruin, hate.”

It has been lately demonstrated, if it was before unknown, that no resources can resist the hatred of a numerous body. It is not merely the destruction of this tyrant, whom the state, subdued by armed force, endured so long as he lived and obeys most implicitly now that he is dead,1 that shows how far the hatred of men may prove fatal; but similar deaths of other tyrants, hardly one of whom has escaped a like fate, teach this lesson. For fear is but a poor guardian for permanent possession, and, on the other hand, good will is faithful so long as there can be need of its loyalty. Those who hold under their command subjects forcibly kept down must indeed resort to severity, as masters toward their slaves when they cannot otherwise be restrained. But nothing can be more mad than the policy of those who in a free state conduct themselves in such a way as to be feared. For though [117]the laws be submerged by some one man’s power, though liberty be panic-stricken, yet in time they rise to the surface, either by opinions circulated, though unuttered, or by the quiet mustering of votes that shall dispose of the high offices of state. Men indeed feel more keenly the suppression of liberty than any evils incident to its preservation. Let us then embrace the policy which has the widest scope, and is most conducive, not to safety alone, but to affluence and power, namely, that by which fear may be suppressed, love retained. Thus shall we most easily obtain what we desire both in private and in public life. For it is inevitable that those who wish to be feared should themselves fear the very persons by whom they are feared. What, for instance, must have been the case with the elder Dionysius?1 With what tormenting fear must he have been racked, when, dreading the barber’s razor, he used to singe off his own beard with burning coals? What are we to think of Alexander of Pherae?2 In what state of mind must we suppose [118]him to have lived, who, as we read the record, though somewhat fond of his wife Thebe, yet when he came from supper to her chamber, ordered a barbarian attendant, and indeed one, as we are told, branded with the marks of a Thracian,1 to precede him with a drawn sword, and sent in advance some of his body-guards to search the woman’s boxes, and see whether there were not some weapon concealed among the clothes? O wretch, to think a tattooed savage more to be trusted than his own wife! Yet he was in the right; for he was slain by that very wife,2 because she suspected him of adultery. Nor indeed is there any ruling power strong enough to be enduring, when it makes itself the object of dread. Of this we may find an example in Phalaris3 whose cruelty was notorious beyond that of any other tyrant, who perished, not by treachery, like that Alexander of whom I have just spoken, — not [119]by the hands of a few, like this tyrant of ours, but who was assailed by the whole mass of the people of Agrigentum. What? Did not the Macedonians desert Demetrius,1 and in a body betake themselves to Pyrrhus? What? When the Lacedaemonians usurped power that was not rightfully theirs, did not almost all their allies leave them, and show themselves idle spectators of the disaster at Leuctra?2

8. I prefer on such a subject to draw my examples from foreign states rather than from our own. Yet so long as the sway of the Roman people was maintained by the bestowal of benefits, not by injustice, wars were waged either in defence of our allies or of our own government; the issues of our successful wars were either merciful or no more severe than necessity demanded; our Senate was the harbor and refuge of kings, tribes, nations; while our magistrates and military commanders sought to obtain the highest praise from this one thing, — the guarding of the interests of our provinces and our [120]allies by equity and good faith. Our sovereignty might then have been termed the patronage, rather than the government, of the world. We previously had encroached by degrees on this habit and policy; after Sulla’s victory we entirely departed from it; for nothing any longer appeared inequitable toward our allies, after so much cruelty had been exercised upon our own citizens. In his case a worthy cause1 was crowned by a disgraceful victory; for he dared to say, when under the auctioneer’s spear2 he sold in the market-place the property of good men and rich men who were undoubtedly citizens, that he was selling his booty. He was succeeded by one who in an impious cause, after even a more disgraceful victory, not merely offered for public sale the goods of individual citizens, but embraced whole provinces and countries in one destructive ban. And so, foreign nations being thus oppressed and ruined, in token of our forfeited empire, we saw Massilia borne in effigy in a triumphal procession, and a triumph celebrated over that city without whose aid our commanders never gained a Transalpine triumph.3 I might mention many other [121]abominable things done to our allies, if the sun had ever beheld anything more shameful than this very transaction. We therefore are justly punished; for unless we had so often had impunity from guilt, so great liberty of sinning would never have come into the hands of one man, whose heritage of property falls to few, that of depraved desire to many bad men. Nor indeed will there ever be wanting seed and pretext for civil wars, so long as abandoned men remember and hope to see again that bloody spear which Publius Sulla1 brandished in the dictatorship of his kinsman, not refusing to be salesman under a more atrociously guilty spear thirty-six years afterward; while another Sulla,2 who in the former dictatorship was secretary, in this last was city-quaestor. Hence it ought to be inferred that while such prizes are held in view, civil wars will never cease to be. And so only the walls of the city stand and remain, and even they already fear the extremity of crime; the state itself we have utterly lost. Moreover (for I must return to the point [122]under discussion), we have fallen into these calamities because we preferred to be feared rather than to be loved and esteemed. If these things could befall the Roman people exercising an unrighteous sway, what ought individuals to think as to their own conduct and fortune? Since it is manifest that the power of good will is great, that of fear feeble, it follows that we should inquire by what means we can most easily obtain, together with respect and confidence, that love of others which we crave. We do not all, indeed, need this love in an equal degree; for it must be determined by each person’s plan of life, whether he requires the love of many, or whether it is enough for him to be held in dear regard by a few. This, however, may be accounted as certain, that it is a prime and most essential requisite, to have the enduring intimacy of friends who love us and hold us in high esteem. This one thing, precious above all others, if attained, leaves but little difference between persons of the loftiest rank and those in moderate condition, and it is almost equally attainable by those of either class. All, perhaps, do not alike need promotion, and fame, and the good will of the citizens at large; but yet, if one has these, they render some help, as to other ends, so to the obtaining of friendships.

9. But I have treated of friendship in another book, under the title of Laelius. Let me now speak of fame. Though on that subject also I have written [123]two books,1 let me touch briefly upon it here, since it is of the utmost service in the administration of important affairs.

The highest fame, and that to which there are no drawbacks, consists of these three things, — the affection of the multitude, their confidence, and their regarding a person as worthy of honor because they hold him in admiration.2 Moreover, these requisites to fame — to speak plainly and concisely — are obtained from the multitude by nearly the same means by which they are obtained from individuals. But there is also a certain other avenue to the popular favor, by which we may, as it were, steal into the affections of all.

Of the three things just named, let us consider, first, the rules for winning good will. It is, indeed, best secured by conferring benefits. But, in the second place, favor is elicited by the will to do good, even if the means of beneficence chance to be insufficient. The love of the multitude, indeed, is strongly excited by the very report and reputation of liberality, beneficence, honesty, good faith, and all those virtues which are included in gentleness of manners and affability. For since that very style of character which we call right and becoming, in itself, gives us pleasure, and by its nature and [124]aspect captivates the minds of all, and shines forth with the greatest lustre from the virtues that I have named, we are therefore compelled by Nature herself to love the persons in whom we think that these virtues are found. These, however, are only the most efficient causes of good will; for there may be some others, though of less weight.

Of the confidence which may be reposed in us there are two efficient causes, our having a reputation for discretion and, at the same time, for honesty. For we have confidence in those whom we think our superiors in intelligence, who, as we believe, look into the future, and who, when an affair is in agitation and a crisis is reached, can clear it of difficulty, and take counsel according to circumstances (for this men regard as true and serviceable discretion); while the confidence reposed in honest and faithful men, that is, in good men, is such that there can rest upon them no suspicion of fraud and wrong. And so we think that our personal security, our fortunes, our children, can be most fittingly intrusted to their care. Of these two qualities, then, honesty has the greater power to create confidence; for while without discretion honesty has sufficient prestige, discretion without honesty can be of no avail in inspiring confidence. For the more skilful and adroit one is, for this very reason is he the more odious and the more open to suspicion, if he has no reputation for honesty. Intelligence, then, combined with honesty, will have all [125]the power that it can desire in creating confidence; honesty without discretion will have much influence toward that end; discretion without honesty will be of no avail whatever.

10. But if any one may have wondered, why, while all philosophers alike maintain, and I myself have often asserted, that whoever has one virtue has all, I now separate them as if a man could be honest without being wise also, my answer is that the nicety of expression employed when the inmost truth is under discussion is one thing; the language used when what we say is entirely adapted to popular opinion is another. Therefore, on this head I am speaking as people in general do, when I call some men brave, others good, others wise; for I ought to employ common and usual terms when I am speaking of public opinion, and Panaetius employed them in the same way. But let us return to our subject.

Of the three requisites for fame, the third that I named was this, — that men should so hold us in admiration as to regard us worthy of honor. Men generally admire all things that they see to be great and beyond their expectation, and specially in individual objects such unexpected good qualities as they discern. Therefore they admire and extol with the highest praise those men in whom they think that they perceive certain rare and surpassing virtues; while they look down with contempt on those in whom they imagine that there is no manliness, [126]no spirit, no energy. For they do not despise all of whom they think ill. They do not despise, indeed, those whom they regard as villanous, malicious, fraudulent, capable of doing mischief, — by no means; of persons of this sort they think ill. But, as I have said, those are despised who, as the saying is, are of no good to themselves or to any one else, in whom there is no work, no industry, no forethought. On the other hand, those are regarded with a certain measure of admiration, who are thought to excel others in virtue, and to be free not only from all disgrace, but also from those vices which their fellow-men cannot easily resist. For sensual pleasures, the most alluring of mistresses, turn away the minds of the greater part of mankind from virtue, and equally when the fiery trial of affliction1 comes most persons are beyond measure terrified. Life, death, riches, poverty, most violently agitate the great mass of mankind. When men with a lofty and large soul look down on these experiences, whether prosperous or adverse, while any great and honorable object of endeavor proposed to them converges and concentrates their whole being in its pursuit, who can fail to admire in them the splendor and beauty of virtue?

11. This contempt of the mind for outward fortunes thus excites great admiration; and most of all, justice, for which one virtue men are called good, seems to the multitude a quality of marvellous [127]excellence, — and not without good reason; for no one can be just, who dreads death, pain, exile, or poverty, or who prefers their opposites to honesty. Men have, especially, the highest admiration for one who is not influenced by money; for they think that the man in whom this trait is made thoroughly manifest has been tested by fire.

Thus justice constitutes all three of the requisites to fame which I have named, — affection, because it aims to do good to the greatest number, and for the same reason, confidence and admiration, because it spurns and neglects those things to which most men are drawn with burning greediness. Moreover, in my opinion, every mode and plan of life demands the aid of men, and craves especially those with whom there may be friendly conversational intercourse, which is not easy, unless you are looked upon as a good man. Therefore, even to a recluse, or to one who passes his life in the country, the reputation of honesty is essential, and the more so because, if he do not have it, in his defenceless condition, he will be assailed by many wrongs. Those, too, who sell and buy, hire and lease, and are involved in business affairs, need honesty for the management of their concerns. The force of this virtue is such that those who obtain their subsistence by crime and guilt cannot live entirely without honesty. For he who takes anything by stealth or force from a fellow-robber cannot maintain his place in a band of robbers; [128]and even the man who is called captain of a crew of pirates, if he were not impartial in the division of their plunder, would be either killed or deserted by his crew. Indeed, it is said that even among robbers there are laws which they obey, which they hold sacred. Thus by fairness in the distribution of booty, Bardylis, an Illyrian robber, of whom Theopompus makes mention, obtained great wealth, and Viriathus, the Lusitanian,1 much greater, to whom indeed some of our armies and commanders gave way in battle, whom Caius Laelius, commonly called the Wise, when he was praetor, crippled and reduced, and so subdued his ferocity that he transmitted an easy conflict with him to his successors. Since, then, the force of justice is such that it strengthens and augments the resources even of robbers, how great shall we account its efficacy among laws and courts, and in a well ordered state?

12. I am inclined to think, indeed, that not only among the Medes, as Herodotus relates,2 but also [129]among our ancestors, men who had borne a high moral character were in early times appointed kings, in order to the administration of justice; for when the poor commonalty were oppressed by those of greater wealth, they had recourse to some one man pre-eminent in virtue, who, while he defended the poorer classes from wrong, by establishing equitable jurisdiction kept the highest under the same legal obligations with the lowest. There was like reason for making laws as for choosing kings; for equality of right was always sought, nor without equality can right exist. If this could be obtained through the ministry of one just and good man, the people were contented under his rule. But when this ceased to be the case, laws were invented which should speak with all, at all times, in one and the same voice. This, then, is manifest, that those of whose justice the mass of the people had an exalted opinion used to be chosen as rulers. If in addition these same persons were thought wise, there was nothing that men did not expect to obtain under their administration. Justice is, [130]therefore, by all means to be cherished and held fast, at once for its own sake — else it would not be justice — and for the increase of one’s honor and fame.

But as there is a method, not only of acquiring money, but also of investing it, so that it may supply constant demands for generous giving no less than for necessary uses, so is fame to be properly invested as well as sought. There is great truth, however, in the saying of Socrates, that this is the nearest way, and, as it were, a short road to fame, — for one to endeavor to be such as he would wish to be regarded. If there be those who think to obtain enduring fame by dissembling and empty show, and by hypocrisy, not only of speech, but of countenance also, they are utterly mistaken. True fame strikes its roots downward, and sends out fresh shoots;1 all figments fall speedily, like blossoms, nor can anything feigned be lasting. Very many cases might be cited in attestation on either side; but for the sake of brevity I will name but a single family. Tiberius Gracchus, the son of Publius, will be praised as long as the memory of Roman affairs shall last; but his sons were not approved by good men while they were living, and in death they have their position among those whose murder was justifiable.2

13. Let him, then, who would obtain genuine fame discharge the duties of justice. What these are I have shown in the First Book.

But in order that we may be taken for what we really are, though there is the greatest efficacy in our being what we would be taken for, yet some additional rules are to be given. If, indeed, one from early youth finds himself in a position of celebrity and reputation, either inherited from his father (as I think is the case with you, my Cicero,) or by some chance or happy combination of circumstances, the eyes of all are turned to him; inquiry is made about him, what he is doing, how he is living, and, as if he were moving in the clearest light, nothing that he says or does can be concealed. But those whose first years, on account of their lowly and obscure condition, are passed out of the knowledge of men, as soon as they emerge from childhood, ought to hold great aims in view, and to strive after them with unswerving diligence, which they will do with the greater confidence, since that age is not only exempt from envious regard, but is even looked upon with favor.

A youth, then, has the first title to fame, if he have the opportunity of obtaining it by military service, in which many in the days of our ancestors won early distinction; for wars were almost perpetual. But your time of service fell upon the epoch of that war in which one party was exceedingly guilty, the other unsuccessful. Yet in this war, when Pompey had made you commander of the left wing of his army,1 you won great praise both from that illustrious man and from your fellow-soldiers for your horsemanship, your skill in the use of weapons, and your endurance of all the hardships of the camp and the field. This reputation of yours sank, indeed, simultaneously with the state. I have undertaken this discussion, however, not with reference to you alone, but with reference to young men as a class. Let us then pass on to the remaining subjects.

As in all other respects mental are much greater than bodily achievements, so those things which we accomplish by intellect and reason win greater [133]favor than those which we perform by mere physical strength. The first claim that can be proffered for the general esteem proceeds from regularity of conduct, with filial piety and kindness to those of one’s own family. Then, too, young men become most favorably known when they seek the society of eminent, wise, and patriotic citizens, with whom if they are intimate, they inspire the people with the expectation that they are going to resemble those whom they have chosen as models for imitation. His frequenting the house of Publius Mucius1 gave the youth of Publius Rutilius2 the reputation both of moral purity and of legal knowledge. On the other hand, however, Lucius Crassus, while yet a mere boy, sought no countenance from his elders, yet won for himself the highest reputation from that splendid and famous accusation;3 and (as we learn [134]was the case with Demosthenes),1 at the very age when young men are wont to be applauded for their exercises in declamation, Lucius Crassus showed that he could already do to perfection before the judges what it would have been to his credit to have merely rehearsed by way of practice at home.

14. But while there are two kinds of speech, to one of which conversation belongs, to the other public debate,2 there is no doubt that the latter is most conducive to the acquisition of fame (for it is that which we dignify by the name of eloquence); yet it is hard to say to what a degree agreeableness and affability of conversation win favor. There are extant letters of Philip to Alexander, of Antipater to Cassander, and of Antigonus to Philip, — all three, as we learn, men of the greatest practical wisdom, — in which they advise their sons to allure the minds of the multitude in their favor by kindliness of address, and to charm the soldiers by accosting them in a genial way.

But the speech that is uttered with energy in a great assembly often awakens the enthusiasm [135]of the entire audience; for great is the admiration bestowed on him who speaks fluently and wisely, and those who hear him think that he also has more intelligence and good sense than other men. And if there is in the speech substantial merit united with moderation, there can be nothing more worthy to be admired, especially if these properties are found in a young man. But while there are many kinds of occasions that demand eloquence, and many young men in our state have obtained praise by speaking both before judges and in the Senate, the highest admiration attends the eloquence of the courts,1 before which there are two descriptions of oratory, that of accusation, and that of defence, of which, although the latter is more worthy of praise, yet the former is very frequently regarded with favor. I spoke just now of Crassus. Marcus Antonius2 did the same when he was a [136]young man. A public accusation also brought into favorable notice the eloquence of Publius Sulpicius,1 when he arraigned for trial that seditious and worthless citizen, Caius Norbanus. Yet this ought not to be done often, nor ever except in the interest of the state, as in the cases that I have named, or to avenge wrongs, as the two Luculli did,2 or for those under one’s special patronage, as when I appeared in behalf of the Sicilians,3 and Julius4 in behalf of the Sardinians in the accusation of Albucius the propraetor. The painstaking fidelity of Lucius Fufius in the accusation of Manius Aquillius5 is also well known. One may, then, venture upon accusation once, or, at any rate, not often. Or if there be reason for doing so more frequently, let it be done as a service to the state, whose enemies one is not to be blamed for punishing [137]repeatedly. But even then let there be a limit; for it is the part of a hard man, or, I should rather say, scarcely of a man, to prefer a capital charge against any considerable number of persons.1 While it is fraught with personal danger, it is also damaging to one’s reputation, to allow himself to be called an accuser, which was the fortune of Marcus Brutus,2 born of an illustrious race, the son of the Brutus who was eminent for his skill in the civil law. Moreover, this maxim of duty is to be carefully observed, that you never bring an innocent person to a capital trial; for this cannot possibly be done without guilt. Nay, what is so inhuman as to pervert eloquence, bestowed by Nature for the security and preservation of men, to the destruction and ruin of good citizens? On the other hand, we are not to be so scrupulous as to decline defending on some occasions a guilty man, if he be not utterly depraved and false to all human relations. This the people demand, custom permits, even humanity endures. It belongs to the judge in the cases before him always to seek the truth; to the advocate, sometimes to defend the probable, even if it be not absolutely [138]true, — which I should not dare to write, especially in a philosophical treatise, unless that strictest of the Stoics, Panaetius, were of the same opinion. But fame and favor are best secured by the defence of accused persons, especially if it so happens that this service is rendered in aid of one who seems to be circumvented and put in peril by the influence of some man in power, — a service which I have performed on many other occasions, and especially — when I was still a young man — in defending Sextus Roscius1 against the power of Lucius Sulla, then playing the tyrant, — a speech which, as you know, is published.

15. Having explained the ways in which, consistently with duty, young men may obtain fame, I must speak, in the next place, of beneficence and liberality, of which there are two sorts, kindness to those needing it being shown either by personal service or by money. The latter is more easy, especially for [139]one who is rich; but the former is more noble, more magnificent, and more worthy of a strong and eminent man. For although in both modes there is the generous desire of bestowing benefit, yet in the one case the kindness is drawn from the purse, in the other from the giver’s own ability and worth. The bounty which proceeds from one’s property drains the very source of liberality. Thus generosity is made impossible by generosity, which you can extend to the fewer in time to come, the more numerous its beneficiaries have been in the time past. But those who will be beneficent and generous in personal service, that is, by influence and effort, the more persons they have already benefited, will have the more helpers in doing good. Then, too, by the habit of beneficent action, they will be better prepared, and, as it were, better trained, to merit the gratitude of the larger number. Philip, in a certain letter of his, very justly blames his son Alexander for seeking the good will of the Macedonians by distributing gifts among them. “What, the mischief!” says he, “ever induced you to entertain a hope like this, that those whom you had corrupted by money would be faithful to you? Are you doing this that the Macedonians may hope to have you not for their king, but for their lackey and caterer?” “Lackey and caterer” is well said, since such conduct is mean for a king; and still better was it that he termed lavish giving “corruption.” For he who receives such gifts grows worse, [140]and more ready to expect the like in all time to come. He said this to his son; let us regard his advice as given to all. It is, then, beyond doubt that the kindness which consists in personal service and effort is more honorable, and extends farther, and can benefit a larger number. Yet gifts must be sometimes bestowed, nor is this form of kindness to be wholly repudiated; and aid should be often given to the deserving poor from one’s own property, but thriftily and moderately. Many, indeed, have squandered their property in inconsiderate generosity. But what is more foolish than to disable yourself from continuing to do what you take pleasure in doing? Moreover, rapine follows extravagance in giving; for when men in consequence of their lavish generosity have begun to be in want, they are constrained to lay hands on the property of others. Thus, while they desire to be generous in order to win favor, they obtain not so much the attachment of those to whom they have been liberal as the hatred of those whom they have robbed. Therefore private property should neither be so shut up that kindness cannot open it, nor so thrown wide as to lie open to all. Let a limit be observed, and let this be determined by our means. We ought always to remember what has been so often repeated by our people as to have come into use as a proverb, that prodigal giving has no bottom.1 For what [141]bound can there be to such giving, when those who have been accustomed to receive, crave what they have been wont to get, and others also crave the same?

16. Of bountiful givers there are, in fine, two kinds, the one class prodigal, the other liberal, — the prodigal, those who, in public banquets, distributions of flesh, gladiatorial shows, and the preparation of games and wild-beast fights, pour out money on the kinds of things of which they will leave but a brief remembrance, or none at all; the liberal, those who by their wealth redeem persons captured by robbers, or take upon themselves the debts of their friends, or render them aid in marriage-portions for their daughters, or help them in acquiring or increasing property. I therefore wonder what came into the mind of Theophrastus in the book that he wrote about Riches,1 in which he said many things admirably well, but that to which I now refer, absurdly. For he is prolix in praise of the magnificence and elaborateness of popular entertainments, and regards the means of meeting such expenses as the chief advantage of wealth. But in my mind the advantage derived from the liberality of which I have given a few examples seems much greater and more certain. How much more soberly and justly does Aristo of Ceos2 reprove us for not being surprised [142]at these outpourings of money which are made to propitiate the multitude! “If those besieged by an enemy,” he says, “are forced to pay a pound1 for a pint2 of water, at the first hearing it seems incredible and all are amazed; yet when they consider the case they excuse it on the plea of necessity; but in this immense waste and these boundless expenditures we feel no great astonishment, and that too, though neither is want thus relieved nor respectability enhanced, and the very delight of the multitude is transient and lasts but a little while, and, withal, is felt only by the most fickle, whose memory of the enjoyment expires as soon as they are satiated.” He fittingly concludes that “these things are gratifying to boys, and weak women, and slaves, and to free men who bear the nearest resemblance to slaves; but that they cannot by any means be approved by a serious man and one who weighs what is done by fixed principles.” Yet I am aware that in our city it is an old tradition, and one that has come down from good times, that lavishness [143]in the aedileship may be expected even from the best men.1 Thus Publius Crassus, rich equally in his surname and in his estate, gave the most costly public entertainments in his aedileship, and shortly afterward Lucius Crassus, with Quintus Mucius, the most moderate of all men, for his colleague, served through a most magnificent aedileship; and in like manner Caius Claudius, the son of Appius, and many afterward, the Luculli, Hortensius, Silanus. Publius Lentulus, when I was consul, surpassed all that went before him. Scaurus imitated him. But the entertainments given by my friend Pompey in his second consulship were the most magnificent. With reference to all these matters you see what my opinion is.

17. Yet the suspicion of penuriousness must be avoided. Mamercus, a very rich man, by declining to be a candidate for the aedileship, lost his election as consul. If such expenditure, then, is demanded by the people, and though not desired, at least approved by good citizens, it is to be incurred, yet [144]in proportion to one’s ability, as in my own case;1 and if at any time some end of great importance and value can be gained by largesses to the people, they may be bestowed, as in the recent instance in which Orestes gained great honor by a public dinner in the streets under the name of a tithe-offering.2 Nor did any one find fault with Marcus Seius, because in a time of dearth he gave the people corn for a penny3 a peck;4 for he thus freed himself from great and inveterate odium by a lavishness not unbecoming inasmuch as he was an aedile, and not very extravagant. But it was to the highest honor of my friend Milo when, not so very long ago, by gladiators bought for the sake of the state which was dependent on my safety, he suppressed all the plots and mad endeavors of Publius Clodius.5 There is, therefore, sufficient reason for profuseness, if it is [145]either necessary or useful. Yet in expenditures of this sort the rule of moderation is the best. Lucius Philippus, indeed, the son of Quintus, a man of great genius and of the highest eminence, used to boast that, without giving any public entertainment, he had been elected to all the offices that were regarded as the most honorable. Cotta said the same; so did Curio. I can also to a certain extent1 make the same boast; for, as compared with the importance of the offices which I obtained without any opposing votes2 in the years at which I became eligible3 to them respectively, — which was not the case with either of those whom I have named, — the expense of my aedileship was very small. At the same time, the more desirable expenditures in connection with public office are for moles, docks, harbors, aqueducts, and whatever may be of service to the community. Although what is given personally, as it were, into men’s hands, confers more immediate gratification, the expense incurred in public works is more thankworthy. I blame the cost bestowed on theatres, porticos, new temples, [146]with diffidence on account of my regard for Pompey’s memory;1 but the wisest authorities disapprove of such expenditures, as did this very Panaetius whom in my present treatise I have followed, not translated; as did also Demetrius Phalereus, who finds fault with Pericles for throwing away so much money on that famous vestibule of the Parthenon.2 But this entire subject is carefully discussed in my book on the Republic.3 The whole system of such extravagant largesses, in general worthy of censure, is under certain circumstances necessary, — yet, when it becomes necessary, the expense must be apportioned to one’s means, and kept within moderate limits.

18. In the other style of free expenditure which proceeds from liberality, we ought not to be equally ready to give where the cases are unlike. The case of him who is laboring under misfortune differs from that of him who, without any actual stress of adverse circumstances, seeks to improve his condition. Generosity ought to be more readily bestowed on the unfortunate, unless perchance they deserve what they suffer. Yet with regard to those who desire assistance, not to be saved from utter ruin, but to reach a higher position, we ought to [147]be by no means niggardly, but to be judicious and careful in selecting suitable subjects for our bounty. For Ennius says very fittingly: —

“Good done amiss I count as evil done.”

But what is given to a good and grateful man yields us in return a revenue both from him and from others. For when one does not give at haphazard, generosity confers the highest pleasure, and most persons bestow upon it the greater applause, because the kindheartedness of any one who holds a conspicuous station is the common refuge for all. Care must be taken, therefore, that we confer on as many as possible benefits of such a nature that their memory may be transmitted to children and posterity, so that they too cannot be ungrateful. All, indeed, hate him who is unmindful of a benefit received, and think themselves wronged when generosity is thus discouraged; and he who is thus ungrateful becomes the common enemy of persons of slender fortunes.1 Moreover, the liberality of which I now speak is of service also to the state in redeeming captives from slavery, and in providing [148]needy persons with the comforts of life, which used to be very commonly done by men of senatorial rank,1 as we find written out in full in the speech of Crassus.2 This habitual practice of charity I regard as far preferable to the giving of public shows. The former is the part of substantial and prominent citizens; the latter seems to belong to those who fawn on the people, and tickle, so to speak, the fickleness of the multitude by low pleasure. But it will be becoming for one, while munificent in giving, to be also not severe in exacting, and in all contracts, in selling and buying, in hiring and leasing, in questions arising out of adjoining houses and estates,3 to be fair and accommodating, freely making concessions from his own right, avoiding litigation as much as he can [149]without excessive sacrifice, and perhaps even beyond what might seem the proper limit. For it is not only generous, but sometimes profitable also, to abate a little from one’s rightful claims. Yet reference must be had to one’s own estate, which cannot be suffered to go to ruin without disgrace to the owner; but private property must be so cared for as to leave no suspicion of penuriousness and avarice. Indeed, the ability of being generous without robbing one’s self of his patrimony is the greatest revenue that money can yield. Theophrastus also rightly commends hospitality; for it is, as it seems to me, very becoming that the houses of distinguished men should be open to distinguished guests; and it is even for the honor of the state that foreigners should not lack this kind of liberality in our city. It is also in the highest degree expedient for those who desire to obtain great influence by honorable means to avail themselves of help and favor among foreign nations through their guests. Theophrastus, indeed, says that Cimon, at Athens, was hospitable not to strangers only, but to all of his own district of Laciadae,1 making such arrangements and giving such orders to his farm-servants, that every attention should be shown to any citizen of that district who might turn aside to his country residence.

19. But the benefits which are bestowed, not by gift, but by personal service, are conferred, sometimes on the whole state, sometimes on individual citizens. To protect the rights of others, to aid them by legal advice, and by this sort of knowledge and skill to be of service to as many as possible, tends very largely to the increase of one’s influence and popularity. Thus among many things to be commended in the days of our ancestors, it is worthy of note that the knowledge and the interpretation of our admirably constituted civil law were always held in the highest honor. This science, until the present unsettled times, the leading men of the state retained as one of their special prerogatives. Now, as is the case with civil offices and with all grades of rank, its prestige is destroyed, and this the more shamefully, as it took place in the lifetime of him who would have transcended in legal learning all his predecessors whom he equalled in rank.1 This kind of service, then, is gratifying to many, and is adapted to bind men by the ties of benefit. Closely allied to skill in interpreting the law is oratory, which even surpasses it both as a grave pursuit and as a personal accomplishment. For what stands before eloquence, whether in the admiration of its hearers, the hope [151]of those who need its aid, or the gratitude of those defended by it? To this, therefore, our ancestors assigned the first rank among civil professions. There is, then, an extended range of beneficial services and of patronage open to the eloquent man, who willingly appears in the courts, and, as was the custom in the time of our fathers, without reluctance and without compensation1 defends the causes of the many who seek his aid. The subject was reminding me to deplore here, as elsewhere in my writings, the discontinuance, not to say the extinction, of eloquence, — only I should dread the appearance of making complaint in my own behalf. But yet we see how many orators have passed away, in how few is there good promise, in how much fewer ability, in how many nothing save presumption. Yet while not all, indeed only a few can be either skilled in the law or eloquent, still one may render service to many, by canvassing in their behalf for appointments, by appearing in their interest before judges and magistrates, by watching the progress of their cases in court, and soliciting for them the aid of legal counsellors and of advocates. Those who do thus, obtain the largest amount of good will, and their labor has [152]a most widely extended influence. Nor need they here to be admonished (for it is obvious), that they take heed lest while they desire to assist some, they disoblige others. For under such circumstances they are liable to hurt the feelings of those whom it is either morally wrong or inexpedient for them to wound. If they do this unwittingly, it is the result of carelessness; if knowingly, of recklessness. You must even resort to apology wherever you can, to those to whom you unwillingly give offence, showing them why what you did was necessary, so that you could not have done otherwise, and promising them that the omission shall be compensated by other services and kind offices.

20. But while in giving assistance to men reference is usually had either to character or to condition, it is easy to say, and men commonly do say, that in conferring1 favors they are influenced by the character, not by the outward condition of their beneficiaries. This mode of speaking sounds well. Yet who is there, who in rendering his service does not prefer the cause of a rich and influential man to that of a man without influence, though of signal excellence? Our will, for the most part, inclines the more strongly toward him from whom we may expect the more prompt and speedy remuneration. Yet we ought to look more carefully at the nature [153]of things. Undoubtedly that poor man, if he is a good man, even if he cannot return the favor, can bear it faithfully in mind; and it is well said, whoever he be that first said it, “He who has money has not repaid it; he who has repaid it has it not: but he who has returned kindness has it, and he who has it has returned it.” Now those who think themselves rich, respectable, fortunate, are unwilling to be placed under obligation by kindness rendered, nay, they even think that they have bestowed a favor when they have received one however great, and they imagine that something is also demanded or expected of them, — still more, it seems to them as bad as death to have it said that they are indebted to any one’s patronage, or to be called any one’s clients. On the other hand, the man of slender means just spoken of, thinking that whatever is done for him is done from regard to himself, not to his outward condition, endeavors to appear grateful, not only to him who has deserved his thanks, but also, — for he needs many helpers, — to those from whom he expects similar favors. Nor, if perchance he can render some good office in return, does he magnify it, but rather underrates it in what he says about it. This also is to be observed, that if you defend a rich and successful man, the favor does not extend further than to the man himself, or, peradventure, to his children; while if you defend a poor, yet upright and self-respecting man, all men [154]of humble condition who are not bad — and there is a great proportion of these among the people — see in you a defence prepared for their exigencies. Therefore I think a kindness better invested with good men than with men of fortune. In fine, we should endeavor to meet the claims of those of every class; but if it come to a competition between rival claimants for our service, Themistocles may be well quoted as an authority, who, when asked whether he would marry his daughter to a good poor man, or to a rich man of less respectable character, replied, “I, indeed, prefer the man who lacks money to the money that lacks a man.” But the moral sense is corrupted and depraved by the admiration of wealth. Yet of what concern to any one of us is another man’s great fortune? Perhaps it is of benefit to him who has it, — not always, however. But suppose it to be of benefit to him, — he may, indeed, have more to spend; but how is he made any better? If, however, he be really a good man, let not his wealth be a hindrance, only let it not be a motive for your serving him. The decisive question must be, not how rich one is, but what sort of a man he is. But the ultimate rule in conferring favors and rendering service is, never to make any effort against the right, or in behalf of the wrong; for the basis of enduring praise and reputation is justice, without which there can be nothing worthy of commendation.

21. Having now spoken of the kinds of good offices [155]that concern individuals, I must next discuss those which have reference to a body of men and to the state. Of these a part are such as accrue to the benefit of the whole community; a part, such as affect individuals, though in the form of public service. Both interests ought certainly to be cared for, that of individuals no less than of the community at large, yet in such a way that what is done may be of benefit, or at all events, not of injury to the state. The distribution of corn by Caius Gracchus1 was excessive, and tended to drain the public treasury; that of Marcus Octavius2 was moderate, and both within the easy ability of the state and necessary to the people, — therefore a beneficial measure both to the individual citizens who received the public bounty and to the state. He who administers the affairs of the state must take special care that every man be defended in the possession of what rightfully belongs to him, and that there be no encroachment on private property by public [156]authority. Philippus, during his tribunate, when he proposed the agrarian law (which he readily suffered to be rejected, behaving in the matter with great moderation), while in defending the measure he said many things adapted to cajole the people, did mischief by the ill-meant statement that there were not in the city two thousand men that had any property. It was a criminal utterance, tending to an equal division of property, than which what more ruinous policy can there be? Indeed, states and municipalities were established chiefly to insure the undisturbed possession of private property; for though under the guidance of Nature men were brought together, still it was with the hope of guardianship for their property that they sought the defence of cities. Pains should also be taken that there may be no need of levying a tax on property,1 which in the time of our ancestors was often done on account of the poverty of the treasury and the frequency of wars. Against such a contingency provision should be made long beforehand. But in case such a tax should be necessary for any state — for I would rather speak thus than forebode evil for our own state, and I am treating not of our own, but of states in general — pains must be taken to make [157]all the citizens understand that in order to remain secure they must yield to this necessity. Moreover, it will be the duty of those who govern the state to take care that there be a full supply of everything requisite for the public service. How this provision is commonly made and how it ought to be made, there is no need of discussing, — it is a perfectly plain matter; the subject required to be merely alluded to.

But the chief thing in every department of public business and official administration is that even the least suspicion of greediness for money be put at rest. Caius Pontius,1 the Samnite, said, “Oh that Fortune had reserved me and delayed my birth till the time, should it ever come, when the Romans had begun to take bribes! I would not then have suffered them to hold their supremacy any longer.” Many generations must, indeed, have been waited for; for only of late this evil has invaded our state. Therefore I am glad that Pontius lived then rather than now, if indeed he was so much of a man. It is not yet a hundred and twenty years2 since Lucius Piso’s law about extortion was passed, whereas there had been no such law before. But there have since been so many laws each more [158]severe than the preceding, so many accused, so many penally sentenced, so great an Italian war1 caused by fear of judicial proceedings, such a pillaging and plundering of our allies2 when laws and courts were suspended, that we owe what strength we have to the weakness of others, not to our own virtue.

22. Panaetius praises Africanus because he abstained from all illicit gain. Why should he not praise him? There were in him other greater qualities; the merit of abstaining from illicit gain belongs not only to the man, but to those times. Paulus obtained all the immense treasure of Macedonia. He brought so much money into the public treasury, that the booty acquired by that one commander put an end to the property-tax. But to his own house he brought nothing save the eternal [159]memory of his name. Africanus imitated his father, being none the richer for the overthrow of Carthage. What think you? Was Lucius Mummius, his colleague in the censorship, any the richer when he had destroyed to its foundations a city of vast wealth?1 He chose to embellish Italy rather than his own house;2 though indeed in the embellishment of Italy his house also seems to me more truly embellished. There is, then, — to return to the point whence I made this digression, — no fouler vice than the greed of money, especially in the case of the leading citizens who govern the state; for to turn the state into a source of profit is not only vile, but even outrageous and execrable. Thus the oracle which the Pythian Apollo pronounced,

“By naught but greed of gain will Sparta perish,”

he seems to have proclaimed not to the Lacedaemonians alone, but to all rich nations. But by no means can those who preside over public affairs more readily conciliate the favor of the multitude than by abstinence from the acquisition of wealth and the moderate use of what they have.

Those, therefore, who desire to be popular, and [160]with that view either attempt agrarian measures,1 that the occupants of the public domains may be driven from their homes, or advocate the remission of debts,2 are undermining the foundations of the state, — in the first place, harmony, which cannot exist when money is taken from some and debts are cancelled for others; in the next place, equity, [161]which is utterly destroyed, if hindrances are laid in the way of men’s keeping their own property. For, as I said above, this belongs to the very idea of a state and a city, that the protection of every man’s property should be certain and not a subject of solicitude. Moreover, by measures thus ruinous to the state men do not gain the favor that they anticipate. He from whom property is taken becomes their enemy. He to whom it is given conceals his desire to receive it, and especially in the case of debt cancelled, hides his joy, lest he may be suspected of having been insolvent. On the other hand, he who is wronged remembers it, and keeps his grievance in full sight.1 Nor if those to whom property is wrongfully given are more numerous than those [162]from whom it has been unjustly taken, are they therefore possessed of more influence; for these matters are determined, not by number, but by weight. But what justice is there in a proceeding by which he who had no landed estate obtains an estate that has been in the possession of the same family for many years, or even generations, while he who has had the estate loses it?

23. It was for wrongs of this sort that the Spartans banished Lysander the ephor, and put to death Agis the king,1 the first instance of the kind; and from that time such dissensions ensued that tyrants sprang up, and men of high rank were expatriated, and that most admirably constituted state fell to pieces. Nor did it fall alone, but overthrew also the remainder of Greece by the contagion of evils which, starting from the Lacedaemonians, spread from state to state. What more? Did not agrarian agitations destroy our citizens the Gracchi, sons of that most eminent man Tiberius Gracchus, grandsons of Africanus? On the other hand, praise is most justly bestowed on Aratus of Sicyon, who, when his state had been kept under oppression by tyrants for fifty years,2 going from Argos to Sicyon, [163]obtained possession of the city by entering it secretly, and after suddenly crushing the tyrant Nicocles, restored six hundred exiles who had been the richest men in the state, and freed the people by his advent. Then when he came to reflect on the difficulty about property and its occupancy, thinking it very unjust that those whom he had restored and whose estates were in the possession of others should remain poor, and at the same time deeming it hardly fair that possessions of fifty years’ standing should be disturbed, because after so long a time many estates were innocently held by inheritance, many by purchase, many by dowry, he determined that neither ought the property to be taken from those in possession, nor ought the former owners to be left without compensation. Having come to the conclusion that there was need of money to set this matter right, he said that he wanted to go to Alexandria, and ordered everything to remain as it was till his return. So he hastened to Ptolemy, who had been his host, the second king after the building of Alexandria. Having explained to him his purpose to restore freedom to his country, and informed him of the posture of affairs, this man most worthy of celebrity easily obtained from the rich [164]king the aid of a large amount of money. Carrying this to Sicyon, he took into his counsel fifteen of the principal men, with whom he considered carefully the cases both of those who held the property of others, and of those who had lost their own property, and managed by a valuation of the estates to persuade some of the present occupants to resign their estates and accept money instead, and others to account it more to their advantage to have the value of their estates paid to them than to recover possession of them. Thus it was brought about that all went their ways perfectly satisfied, without any ground of mutual complaint. O truly great man, well worthy to have been a native of our own commonwealth! Thus it is fitting to deal with citizens; not, as we have twice seen, to plant the spear in the market-place, and to submit the property of citizens to sale by the auctioneer. That Greek, indeed, as was to have been expected of a wise and excellent man, thought that the welfare of all should be consulted; and this is the consummate reason and wisdom of a good citizen, not to create separate interests among those of the same state, but to hold all together by the same principles of equity. May men live without compensation on the estates of others? Why so? That when I have bought, built, keep the estate in good order, spend money upon it, you without my consent may have the use of what is mine? What else is this but to take from some what is their own, and to give to others [165]what is not their own? Then too, what does the cancelling of debts mean, but that you may buy an estate with my money, and keep it, while I go without the money?

24. Therefore the care should be to check such excessive indebtedness as will be of injury to the state (which may be prevented in many ways),1 and not, if there are debts, to deprive the rich of their money, and to let the debtors gain what is not theirs. For nothing holds the state more firmly together than good faith, which cannot possibly exist unless the payment of debts is obligatory. Never was there a more earnest endeavor against the payment of debts than in my consulship. The attempt was made by arms and military operations, and by men of every kind and order, which I resisted with such energy that so dire a calamity was averted from the state. Never was there a larger amount of debt, nor was it ever discharged more fully or more easily; for when the hope of successful fraud was removed, the necessity of paying was the consequence. He indeed, of late conqueror, but at that time conquered,2 carried [166]out what he had then planned after he had ceased to have any personal interest in it.1 So great was his appetite for evil-doing, that the very doing of evil gave him delight, even when there was no special reason for it. From this kind of generosity, then, — the giving to some what is taken from others, — those who mean to be guardians of the state will refrain, and will especially bestow their efforts, that through the equity of the laws and of their administration every man may have his own property made secure, and that neither the poorer may be defrauded on account of their lowly condition, nor any odium may stand in the way of the rich in holding or recovering what belongs to them; while they will also aid the growth of the state in power, territory, and revenue, by whatever means, military or domestic, may be at their command. Such are the aims of truly great men; these things were wont to be done in the times of our ancestors; and those who perform faithfully duties of this class will with the greatest benefit to the state secure for themselves distinguished favor and reputation.

Among these precepts relating to expediency, Antipater of Tyre, a Stoic, who recently died at Athens, thinks that two subjects were omitted by Panaetius, — the care of health and that of money, — which, I suppose, were passed over by that illustrious philosopher, because they presented no difficulty. They certainly belong under the head of expediency. I would say, then, that good health is maintained by the knowledge of one’s own constitution, by observing what things are wont to be salutary or injurious, by self-restraint in the whole manner and habit of living, by abstaining from sensual indulgences, and, lastly, by the skill of those to whose profession these matters belong. Property ought to be obtained in ways not dishonorable, to be preserved by diligence and frugality, to be increased also by the same means. These things Xenophon, the disciple of Socrates, has thoroughly discussed in his book on Domestic Economy,1 which, when I was about of your present age, I translated into Latin.

25. But the comparison of things that are expedient — this being the fourth division, omitted by Panaetius — is often necessary. For bodily endowments are wont to be compared with outward advantages, and outward advantages with bodily endowments, bodily endowments themselves, too, with one another, and outward advantages, some [168]with others. Thus in comparing bodily endowments with outward advantages, you would rather be in good health than rich; in comparing outward advantages with bodily endowments, you would choose to be rich rather than to possess extraordinary strength of body. In comparing bodily endowments among themselves, good health would be preferred to sensual gratification, strength to swiftness of foot; and of outward advantages, fame to wealth, city revenues1 to country revenues.2 Of this last kind of comparisons is that quoted from the elder Cato, who, when asked what was the most profitable thing to be done on an estate, replied, “To feed cattle well.” “What second best?” “To feed cattle moderately well.” “What third best?” “To feed cattle, though but poorly.” “What fourth best?” “To plough the land.” And when he who had made these inquiries asked, “What is to be said of making profit by usury?” Cato replied, “What is to be said of making profit by murder?”3 From this and from many things beside it may be inferred that comparisons of things [169]expedient are not infrequently made, and that this is rightly added as a fourth head to our discussion of duty. But in everything appertaining to this last topic, the acquisition and investment of money, — I could wish, as to its use, too, — the discussions that might be held by certain very good men sitting among the bankers in the Exchange1 are worth more than those by any philosophers of any school. Yet these matters ought to be taken notice of; for they belong under the head of expediency, — the subject of this book. Let us, in the next place, pass on to what remains of the proposed plan.


1. My son Marcus, Cato, who was nearly of the same age1 with Publius Scipio, the first of the family that bore the name of Africanus, represents him as in the habit of saying that he was never less at leisure than when he was at leisure, or less alone than when he was alone, — a truly magnificent utterance and worthy of a great and wise man, indicating that in leisure he was wont to think of business2 and in solitude to commune with himself,3 so that he was never idle, and had no need betweenwhile4 of another person’s conversation. Thus the two things, leisure and solitude, which with others occasion languor, quickened his energies. I could wish that I were able to say the same; but if I cannot by imitation attain such transcendent excellence of temperament, I at any rate in my inclination make as near an approach to it as I can; for, debarred from political and forensic employments by sacrilegious arms and violence, [171]I am abandoning myself to leisure, and therefore, leaving the city and wandering from one place in the country to another, I am often alone. But neither is this leisure of mine to be compared with the leisure of Africanus, nor this solitude with his. He, indeed, reposing from the most honorable public trusts, upon certain occasions snatched leisure for himself, and from the company and concourse of men betweenwhile betook himself to solitude as to a harbor. But my leisure proceeds from lack of employment, not from desire for repose. For, the Senate being silenced1 and the courts suspended,2 what is there worthy of myself that I can do either in the senate-house or in the forum? Thus, after having lived in the greatest publicity and in the presence of my fellow-citizens, I now hide myself to escape the sight of bad men who swarm everywhere, and I am often alone. Yet since philosophers say that one ought not only of evils to choose the least, but from even these least evils to extract whatever of good there may be in them, I therefore am utilizing my leisure, though it be not that to which I was entitled after having obtained leisure3 for the state, nor am I [172]suffering this solitude — which necessity, not choice, imposes upon me — to remain idle. Africanus, indeed, as I think, attained a higher merit; for no monuments of his genius were committed to writing, there remains no work of his leisure, no fruit of his solitude, — whence it should be inferred that it was in consequence of mental activity and the investigation of those things to which he directed his thoughts, that he was never at leisure or alone. But I who have not such strength of mind that I can abstract myself from the weariness of solitude by silent meditation, am directing all my study and care to this labor of writing, and thus in the short time that has elapsed since the overthrow of the state, I have written more than in many years while it stood.1

2. But while all philosophy, my Cicero, is fertile and fruitful, nor is any part of it untilled or unoccupied, there is no department within its pale more productive or more prolific than that relating to the duties whence are derived rules for living consistently and virtuously. Therefore, although I trust that you are diligently hearing and receiving instruction on this subject from Cratippus, the foremost philosopher of the present age, yet I think [173]that it will be for your benefit that your ears should constantly ring with such themes, and, were it possible, should hear nothing else. While this should be the case with all who mean to enter on a virtuous life, I am inclined to think that there is no one for whom it is more fitting than for you, — liable as you are to no small anticipation of imitating my diligence, to the confident expectation that you will succeed me in public trusts, and to some hope, perhaps, of rivalling my reputation. You have, beside, taken upon yourself the heavy responsibility of both Athens and Cratippus, to which and to whom, after resorting as to a mart of good culture, it would be in the last degree shameful for you to return empty-minded, thus disgracing the reputation of both the city and the master. Look to it, then, that you accomplish as much as you can aim after in purpose, and strive for by labor, — if learning be labor rather than pleasure, — nor suffer it so to be, that when I have given you the most liberal supplies,1 you may appear to have been false to your own interest. But enough of this; for I have written to you much and often by way of exhortation. Let us now return to the remaining head of my proposed division.

Panaetius, then, who without doubt discussed the subject of duty with the utmost precision, and whom I have thus far followed for the most part, [174]with an occasional correction, having laid down three heads under which men were wont to reason and deliberate concerning duty, — one, the inquiry whether the act under discussion is right or wrong, the second, whether it is expedient or inexpedient, the third, the mode of settling the discrepancy in case what has the appearance of right is repugnant to what seems expedient, — treated of the first two heads in three books, and said that he would speak of the third head in its turn, but failed to keep his promise. I am the more surprised at this, because Posidonius, his pupil, says that he lived thirty years after writing those first three books. I am surprised, too, to find this head but slightly touched upon in certain essays of Posidonius, especially as he says that there is no subject of so essential importance in all philosophy. I by no means agree with those who maintain that this subject was not overlooked by Panaetius, but purposely omitted, and that it ought not to have been written upon at all, inasmuch as expediency can never be in conflict with the right. With regard to this assertion one thing admits of doubt, whether this third head of Panaetius ought to have been taken into consideration or entirely omitted; the other thing admits of no doubt, that it was undertaken by Panaetius, but left unwritten; for to him who has finished two heads of a threefold division the third of necessity remains. Besides, at the close of his third book he promises to treat of this division in its turn. We [175]have further the testimony of Posidonius, a credible witness, who also writes in one of his letters that Publius Rutilius Rufus, a pupil of Panaetius, used to say that as no painter could be found who would finish the part of the Venus of Cos1 which Apelles had left imperfect — the beauty of the countenance putting it beyond hope that the rest of the body could be finished so as to bear comparison with it — so no one had attempted what Panaetius had left incomplete, on account of the surpassing excellence of the things that he had completed.

3. There can, then, be no doubt about the intention of Panaetius; but whether he was right or not in annexing this third head to his discussion of duty may, perhaps, admit of doubt. For whether the right is the sole good, as the Stoics think, or whether, as your Peripatetics maintain, the right is the supreme good in such a sense that all things else placed in the opposite scale are of insignificant moment, it is beyond question that expediency can never clash with the right. Thus we learn that Socrates used to denounce as worthy of execration those who regarded as separable the expedient and [176]the right, which are conjoined by nature. The Stoics have agreed with him in maintaining that whatever is right must be expedient, and that nothing can be expedient which is not right. Now if Panaetius were the sort of man to say that virtue ought to be cultivated because it is productive of utility, as those do who measure the desirableness of objects by the pleasure or the freedom from pain that they may afford, he might in that case have said that expediency is sometimes repugnant to the right. But since he belongs to the class of men who regard what is right as alone good, and consider life as made neither better by the acquisition nor worse by the loss of those things which with a certain show of expediency are in conflict with the right, it does not seem as if he ought to have introduced a discussion in which what appears to be expedient should be compared with what is right. For what the Stoics term the supreme good, to live in conformity with nature, means, as I think, to be always in harmony with virtue, yet to make free choice among things in general that are in accordance with nature, only on condition of their not being repugnant to virtue. Such being the case, some think that this comparison is not properly brought forward, and that no practical lessons ought to have been given under this head. Indeed, that which is properly and with literal truth called the right is found in the wise alone, nor can it ever be separated from virtue; while in those not possessed of perfect wisdom, [177]the perfect right itself cannot possibly be, but only semblances of the right. For all these duties discussed in the present treatise — contingent,1 as the Stoics call them — are common, and are largely practised, and many attain to them by excellence of natural disposition and by advancement in knowledge. But that duty which the Stoics term the right is perfect and absolute, and, in the phrase of those same philosophers, has all the numbers,2 nor can it come into the possession of any one except the wise man. But when anything is done in which contingent duties are manifest, it seems to be abundantly perfect, because people in general do not understand what in it is wanting to perfection, while so far as they do understand, they think nothing omitted. The like is of ordinary occurrence in poems, pictures, and many other matters, namely, [178]that the unskilled view with delight and commendation things that do not deserve praise, because, I suppose, there is in them something good of a kind to take the fancy of the ignorant, who are incapable of determining what defect there may be in the several objects thus placed before them; while after they have been taught by experts, they readily change their opinion.

4. These duties which I am discussing in the present treatise the Stoics call a sort of second-grade duties, not belonging to the wise alone, but common to them with the whole human race. Thus all in whom there is a virtuous disposition are favorably inclined to them. Nor, indeed, when the two Decii or the two Scipios are commemorated as brave men, or when Fabricius is called just, is the example of fortitude sought from them, or of justice from him, as from men in the strict sense of the term “wise;” for neither of them was wise as we would have the word “wise” understood. Nor yet were the men who were esteemed and surnamed Wise, Marcus Cato and Caius Laelius, wise in this sense, nor yet those famous seven;1 but from their constant practice of common duties they bore to a certain degree the semblance and aspect of wise men.2 Therefore, [179]while it is an error to compare the right properly so called with expediency when repugnant to it, at the same time that which is commonly called right, and is held sacred by those who want to be regarded as good men, should never be compared with external goods; and it is as incumbent on us to defend and preserve that right which is on a level with our apprehension, as it is on the wise to cherish the right properly and truly so called. Otherwise, if any progress toward virtue has been made, it cannot be maintained. Enough has now been said about those who are reputed as good men on account of the discharge of common duties. But those who measure everything by the standard of gain and personal convenience, nor are willing that these goods should be outweighed by virtue, are accustomed, in their plans of life, to compare the right with what they deem expedient; good men are not so accustomed. I therefore think that when Panaetius said that men are wont to hesitate in this comparison, he meant precisely what he said; for he said only that they were wont, not that they ought, to hesitate. And, indeed, it is in the utmost degree base not only to prize what seems expedient above what is right, but even to compare them with each other and to incline to doubt with regard to them. What is it, then, that is wont sometimes to occasion doubt and may seem worthy of consideration? I [180]believe that if doubt ever occurs, it is as to the actual character of that which is under consideration; for it often happens, under special circumstances, that what is wont for the most part to be accounted as wrong is found not to be wrong. Let a case which admits of a wider application be taken by way of example. What greater crime can there be than to kill not only a man, but an intimate friend? Has one, then, involved himself in guilt by killing a tyrant, however intimate with him?1 This is not the opinion of the Roman people, who of all deeds worthy of renown regard this as the most noble. Has expediency, then, got the advantage over the right? Nay, but expediency has followed in the direction of the right.

Therefore, that we may be able to discriminate without mistake, if at any time what we call expedient shall seem repugnant to what we conceive of as right, there must be established some general rule,2 which if we recognize in the comparison of things, we shall never be false to our duty. But this rule shall be in close accordance with the method and system of the Stoics, whom I am following in this treatise, because though by the early Academics and by the Peripatetics who were formerly identical with them those things that are right are preferred to those that seem expedient, [181]yet these themes are discussed in a loftier tone by those to whom both whatever is right is also expedient, and there is nothing expedient that is not right, than by those to whom anything right can be otherwise than expedient, or anything expedient otherwise than right. Moreover, my sect of the Academy gives me broad liberty, so that I have a right to defend whatever seems to me probable. But I return to the general rule.

5. For a man to take anything wrongfully from another, and to increase his own means of comfort by his fellow-man’s discomfort, is more contrary to nature than death, than poverty, than pain, than anything else that can happen to one’s body or his external condition.1 In the first place, it destroys human intercourse and society; for if we are so disposed that every one for his own gain is ready to rob or outrage another, that fellowship of the human race which is in the closest accordance with nature must of necessity be broken in sunder. As if each member of the body were so affected as to suppose itself capable of getting strength by appropriating the strength of the adjacent member, the whole body must needs be enfeebled and destroyed, so if each of us seizes for himself the goods of others, and [182]takes what he can from every one for his own emolument, the society and intercourse of men must necessarily be subverted. It is, indeed, permitted, with no repugnancy of nature, that each person may prefer to acquire for himself, rather than for another, whatever belongs to the means of living; this, however, nature does not suffer, — that we should increase our means, resources, wealth, by the spoils of others. Nor is this so merely by the law of nature and of nations; but also by those statutes of particular communities on which the body politic in each state depends for its safety, it is in like manner enacted that no one can be permitted to injure another for his own benefit. It is to this that the laws look, it is this that they mean, that the union of citizens shall be secure; and those who dissever it they restrain by death, exile, imprisonment, fine. Moreover, much more is this end effected by the reason inherent in nature, which is the law of gods and of men, which he who wills to obey — and all will obey it who desire to live according to nature — will never so act as to seek what belongs to another and to appropriate to himself what he has taken from another. For loftiness and largeness of soul, and therewith affability, justice, kindness, are more in accordance with nature than pleasure, than life, than wealth, to despise which and to count them as naught when compared with the common good is the token of a great and lofty mind. To take aught from another for one’s [183]own benefit is, then, more opposed to nature than death, or pain, or any other adverse experience. At the same time, it is more in accordance with nature to assume the greatest labors and discomforts for the preservation and succor of all nations, were it possible, imitating that Hercules whom human gratitude, commemorative of his services, exalted to a seat among the gods, than to live in isolation, not only free from all causes of disturbance, but even in the fulness of sensual gratification, abounding in resources of every kind, nay, even surpassing all others in beauty and in strength. Therefore every man endowed with a mind of superior excellence and brilliancy prefers the former to the latter mode of life, whence it may be inferred that man, when obedient to nature, cannot injure man. Still further, he who maltreats another that he himself may obtain some benefit, either is unaware that he is acting contrary to nature, or else thinks that poverty, pain, loss of children, of kindred, of friends, is to be avoided rather than wrong-doing to a fellow-man. If he is unaware that he is acting contrary to nature in maltreating men, how are you to reason with one who takes away from man all that makes him man? But if he thinks that wrong-doing ought indeed to be shunned, but that death, poverty, or pain is much more to be shunned, he errs in imagining any evil affecting the bodily condition or property to be of greater consequence than moral evil.

6. This, then, above all, ought to be regarded by [184]every one as an established principle, that the interest of each individual and that of the entire body of citizens are identical, which interest if any one appropriate to himself alone, he does it to the sundering of all human intercourse. And further, if nature prescribes this, that man shall desire the promotion of man’s good for the very reason that he is man, it follows in accordance with that same nature that there are interests common to all. The antecedent is true; therefore the consequent is true. For this is absurd indeed which some say, that they would take nothing from a parent or a brother for their own benefit, but that it is quite another thing with persons outside of one’s own family. These men disclaim all mutual right and partnership with their fellow-citizens for the common benefit, — a state of feeling which dismembers the fellowship of the community. Those, too, who say that account is to be taken of citizens, but not of foreigners, destroy the common sodality of the human race, which abrogated, beneficence, liberality, kindness, justice, are removed from their very foundations. And those who remove them are to be regarded as impious toward the immortal gods; for they overturn the fellowship established among men by the gods, the closest bond of which fellowship is the opinion that it is more contrary to nature for man to take anything from man for his own benefit than to endure all forms of discomfort, whether external, or bodily, or even mental, which leave room for the [185]exercise of justice. For this one virtue is mistress and queen of all the virtues. One may perhaps say, “Should not then a wise man who is perishing with hunger take away food from another man who is good for nothing?” No, indeed, by no means; for my life is not of greater service to me than is such a disposition of mind as would preclude my injuring any one for my own benefit. What if a good man, to save himself from perishing with the cold, should rob of his clothes the cruel and savage tyrant Phalaris? May he do it? These matters are very easy of determination. If, indeed, you were to take anything from a perfectly worthless man merely for your own benefit, you would perform an inhuman act and one contrary to nature. If, however, you are a person capable, by prolonging your life, of rendering great service to the state and to human society, and for that reason you take something from another person, you would not be blameworthy. But except in such a case, each man must bear his own privations rather than take what belongs to another. Sickness, or poverty, or anything of this kind is not, indeed, more opposed to nature than is the appropriation or coveting of what belongs to another. But at the same time the dereliction of the common good is opposed to nature, for it is unjust; and therefore the very law of nature, which preserves and maintains the good of man, undoubtedly prescribes that the necessaries of life should be transferred from an inefficient and useless man to a [186]wise, good, brave man, whose death would make a large deduction from the common good, — provided he effect the transfer in such a way that his self-esteem and self-love may not furnish a pretext for wrong-doing. In this way he will perform his duty with reference to the good of mankind and to the human fellowship of which I have so often spoken. Now as regards Phalaris the decision is very easy; for we1 have no fellowship with tyrants, but rather the broadest dissiliency from them, and this whole pestiferous and impious class of men ought to be exterminated from human society. Indeed, as limbs are amputated when they are bloodless and virtually lifeless, and injure the rest of the body, so this beastly savageness and cruelty in human form ought to be cut off from what may be called the common body of humanity. Of this sort are all the questions in which duty is to be determined from circumstances.

7. Panaetius would, I think, have followed up topics of this kind, had not some accident or some other occupation frustrated his intention. Toward these very inquiries there may be drawn from his first three books many maxims, from which it can be clearly seen what is to be avoided on account of its immorality, and what is not to be avoided because not absolutely immoral.

But since I am, as it were, putting the topstone [187]on a work incomplete, yet almost finished, as mathematicians are wont, instead of demonstrating everything, to ask that some things be admitted1 in order to explain more easily what they want to prove, so I ask of you, my Cicero, to admit, if you can, that nothing except what is right is to be sought for its own sake. If, however, you cannot grant this without hindrance from the teachings of Cratippus, you can certainly admit that what is right is to be sought chiefly for its own sake. Either proposition is sufficient for my purpose; and now this, now that, seems the more probable, while no other proposition relating to this subject is in any degree probable. At the same time, Panaetius ought in the first place to be defended on this point; inasmuch as he said, not that expediency could ever be in conflict with the right, — for this he could not consistently say, — but that things that seemed expedient might be thus in conflict. Indeed, he often affirms that nothing is expedient which is not also right, and nothing right which is not also expedient; and he maintains that no more prolific source of evil has ever found its way into human society than the opinion of those who have divorced the expedient and the right. Therefore, it was not in order that on certain occasions we should prefer expediency to the right, but that we might discriminate without mistake between appearance and reality, if at any [188]time there were a seeming conflict, that he introduced into the plan of his work a seeming, not an actual, collision between the expedient and the right. This division, then, which he left unwritten, I propose to fill out, relying on no authority, from my own resources;1 for since the time of Panaetius there has been nothing written on this head of a nature to satisfy me, among the works that have come into my hands.

8. When any specious appearance of expediency is presented, one cannot help being impressed by it. But if, when you give it closer attention, you see that there is something morally wrong connected with what thus seems expedient, in that case you are not to sacrifice expediency, but you are to understand that where there is moral wrong expediency cannot be. For if nothing is so contrary to nature as immorality (inasmuch as nature craves things right, and fitting, and consistent), and nothing so in unison with nature as expediency, then it is certain that expediency and immorality cannot exist in the same thing.2 Still further, if we were born for [189]virtue, and the right either is alone worthy to be sought (as Zeno maintained), or is assuredly to be regarded as immeasurably outweighing all things else (as is Aristotle’s doctrine), then, of necessity, what is right must be either the sole or the supreme good. But what is good is certainly expedient. Consequently whatever is right is expedient.1 It is then the misapprehension of bad men which, when it lays hold on anything that seems expedient, considers it independently of the question of right. This is the origin of assassinations, poisonings, forgeries of wills. Hence come thefts, embezzlements of public money, plunderings and pillagings of allies and of citizens. Hence, too, proceed the intolerable usurpations of excessive wealth, and, lastly, even in free states, the yearning for sovereign authority, than which nothing can be imagined more foul or more offensive. Men, indeed, in their false appreciation, see the profit of the wrong they do; they see not the punishment, I do not say, of the laws which they often evade, but of the guilt itself, of which the punishment is intensely bitter. Therefore let no quarter be given to this class of doubters, utterly wicked and impious, who deliberate whether they shall pursue what they see to be right, or shall knowingly defile themselves with guilt; for there is [190]crime in the mere hesitation, even if they do not go so far as the outward act. Therefore those things in which the very deliberation is criminal ought not to be deliberated at all. Moreover, the hope and expectation of concealment, whether of the act or of the actor, ought to be excluded from every deliberation on the conduct to be pursued. If we have made even the least proficiency in philosophy, we ought to be thoroughly persuaded that, even though we could escape the view of all gods and men, still nothing ought to be done by us avariciously, nothing unjustly, nothing lustfully, nothing extravagantly.

9. For this reason Plato introduces the wellknown story of Gyges,1 who, when the ground had caved away on account of heavy rains, passed down into the opening, and saw, as the story goes, a brazen horse with doors in his sides. Opening these doors, he saw a man of unusual size, with a gold ring on his finger, which drawing off, he put it on his own finger (he was a shepherd in the king’s service), and then repaired to the company of the shepherds. There, as often as he turned the part of the ring where the stone was set to the palm of his hand, he became invisible, yet himself saw everything; and was again visible when he restored the ring to its [191]proper place. Then, availing himself of the advantage which the ring gave him, he committed adultery with the queen, and by her assistance killed the king his master, and removed by death those whom he thought in his way. Nor could any one see him in connection with these crimes. By means of the ring he in a short time became king of Lydia. Now if a wise man had this ring, he would not think himself any more at liberty to do wrong than if he had it not; for it is right things, not hidden things, that are sought by good men. Here, however, certain philosophers, by no means ill-disposed, yet somewhat deficient in acuteness, say that this is only a fictitious and imaginary story that Plato has told, — as though, forsooth, he asserted that such a thing took place or could have taken place. The meaning of this ring and of this example is as follows: If no one would ever know, if no one would ever suspect, when you performed some act for the sake of wealth, power, ascendency, lust, — if it would remain forever unknown to gods and men, would you do it? They say that it is impossible. Yet it is not utterly impossible. But I ask, If that were possible which they say is impossible, what would they do? They persist, awkwardly indeed; they maintain that such a thing could not be, and they stand firm in this assertion; they do not take in the meaning of the phrase, “If it were possible.” For when we ask what they would do if they could conceal what they did, we do not ask whether they [192]can hide it; but we put them, as it were, on the rack, that if they answer that they would do what seemed expedient if assured of impunity, they may confess themselves atrociously guilty; and if they make the contrary answer, that they may grant that whatever is wrong in itself ought to be shunned. Let us now return to the subject under discussion.

10. There occur many cases of a nature to perplex the mind under the aspect of expediency, — cases in which the real question is not whether the right is to be sacrificed on account of the greatness of the benefit to be gained (for that is unquestionably wrong), but whether that which seems expedient can be done without guilt. When Brutus deposed his colleague Collatinus from the consulship, he might seem to have done this unjustly; for Collatinus had been the associate of Brutus, and his assistant in measures for the expulsion of the royal family. But when the chief men of the state had come to the determination that the kindred of Superbus, and the name of the Tarquins, and the remembrance of kingly government must be put out of the way, what was expedient — that is, care for the well-being of the country — was so entirely right that it ought to have satisfied Collatinus himself. Thus expediency became valid on account of the right that was in it, without which, indeed, there could not have been any expediency. Not so, however, in the case of the king who founded the city; for a bare show of expediency struck his mind. When it [193]seemed to him better to reign alone than with a colleague, he killed his brother. He set aside both brotherly affection and humanity, in order to attain what seemed expedient, yet was not so; and then offered in defence the pretext of the wall, — a mere show of right, improbable in itself, and insufficient even if true. He was therefore entirely in the wrong. With his leave I would say it, whether he be Quirinus or Romulus.1 Nevertheless, advantages that are properly our own we are not to abandon, or to yield up to others, if we ourselves need them; but each one must minister to his own advantage only so far as it may be done without wrong to others. Chrysippus,2 who has written many sensible things, wisely says: “He who is running a race ought to endeavor and strive to the utmost of his ability to come off victor; but it is utterly wrong for him to trip up his competitor, or to push him aside. So in life it is not unfair for one to seek for himself what may accrue to his benefit; but it is not right to take it from another.”

But in the case of friendships there is the greatest perplexity as to duty, it being equally opposed to duty to withhold what you can rightfully concede to a friend, and to concede what is not right. Office, wealth, pleasure, other things of that sort, are [194]certainly never to be preferred to friendship. At the same time a good man will do nothing against the state, or in violation of his oath or of good faith, for the sake of his friend, not even if he were a judge in his friend’s case. For

“He drops the friend, when he puts on the judge.”1

He will yield so far to friendship as to wish his friend’s case to be worthy of succeeding, and to accommodate him as to the time of trial within legal limits. But inasmuch as he must pass sentence upon his oath, he will bear it in mind that he has God for a witness, that is, as I think, his own conscience, than which God himself has given man nothing more divine. In this view, it is an admirable custom derived from our ancestors — if we would only adhere to it — that when a favor is asked of a judge, it is in the words, “So far as it can be done without a breach of good faith.” A request proffered in such terms applies to things which, as I just said, can be granted by a friend who is acting as a judge. On the other hand, were one to feel bound to do all that friends might desire, such connections ought to be considered as not friendships, but conspiracies. I am speaking of ordinary friendships; for in the case of wise and perfect men there can be nothing of the kind. It is related that Damon and Phintias,2 Pythagoreans, [195]were so disposed toward each other, that when Dionysius the tyrant had fixed for one of them the day of execution, and he that was condemned to death asked for a few days’ respite to make arrangements for the care of his family, the other became surety for his appearance, to die in his stead if he did not return. When he returned on the day appointed, the tyrant, admiring their mutual good faith, begged them to admit him to their friendship as a third person. In fine, whenever what seems expedient in friendship comes into competition with what is right, let the apparent expediency be disregarded; let the right prevail. Moreover, when in friendship things that are not right are demanded, religion and good faith are to take precedence of friendship. Thus will the choice of duty, which is the subject of our inquiry, be determined.

11. But it is in affairs of state that wrong is the most frequently committed under the show of expediency. Our own people were thus guilty with reference to the demolition of Corinth. The Athenians acted with still greater severity in decreeing that the men of Aegina,1 who were able seamen, should have their thumbs cut off. This seemed expedient; for Aegina was too threatening on account [196]of its proximity to the Piraeus. But nothing that is cruel is expedient; for cruelty is in the utmost degree hostile to human nature, which ought to be our guide. Those also are to be blamed who prohibit foreigners from living in their cities, and expel them, as Fannius did in the time of our fathers, and Papius more recently.1 It is indeed right that one who is not a citizen should lack the full privileges of citizenship, as is enacted by the law passed under the consulship of those very wise men Crassus and Scaevola; but it is clearly inhumane to prohibit foreigners from living in the city. On the other hand, a worthy renown rests upon the instances in which the show of public benefit is despised in comparison with the right. Our history is full of examples of this kind, while often at other times, especially in the second Punic war, when, after the disaster of Cannae, the people manifested greater spirit than ever in prosperity. There was no symptom of fear, no intimation of peace. Such is the power of the right, that it eclipses the show of expediency. When the Athenians were utterly unable to sustain the assault of the Persians, and determined that, deserting the city and leaving their wives and children at Troezen, they would go on board of their ships and defend the liberty of Greece by their fleet, they stoned to death a certain Cyrsilus [197]who pressed upon them the advice to stay in the city and receive Xerxes. He, indeed, seemed to advocate expediency; but expediency did not exist, when the right was on the other side. Themistocles, after the victory in the Persian war, said in a popular assembly that he had a plan conducive to the public good, but that it was not desirable that it should be generally known. He asked that the people should name some one with whom he might confer. Aristides was named. Themistocles said to him that the fleet of the Lacedaemonians, which was drawn ashore at Gytheum, could be burned clandestinely, and if that were done, the power of the Lacedaemonians would be inevitably broken. Aristides, having heard this, returned to the assembly amidst the anxious expectation of all, and said that the measure proposed by Themistocles was very advantageous, but utterly devoid of right. Thereupon the Athenians concluded that what was not right was not expedient, and they repudiated the entire plan which they had not heard, on the authority of Aristides. Better this than our conduct in holding pirates free from all exactions,1 our allies tributary.2

12. Let it be settled, then, that what is wrong is never expedient, not even when you obtain by it what you think to be of advantage to you. Nay, the mere thinking that what is wrong is expedient is in itself a misfortune. But, as I have already said, there often occur cases of such a nature that expediency seems in conflict with the right, so that it must be ascertained by close examination whether it is really thus in conflict, or whether it can be brought into harmony with the right. Of this class are questions like the following: If, for example, a good man has brought from Alexandria to Rhodes a large cargo of corn, when there is a great scarcity and dearth at Rhodes and corn is at the highest price, — in case this man knows that a considerable number of merchants have set sail from Alexandria, and on his passage he has seen ships laden with corn bound for Rhodes, shall he give this information to the Rhodians, or shall he keep silence and sell his cargo for the most that it will bring? We are imagining the case of a wise and good man. We want to know about the thought and feeling of such a man as would not leave the Rhodians uninformed if he thinks it wrong, but who doubts whether it is wrong or not. In cases of this kind Diogenes of Babylon,1 an eminent Stoic of high [199]authority, is wont to express one opinion, Antipater1 his pupil, a man of superior acuteness, another. According to Antipater, all things ought to be laid open, so that the buyer may be left in ignorance of nothing at all that the seller knows. According to Diogenes, the seller is bound to disclose defects in his goods so far as the law of the land requires, to transact the rest of the business without fraud, and then, since he is the seller, to sell for as much as he can get. “I have brought my cargo; I have offered it for sale; I am selling my corn for no more than others ask, perhaps even for less than they would ask, since my arrival has increased the supply. Whom do I wrong?” On the other side comes the reasoning of Antipater: “What say you? While you ought to consult the welfare of mankind and to render service to human society, and by the very condition of your being have such innate natural principles which you are bound to obey and follow, that the common good should be your good, and reciprocally yours the common good, will you conceal from men what comfort and plenty are nigh at hand for them?” Diogenes, perhaps, will reply as follows: “It is one thing to conceal, another not to tell. Nor am I now concealing [200]anything from you, by not telling you what is the nature of the gods, or what is the supreme good, — things which it would profit you much more to know than to know the cheapness of wheat. But am I under the necessity of telling you all that it would do you good to hear?” “Yes, indeed, you are under that necessity, if you bear it in mind that nature establishes a community of interest among men.” “I do bear this in mind. But is this community of interest such that one can have nothing of his own? If it be so, everything ought, indeed, to be given, not sold.”

13. You see that in this whole discussion it is not said, “Although this be wrong, yet, because it is expedient I will do it;” but that it is expedient without being morally wrong, and, on the other side, that because it is wrong it ought not to be done. A good man sells a house on account of some defects, of which he himself is aware and others ignorant. Perhaps it is unhealthy, and is supposed to be healthy, — it is not generally known that snakes make their appearance in all the bedrooms, — it is built of bad materials, and is in a ruinous condition; but nobody knows this except the owner. I ask, if the seller should have failed to tell these things to the buyer, and should thus have sold his house for a higher price than he could have reasonably expected, whether he would have acted unjustly or unfairly? “Yes, he would,” says Antipater; “for what is meant by not putting into the right way [201]one who has lost his way (which at Athens exposed a man to public execration), if it does not include the case in which a buyer is permitted to rush blindly on, and through his mistake to fall into a heavy loss by fraudulent means? It is even worse than not showing the right way; it is knowingly leading another into the wrong way.” Diogenes, on the other hand, says: “Did he who did not even advise you to buy, force you to buy? He advertised for sale what he did not like; you bought what you did like. Certainly, if those who advertise a good and well-built house are not regarded as swindlers, even though it is neither good nor properly built, much less should those be so regarded who have said nothing in praise of their house. For in a case in which the buyer can exercise his own judgment, what fraud can there be on the part of the seller? And if all that is said is not to be guaranteed, do you think that what is not said ought to be guaranteed? What could be more foolish than for the seller to tell the defects of the article that he is selling? Nay, what so absurd as for an auctioneer, by the owner’s direction, to proclaim, ‘I am selling an unhealthy house’?” Thus, then, in certain doubtful cases the right is defended on the one side; on the other, expediency is urged on the ground that it is not only right to do what seems expedient, but even wrong not to do it. This is the discrepancy which seems often to exist between the expedient and the right. But I must state my decision [202]in these cases; for I introduced them, not to raise the inquiry concerning them, but to give their solution. It seems to me, then, that neither that Rhodian corn-merchant nor this seller of the house ought to have practised concealment with the buyers. In truth, reticence with regard to any matter whatever does not constitute concealment; but concealment consists in willingly hiding from others for your own advantage something that you know. Who does not see what sort of an act such concealment is, and what sort of a man he must be who practises it? Certainly this is not the conduct of an open, frank, honest, good man, but rather of a wily, dark, crafty, deceitful, ill-meaning, cunning man, an old rogue, a swindler. Is it not inexpedient to become liable to these so numerous and to many more bad names?1

14. But if those who keep silence deserve censure, what is to be thought of those who employ absolute falsehood? Caius Canius, a Roman knight, a man not without wit and of respectable literary culture, having gone to Syracuse, for rest, as he used to say, not for business, wanted to buy a small estate, to which he could invite his friends, and where he could take his own pleasure without intruders. When his wish had become generally known, a certain Pythius, who was doing a banker’s business at Syracuse, told him that he had a country-seat, not, [203]indeed, for sale, but which Canius was at liberty to use as his own if he wished to do so; and at the same time he invited the man to supper at the country-seat for the next day. He having accepted the invitation, Pythius, who, as being a banker, was popular among all classes, called the fishermen together, asked them to fish the next day in front of his villa, and told them what he wanted them to do. Canius came to supper at the right time; a magnificent entertainment was prepared by Pythius; a multitude of little boats were in full sight; every fisherman brought what he had taken; the fish were laid down at the feet of Pythius. Then Canius says, “Prithee, what does this mean? So many fish here? So many boats?” And he answered, “What wonder? All the fish for the Syracuse market are here; they come here to be in fresh water. The fishermen cannot dispense with this villa.” Canius, inflamed with longing, begs Pythius to sell the place. He hesitates at first. To cut the story short, Canius over-persuades him. The greedy and rich man buys the villa for as high a price as Pythius chooses to ask, and buys the furniture too. He gives security; he finishes the business. Canius the next day invites his friends. He comes early; he sees not a thole-pin. He asks his next neighbor whether it is a fishermen’s holiday, as he sees none of them. “Not so far as I know,” was the reply. “No fishermen are in the habit of fishing here. I therefore yesterday could not think what had occurred to [204]bring them.” Canius was enraged. But what was he to do? My colleague and friend, Aquillius,1 had not then published his forms of legal procedure in the case of criminal fraud, as to which when he was asked for a definition of criminal fraud, he replied, “When one thing is pretended, another done.” This is perfectly clear, as might be expected from a man skilled in defining. Pythius, then, and all who do one thing while they pretend another, are treacherous, wicked, villanous. Therefore nothing that they do can be expedient, when defiled by so many vices.

15. But if the definition of Aquillius is correct, pretence and concealment should be entirely done away with. Thus a good man will neither pretend nor conceal anything for the sake of buying or selling on better terms. Indeed, this offence of criminal fraud had been previously punished both by the laws, as in the case of guardianship, by the Twelve Tables, and in the defrauding of minors, by the Plaetorian law,2 and also, without express statute, [205]by legal decisions in which the phrase “As good faith requires” is employed.1 In other decisions the following words hold a prominent place: — in the case of arbitration about a wife’s property, “The better, the more equitable;”2 in the case of trust-property, “Fair dealing between good men.”3 What then? Can there be any admixture of deceit in “The better, the more equitable?” Or when “Fair dealing between good men” is specified, can anything be done craftily or fraudulently? But, as Aquillius says, criminal fraud consists in misrepresentation. All falsehood, then, must be removed from contracts. The seller must not employ a sham purchaser, nor the buyer one to depreciate the article on sale by too low a bid. Let either party, if it comes to naming the price, say once for all what he will give or take. Quintus Scaevola, the son of Publius, when he asked to have the price of an [206]estate that he was buying named once for all, and the seller had complied with his request, said that he thought it worth more, and added a hundred thousand sesterces.1 There is no one who would say that this was not the act of a good man; but men in general would not regard it as the act of a wise man, any more than if he had sold an estate for less than it would bring. This, then, is the mischievous doctrine, — regarding some men as good, others as wise, according to which notion Ennius writes that the wise man who cannot provide for his own advantage is wise in vain. I would readily account this saying true, if I were agreed with Ennius as to what one’s advantage is. I see, indeed, that Hecato of Rhodes, a disciple of Panaetius, says, in the books on Duties which he dedicated to Quintus Tubero: “It is a wise man’s duty, while he does nothing contrary to morals, laws, and customs, to have regard to his private fortune. For we desire to be rich, not for ourselves alone, but for children, kindred, friends, and most of all for the state, — considering that the means and resources of individual citizens are the wealth of the state.” The act of Scaevola just named cannot, then, be in any way pleasing to Hecato. Nor is any great praise or favor to be rendered to a man who merely says that he will not do for his own benefit what is unlawful. But if pretence and concealment constitute criminal [207]fraud, there are very few transactions entirely free from criminal fraud; or if he is a good man who does good to those to whom he can and injures no one, of a certainty we shall not easily find that good man. We conclude, then, that it is never expedient to do wrong, because wrong-doing is always disgraceful; and because to be a good man is always right, it is always expedient.

16. As to landed property, the law of the state enacts that defects known to the seller must be made known in selling it; and while by the law of the Twelve Tables it was enough for such things as were guaranteed to be made good, and for the seller who made false statements with regard to them to pay double damages, the jurisconsults have determined that the legal penalty applies also to reticence.1 Their doctrine is, that whatever defect there may be in an estate, if the seller knows it, he is bound to make it good. Thus when the augurs were going to take an augury on the Capitol,2 and had ordered Tiberius Claudius Centumalus, who had a house on the Coelian hill, to pull down those parts of it which were so high as to obstruct their view of the heavens, Claudius advertised the detached house, [208]and sold it. The purchaser was Publius Calpurnius Lanarius. The same notice was given to him by the augurs. So when Calpurnius had complied with the order, and had ascertained that Claudius advertised the house for sale after being notified of the decree of the augurs, he procured the appearance of Claudius before a legally appointed arbitrator, suing him for damages for his breach of good faith. Marcus Cato pronounced the decision, the father of my friend Cato — for as other men are named from their fathers, so is the father of that illustrious man to be named from his son — he, I say, as judge, pronounced the decision: “Forasmuch as the seller knew of that decree when he sold the house, and did not make it known, the damage ought to be made good to the buyer.” He thus decided that in good faith a defect known by the seller ought to be known by the buyer. If this was a right decision, then neither that corn-merchant, nor the seller of the unhealthy house, had a right to keep silence. But all such cases of reticence cannot be comprised in the law of the land, though those which can be so comprised are carefully repressed. Marcus Marius Gratidianus, my kinsman, had sold to Caius Sergius Orata the house which he had bought from that same Orata a few years before. The estate was subject to certain rights of way, which Marius had omitted to name in the contract of sale. The case was brought into court. Crassus was advocate for Orata, Antonius for Gratidianus. Crassus laid stress on the law that [209]any defect known by the seller and not mentioned ought to be made good. Antonius rested his plea on the equity of the case, that inasmuch as the defect was not unknown to Sergius, who had previously sold the house, there was no need of its being specified, nor had the purchaser been imposed upon, since he knew perfectly well to what the estate purchased was liable. To what purpose do I name these things? That you may understand that our ancestors did not approve of chicanery.1

17. But the laws remove chicanery in one way, philosophers in another, — the laws, so far as they can lay hold on overt acts; philosophers, so far as they can reach such cases by reason and understanding. Reason, then, demands that nothing be done ensnaringly, nothing under false pretence, nothing deceitfully. Yet is it not ensnaring to spread nets, even if you do not start and hunt your victims? For beasts themselves often fall into nets without being pursued. Is it not thus that you advertise a house, — put up a notice of sale as a net; sell the house on account of its defects; and some unwary person runs into the net? Yet such is the degenerate state of feeling, that I find this neither accounted as morally wrong, nor yet forbidden by statute or by the civil law, though it is forbidden by the law of nature. For there is — though I have [210]often said it, there is need of its being said still oftener — a fellowship of men with men, which has, indeed, the broadest possible extent; a more intimate union, of those who belong to the same race; one closer still, of those who belong to the same state. Therefore our ancestors recognized a distinction between the law of nations and the law of the state. What is the law of the state is not necessarily also the law of nations; but whatever is the law of nations ought also to be the law of the state. But of true law and genuine justice we have no real and lifelike representation; their shadow and semblances alone are ours. Yet would that we might follow even these! For they are drawn from excellent models presented by nature and truth. How precious are these words: “That I be not taken in and defrauded through you or on account of my confidence in you!” What a golden formula is this: “As ought to be done between good men, fairly and without fraud!”1 But the great question is, Who are the “good men,” and what is it to be “fairly done”? Quintus Scaevola, the head of the pontifical college, said that there was the greatest force in all decisions to which the phrase “in good faith” was annexed, and he thought that as the term “good faith” had the broadest application as employed in guardianships, partnerships, trusts, commissions, purchases, sales, hiring, leases, which [211]make up the whole system of social transactions, it required a judge of superior capacity to determine — especially as there are often cross-suits — what each party is bound to render, and to whom, in the satisfaction of just claims.

There should, then, be an end of chicanery and of that cunning which means indeed to pass for prudence, but is an entirely different thing and at the widest distance from it; for prudence has its proper place in the choice between good and evil, while cunning — if whatever is immoral is evil — prefers evil things to good.

Nor is it only with reference to landed estate that the civil law, derived from nature, punishes cunning and fraud; but in the sale of slaves also all fraud on the part of the seller is prohibited. By the edict of the aediles,1 the seller who may rightly be supposed to know about the health, the truant habits, the dishonesty of the slave, is bound to guarantee the purchaser against damage. The case of persons who sell slaves that have recently come to them by inheritance is different.2 From these instances it is clear, since nature is the fountain of law, that it is in accordance with nature that no one should act so as to prey upon another’s ignorance. Nor can there be found any greater source of mischief to [212]human society than the false show of intelligence in the practice of cunning. Hence spring those countless cases in which expediency seems to be in conflict with the right. For how few will be found who, if impunity and absolute secrecy were offered, could refrain from wrong-doing!

18. Let us, if you please, try the principle that I have laid down, with reference to cases in which the generality of mankind do not think that any wrong is committed. For I am not going to speak here of assassins, poisoners, forgers of wills, thieves, peculators, who are to be repressed, not by words and philosophical discussion, but by chains and imprisonment. Let us consider the things that are done by those who are accounted as good men. Certain persons brought from Greece to Rome a forged will of Lucius Minucius Basilus, a rich man. That they might more easily maintain its validity, they made joint-heirs with themselves Marcus Crassus and Quintus Hortensius, the most influential men of that time, who, while they suspected the forgery, yet being conscious of no guilt of their own in the case, did not spurn the paltry present that came to them through the crime of others. What then? Is their freedom from the positive offence of forgery sufficient for their acquittal? I think not, though I loved one of them while he lived,1 and am not an [213]enemy of the other now that he is dead.1 But when Basilus meant that his sister’s son, Marcus Satrius, should take his name, and had made him his heir, — I mean this patron of the Picene and Sabine territory, to the disgrace of our time,2 — was it right that those distinguished citizens should have the property, and that nothing save the name should descend to Satrius? Forsooth, if he who does not, when he can, ward off or repel wrong is guilty of injustice (as I showed in the First Book), what is to be thought of him who, so far from repelling, abets the wrong? To me, indeed, genuine inheritances do not seem right, if sought by knavish blandishments, — by attentions rendered not from sincere but simulated kindness.3 In such affairs, one thing sometimes appears expedient, another right. But it is a deceptive appearance; for the standard of expediency is the same as that of right. He who does [214]not clearly see this is capable of any kind of fraud, of any crime. For he who thinks, “That is indeed right, but this is expedient,” will dare in his ignorance to divorce things united by nature, — a state of feeling which is the source of all frauds, wrongs, crimes.

19. Therefore, if a good man could by snapping his fingers make his name creep surreptitiously into rich men’s wills, he would not use this power, no, not even though he were absolutely certain that no one would ever have the least suspicion of it. But had you given this power to Marcus Crassus, that by snapping his fingers he could get his name inserted in a will though he were not really the heir, I warrant you he would have danced in the forum. A just man, however, and one whom we feel to be a good man, will take nothing from any one to transfer it to himself. Let him who marvels at this confess that he knows not what a good man is. But if one would only develop the idea of a good man wrapped up in his own mind, he would then at once tell himself that he is a good man who benefits all that he can, and does harm to no one unless provoked by injury.1 What then? Must not he do harm, who, as if by enchantment, displaces the true heirs, to put himself in their stead? “Is he not, then,” some one may say, “to do what is serviceable, what is expedient?” Yes, but let him understand that nothing unjust can be either expedient [215]or serviceable. He who has not learned this cannot be a good man. In my boyhood I heard from my father that Fimbria, who had been consul, was appointed judge in the case of Marcus Lutatius Pinthias, a Roman knight, not otherwise than respectable, who had laid a wager, to be forfeited if he did not prove himself to be a good man. Fimbria said that he would never act as judge in the case, lest, if he decided against Pinthias, he might deprive a worthy man of his reputation, or if he decided in his favor, he might seem to have pronounced some ordinary person to be a good man, while such a character was made up of innumerable duties and merits. To a good man, then, even in the conception of Fimbria, not to say of Socrates,1 nothing can by any possibility seem expedient that is not right. Therefore such a man will not dare, not only to do, but even to think anything which he may not venture to proclaim publicly. Is it not shameful that philosophers should be in doubt about these matters as to which even peasants have no doubt? From the peasants sprang the old saying that has become proverbial. When they commend any one’s honesty and goodness, they say that you might trust him to play odd and even2 with you in [216]the dark. What does this mean, unless that what is unbecoming is not expedient, even if you could obtain it without any one being able to prove it against you? Do you not see that according to this proverb there could be no apology either for that Gyges of whom I have spoken, or for this man whom I just now supposed by way of illustration, who by snapping his fingers could convert the inheritances of a whole community to his own use? For as what is immoral, though concealed, cannot be in any way made right, so it cannot be brought about that, in spite of the opposition and repugnancy of nature, what is not right should in any case be expedient.

20. Yet it may be said that when the gain is very great, there is justifying cause for wrong-doing. When Caius Marius had no near prospect of the consulship, and still remained in obscurity the seventh year after he had been praetor, nor gave any token that he was ever going to offer himself as a candidate for the consulship, having been sent to Rome by his commander Quintus Metellus, a man and citizen of the highest eminence, whose [217]lieutenant he was, he charged Metellus before the Roman people with needlessly protracting the war, intimating that if they had made him consul, he would in a short time have given Jugurtha either living or dead into the power of the Roman people. And so he was indeed made consul; but in bringing into odium by a false accusation a citizen of the highest worth and eminence, whose lieutenant he was1 and by whom he had been sent home, he made a wide departure from good faith and honesty. My kinsman Gratidianus2 did not play the part of a good man on the occasion when he was praetor, and the tribunes of the people had called into counsel the college of praetors, that the currency might have its standard fixed by a joint resolution; for the value of money was then so fluctuating that no one could know how much or how little property he had. The tribunes and praetors jointly framed a decree, specifying the penalty and the judicial proceedings for its violation, and agreed to mount the rostrum together in the afternoon. The others went their several ways; while Marius from the seats of the tribunes directly mounted the rostrum, and alone announced the decree which had resulted from their combined action. This affair, if you want [218]to know, brought him great popularity. Statues were erected in his honor in all the streets; incense and wax tapers were burned before them. To cut the story short, no man was ever more cherished by the multitude. These are the cases which sometimes perplex one in the discussion, — cases where the matter in which honesty is transgressed is not so very great, while that which is obtained by means of it is of the very highest value; as, for Marius, it was not so irredeemably shameful to forestall the popular favor from his colleagues and the tribunes of the people, while by this means to become consul, the end which he then had in view,1 seemed in the highest degree desirable. But there is one rule for all cases, which I would have profoundly impressed on your mind, — either that what seems expedient must not be wrong, or if it be wrong, that it must not seem to be expedient. Can we deem either that Marius or this a good man? Unfold and examine2 your own consciousness, that you may see what within it is the aspect, shape, and conception of a good man. Does it fall in with the character of a good man to lie, to slander, to forestall, to deceive? Nothing certainly can be less in harmony with it. Is there, then, any object of so much value, or any advantage so worthy of your quest, that you should forfeit for [219]it the glory and reputation of a good man? What is there that so-called expediency can bring to you of equal worth with what it takes from you, if it robs you of the reputation of a good man, and deprives you of truth and honesty? For what difference does it make, whether one turns himself from a man into a beast, or in the form of a man carries the moral obduracy of a beast?

21. What? Do not those who violate all that is right and virtuous if they can only obtain power, do the same thing with him who chose to have even for a father-in-law the man by whose audacity he himself might become powerful?1 It seemed expedient to him to avail himself of the other’s unpopularity for his own great advancement. He did not perceive how unjust this was to the country, how base, and how harmful. The father-in-law himself had always on his lips the Greek verses from the Phoenissae, which I will render as I can, awkwardly it may be, but still so as to be intelligible: —

“Transcend the right in quest of power alone;
In all things else hold fast the bond of kindred.”
It was criminal in Eteocles,2 or rather in Euripides, to except that one thing which was the most [220]wicked of all. Why, then, do we gather up crimes on a small scale, fraudulent heirships, bargains, sales? Here you have a man who desired to be king of the Roman people, and who accomplished his purpose. Whoever says that this desire was right, is mad; for he approves of the destruction of laws and of liberty, and deems their foul and detestable suppression glorious. But as for him who acknowledges that it is not right to usurp sovereign power in a state which was and which ought to be free, yet that it is expedient for him who can do so, by what remonstrance, or rather by what reproach, can I strive to draw him back from so grave an error? For (ye immortal gods!) can the basest and foulest parricide1 committed upon his country be expedient for any man, even though he who has made himself thus guilty be called parent by the citizens whom he has brought under the yoke? Expediency, then, ought to be measured by the right, and so indeed, that the two, though expressed by different names, may have to the ear the same sound. I do not accord with the opinion of the multitude who ask what can be more expedient than the possession of sovereign power; on the other hand, I find nothing more inexpedient for him who has obtained this power unjustly, when I begin to recall reason to things as they really are. For [221]can anxieties, solicitudes, terrors by day and by night, a life crowded full of snares and of perils, be expedient for any one? Attius says,

“The throne has many faithless, loyal few.”

But of what throne does he say this? Of one that was held by right, transmitted from Tantalus and Pelops. How much more, think you, must those words apply to that king who by the army of the Roman people subdued that very Roman people, and forced to servile obedience a state not only free, but ruling over whole races of men? What misgivings of conscience must he have had on his mind, think you? What inward wounds? Whose life can be serviceable to himself if he holds it on condition that whoever deprives him of it will rise to the summit of favor and glory? But if these things which seem in the highest degree expedient are yet inexpedient because full of disgrace and wickedness, we ought to be thoroughly convinced that there is nothing expedient that is not right.

22. This, while often indeed at other times, was expressly decreed by Caius Fabricius in his second consulate and by our Senate, in the war with Pyrrhus. For Pyrrhus having made war with the Roman people without provocation, and there being a contest for supremacy with that high-minded and powerful king, a deserter came from him to the camp of Fabricius, and promised that, if he would give him his price, as he had come secretly, so he [222]would return secretly to the camp of Pyrrhus, and kill him by poison. Fabricius sent the man back to Pyrrhus, and that act of his was commended by the Senate. Yet if we look to the appearance and the popular opinion of expediency, a single deserter would have put an end to that great war and to a dangerous enemy of the empire. But it would have been a great disgrace and scandal for one with whom the contest was for glory to have been overcome by crime, not by valor. Which, then, was the more expedient, for Fabricius, who was in this city what Aristides was in Athens, or for the Senate, which never divorced expediency from honor, to contend with the enemy by arms, or by poison? If empire is to be sought for the sake of glory, let crime, in which there can be no glory, be excluded; but if power be sought by any means whatsoever, it can be of no service conjoined with infamy. Therefore the proposal of Lucius Philippus, the son of Quintus, was not expedient, namely, that the states which by a decree of the Senate Lucius Sulla, for money received from them,1 had freed from tribute should be taxed again, without our returning to them the money that they had paid for their exemption. The Senate assented to the proposal, to the disgrace of the empire. Pirates keep better faith. But it may be said that the revenues were increased, and [223]it was therefore expedient. How long will men dare to call anything expedient that is not right? Can odium and infamy be of service to any empire, which ought to be supported by glory and by the good-will of its allies? I was often at variance even with my friend Cato. He seemed to me to guard the treasury and the revenues too obstinately, to refuse everything to the farmers of the revenue,1 and many things to our allies; while we ought to be generous to our allies, and to deal with the farmers of the revenue as leniently as we individually do with our own tenants, especially as the union of orders2 to which such a course would conduce is for the well-being of the state. Curio, too, was entirely in the wrong, when he said that the cause of the colonies north of the Po3 was just, but always added, “Let expediency prevail.” He should have said that it was not just because it was not expedient for the state, rather than have acknowledged it as just while saying that it was not expedient.

23. The Sixth Book of Hecato’s treatise on Duties is full of such questions as these. “Ought a good man in a time of extreme dearth to continue to furnish food to his slaves?” He discusses both sides of the question, yet at the last makes expediency rather than humanity the standard of duty. He asks, “If in a storm at sea something must be thrown overboard, shall it be a valuable horse, or a slave of no value?” In this case interest inclines in one direction, humanity in the other. “If in case of shipwreck a fool gets possession of a plank, shall a wise man wrest it from him if he can?” He answers in the negative, because it would be unjust. “What may the master of the ship do in such a case? May he not take possession of the plank as his own property?” Not by any means. He has no more right to do this than to throw a passenger from the ship into the sea because the ship is his own. Until it arrives at the port to which passage has been taken, the ship belongs not to the master, but to the passengers. “What if there be but one plank for two shipwrecked passengers, both wise men? Shall they both try to get possession of it, or shall one yield to the other?” One should give it up to the other; but let that other be the one whose life is the more valuable, either for his own sake or for that of the state. “What if their claims are equal?” There must be no quarrel between them, but one must yield to the other, as if he had come off second-best in drawing lots or at odd and even. [225]“What if a father pillages temples, or makes an underground passage to the public treasury? Shall the son give information to the magistrates?” That indeed would be wrong. Nay, he may even defend his father if he should be publicly accused. “Does not then duty to the country take precedence of all other duties?” Yes, indeed; but it is for the welfare of the country to have citizens dutiful toward their parents. “What if the father should attempt to usurp supreme authority, or to betray the country? Shall the son keep silence?” Yes, but he will implore his father not to do so. If that is of no avail, he will take him earnestly to task; will even threaten him; yet at the last, if there is danger of great harm to the country, he will prefer the country’s safety to his father’s safety. He asks also, “If a wise man by an oversight takes counterfeit coins for good, when he ascertains what they are, shall he pay them for good money to his creditors?” Diogenes says, Yes; Antipater, No, and I agree with him. “Ought the seller of wine that he knows will not keep, to tell his purchasers?” Diogenes says that there is no need of it; Antipater thinks that a good man would tell. These questions are like mooted points of law, among the Stoics. “In selling a slave, are his faults to be told? Not such faults as, if not mentioned, would by the civil law throw the slave back upon the vender’s hands, but such as his being a liar, a gambler, thievish, a drunkard?” Antipater says that they are to be told; Diogenes, that they [226]are not. “If any one selling gold thinks that it is brass that he is selling, will a good man tell him that it is gold, or will he buy for a shilling1 what is worth a thousand shillings?” It is plain enough by this time what I think of these things, and what a difference of opinion there is among the philosophers that I have named.2

24. It is asked whether agreements and promises are always to be kept, if made — to borrow the language of the praetorian edict — neither by force nor by criminal fraud. If one had given to a person a remedy for the dropsy, and had stipulated that he should never afterward use the medicine, — in case that person, having been cured by the medicine, were to contract the same disease some years afterward, and could not obtain from him with whom he had made the agreement leave to use the remedy again, what ought he to do? Since he who would refuse such a request would be inhuman, and no harm can be done to him by using the remedy, regard should be paid to life and health. What, if [227]a wise man were asked by one who wants to make him his heir to the amount of a million of sesterces,1 to promise that before taking possession of his legacy he will dance in the forum publicly by daylight, and if without this promise the testator would not have given the legacy? Shall he keep his promise, or not? I should prefer that he had not made the promise, and this I think would have befitted his dignity. But since he has made the promise, if he thinks it disgraceful to dance in the forum, the least immoral falsehood of the two will be for him to break his promise and decline the legacy, unless, perchance, he can expend that money for the state in some great emergency of need, so that even dancing in the forum for the country’s benefit would not be disgraceful.

25. Nor yet are those promises to be kept which are not for the advantage of those to whom you have made them. To go back to myths, Phoebus having promised his son Phaethon that he would do whatever he wished, the son wished to be taken up into his father’s chariot. He was taken up, and before he was fairly seated, he was consumed by a thunderbolt. How much better would it have been if in this case the father’s promise had not been kept! What shall be said of the promise that Theseus exacted of Neptune? Neptune having promised to grant him three wishes, he asked for the death of his son Hippolytus, whom he suspected of [228]intrigue with his stepmother; but when Theseus had obtained his wish he was plunged into the deepest sorrow.1 What shall we say of Agamemnon, who, having vowed to Diana the most beautiful creature that should be born that year in his kingdom, immolated Iphigenia, because no creature more beautiful was born that year in the kingdom? It would have been better not to keep the promise than to commit so foul a crime. Therefore promises are sometimes not to be kept, nor are deposits always to be returned. If one had deposited a sword with you when he was of sound mind, and were to ask for it in a fit of insanity, to restore it would be wrong; not to restore it, your duty. What if he who had deposited money with you were to levy war against the country? Should you deliver up the trust? I think not; for you would act against the state, which ought to be nearest to your affection. Thus many things which seem to be right by nature become wrong by circumstances. To keep promises, to abide by agreements, to restore trusts, by a change of expediency becomes wrong. I think that I have now said all that is necessary about those things that seem to be expedient under the pretext of prudence, yet are really opposed to justice.

But since in the First Book I derived duties from four sources of right, I will adopt the same division in showing how hostile to virtue are those things that seem to be expedient, yet are not so. I have already, indeed, treated of prudence which cunning would fain imitate, and of justice which is always expedient. There remain two divisions of the right, one of which is witnessed in the greatness and superiority of a lofty mind; the other, in the shaping and government of the life by self-restraint and temperance.

26. It seemed expedient to Ulysses,1 — as the story has come to us through some of the tragedians;2 Homer throws no such suspicion on him, but there are tragedies that charge him with having [230]purposed to escape service in the war by feigning insanity. The purpose was not right. “Yet it was expedient,” some one perchance will say, “to reign in Ithaca, and to live at his ease with his parents, with his wife, with his son. Do you think any honor won in daily labors and perils to be compared with this quiet life?” I, indeed, think that this quiet life was to be despised and spurned; for the repose which was not right I cannot regard as expedient. What, think you, would Ulysses have heard, had he persevered in his pretended insanity? when, after his greatest achievements in the war, he hears from Ajax: —

“He who first took the oath, and he alone,
As you all know, forswore his plighted faith.
Madness he feigned, the compact to evade,
And had not Palamedes, with keen vision
And wise device, unmasked his craft and cunning,
He still had been a perjured recreant.”1
It was, indeed, better for him to fight, not only with the enemy, but with the waves, as he did, than to desert Greece confederated with one mind to carry war into the country of the barbarians.2 But let us leave myths and foreign instances. Let us come to fact and to our own history. Marcus Atilius Regulus, when in his second consulship3 he was captured by troops in ambush under Xanthippus the Lacedaemonian, [231]— Hamilcar, Hannibal’s father, being commander-in-chief, — was sent to the Senate under oath that, unless certain prisoners of high rank were restored to the Carthaginians, he would himself return to Carthage. He on his arrival at Rome saw the semblance of expediency — but, as fact shows, regarded it as delusive — to be in his own home, with his wife, with his children; to maintain unimpaired his consular dignity, regarding the calamity which he had incurred in battle as but a common incident in the fortunes of war. Who can deny that this was expedient? Who, think you? Magnanimity and Fortitude deny this.

27. Do you ask for better authorities? It is the property of these virtues to fear nothing, to despise all human vicissitudes, to think nothing that can happen to man intolerable. And so what did he do? He came to the Senate; he stated his mission; he refused to give his own vote in the case, because so long as he was bound by his oath to the enemy he was not a senator. He, however, denied the expediency of sending back the prisoners of war (“O foolish man,” some one may have said, “to contend against his own interest”); for the prisoners were young men and good leaders, while his vigor was already impaired by age. By virtue of his influence the prisoners were retained. He himself returned to Carthage, nor did his love for his country or his kindred retain him. Yet he then well knew that he was returning to an implacably [232]cruel enemy and to excruciating punishment; but he considered his oath as binding. Thus when he was killed by being deprived of sleep1 he was in a better condition than if he had remained at home, a captive old man, a perjurer of consular dignity. “Yet he acted foolishly, in not only declining to vote in favor of sending the prisoners back, but in also giving his advice against their release.” How, foolishly? Did he act foolishly, if it was for the good of the state? Can what is harmful to the state be expedient for any citizen?

28. Men subvert the very foundations of nature when they separate expediency from the right. For we all seek what is expedient, and are drawn toward it, nor can we anyhow resist its attraction. Forsooth, who is there that shuns the things that are expedient? Or rather, who is there that does not pursue them with the utmost earnestness? But because we never can find what is expedient, save in good report, honor, right, we therefore esteem these first and highest; we regard expediency thus [233]defined as not so much respectable as indispensable. “What is there in an oath?” some one may say. “Do we fear the anger of Jupiter? It is indeed an opinion common to all philosophers, not only to those who believe that the Deity neither does anything nor makes manifestation of himself to any other being,1 but equally to those who suppose him always active in the government and direction of events,2 that the Deity is never angry and never does harm. But what more harm could an angry Jupiter have done than Regulus did to himself? There was then no power of religion that could supersede expediency so weighty. Was his motive to avoid acting basely? In the first place, the least of evils are to be chosen. Was then the evil in the baseness of which you speak so great as that of the torture which he had to bear? Then again, this sentiment from Attius, —

‘Faith hast thou broken?’
‘I neither gave nor give faith to the faithless,’3
although put into the mouth of an impious king, yet is admirably well said.” They add also that as we say that some things seem expedient that are not so, in like manner they say that some things seem right that are not so, — as, for instance, this very thing, returning to torture for the sake of preserving [234]an oath inviolate seems right, yet becomes wrong, because a promise extorted by force ought not to be ratified. They still further say that whatever is highly expedient becomes right, even if it did not seem so before.

29. This is the substance of the case against Regulus. Let us now examine the first count. “He had no need to fear any harm from Jupiter’s anger; for Jupiter is not wont either to be angry or to do harm.” This argument is of no more force against Regulus than against any oath. But in an oath the point to be considered is not what it threatens, but what it means. For an oath is a religious affirmation. Therefore what you positively promise as in the presence of God ought to be performed. The question, then, no longer concerns the anger of the gods (for there is no such thing), but it is a question of honesty and good faith. Ennius well says: —

“Oh genial, bright-winged Faith, and oath of Jove!”

He, then, who profanes an oath, profanes Faith, whom — as it is said in Cato’s speech — our ancestors chose to have in the Capitol,1 hard by the shrine of Jupiter Best and Greatest. “Then, too, Jupiter, if he had been angry, could not have done more harm to Regulus than Regulus did to himself.” Undoubtedly, if pain were the only evil. But philosophers of the highest authority affirm, not only that pain is not the greatest evil, but that it is not [235]even an evil. For the truth of this do not, I beg you, cast reproach on the testimony of Regulus, a witness not of moderate, but, so far as I know, of the very highest credibility; for what more trustworthy witness can you ask than the chief man of the Roman people, who of his own accord endured torture that he might keep duty inviolate? Then, as to what they say about “the least of evils,” — namely, that meanness is to be preferred to calamity, — is there any evil greater than meanness? If such meanness as there is in the case of bodily deformity has in it something offensive, in what vile esteem ought the depravation and foulness of soul to be held! Therefore those who take the strongest ground on these matters dare to affirm that meanness of soul is the only evil; those who speak with more laxity do not hesitate to call it the greatest of evils. As to the saying,

“I neither gave nor give faith to the faithless,”

the poet had a right to say this; for in bringing Atreus upon the stage, he had to support the character. But if those who are reasoning against Regulus assume that the faith pledged to a faithless person is null, let them look to it lest there be found here a subterfuge for perjury. Even belligerents have rights, and an oath is often to be kept sacred with an enemy. For what was so sworn that the mind of him who took the oath at the time confessed the obligation, ought to be fulfilled; what was [236]not so sworn may be left unfulfilled without perjury.1 Thus you would not pay robbers a price that you had agreed to pay for your life; it is no wrong if you fail to do this after having promised with an oath. For a robber2 is not included in the list of belligerents, but is the common enemy of all. Between him and other men there ought to be neither mutual confidence nor binding oath. For it is not simply swearing what is false that constitutes perjury; but it is perjury not to perform what you have sworn, as it is expressed in our legal form, in the purpose of your own mind. Euripides makes a proper distinction when he says: —

“I swore in words; my mind I keep unsworn.”3

But Regulus was bound in duty not to violate conditions and agreements made in war and with an enemy; for his concern was with a rightful [237]and legitimate enemy, and as to such enemies our whole fecial law and many mutual rights were valid between them and us. If it were not so, the Senate would never have surrendered to enemies men of renown as prisoners.

30. This they did in the case of Titus Veturius and Spurius Postumius, who, in their second consulship, after the defeat at Caudium when our soldiers passed under the yoke, having concluded a peace with the Samnites without the consent of the people and the Senate,1 were delivered up to the Samnites. At the same time Tiberius Numicius and Quintus Maelius, then tribunes of the people, because the peace had been concluded by their authority, were also surrendered, to consummate the repudiation of the treaty with the Samnites. Moreover, Postumius himself, who was among those surrendered, advised and supported the measure. Many years afterward the same thing was done by Caius Mancinus, who, having made a treaty with the Numantians without authority from the Senate, was surrendered to them, he himself advising the passage by the people of the decree to that effect, reported from the Senate by Publius Furius and [238]Sextus Atilius. He acted more honorably than Quintus Pompeius, who when he was in the same case begged to be let off, and the decree of surrender was not passed. Here what seemed expedient preponderated over the right; in the former instances the false show of expediency was outweighed by the authority of the right. “But a promise exacted by force ought not to be performed.” As if force could be brought to bear upon a brave man. “Still, why did he go to the Senate for the special purpose of dissuading them from surrendering the prisoners?” In asking this question, you cast reproach on what was greatest in Regulus. For he did not make himself judge in his own case; he undertook the management of the case that the Senate might decide upon it, and unless he had led the way to the decision by his authority, the prisoners would have been returned. Thus Regulus would have remained safe in his own country. Because he thought that this was not expedient for the country, he believed it right for himself to express his opinion and to suffer. Still further, as to their saying that whatever is highly expedient becomes right, the truth is that it is right, not that it becomes right. For nothing is expedient which is not also right, nor is anything right because it is expedient, but expedient because it is right. Therefore from many remarkable examples it would be difficult to name one more praiseworthy or illustrious than this.

31. Of all that is thus praiseworthy in the conduct of Regulus the one thing specially worthy of admiration is that he gave his advice in favor of retaining the prisoners. That, having thus advised, he returned, now seems to us admirable; in those times he could not have done otherwise. This merit therefore belongs to the times, not to the man; for our ancestors considered no bond more stringent than an oath in securing good faith. This is declared by the Sacred Laws;1 it is declared by treaties in which good faith even with an enemy is made binding; it is declared by the examinations and sentences of the censors, who used to take no more diligent cognizance of any other subject than they took of oaths. Marcus Pomponius, tribune of the people, gave notice of an impeachment to Lucius Manlius, son of Aulus, after his dictatorship, because he had illegally added a few days to the term of his dictatorship. He also reproached him with having banished his son Titus from society and ordered [240]him to live in the country. When the young man, the son of Manlius, heard that legal proceedings were instituted against his father, he is said to have hastened to Rome, and to have come to the house of Pomponius at early dawn. On his being announced, Pomponius, supposing that he had come in anger to bring some charge against his father, rose from his bed, and suffering none others to be present, gave orders for the young man to come to him. He, on entering, at once drew his sword, and swore that he would kill Pomponius instantly unless he gave his oath to drop the prosecution. Pomponius, constrained by imminent peril, took the oath; did not lay the accusation before the people; told why he had been compelled to drop the case; discharged Manlius. Such was the importance attached to an oath in those times. This Titus Manlius is the one who obtained his surname1 near the Anio from a collar taken from a Gaul who had challenged him and was killed by him, in whose third consulship the Latin army was scattered and put to flight near the Veseris, — a very distinguished man, as bitterly severe toward his son2 as he had been excessively kind to his father.

32. But as Regulus merits renown for keeping his oath inviolate, so are those ten whom, after the battle of Cannae, Hannibal sent to the Senate under oath that they would return to the camp that had fallen into the possession of the Carthaginians, unless they obtained the redemption of the prisoners of war, to be held in the vilest esteem, if they really did not return. As to these men accounts vary.1 Polybius, a fully trustworthy authority, says that of ten men of the highest rank who were sent, nine returned, not having obtained from the Senate the release of the prisoners, but that one who had gone back to the camp shortly after leaving it on the pretence of having forgotten something, remained in Rome. By his return to the camp he maintained [242]that he was acquitted of his oath; but wrongly, for deceit aggravates perjury instead of annulling it. This was, then, a foolish cunning perversely assuming the aspect of prudence. The Senate, therefore, decreed that the rogue and cheat should be sent in chains to Hannibal. But there was something still greater on the part of the Roman people. Hannibal held as prisoners eight thousand men, who had not been taken in battle or escaped when in peril of death, but who had been left in camp by Paulus and Varro. The Senate refused to have them redeemed, though it might have been done for a small sum of money, that it might be ingrafted in the minds of our soldiers that they must either conquer or die. Polybius writes that when Hannibal heard this his spirit was broken, because the Senate and the Roman people had borne their reverses with so lofty a mind. Thus does what seems expedient sink out of account when brought into comparison with the right. I ought to add that Acilius, who wrote a history in Greek, says that there were several who returned to the camp to free themselves from their oath by the same equivocation, and that they were branded with every token of ignominy by the censors. We may close this head; for it is perfectly clear that whatever is done with a timid, sordid, abject mind — such as the action of Regulus would have been, had he either given his opinion concerning the prisoners in his own interest and not in that of the state, or consented to remain at home [243]— is not expedient, because it is infamous, foul, base.

33. There remains the fourth division, comprehending becomingness, moderation, discretion, self-restraint, temperance. Can anything be expedient which is opposed to this choir1 of such virtues? However, those of the Cyrenaic school2 and the disciples of Anniceris,3 philosophers only in name, followed Aristippus in making all good to consist in pleasure, and regarded virtue as commendable only in its pleasure-giving capacity. They having passed almost out of notice, Epicurus holds his ground as an advocate and teacher of nearly the same doctrine. With these I must contend, as the phrase is, with infantry and cavalry,4 if I mean to guard and maintain [244]the right. For if not only expediency but everything appertaining to a happy life consists in a strong constitution of body and in a reasonable expectation of preserving that constitution, as Metrodorus1 writes, certainly this expediency — the highest expediency in the opinion of those who thus reason — will be in conflict with the right. For where, in the first place, shall room be found for prudence? In raking together from every quarter objects to delight the senses? How wretched this slavery of virtue in bondage to pleasure! What, then, is the function of prudence? To choose pleasures intelligently? Grant that nothing can be more delightful than this, what can be imagined meaner? Then, again, what room is there for fortitude, which is the contempt of pain and labor, with him who calls pain the greatest of evils? For although Epicurus may in many places, as he does, speak bravely enough about pain, we are to look, not at what he says, but at what it is consistent for him to say, who acknowledged no good except pleasure, no evil except pain. Thus also, if I listen to him about self-restraint and temperance, he says indeed much in many places; but, as the phrase is, the water [245]does not run.1 For how can he commend temperance, who places the greatest good in pleasure? Temperance is inimical to the sensual appetites; but those appetites are the handmaids of pleasure. Yet as to these three virtues they shift and turn as they can, and with no little ingenuity. They bring in prudence as knowledge employed to supply pleasures, to drive away pain. They also explain fortitude after some fashion, calling it the method of taking no account of death and putting up with pain. Temperance, too, they drag in, not very easily indeed, but as well as they can, saying that the highest pleasure amounts to no more than the absence of pain. Justice totters, or rather lies prostrate, and so do all those virtues which belong to social life and the fellowship of the human race. Nor can there be goodness, or generosity, or courtesy, any more than friendship, if they are not to be sought on their own account, but only with reference to pleasure. To sum up the whole in brief, as I have maintained that there is no expediency which is opposed to the right, so I affirm that all sensual pleasure is opposed to the right. All the more do I find fault with Calliphon and Dinomachus,2 who [246]thought that they were going to put an end to the controversy by uniting pleasure with the right, as they might yoke a beast with a man. The right does not accept this union, spurns it, repels it. Nor can the supreme good, which ought to be simple, be mingled and compounded of widely unlike ingredients. But of this — for it is a great theme — I treat more at length elsewhere.1 As to the subject now in hand, I have sufficiently shown how the matter is to be decided, if at any time what seems to be expedient is repugnant to the right. But if sensual pleasure shall be said even to have the appearance of expediency, it cannot have any union with the right. To make such concession as we can in favor of pleasure, the most that we can say of it is that it may perhaps give some seasoning to life; it certainly is of no benefit.

You have from your father, my son Marcus, a gift, in my opinion, great; but that will be according to the use that you make of it. Although you are to take in these three books as guests among the lectures of Cratippus, yet as if, in case I had come to Athens — which I should indeed have done had not the country with a loud voice recalled me midway — you would sometimes have listened to me as well as to Cratippus, so since my voice reaches you by means of these volumes, you will give them as much time as you can, and you can give them as [247]much time as you please. When I shall have become fully aware that you take pleasure in science of this type, while I shall, as I hope, at no great distance of time, talk with you face to face, I shall none the less, while we are apart, converse with you though absent from you. Farewell, then, my Cicero, and believe that you are very dear to me, and will be much more dear if you shall find your happiness in writings like these and in such precepts as they contain.

See p. 10, note.

I am strongly impressed with the belief that such words were largely employed as catch-words for the eye, and that they served the purpose now effected by punctuation and by the capital letters at the beginning of sentences. This opinion cannot of course be verified; yet could we have phonographic reports of Cicero’s orations, I am inclined to think that we should miss some of the conjunctions that are found in their written form. As to Greek particles I have no right to an opinion; but I will hazard the conjecture that they would have been scattered with a more sparing hand, had the art of punctuation been coeval with “the letters Cadmus gave.”

Either philosophical discussion or oratory.

He was known chiefly as an orator; but the list of his numerous works comprises philosophy, history, and poetry. Driven from Athens, he took refuge in Alexandria; and it was owing to his influence that Ptolemy Lagi commenced the collection of books which grew into the famous Alexandrian library. No probably genuine work of Demetrius Phalereus is now extant.

In the De Finibus.

As was the case with the Stoics.

As was the case with the Peripatetics, and, hypothetically, with the Academics.

Ariston, while he regarded virtue as the supreme good, maintained that among the external conditions and objects with which duty is conversant, there is no ground for preference, therefore no reason why one should be sought or pursued rather than another. Pyrrho, the founder of the school of the Sceptics, in denying the possibility of attaining any objective truth, denied the possibility of determining any condition, object, or action to be better than any other. Herillus — like Ariston, a professed Stoic — regarded knowledge as the supreme good, and external life, with all its doings and objects, though practically necessary, as of no ethical value, because not contributing to the supreme good.

Yet Cicero leaves duty (officium) undefined. Officium may be abbreviated from opificium, i. e. work-doing; or it may be derived from ob and facio, in which case it denotes doing on account of, or for a reason, and would include all acts for which a reason, i. e. a right reason, can be given. I am inclined to think that it is in this latter sense that Cicero made choice and use of the word.

The direct, i. e. the intrinsically right.

The fitting, i. e. that which is rendered right by circumstances.

It will be seen that, in the sequel, Cicero transposes the virtues springing from man’s social nature and his desire for knowledge, placing wisdom or prudence first, and assigning the second place to justice.

These four virtues may be easily so enlarged in their scope as to cover the whole of life, and to comprehend the entire duty of man. Thus, Prudence embraces all selfward obligations; Justice (which includes benevolence, and is not exclusive of piety), all duties to fellow-beings; Fortitude (including patience, submission, and courage), duty with reference to objects and events beyond one’s control; Order (in time, place, and measure), duty with reference to objects under one’s control.

When serving in the Macedonian war, as military tribune under Aemilius Paulus, he predicted an eclipse of the moon, and obtained liberty to announce his prediction to the assembled army, thus precluding the else inevitable terror and foreboding which pervaded the Macedonian army, and very probably turning the scale in favor of the Romans in the then imminent battle in which Perseus, the Macedonian king, was utterly overthrown.

Uncle of Cneius Pompeius Magnus, not in political life, but celebrated for his proficiency in geometry, jurisprudence, and philosophy. He was a Stoic.

This exception is one of the few points of discrepancy between the Ciceronian ethics and the moral precepts of Christianity.

The veterans who settled on the public lands (coloni) received their portions of land by lot, and when a limited number from a particular corps were to be colonized, the persons to be colonized were determined by lot.

Fides, from fit quod dictum est, a derivation certainly very improbable, but hardly more so than the derivation from πίστις, or, in the Aeolic dialect, πίττις, which most lexicographers assign to fides.

Surnamed Dives. He inherited this cognomen, and belonged to the fifth generation of the gens Licinius that had borne it. His prime ambition seems to have been to verify his name. Pliny says that the estates which he owned outside of Rome amounted in value to two hundred millions of sesterces, equivalent to little less than eight millions of dollars, no account being taken of the much greater value of money then than now. He was a man of respectable ability, of no mean reputation as an orator, and of considerable executive capacity; but it was probably his wealth that gave him his place in the triumvirate with Caesar and Pompey, and that thus procured for him the command in the Parthian war, in which he lost his army and his life.

This is the substance of a discussion in the 6th Book of Plato’s Republic.

Among the myths as to the parentage of Theseus, there is one which makes him the son of Poseidon, or Neptune, who was said to have promised to grant him three wishes, two of which had already been granted, when Phaedra, his wife, accused her step-son Hippolytus of an attempted criminal intrigue with her. Theseus claimed of Poseidon his son’s destruction, and Poseidon accordingly sent a bull from the water to frighten the horses of Hippolytus, as he was driving in his chariot by the sea-shore. The horses upset the chariot, and dragged Hippolytus till he died. Theseus too late ascertained that his son was innocent, and that his wife had falsely accused him because he had repulsed her advances toward a criminal intimacy.

The Hebrew conception of righteousness, “He that sweareth to his own hurt and changeth not,” is certainly in closer accordance with the absolute right than this maxim of Cicero. Yet Cicero’s example under this head really belongs to another category, that of circumstances so altered as in the very nature of the case to make a promise void.

A promise wrong in itself cannot be rightfully made, even under stress of fear; and if made, should not be kept; for two wrongs cannot make a right. But a promise which one has a right to make, as that of a ransom for one’s life, is sacred in the forum of conscience, if not binding in law. If a man regards his life as worth a certain price, and offers that price, there is no rightful reason why he should not pay it.

The praetor urbanus was virtually the chief justice of Rome. On entering upon the duties of his office he published a manifesto, or edictum, stating the principles to be recognized by him in the interpretation and application of the laws. The principles laid down in these successive edicts, and those involved in praetorian decisions under them, unless abrogated or nullified by express legislation, were regarded as having the force of law, and corresponded to what we familiarly term judge-made law.

There are two transactions of this kind on record, — one of Cleomenes, the Spartan king, in a war with Argos; the other, of the Thracians, when at war with the Boeotians.

Quintus Fabius Labeo lived more than a century before Cicero. Valerius Maximus tells the same story, but without expressing any doubt as to the name of the umpire. He adds that the same Labeo, after a victory over Antiochus, King of Macedonia, having made peace on condition of the surrender of half of the king’s fleet, cut all the vessels into halves, so as utterly to destroy the fleet.

Corinth had two ports, — one commanding the Ionian, the other the Aegean sea.

It was the established custom of the Romans to admit to quarter enemies who surrendered before the application of the battering-ram to their walls.

So called from the fetiales, — priests whose duty it was, as heralds, to perform all the ceremonies connected with the declaration of war, the ratifying of peace, and the making of treaties. These forms were regarded as religious solemnities.

Commentators in general see here two versions of the same story, and suppose one of the two to be spurious. Yet there is no reason other than the internal evidence for rejecting either, and they may both be true of the same Cato and the same son. The Ligurian war in which Popilius was commander occurred four years before the war with Perseus. In the former, Marcus Cato the younger may have made his first campaign, and in the latter, though no longer a tiro or novice in the art of war, he may have been discharged as before, and his father have repeated his legal objection to the son’s continuous service.

This passage can be literally rendered only by retaining the Latin terms employed, as thus: “He who by our present usage would be called perduellis was in former time called hostis, the unpleasantness of the fact being thus relieved by the mildness of the term; for him whom we now term peregrinus our ancestors called hostis. The laws of the Twelve Tables show this, as, for instance, ‘A day assigned for trial cum hoste,’ ‘Perpetual right of ownership adversus hostem.’ ”

In extant Latin literature the use of hostis in the sense of enemy seems to have been nearly, if not quite, universal. There is, indeed, a passage in Plautus in which the word is evidently used in the sense of foreigner; but this appears to be a reference to the title in the law of the Twelve Tables cited above, status dies cum hoste. It seems by no means unlikely that the two meanings of hostis may have co-existed in early use. Hostis probably is derived from the same root with ἑστία (whence comes Vesta), a hearth, or — what was the same thing as to the rites of domestic worship — an altar; and if so, hostis might mean either a stranger to be received to the hospitality of the hearth, or an enemy to be made a victim at the altar. Hostia, an animal sacrificed, and hostire, to strike, throw light upon this last meaning.

Some of the old lexicographers, including no less a man than Scaliger, derive hostis from the pronoun ὅστις, whoever, i. e. any person whatsoever outside of one’s own family, neighborhood, or nation, a stranger, and therefore, prima facie an enemy. With this derivation — which I do not regard as valid — the two meanings of hostis might have been coeval and concurrent.

These verses are from the “Annales” of Ennius, and are supposed to be addressed to the deputies sent with a large sum of money to treat with Pyrrhus for the release of prisoners after the battle of Heraclea, b. c. 280.

The kings of Epeirus claimed to be lineal descendants of Aeacus, the son of Zeus, who for the righteousness of his rule on earth was made judge in the under-world.

Literally, left among the aerarii, i. e. liable to taxation, but without the rights of citizenship.

The Stoics deduced the obligation to treat slaves humanely from their doctrine of human equality, and the indifference of outward conditions to the truly philosophic mind. Seneca goes in this direction to as great length as that of modern anti-slavery reformers. Cicero was an eminently humane master.

Reference is here made to the vast amount of property confiscated by Sulla from the victims of his proscription, and bestowed with lavish prodigality on his partisans, and to the rich spoils of the provinces which Caesar largely employed to purchase and reward adherents, and to win the popular favor.

The Stoics maintained that the truly wise man lived only in theory, but had had no actual being in this world.

In the Latin, ratio et oratio, — a verbal assonance which our language affords us no means of translating.

Latin, conjugium, which is often employed to denote marriage without religious ceremonies, and not necessarily permanent, and is used equally as to men and the lower animals.

Latin, connubia, which denotes legal marriages, deemed sacred and permanent as compared with conjugia.

Latin, contentio et comparatio, literally, a stretching of two or more objects side by side, and measuring their equality or nonequality in length, — a figure which can hardly be represented in translation.

Salmacis was the name of a fountain in Caria, so called from a not very virtuous nymph of that name. The waters of the fountain were said to enervate those who bathed in it, and it was fabled to have been the resort of eager pleasure-seekers of both sexes. Trophies were, of course, won there by wanton dalliance, and not by deeds of prowess.

Some commentators say that these scraps of verse are from Ennius; others say that it is not known whence they come. The latter are probably in the right.

There were hardly any distinguished Romans that had not held some military command, so that even for those best known as civilians a military costume might not have been inappropriate.

Latin, immanitatis omnem humanitatem repellentis, — one of those untranslatable assonances in which Cicero delights, and which contribute largely to the euphony of his diction.

On which it is hard to maintain one’s moral equipoise.

Imperia, by which Cicero, oftener than not, denotes high military office.

Latin, imperia et magistratus.

“Peace hath her victories
No less renowned than war.”
Milton, Sonnet xvi.
Solon did not establish the Areopagus, which was of even prehistoric origin; but before his time it was merely a criminal court, while he gave it censorial jurisdiction, advisory authority in public affairs, and, in fine, functions that rendered it a council of state, and a strongly conservative force against else unchecked democracy.

The Areopagus, in a time of great dearth, furnished funds for the payment of the seamen who were going to fight at Salamis.

Pausanias overthrew the Persian general, Mardonius, in the battle of Plataea.

Lysander took Athens, and destroyed the Long Walls.

Marcus Aemilius Scaurus was a strong conservative and a zealous supporter of the aristocratic party. His deportment, too, was remarkable for its gravity and its general respectability. He may have been a better man than Marius; but he was charged with receiving a heavy bribe from Jugurtha for securing a peace on terms favorable to the king, and he saved himself from penal accountability only by procuring his own appointment as one of the judges for the trial of his accomplices.

Quintus Catulus supported Cicero at the time of the Catilinian conspiracy, and was the first in the Senate to hail him as Father of the Country (pater patriae).

A verse, quoted probably from some lost comedy, the measure being one employed by the comic poets.

This verse is from a poem of Cicero on his own times, and mainly to his own glory as carried to its climax in his suppression of the Catilinian conspiracy. It was laughed at for the patent self-conceit which it exhibited.

As is well known, Cato never gave his vote in the Senate, no matter what the subject, without repeating the words, Delenda est Carthago, Carthage must be destroyed. Its destruction took place three years after his death.

Callicratidas himself perished in the battle.

Cleombrotus was taunted for excess of caution, and was thus induced to risk the battle with the Thebans, against his own judgment. There seems to have been as much hesitation on the Theban side, so that, prior to the battle, the scales would probably have seemed equipoised.

Quintus Fabius Maximus, who from his repeatedly avoiding direct conflict with Hannibal in the determination to weary him out by delay, acquired the surname of Cunctator, and has bequeathed the enduring epithet of Fabian to a policy like his own.

They were often on opposite sides in the politics of the city, and sometimes on non-friendly, if not unfriendly terms; but when Africanus was found dead in his bed, and supposed to have been assassinated, Metellus exclaimed, “Come, citizens, to the rescue; the walls of our city are thrown down;” and he ordered his sons to put their shoulders under the bier, saying that they would never have the opportunity to perform that office for a greater man.

The Peripatetics, after Aristotle, defined virtue as always consisting of the mean between two extremes. Thus, courage is the mean between rashness and cowardice. The New Academy, to which Cicero belonged, accepted hypothetically the ethics of the Peripatetic school.

Caius Laelius Sapiens, who died before Cicero was born, was a man of but moderate, though not mean reputation as a general, a statesman, and an orator; but had a strong hold on Cicero’s veneration as second to no man of his time in elegant culture, especially in Greek literature and philosophy, and also as a stanch advocate of the aristocracy as opposed to the plebs. Cicero makes him the chief interlocutor in the De Amicitia, and one of the speakers in the De Senectute and the De Republica.

Latin, gyrum, the ring or circle, round which horses are ridden to break or tame them.

Literally, what may be called in Latin decorum. In what follows I have translated decorum by the awkward, yet legitimate word, becomingness, which corresponds in sense very closely to the Latin word, while in making decorum an English word we have dropped a part of its native meaning.

That which is becoming, or decorous.

In the Orator.

Sons of Jupiter, said to have led such righteous lives that they were made judges in the underworld.

These passages are probably from the lost tragedy of Atreus, by Attius.

He, in Greek fable, killed the children of his brother Thyestes, and feasted him on their flesh.

Latin, verecundia, which commonly denotes modesty, but here evidently means that courtesy which is a part or a consequence of modesty.

The first three cardinal virtues are thus enumerated.

Literally, impulse. The Latin word here is appetitus, which I have rendered impulse, because anger and fear are included under it.

Officium, from facere ob, to do on account of, or for a sufficient reason.

Marcus Porcius Cato, the Censor. This collection is lost; but there are some specimens of its contents in Cicero’s Orator. Collections of this kind, probably, were not unusual among the ancients, though, so far as I know, but one has been preserved in either of the classic tongues, namely, the Ἀστεɩ̂α of Hierocles, the work, probably, of a compiler of whom no other vestige remains.

Apophthegms, terse, pithy sayings, including jokes. Lord Bacon’s “Apophthegms New and Old” are, all of them, anecdotes comprising smart, pointed sayings, and many of them jokes.

The Campus Martius, used by the Roman youth for riding, driving, swimming, and various athletic sports.

The accusative of εἴρων, which literally means a dissembler. Hence our word irony, which always involves the idea of a double meaning, and especially of a secondary meaning which shall be latent to the person addressed or satirized, patent to every one else.

When Athens had failed in a contest with Megara for the possession of Salamis, a law was passed rendering it criminal to advocate the renewal of the contest. Solon evaded the law by feigning insanity, and recited a poem of his own, calling upon the people to reconquer the “lovely island.” The law was repealed, the war renewed, and the island won.

Of the traits of personal character described in this section, some are known only on Cicero’s authority; while others, attached to well-known names, are matters of history. I have not thought it necessary to give, as I easily might, under the successive names, a series of extracts from a dictionary of classical biography.

It is well known that from Zeno, who committed suicide when he thought his life no longer serviceable, down to Seneca, the Stoics maintained the right of suicide as a mode of relief from irretrievable evil, whether bodily disease or untoward circumstances.

None of the tragedies here named are extant. It would appear that on the Roman as on the modern stage, actors not only had parts assigned them according to their peculiar types of ability, but that the genius of a leading actor determined the choice of the play in which he should appear.

Xenophon, in the Memorabilia, gives this story by Prodicus, as cited by Socrates.

Latin, dissuere — praecidere; to unsew — to cut.

Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, bearing the same name with his father, the conqueror of Hannibal, whose father was Publius Cornelius Scipio, alternately victor and vanquished in the first Punic war. This second Africanus was regarded as superior in ability, no less than in learning and elegant culture, to all the other members of the Scipio gens, but was too feeble in health to take any part in public affairs, except in the peaceful offices of Augur and Flamen Dialis. He had no children, but adopted a son of Lucius Aemilius Paulus, Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus, under whose generalship Carthage was finally subdued, and the city destroyed.

Latin, privatorum — civium, referring to the same persons, in contradistinction, first to magistrates, and secondly to foreigners.

The Cynics undoubtedly took their name from the κυνόσαργες, — one of the Athenian gymnasia in which their founder, Antisthenes, a pupil of Socrates, held his school; but some by no means contemptible authorities derive the name from κύων, a dog, and ascribe it to the snarling habit of the early disciples of the school, who were wont to sneer and scoff at what the rest of the world admired and prized. Diogenes of Sinope represented this type of character. Stoicism, in the person of Zeno, sprang out of the bosom of Cynicism, and embodied in its philosophy and ethics the fundamental principle of Antisthenes, that virtue is not the supreme, but the sole good. The later Cynics were characterized mainly by insolence, gratuitous indecency, and aimless asceticism.

Palaestrici motus, literally, palaestric movements. The palaestra was the resort of the young men of wealth and fashion, and thus a nursery of foppish manners no less than of bodily vigor.

Sequatur, which I have translated literally; for so far as I have been able to trace the festal habits of the ancients, from Homer’s heroes downward, they ate in silence, and talked afterward. This is implied in the uses of the term συμπόσιον, symposium, a drinking together after the more solid portions of the feast have been disposed of.

Both of them men who held high places in the republic, and were worthy of its better days. The father was distinguished as an orator, and both father and son were among the foremost of their respective times in solid learning and in elegant culture.

The greatest orator of his age. He was in his prime in Cicero’s boyhood.

They had the same mother; their fathers were of different gentes, — Catulus being of a plebeian, Caesar of a patrician gens.

Militem gloriosum. Miles Gloriosus is the title of a comedy of Plautus, in which Pyrgopolineces, a military braggadocio, is the principal personage. The character was a favorite one with the Roman comedians and stage-lovers. Thraso, in Terence’s Eunuchus, plays this part so well, as to have enriched the English language with the adjective thrasonical.

In Palatio, — the Palatium was the most fashionable quarter on the Palatine Hill.

Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, son of the Scaurus named in § 22, when candidate for the consulship, was accused of extortion in the government of Sardinia, and though undoubtedly guilty, was defended by Cicero, and was acquitted, but failed of election. Two years afterward he was accused of bribery, condemned, and banished.

From an unknown poet.

Lucullus would have transmitted to coming time a great name as the conqueror of Mithridates, had he not become still more famous by magnificence, ostentation, and extravagance in his villas, gardens, fish-ponds, and entertainments. A single supper is said to have cost him a sum equivalent in silver to about ten thousand dollars, in value to at least five times as much. From him is derived the word lucullite, both French and English, denoting a devotee of luxury.

This word is used by Xenophon in the sense of order; by Thucydides, in that of moderation.


This passage, as it treats of the definition of words, can hardly be understood without the use of the specific Latin words, both defining and defined. I therefore give here a more literal translation: “I am to speak of the order of our doings and the fit arrangement of time, which are comprehended in the science which the Greeks term εὐταξία, — not in that meaning of the word which we term modestia in which modus is implied, but in that sense which denotes the order of time and place. Yet in favor of our translating the word (εὐταξία) modestia, it may be said that the Stoics define modestia as the art of putting whatever is done or said in the right place. Thus ordo and collocatio seem to have the same import with it. For they define ordo as the putting of things in fit and suitable places; but they say that the fit time is the place of an action, — the fit time being called in Greek εὐκαιρία, in Latin, occasio. Thus it is that modestia, interpreted as I have said, comes to denote skill in determining the fitness of time for specific acts. But the same definition may be given of prudentia, of which I treated in the early part of this essay.”

From lust.

From bribes.

Which we may learn by consulting men of sound discretion and practical experience.

Aristippus maintained that the pleasure that lies nearest, whatever it be, is to be sought and enjoyed, and that man has no other end of being. The records that remain of his life give reason for believing that his personal morality was not so bad as his philosophy; yet he was luxurious in his habits, boasted of his freedom from moral restraints, and boasted also of his ability to forego without a sense of loss the indulgences which he had made habitual. He was a hearer, not to say a pupil, of Socrates, whose eccentricities were abnormal in the direction of a severer type of virtue.

Liberales, worthy of a free man.

Illiberales, unworthy of a free man.

For men of senatorial, or even equestrian rank, these employments, if practised for gain, were regarded as derogating from respectability.

The Romans in general, till near the last days of the republic, despised commerce, and though they depended for grain in great part on Sicily and remoter provinces, it was long before they brought grain in their own ships. In Cicero’s time, however, it was the reproach of the equestrian order that many members of it, tired of genteel poverty, were enriching themselves by commerce; and Cicero, as a parvenu in the Senate, was weak enough to fall in with this foolish prejudice.

Merchants, engaged in traffic from port to port, owned and commanded the ships that carried their goods.

Latin, contentio et comparatio, — stretching two objects side by side, and determining their comparative length. See § 17.

A Stoic idea. The Stoics derived all duty from nature, — the nature of things, the nature of man. They therefore made nature the sole test of duty, and (if I may so express what in less awkward phrase would be less clear) regarded the greater or less naturalness of a duty as the criterion of its relative importance.

Σοϕία primarily meant sagacity, but is commonly employed to denote wisdom in its broadest sense.

Φρόνησις means prudence, in the sense of practical wisdom.

Otium, leisure; negotium = nec otium, business, — a favorite play upon words with Cicero, which we have not the means of rendering into English.

Posidonius was a Stoic, a disciple of Panaetius, a voluminous writer on an encyclopedic range of subjects. Of his works only fragments are preserved, and happily the catalogue of things not fit to be done has left no traces of itself. His works are known chiefly by copious extracts made by Athenaeus.

An inference so illogical as to seem an oversight.

After the assassination of Caesar, when for a very little while there seemed some hope of a return to republican institutions in fact as well as in name.

Latin, ars; but art is here an inadequate rendering.

In Hortensius.

That of the New Academy.

Cratippus was a Peripatetic, and thus regarded Aristotle as his master; but as Aristotle derived much of his philosophy from Plato, and Plato, much or all of his from Socrates, Cicero, with more rhetorical aptness than literal truth, antedates the school of which his son was the pupil.

A syllogism in Barbara.

A verse from some lost poem, probably the Prometheus of Attius.

For instance, wool, at the proper time of shearing.

This work has entirely perished. Dicaearchus, a contemporary and follower of Aristotle, was a copious writer in the departments of geography and history, as well as of philosophy. One of his books on “The Life of Greece,” if we may judge by the fragments of it that remain, would have been worth more than all other extant records of Athenian life in his age.

I do not know that there is any ancient record of the extensive destruction of human life by wild beasts, except that in the Old Testament (2 Kings xvii. 25), of the slaughter of people by lions in some of the Samaritan cities. But there are several traditions of instances in which the inhabitants of cities or towns were compelled to change their abodes, and hardly without some loss of life, by devastating, tormenting, or perilous incursions of mice, frogs, scorpions, serpents, moles, rabbits, and locusts.

We have here the first, fourth, and second of the cardinal virtues portrayed in Book I. The third is omitted, as peculiarly non-utilitarian; the second has the third place, as a text to be enlarged upon, — as the prime means of securing such utilities as men can bestow.



The army of Pompey the Great, in Pharsalia; that of his son, at Munda; and that of Scipio, at Thapsus, — all defeated by Julius Caesar.

The murder of Pompey the Great, in Egypt.

Cicero undoubtedly has in mind, here, his own exile by the machinations of Clodius.

Cicero here refers, not to bribery, but to such liberal uses of money as he designates with approval in the sequel.

The Senate were induced by Antony to pass sundry laws, the drafts of which he professed — in part, no doubt, falsely — to have found among Caesar’s papers.

Of Syracuse, — a sovereign of signal ability, energy, magnificence, and public spirit, a liberal patron of literature and philosophy, but at the same time jealous, suspicious, arbitrary, and cruel, — leaving at once vestiges of true greatness as a king, and records, undoubtedly in large part authentic, of acts that disgrace humanity. The story is that while his daughters were very young, he made them shave him and cut his hair; when they were old enough for him to fear them, he used shoots of the walnut (juglans) to burn off his beard. He had a ditch round his bed, with a drawbridge commanded by himself.

He came to the throne by the murder of his uncle and predecessor.

The Thracians, who were accounted as barbarians, were employed as body-guards by some of the petty tyrants of the Grecian cities, as the Swiss have been employed in Paris and in Rome, and as Scythians were employed in a similar capacity at Athens.

Alexander’s chamber was at the top of a ladder, and a fierce dog was chained at the door. His wife concealed her three brothers in the house during the day, removed the dog after Alexander was asleep, covered the steps of the ladder with wool, and led the young men up to murder her husband.

Phalaris is almost a mythical personage. Different authorities assign dates nearly a century apart for the beginning of his reign, the latest date being 570 b. c. There are also opposite traditions as to his character, some authorities representing him as mild and humane.

Demetrius Poliorcetes. Pyrrhus, King of Epeirus, had invaded Macedonia, and when Demetrius marched to meet him, the Macedonian army en masse passed over to the invader. Demetrius was a ruler of marvellous vigor, and though sometimes truculent and cruel, and always grossly sensual, was not wholly devoid of humane and generous feeling.

The campaign against Thebes, closed by the battle of Leuctra, was opposed to the wishes of all the allies of Sparta, and their soldiers were accused by the Spartans of utter inefficiency in the field, to be accounted for only by their reluctance to engage in the conflict.

Sulla was the champion of the aristocracy, and thus far his position had Cicero’s approval and sympathy.

A spear stuck in the ground was in Rome, as a red flag is with us, the sign of a sale at auction.

Massilia (Marseilles), a city settled by Grecian colonists, and in Caesar’s time second to no other city in the world as a seat of extensive commerce, was from the first a faithful ally of Rome, and, when the region of Gaul in which it is situated became a Roman province, that city was suffered to retain its independence. In the civil war the Massilians espoused the cause of Pompey, and shut their gates against Caesar, who besieged and took the city, and had a model of it borne in procession in his triumph.

Publius Cornelius Sulla, the nephew of the dictator, and, about midway between his dictatorship and Caesar’s, found guilty of bribery when a candidate for the consulship.

Cornelius Sulla, a freedman of the dictator, who, as Sulla’s secretary, could secure large profits from confiscated property, and as quaestor under Caesar had access to the city treasury.

They are both lost. Cicero mentions one of them in Letters to Atticus, xvi. 27. “Librum tibi celerrime mittam de gloria.”

This is evidently meant to exclude the meaner ways by which men insinuate themselves into popular favor.

Latin, dolorum faces, — the torches, or cautery, of sorrows.

These men were hardly robbers in the ordinary sense of the word; but they carried on for many years guerilla warfare, and, as is generally the case in such warfare, their forays were fully as much predatory as murderous. They were called robbers because they were barbarians. But Bardylis is termed by Diodorus king of the Illyrians, having Pyrrhus, king of Epeirus, for his son-in-law; and Viriathus seems to have been a patriotic chieftain, whose prime aim was to resist the Roman supremacy.

According to Herodotus, Deioces, ambitious of sovereignty, commenced as arbitrator in his own village, and on account of the reputation thus obtained for justice was chosen king. His administration is represented as having been, though impartial, annoyingly inquisitorial and relentlessly severe. But as his reign began more than seven centuries before the Christian era, he may be regarded as a semi-mythical personage, and a like doubt may be thrown on the origin of the Median sovereignty. The theory of the origin of kingly power here given seems to have been a favorite notion with Cicero, and is found in other works of his. It perhaps defines what ought to have been; but in fact the kingly office was probably at the outset but an extension of patriarchal sovereignty.

The allusion here seems to be to trees like the banyan, whose branches, as they bend to the ground, take root, and send up fresh shoots.

All the surviving records of the father’s life entirely justify Cicero’s encomium; it is an open question whether the sons may not have fully inherited his high moral worth and devoted patriotism. The family was plebeian, and it may not be otherwise than natural, that while the father — allied by marriage to the patrician family of the Scipios — was identified with the aristocracy, the sons should with honest and disinterested zeal have devoted themselves to the relief, elevation, and well-being of the plebeians, who in their time might justly complain of disabilities and oppression.

Latin, alae alteri. Ala may mean either one of the wings of an army or one of the squadrons of cavalry usually attached to every legion of foot-soldiers in service. Without the alteri, as young Cicero was only sixteen years of age, alae should undoubtedly be rendered a squadron, and many of the commentators suspect alteri to be a spurious interpolation. But as Pompey was to the last degree solicitous to secure and retain the moral support of Cicero, he may have sought to flatter the father by appointing the son to a nominal command, delegating its more important duties to officers of maturer years and experience.

Publius Mucius Scaevola, of the highest reputation as a jurist, and a copious writer on the Roman law. While vehemently opposed to the Gracchi, and approving of the murder of Tiberius Gracchus, he gave a legal opinion in favor of compensation from the public treasury for the value of the effects constituting the dowry of the wife of Caius Gracchus, lost in the popular disturbance caused by her husband.

A man of rigid integrity and probity, and eminent for ability and learning as a jurisconsult and a forensic orator.

Lucius Licinius Crassus. He was undoubtedly the greatest orator of his time. Cicero may have heard him, having been sixteen years of age at his death. When a mere stripling, — Tacitus says, of nineteen years, — he accused Caius Papirius Carbo, of what crime we do not know, probably of bribery or extortion, and met with such signal success that Carbo committed suicide to escape condemnation.

Demosthenes, at the age of eighteen, brought a successful suit against his guardians, to compel them to render account of his property in their hands.

Latin, contentio. The only occasions for the practice of oratory in Rome were such as might be designated by this term, which means contention. They were the advocacy of disputed measures in the Senate or before the people and the pleading of cases in the courts of law.

There was in Rome no profession corresponding to that of the modern advocate. There were jurisconsults, men learned in the law, many of whom were also eloquent advocates, while others were chamber-counsel, to whom advocates, as well as the immediate parties in a suit, resorted for legal opinions and advice. But any man who had the will and the ability might take charge of a case in court; and for young Romans who aspired to distinction, after military ambition began to wane, the bar was the favorite avenue to the popular favor. There were no public prosecutors; but any person who was ready to make and sustain a criminal charge had only to present himself before the praetor urbanus, and to swear that he was acting not from malicious motives, but in good faith, and in the interest of the state.

Grandfather of the triumvir, — a contemporary of Crassus, and of nearly equal reputation as an orator.

He was twenty-eight years old when he accused Caius Norbanus of majestas, or treason, for turbulent and seditious conduct as tribune of the people.

The augur Servilius had prosecuted their father for bribery and malversation in Sicily, and procured his condemnation and exile. Though the elder Lucullus was undoubtedly guilty, his sons may have supposed him innocent, and at any rate they avenged themselves by the unsuccessful impeachment of Servilius.

In the impeachment of Verres.

Caius Julius Caesar, who commenced public life by the accusation of Titus Albucius of extortion as praetor in Sicily, and procured his condemnation.

He was accused by Fufius of extortion in Sicily; but, notwithstanding strong proofs of guilt, was acquitted on the ground of signal courage and ability in military command.

Judicium capitis, or a capital trial, was a phrase used, not only where life was put in jeopardy, but with reference to all cases in which one’s standing and privileges as a citizen were imperilled, and the danger of degradation or exile was incurred.

Marcus Junius Brutus. His father was eminent for his legal learning. Of the son we know little except from Cicero, who may have been prejudiced against him as belonging to the opposite political party.

There is nothing in the entire record of Cicero’s life more honorable to him than his conduct on this trial, in which he was for the first time engaged in a criminal cause. Sextus Roscius was accused of the murder of his father, on no valid or probable evidence, and undoubtedly with the view of securing permanent legality to the seizure of the father’s property on the false pretence of unpaid debts. The principal in the fraud and the instigator of the criminal pursuit was Chrysogonus, a freed man of Sulla. With every possible obstacle thrown in his way, and with the whole influence of the dictator pressed into the opposite scale, Cicero procured, by the masterly management of the case, no less than by his eloquent defence, the acquittal of his client, but undoubtedly incurred imminent peril.

The allusion here is, undoubtedly, to the cask with a perforated bottom which the Danaides are eternally attempting to fill.

A lost book.

Latin (in many of the best editions), Aristo Ceus; (in all extant manuscripts and early editions) Aristoteles. Aristotle not only has no sentiment like this in his extant writings, but can hardly have had in his time the material for such a description of senseless extravagance. The public entertainments of his age, especially in Athens, while redolent of superior culture, were comparatively inexpensive. Aristo of Ceos wrote a treatise (now lost) on Vain Glory (περὶ κενοδοξίας), from which this passage may very probably have been quoted. But the reading which gives his name is at best an ingenious and not unlikely conjecture.

Mina, in value a little more than four pounds sterling.

Sextarius, about a pint.

Of course, popularity in an aedileship contributed largely to one’s success as a candidate for higher offices, and in the best days of the republic an aspirant for the popular favor may, as aedile, have made for the entertainment of the public an expenditure fully level with his ability. But before Cicero’s time it had become common for an aedile to incur in that office heavy debts, to be liquidated, if ever, when as propraetor or proconsul he should be able to fill his exchequer with provincial spoils. Debts thus contracted were regarded as an obligatory mortgage on the popular suffrage, by which the debtor should have the opportunity of reimbursing himself for his outlay to please the people.

Cicero, as aedile, gave three public games.

The Romans frequently offered to some god, generally to Hercules, a tithe of their property on the eve of any great enterprise, or of their gains, in case of any signal success. But a small part of such an offering was consumed in sacrifice, and the rest was commonly utilized for a magnificent public festival. The words polluceo and polluctura as applied to such feasts may authorize the supposition (though I know of no other ground for it) that Pollux may have had in earlier time the honor which was subsequently paid to Hercules.

As, about half an English penny.

Modius, a little less than a peck.

Clodius was undoubtedly the greater ruffian and the worse man of the two; but it is only by shutting out all testimony save that of Cicero’s magnificent defence of Milo, that we can regard him as a pre-eminently law-abiding and patriotic citizen.

Cicero never attained the censorship, to which, by custom tantamount to constitutional law, and seldom departed from, ex-consuls alone were eligible.

The vote was taken by centuries, so that a large opposing minority might be consistent with a nominally unanimous suffrage.

The normal age at which one was eligible to the quaestorship was thirty; to the aedileship, thirty-seven; to the praetorship, forty; to the consulship, forty-three. These rules had sometimes been disregarded, but were generally adhered to.

Pompey erected the most splendid of the then existing theatres, and temples to Venus and Victoria.

The Propylaea, said to have cost a sum equivalent to two millions of our money.

This discussion is not found in any of the portions of the De Re Publica that have been recovered.

Injustice is done to Cicero when these interested motives to beneficence are regarded as standing alone. It must be remembered that in the First Book the duty of beneficence is urged on grounds of intrinsic right; while expediency is the express and sole subject of the Second Book, in which it is his aim to show that interest and duty point in the same direction, — that the selfish man sins against himself no less than against his neighbor.

So long as there was a wide distinction between the orders of the Roman state, the patricians, in general, took a generous care of the interests of their respective clients and dependents. Indeed, the very term patrician is an enduring record of kindly relations between the higher and the lower orders.

Lucius Licinius Crassus (§ 13). The reference is undoubtedly to his speech in favor of the restoration of judicial functions from the equites to the Senate.

There were subtleties in the Roman law as to the falling of water from the eaves of houses (stillicidium), the preservation or obstruction of light, and various matters of dispute that might arise and in all time do arise between owners of contiguous houses. Between estates outside of the city there was legally a space of five or six feet in which each owner had a right of way, and neither a right of occupancy for his own uses. Rights of way and other easements were attached, also, to many private estates. Hence a fruitful field for litigation.

The territory of Attica (including Athens) was divided into one hundred and seventy-four δη̂μοι, or districts. The demos of Laciadae was outside of the city.

Servius Sulpicius, after the death of Mucius Scaevola the most learned and celebrated jurisconsult. He died but a year before this treatise was written, and Cicero pronounced a eulogy on him in the Senate.

The Roman law prohibited advocates from taking fee or reward. There is no proof that Cicero was ever paid directly or indirectly for his services as an advocate, though undoubtedly presents and legacies from those who had enjoyed the benefit of his services may have been among the sources of his wealth.

Latin, collocandis, investing, i. e. conferring favors with a view to the revenue in influence and popularity which they may bring in return.

Caius Gracchus, as tribune of the people, procured the passage of a law by which every resident of the city who should personally appear at the Capitol might buy five modii (or pecks) of corn each month, at less than half the average price, therefore at much less than cost. The tendency, and of course a prime object, of this measure was to bring into the city, and under the influence of the popular leaders, large numbers of the poorer population in the rural districts.

Tribune of the people not long after Caius Gracchus. He procured the passage of a law raising the price of corn from the public granaries to a rate which arrested the depletion of the treasury.

For one hundred and four years, from the close of the Macedonian war (b. c. 147), which brought an immense amount of treasure into the public coffers, till the very year succeeding Cicero’s death, no property-tax was levied, the spoils of war and the tribute from the provinces sufficing for the public expenditure.

The Samnite general who defeated the Roman army at the Caudine Pass, and many years later was himself defeated by Quintus Fabius Maximus, taken prisoner, led in triumph, and beheaded.

About a century and a half after the death of Pontius.

Commonly called the Social War. Marcus Livius Drusus had, while tribune of the people, procured the passage of a law providing for inquiry into the corrupt practices of the courts, which had in many instances acquitted persons justly charged with bribery and extortion. He had also procured the passage of laws conferring certain privileges — with a view to ultimate citizenship — on the Italian allies. The Senate, under the influence of those who feared an honest judiciary, annulled all the laws that had been enacted under the auspices of Drusus, on the pretext that they had been carried against the auspices, and in defiance of certain provisions by statute requiring a seventeen days’ promulgation of laws before they could be passed, and forbidding the massing of several distinct clauses in the same vote. The allies were, of course, thwarted of their expectations, and hence the Social War.

During the dictatorships of Sulla and Caesar.


He flooded Rome with the richest spoils of Grecian art; but though by no means a man of pure life, he rigidly abstained from participating in the booty or gain of his conquest. Pliny says of him, that he filled the city with trophies of conquered Achaia, yet left not a dowry for his daughter.

The agrarian laws that have so large a place in Roman history are often misunderstood in consequence of a misapprehension of the Latin terms possessor and possessio. These laws proposed the eviction, in many instances, of possessors, but not of owners. Possessio means not ownership, but occupancy. The lands obtained by conquest were for the most part leased on what were understood to be and what we should call perpetual leases, on condition of the payment of one tenth or one fifth of the annual revenue of the estate into the public treasury, — a condition which after a time lapsed into disuse and oblivion, so that the lands thus acquired were transmitted, bequeathed, and sold, as freeholds would have been, and with no expectation that the possession would ever be disturbed. The possessors thus had the consciousness of ownership, and the sympathy of the aristocracy and the rich men, on their side; and though the state, having never ceded the fee of its domain, had, no doubt, a right to take its lands from defaulting tenants and give them to the veterans or the landless plebeians, still this could not be done without the commission of virtual wrong to a large extent, and perhaps reducing to utter penury some who had felt as secure in the possession of their property as if it had come down to them in an unbroken line of inheritance from the beginning of time. We thus can reconcile the by no means delusive show of right and humanity on the face of the agrarian laws with the virtuous detestation expressed for them by not a few law-abiding Romans.

Novae tabulae, or the general remission or scaling down of debts, was, in the latter days of the Roman republic, a frequent demand of demagogues and of their followers and dupes.

These words of Cicero describe with wonderful accuracy the result of an experiment with novae tabulae in the United States of America. A profligacy at which Rome in her worst days might have blushed found expression in a national bankrupt law passed by Congress in 1841, repealed in 1843. By this law fraudulent insolvency had every possible facility and inducement. There were in every community notorious instances in which men who had paid little or nothing except the required legal fees showed openly and shamelessly the property of which they had cheated their creditors. In fine, any man who chose to do so, whatever his pecuniary ability, could repudiate his debts. The law resulted in the collapse and defeat of the very party that had hoped by means of it to consolidate its power. Those who had taken the benefit of the law were ashamed of it when they needed it no longer; while those whom it had wronged had no tolerance for the authors of their wrong, — thus verifying to the letter what Cicero says about the effect of such measures on the popularity of their authors and abettors.

Agis, the fourth Spartan king of the name, under whose government the Lysander here referred to was ephor. Their endeavor was to procure the entire cancelling of debts, and the re-distribution of the Spartan territory.

With only a brief interval, during which the father of Aratus had served as one of two chief magistrates chosen by the people. He probably was not in power long enough, or had not sufficient authority, to right the wrongs committed by a series of tyrants. He was killed by a usurper when Aratus was seven years old, and in the interval of thirteen years before the successful expedition of Aratus, that usurper and his successor had been slain, so that Nicocles was the third in this latter series of tyrants.

Cicero would undoubtedly have said, by sumptuary laws, which were sanctioned by the imperfect political economy of that day.

Cicero undoubtedly suspected, and with good reason, that Caesar had covertly abetted the Catilinian plot, and Caesar’s speech in the Senate, if its tone and spirit are fairly represented in Sallust’s report of it, shows that he was solicitous to save the lives of the conspirators.

At the time of Catiline’s conspiracy Caesar was very deeply in debt. He, in the first year of his dictatorship, was the author of a law by which debts were liquidated by payment of seventy-five per cent of their amount, the pretext being the increased value of money occasioned by the expenditure and loss of treasure during the civil war. Caesar himself had by that time become, not only free from debt, but absolutely rich, in great part, no doubt, from the perquisites of his Gallic campaigns.

Oeconomicus (Οὶκονομικός), a work wholly devoted to the administration of the household and private property.

From rents, and from the wages of slaves, — this last a very lucrative and therefore a favorite source of income, though not deemed entirely respectable.

Returns at a lower percentage than city investments, and more precarious, as contingent on the character of the season and the abundance or scantiness of the crops. Agriculture, though not the most gainful, was regarded as the most respectable source of income.

Usury was held in abhorrence even more than in contempt.

Latin, ad Janum medium. Janus was the name of a street in or near the forum, in which were to be found almost all the brokers’ and bankers’ offices in the city; and Janus summus, medius, and imus meant, respectively, the top, middle, and bottom of Janus Street.

About ten years younger.

Latin, otio de negotiis = nec-otiis.

Latin, in solitudine secum loqui solitum.

Latin, interdum, literally, betweenwhile.

Antony had surrounded the Senate in its sessions with armed followers of his, and of course the purpose, as well as the effect of so doing, was to repress freedom of utterance.

Brutus and Cassius, both praetors, could not safely remain in or return to the city, and as they were legally at the head of the judiciary, the courts were suspended.

Latin, otium. Repose would be a better rendering, were it not that we should lose Cicero’s play upon otium, which is broad enough in its meaning to apply to the repose of the state from the plots of conspirators no less than to the rest of a worker from his labor.

Almost all Cicero’s philosophical and rhetorical works were written in the last three or four years of his life.

Young Cicero’s annual allowance would amount in our money to a little more than four thousand dollars.

The most admired of all the pictures of Apelles. He completed one picture of Venus Anadyomene (or rising out of the sea) for the temple of Aesculapius at Cos, which was afterward placed by Augustus in the temple which he built to Julius Caesar. This was injured, and no one dared to repair it. The painter commenced another picture of Venus, for the Coans, intending to surpass the previous one, but died before it was completed, and it remained unfinished. It is probably to this that Cicero refers.

Latin, media, which, literally translated, conveys no meaning. Contingent expresses, perhaps, as well as any single word the Stoic conception of the ordinary duties performed by persons not philosophers. The truly wise or ideal man (for the extreme Stoics denied that he had ever existed) discerned the absolute right in its very essence, by direct intuition. Other men performed duties, not because they were intrinsically right, but because each specific act of duty had for them its rule or law in external circumstances.

Most commentators say that the allusion here is to the rhythmical movements in dancing and gymnastic exercises, in which he who was perfect was said to have or to keep all the numbers. It seems to me more probable that Cicero refers to the Pythagorean doctrine of numbers, specific numbers denoting perfection of specific kinds, and “all the numbers” designating absolute perfection.

The seven sages of Greece, — Bias, Chilo, Cleobulus, Pittacus, Periander, Solon, and Thales.

There is a striking analogy between the ideal man of the Stoics whom man never saw, and the Christian ideal of humanity but once realized in human form, and with reference to which as incarnate the best Christians hold the same position that was held by the warriors, patriots, and sages here named with reference to the Stoic ideal.

The reference here is, obviously, to the friendly relation in which Brutus stood to Caesar.

Latin, formula.

This is the general rule, or formula, referred to in § 4. It embraces all forms of wrong-doing from man to man, and thus extends to all offences under the second and third of Cicero’s divisions of duty, but would not include sins under the first and fourth.

We, i. e. the Roman people. Cicero evidently has the death of Caesar in his mind.

Axioms, which in their very nature do not admit of proof.

Latin, sed, ut dicitur, Marte nostro, literally, “But, as the saying is, by my own Mars,” i. e. fighting my own battle, depending on myself alone.

This was undoubtedly intended as a syllogism, — a favorite mode of statement or argument among the Stoics. It would admit of several logical forms, among others, of the following: —

Expediency is in harmony with nature;
Immorality is not in harmony with nature;
Therefore, what is immoral is not expedient.
— A syllogism in Camestres.
Another syllogism, in Barbara: —

Whatever is good is expedient;
Whatever is right is good (either the sole or the supreme good);
Therefore, whatever is right is expedient.
Herodotus makes Gyges, not a shepherd, but the prime minister of Candaules, King of Lydia, and writes that he killed Candaules and succeeded to the kingdom by the queen’s connivance and aid. The story of the ring Plato quotes as a tradition, and makes the same use of it in the Second Book of the Republic that Cicero makes of it here.

Whether he be god or man. Romulus was deified and worshipped under the name of Quirinus.

A Stoic, and the most logical interpreter of the doctrines of the Stoic school.

A verse from an unknown poet.

Valerius Maximus writes this name Pythias.

This, if authentic, must have taken place in the fifth century before the Christian era. It is mentioned in no extant work of any Greek historian. It is related by Aelian, who, indeed, wrote in Greek, but was an Italian, lived as late as the reign of Hadrian, and embodied in his work floating traditions with authentic history.

Both of these men, in their respective tribunates, procured the passage of laws by which foreigners, temporarily resident in Rome, were compelled to leave the city.

After Pompey had suppressed piracy, the Cilician pirates whom he had subdued were formed into a flourishing colony, and subsequently entered into friendly and helpful relations with Antony.

The people of Marseilles, king Deiotarus, and, in fine, all the allies that had adhered to the Pompeian faction, were burdened with heavy tribute under Caesar’s government.

Diogenes was one of the three philosophers sent on an embassy from Athens to Rome (b. c. 155), to deprecate the payment of a heavy fine imposed on the Athenians. Aulus Gellius characterizes his eloquence as moderate and sober (modesta et sobria).

Little is known of Antipater, and of his works nothing remains; but from the incidental notices of his character and opinions, and of the reverence in which he and his memory were held, we have reason to believe that his opinions both in ethics and in theology were in advance of his age. He was the teacher of Panaetius.

Latin, vitiorum nomina, literally, names of vices.

Caius Aquillius Gallus was Cicero’s colleague in the praetorship, and as the head of the judiciary introduced into his official edict, and thus into the body of the Roman law, important improvements in the legal remedies against criminal fraud (dolus malus).

This law (b. c. 192) first discriminated between minors (minores) under twenty-five years and those of age (majores). By this law fraud on minors was punished by a heavy fine and public infamy. It provided also that contracts with minors should be voidable, unless made with the consent of a guardian appointed by the praetor.

The text is slightly ambiguous, at least to a modern translator. Some commentators render the sentence as referring to decisions as to contracts in which the words ex fide bona are used; others, as referring to decisions in which these words are employed.

Melius aequius, prescribing, as I understand, a leaning in the wife’s favor in any questions about the dowry to be restored in case of the wife’s death, or, in that age more frequently, in case of her divorce.

Inter bonos bene agier, in the case of property conveyed to a trustee on condition of its being restored, — a condition sometimes to be inferred from the circumstances under which the conveyance was made rather than from the express terms of the contract.

Sestertii, or one hundred sestertia, equivalent to between four and five thousand dollars of our money.

This statement refers not to praetorian edicts or to judicial decisions, but to the interpretation of the statute by men learned in the law.

The augurs faced the east in taking their observations, so that a high house on the Coelian hill might obstruct their view, all the more so, if one of the augurs had any private grudge against the owner of the house.

Cicero here means to say: “Cases of this kind are comparatively recent. The records of the earlier and better times contain no such instances of chicanery.”

These were forms used in deeds of trust.

The regulation of the markets was among the functions of the aediles.

One who had just come into an inheritance of human chattels could not be expected to know their characters and habits.

Hortensius. As rival orators, cicero and Hortensius might have been on other than friendly terms, had they not both been intimate friends of Atticus.

Cicero charged Crassus with complicity in Catiline’s conspiracy, and Crassus was a friend of Clodius, Cicero’s bitterest enemy. After Cicero’s return from exile, Crassus sought a formal reconciliation with Cicero, and there was no subsequent manifestation of hostility on his part.

It was shameful, as Cicero could not but think, that states whose citizens nominally enjoyed the rights of Roman citizenship should need official patrons, and equally so, in his esteem, that those patrons should be, like Satrius, selected from among Antony’s adherents and satellites.

It is a singular feature of Roman society in and after Cicero’s time that the legacy-hunters (heredipetae) should have been numerous enough and should have found dupes enough to form a distinct class, and almost a recognized profession.

See Book I. § 7.

Of a man of the world, not of a philosopher.

Latin, mices. Micare, or micare digitis (to flash with the fingers), denotes the game of mora, which is still a favorite recreation, or rather mode of gambling, with the Roman populace, and may be often seen in the streets. Story, in his Roba di Roma, describes it as follows: “Two persons place themselves opposite each other, holding their right hands closed before them. They then simultaneously and with a sudden gesture throw out their hands, some of the fingers being extended, and others shut up on the palm, — each calling out in a loud voice, at the same moment, the number he guesses the fingers extended by himself and his adversary to make. If neither cry out aright, or if both cry out aright, nothing is gained or lost; but if only one guess the true number, he wins a point.”

The relation of a legatus, or lieutenant, to his commander was, in Roman ethics, not unlike that of a son to his father, so that Marius in his conduct toward Metellus might have been pronounced impius.

Marcus Marius Gratidianus, son of an adopted son of the brother of Caius Marius.

He never obtained the consulship; but the very popularity won by his agency in settling the fluctuating currency was in Sulla’s eyes a crime which made him one of the dictator’s earliest victims.

Latin, explica atque excute, literally, unfold and shake out.

Pompey married Caesar’s daughter, and hoped to gain ascendency by throwing upon Caesar the unpopularity of whatever was offensive in the measures of the triumvirate.

Words put into the mouth of Eteocles when, having agreed to hold the sovereignty of Thebes with his brother on alternate years, he refused to resign the throne at the end of the first year.

The term parricide (parricidium) was always employed with reference to heinous crimes against the country (patria) as well as to the murder of a father.

Probably some of the petty states that had been obtained by the conquest of Mithridates, and to which Sulla had sold this exemption for the money needed to pay his army.

They were sometimes in the position of rural tenants when the crops failed. There were times when the under-farmers (portitores) could not make their collections of taxes in full and in due season; but Cato was in favor of the most rigid treatment of the farmers-general (publicani), however they might fare with their subordinates.

The farmers of the revenue were of equestrian rank, and it was deemed desirable that the equites should be on good terms with the Senate.

They had claimed the full rights of citizenship in common with the colonies south of the Po, — a claim which Caesar granted.

Latin, denarius. The denarius was about equivalent to our New England shilling.

Though Cicero seems to have thought rightly on these questions, the very fact that they could be mooted among members of the school of philosophy most noted for its high ethical standard, gives us a not very favorable impression of pre-Christian ethics; and the contrast between these Stoics and certain of the post-Christian, though non-Christian moralists, gives color to the belief that Christianity had somehow penetrated where it was not recognized.

Nearly half a million of our money.

In Book I. § 10, this example is used to substantially the same purpose, — the object there being to show, under the head of justice, that the literal keeping of a promise may, under some peculiar stress of circumstances, be virtually wrong; while here the proposition is that the intense stress of expediency may make that right which has the prima facie aspect of wrong.

I leave the ellipsis as it stands in the original.

Notably, Euripides and Sophocles, as also some of the Roman tragedians. The story is that he, as one of Helen’s suitors, was the first to propose the oath by which they bound themselves, in case the marital rights of the successful suitor should be invaded, to join in defending or avenging him. But when he was called upon to fulfil his part of the covenant, he feigned insanity, yoked an ox and an ass together, ploughed a field with them, and sowed it with salt. Palamedes took Telemachus, and placed him where his father’s plough would go over him, and Ulysses, by stopping his plough so as to avoid doing harm to the child, showed that he was not demented, and was thus compelled to keep his agreement and to bear his illustrious part in the Trojan war.

Palamedes, even a more decidedly mythical personage than Ulysses, is fabled to have been the inventor of light-houses, measures, scales, the discus, dice, the alphabet, and the mode of regulating sentries, — in fine, an impersonation of nearly all the practical wisdom of the old world.

These verses are from the Armorum Judicium of Pacuvius.

The Greeks called all except themselves barbarians.

He was proconsul in Africa, his second consulship having expired the previous year.

Accounts as to the death of Regulus vary, — some saying that he was put into a chest studded in the inside with nails; others, that his eyebrows were cut off, and his face then exposed to the full glare of an African sun; while it would seem that Cicero had a still different account, that he died from enforced wakefulness. Niebuhr sees no reason to suppose that he was tortured or killed, indeed, has very little faith in any part of his story, and it is maintained by some of the writers of his school that the report of his being so tortured was circulated in Rome to excuse the cruelties perpetrated by the family of Regulus on Carthaginian captives committed to their charge.

The Epicureans.

The Stoics.

This is from the Atreus of Attius. Thyestes asks Atreus, Fregistin fidem? and Atreus replies that he denies the obligation of keeping good faith with treacherous men.

Numa was said to have built a temple to Fides on the Capitoline Hill.

The most patent sophistry. If the sincerity with which an oath is taken be the sole ground of its sacredness, free license is opened for unnumbered forms of perjury, — certainly for the proverbially untrustworthy custom-house oaths, than which the civilization of our time has had no fouler opprobrium.

Latin, pirata, which commonly means a robber by sea, yet is sometimes used, as here, in the same sense with praedo, a robber by land.

From the Hippolytus. Unfortunately for Cicero’s use of these words, which Euripides puts into the mouth of Hippolytus, the oath is regarded as sacred. He had sworn that he would not divulge Phaedra’s guilty secret to his father, and in the scene from which this verse is taken he says that but for the oath into which he had been entrapped unawares, nothing could have prevented him from telling his father the whole truth.

The commanders, even were they the consuls, could not lawfully make a treaty. The most that they had a right to do was to make a truce or an armistice, or to name terms of peace to be ratified by the Senate and people. The principle thus recognized is so obvious that if war be not, in Cicero’s phrase, “opposed to nature,” it might seem to belong to the law of nature no less than to the law of nations.

Latin, leges sacratae. They were, probably, laws for the violation of which the criminal and his property were nominally consecrated to some god, i. e. he execrated and his property confiscated, — laws which had in Cicero’s time become obsolete, as had the strict exercise of the censorial animadversion in the case of perjury. Of this class were the laws passed on Mons Sacer on the occasion of the first secession of the plebeians from Rome. Some commentators say that these laws were the only ones known as leges sacratae. Yet another opinion is that the leges sacratae corresponded to the canon law of Christendom, — that there were certain offences, perjury among the nest, the legal eognizance of which belonged to the priests.


Shortly before this very battle of Veseris the consuls gave orders that no Roman should engage in single combat with any soldier of the opposing army. The son of Torquatus, driven almost to madness by the taunts and insults of a Tuscan soldier, accepted his challenge, killed him, and brought the trophies of the successful conflict to his father, who immediately ordered the youth to be beheaded.

This story, it will be remembered, is told in a slightly different form in Book I. § 13. The passage in which that version of it occurs is wanting in some manuscripts, and omitted in some editions; but the critical evidence is in its favor. It is appropriately told in each connection, and Cicero is never unwilling to tell the same story twice, if it will in each instance serve the purpose in hand. There seems to have been about the Punic wars, as about many passages of Roman history, a strange mingling of authentic narrative and popular tradition, so that of events that undoubtedly took place there are often several versions. The science of historical criticism had not been even conceived of, and we find that writers, Plutarch included, always select the version of a story that will best point a moral or illustrate a character.

Aulus Gellius says that of the ten Romans sent home by Hannibal eight returned, and two who had evaded their oath by fraud remained in Rome, branded with ignominy by the censors, and the objects of universal contempt and scorn.

This figure is used in another instance by Cicero, in the Tusculanae Disputationes, Book V. It is also used once in the New Testament, where our English version gives no intimation of it, in 2 Peter i. 5. “With all diligence bring up and lead on in the choir [or dance] (ἐπιχορηγήσατε) on [or next to] faith, virtue,” &c.

The Cyrenaic school was founded by Aristippus. See Book I. § 41, note.

Anniceris is regarded as having been of the Cyrenaic school, and differed from Aristippus chiefly in admitting that the social virtues are good in themselves, yet good because, though they sometimes give trouble, their pleasure-yielding capacity transcends the labor, inconvenience, and sorrow that may incidentally result from them.

Latin, viris equisque, literally, with men and horses, i. e. in full military array, with all the strength that I can muster, with might and main.

The disciple, inseparable companion, and intimate friend of Epicurus, and his destined successor, though Epicurus outlived him by seven years. He gave his master’s philosophy its fullest development in the direction of sensuality, expressly and seriously maintaining that the organs of digestion furnish the true test and measure for everything appertaining to a happy life.

A figure derived from a watercourse whose flow is obstructed. The idea is: What he says about these virtues does not flow easily, as if he were sincere and thoroughly in earnest.

Their doctrine was that for man pleasure and virtue are both ends of being, — pleasure by nature and from the beginning, virtue after experience of the good that there is in it.

In the Second Book of De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum.


Dr Churchill


By the way,

Just one Socratic question for You:

Have you yet figured out what does the Second Amendment has got to do with all this?

To cut to the chase:

You can’t have the First Amendment without the Second to guarantee the whole of the Constitution and it’s framework of amendments and lawgiving.


Posted by: Dr Churchill | March 23, 2018

Decent leadership — progress or not…

We tend to self congratulate ourselves too much these days… without consulting the collected reason of the ages past, and certainly without realizing how close we are to destruction and collapse.

A new book full of graphs that all point to a Dream World, and a Globe that appears as if things are getting great each and every day — is what came out of Pinker’s desk recently, and the whole thing smells of too much self congratulatory talk.
“Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress” by Steven Pinker, surely is a cheerleading bon-bon of a book, stating clearly that if you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.
Pinker ask us a couple of blatantly misleading and awfully simplistic questions:
1) Do we think that the world is really falling apart?
2) Is the ideal of progress obsolete?

And then he goes on to explain how his elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases, and instead, follow the data details to see progress. His 75 data graphs show how life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are all on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.

No disagreement there.

Indeed, far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, as we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature, against tribalism, against authoritarianism, against demonization, and even against magical thinking.
All of which the many demagogues are all too willing to exploit at every instance.

Still many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against the Enlightenment, and the result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of capitalism, western style liberal democracy, and rules based international competition and also agreements based cooperation.

The book Enlightenment Now, makes the case for reason, science, and humanism, as being the pivotal ideals that we need in order to confront our problems and safeguard our victories as we continue on the road towards progress.

I like it, and so do people like Bill Gates, and the mass of TED watching bonobos, and conference going honchos, who seem to like it a lot too.

Hell, what do I have in common with these people — I don’t know, besides the fact that we seem to like this book and te cultivation of the mind by reading thousands of others people’s books besides my own that they seem to like well enough too.

My books are always polemic and interesting but you already know that since you
ve read the “Brain Software” here:

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Still all the leftist socialist world is up in arms vilifying it, and screaming bloody murder.

Wonder why?

Maybe they hate it because it says that perhaps its time to stop seeing Progress … as a stream of unlimited blessings, and to start viewing it rather as a gift from on high, set down for an extremely intricate trial of our free will.

And then we have the Conservatives who don’t like it much more either, maybe because they wrongly think that it says, that we should not strive anymore.

They read it somewhat like this: “We’ve arrived, so why bother?”

Yet it seems to me that both perspectives are jaded and probably wrong on their basic premises….

So we now call for “a politics of limits” and a revival of the distinction between optimism and hope, so that we remember that not all criticisms of Progress need be born of despair or fatalism.

Quite the contrary. Inclusion, is a decision to which we should always defer. There is limited sentimentality about this. It is a simple act of decent leadership that I espouse always and forever in all walks of life, love, and even war…

Contrary to that, the Leftist progressives of the last fifty years, have carried an anti-inclusion policy. A policy that firmly separates people through race, dogma, religion, and a hundred other kinds of sexual, genetic, morphological and even mental or ideological division — as long as it serves the Democratic party.

“Divide & Conquer” is the name of the game that the Dems are playing, but they are selling it to you as “Hope and Change” as their banners from the last couple of elections, say above all else.

As a matter of fact, they kept they kept these banners so high, that they managed to block the very sun, and when it all came crashing down from the silver tongue of duplicitous Obama’s fake HOPE and fake CHANGE message — instead of abandoning these old banners at the roadside, their words became part of the Left’s structural DNA, where they are careful to appropriate the words but not their meaning.

At the same time, Christian Conservatives, were horrified with this felonious appropriation. Especially during the past decade or so, because they have seen that the trajectory of the country was better captured by true progressive ideas of compassionate conservatism, than old fashioned steady-same moderation, or crazy AF leftist progressive ideology of turning the trannies into chicks with dicks visiting freely children’s bathrooms, and getting away with pedophilia and worse…

Still, both brands of political philosophy, gave credence to the idea of strong progress, although with rather different valences.

Actual history, however, has complicated its validity. In times like these, critics of progress gain in relevance and interest, and perhaps they’re on to something…

These critics need not be limited to today, since the idea of progress has been around at least since the early Greek philosophers and it has certainly intensified since the time of the Scottish Reformation, the Scottish Enlightenment, and of the English Enlightenment that followed…

Scotland’s turbulent history, from William Wallace to the Presbyterian Lords of the Covenant, laid the foundations for the “Scottish miracle” because within one hundred years, the nation that began the eighteenth century dominated by the harsh and repressive Scottish church, had evolved into Europe’s most literate society, producing an idea of modernity that has shaped much of civilisation as we know it to this day. Thinkers such as Adam Smith and David Hume, writers such as Burns and Boswell, as well as architects, technicians and inventors, blessed our world with wit, erudition and clarity, and formed the basis of liberal capitalist democratic institutions of governance which are the touchstones of western civilization, and for which we are still fighting ideological wars and suffer through bloody battles to this day…

And it’s all about personal liberty.

Because the real task of life is intensely individual, involving personal moral development, as the necessity of tending one’s own garden, instead of being concerned with what happens in other peoples walled gardens. This would be a lesson learned through Christianity.

Today, a conjunction of technology, necessity, and humanity radically different from that envisaged by True Progress is the example of Artificial Intelligence killing people, like the Google car in Arizona killed a woman riding her bicycle that came onto the path of this evil driverless machine….

To the reader who might detect a contradiction between individual fatalism, as exemplified by the bicyclist’s death at the hands of the driverless “machine” and our call for spiritual, moral, ethical progress, or perfectability, is written in the soul of each man, and is transferred to history only through error. As long as it remains personal, this law is fruitful. Given the strength of fatalistic forces, individual and social, opting out of wider society and adopting the practices of individualism, do seem to be both consequent and de rigueur.

At issue is America itself, its character, its course, and its destiny. America’s decline and degradation, foreshadows the impending dissolution of there Civil War, and that of today’s divisions between the false progressives of the left, and the true progressives of the Conservative variety.

The fuller trajectory of American history will be better informed and seen clearer by scientific-minded progressives who recognize that modern science includes physics as well as biology, and under that prism, it is entropy, rather than evolution, that is the final word of Science on the adventures of being an American, at this time and age.

One can thus see a rather understandable intellectual and moral mixture, the spiritual physiognomy of a nation whose beginning was Christian and Philosophical morality and ETHICS, and yet had recently lost both the religious and political faith, that had inaugurated the great American experiment in self-government.

Modern science has apparently replaced both, and as it evolved, so did the need for new forms of understanding politics and history.

Alexis De Tocqueville explained humanity’s failure to general greed, and material causes. However as we can easily see, this precocious scion of American political royalty was destined for disappointment.

The twentieth century, the century of hyperbolic wars and ideological tyrannies, and considers an eclectic pessimistic view of history, that sees mankind’s fated efforts to rise, only to fall, to engage in noble but ultimately meaningless struggles, and to die off by the hundreds of millions on bloody ruinous confrontations of silly ideologies and wars of hubris and conquest. But this lack of progress in terms of history’s cyclical patterns, best be focused upon distinct cultures, and in terms of organic metaphors, like various genus or species subject to recurring cycles of growth and decline, of spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Religious and aesthetic endeavor characterized the first phases, to be replaced by activities that produced an organic power.

That organically grown power is the power of Western Civilization, and nothing that we’ve ever seen in history even comes close to it.

And indeed, even if we are nearing the end of our Great Cycle — the final phase of this cycle of our civilization can be forestalled, or even prolonged. To that end what I counsel is, that we best go looking for strong leaders who could lead cultures, that can become even more civilized, through the primordial battle of good and evil as we are engaged with the other ascending or descending powers around the Globe.

There is a war for your conscience going on as we speak, and it involves a great moral-political judgment that has to be learned here.

One could not say much good about the west today, because of western moral decadence and, especially because of modern anthropocentricism, connected with the idea of Progress that robs us of the necessary context to be able to gauge the real value of historical progress that is truly beneficial and not just a faddish interpretation of data points that seem to point to our favor…

Because with respect to the Western civilization, we have some rather uncomfortable truths to utter, but must do so, so that our western friends would not suffer anything like the fate of other countries, or like what the small ancient nations of Europe that are now slaves to the Germanic hordes once again — suffer, as the weak always do.

These truths are of a topical, or contemporary sort, and of a longer historical, cultural, or progressively modern anthropocentrism, that miscasts the “Bureaucratic-man” in the role of God, while the Enlightenment notion of Liberty & Progress was too narrowly focused upon technological progress and material advancement, to provide any succor to the Free Human Being.

As such, modernity left out the spiritual realm and its essential contributions to our humanity and our human development: conscience; humility; self-restraint; wells of empathy and compassion. In short, what religion, especially Judaism and Christianity, teach and provide.

In so doing, however, he perhaps insufficiently appreciates the natural categories through which thinks the world”s advocacy of a measured patriotism, other important moral categories such as magnanimity are absent, as well as a complex view of a culture with its own native resources, but also artistically and philosophically open to the world beyond.

Sadly today, nobody appreciates political liberty anymore in these United States where everybody is a partisan of one of the two virulently divisive political parties. In brief, the spiritual, the natural, and the political liberty is far more complex, more intellectually interesting, and far more fulfilling for humanity, than the two political parties are able to offer.

However, demanding of appreciation liberty might be — it is also the keenest advocate of democracy for humanity’s sake. This is the aspect of government by the people, for the people, and from the people that is too often ignored.

Christians, for moral and spiritual reasons, as well as out of fundamental disdain of modern Progress, with the latter including capitalism, technology, the administrative nanny state, and progressive secular education — are fundamentally suspicious of it all.

So, the True and Only Heaven, is Christian Faith’s Progress, because heaven is not to be found on this earth, least of all by human efforts.

What is needed is a return to the awareness of human limitations and imperfections that have characterized all the earlier Christian communities of America.

All the above not-withstanding, a new appreciation of populism, together with the religious traditions that embody and convey these much needed lessons, is called for.


Dr Churchill


Regardless of their differences, both progressive wings of the Christian Conservatives and the True Republicans, are quite worried about environmental degradation, and looming ecological catastrophe, because the two premises of Progress inexorably lead to destruction of the Commons, but also because Christ himself has directed people to be good guardians of God’s green earth.

Contrast that command to the Democrats sexploitation of nature, and the ecosystems, same as the Socialists, the Communists, and the Soviets before them had always done raping and ravaging the land, sea and air without regard to the consequences.

Look at China’s or North Korea’s environmental record, and recall the Soviet Union’s blighted basket cases of Soviet ecosystems everywhere, and not just Chernobyl or the very many industrial areas like that vast swath of Ukraine, are so polluted that have to remain uninhabited for ever.

And why?

All due to that sick ideology’s premise that promotes unbalanced exploitation towards the constant and unfettered human fulfillment, as they attempt to cover-up for their inefficiency to bake enough bread and to distribute it widely in order to feed their people. And it is a vicious cycle because their inability to meet the most basic needs and desires of the people leads to more and more sexploitation of the ecosystems, and of the natural resources of this earth, that clearly leads to social debasement, as it invariably entropies, towards total collapse.

Sadly this Soviet style progress, inspired by socialism, always leads to catastrophe and collapse because simply, the finite earth cannot yield infinite goods. And when we have no interest in the business of management science and adequately pricing the natural assets and using proper natural accounting — we are screwed.

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And here we have the dilemma, where on one hand moral madness, and on the other hand a demonstrably false ideology of exploitation persist. In both examples we perceive short term or long term collapse due to resource constraints.

So, there can only be one true Progress. And that is the sum total of the spiritual progresses of individuals; the degree of self-perfection in the course of their lives, and the faith they exercise throughout all of life’s trials and tribulations…

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