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shaved, on purpose that he might be kept from going abroad. It was there he composed, by the light of a small lamp, those excellent harangues, which smelt, as his enemies gave out, of the oil; to insinuate they were too much laboured. "Tis very plain, replied he, yours did not cost you so much trouble. He was a very early riser, and (a) used to be under great concern when any artificer got to work before him. We may judge of his endeavours to perfect himself in every kind of learning, by the pains he took in copying Thucydides's history no less than eight times, with his own hand, in order to make his style more familiar to him.


Cicero was born with a very fine genius, and had likewise the best education, [b] in which he was more happy than Demosthenes. His father took particular care of it, and spared nothing to cultivate his talents. It appears that the famous Crassus, whom he so often mentions in his works, was pleased to direct the plan of his studies, and assigned him such preceptors as were capable of assisting him in forming Cicero. [c] The poet Archias implanted in him very early the elements of taste for polite literature; which Cicero himself tells us, in the eloquent oration he made in defence of his master.

No childever discovered moreardour for study than Cicero. Children were at that time taught by none but Greeks; and he performed such things in their language, as deserve to be taken notice of. Plotius was the first who altered that custom, and taught in Latin. He was a Gaul [d], and had a very famous

school, (2) Cui non sunt auditæ De. poris, & pueritiæ memoriam remosthenis vigiliæ ? qui dolere se cordari ultimam, inde usque repeaiebat, si quando opiticum antelu- tens, hunc video mihi principem & canâ victusesset industriâ. 4. Tusc. ad suscipiendam & ad ingrediendam quæst. n. 44.

rationem horum studiorum extitisse. [b] 2. de Orat. 1. 2.

Orat. pro Arch. n. 1. [c] Quoad longissimè potest mens [d] Equidem memoriâ teneo, pu. mea respicere spatium præteriti teiu. eris nobis primum Latinè docere


very much.

school. People sent their children to it from all parts, and those of the best taste approved his method

Cicero was excessively desirous of hearing such a master ; but those who had the chief management of his education and studies, did not think proper to gratify him, because that method of teaching, which was not practised or heard of till then, appeared to the magistrates a dangerous innovation; and the censors, of whom Crassus was one, made a decree to prohibit it, without giving any other reason, but that the custom was contrary to the practice established by their ancestors [e]. Crassus, or rather Cicero in his name, endeavours to justify this decree in the best manner he could, which had given offence to people of the best understanding; and he hints, that the new plan itself was not so much condemned, as the method the masters took in teaching it. And indeed [[ ] this plan prevailed at last, and people were sensible of the benefit and advantages which accrued from it, as Suetonius informs us, who has preserved Cicero's epistle, wherein he speaks of Plotius, the censor's order, and the decree of the senate.

[g] In the mean time, Cicero made a great progress under his masters. And indeed he had such a genius as Plato wished a pupil; a strong thirst for learning, a mind fit for sciences, and that took in all things. Poetry was one of his first passions, and it is related that he succeeded tolerably well in it. From his infant years he distinguished himself in so remarkable a manner among those of his own age, that the parents of his school-fellows, hearing of his extraordinary genius, came on purpose to the school to be eyewitnesses of it, and were charmed with what they saw and heard. His merit must have been attended with cæpisse Lucium Plotium quemdam Cic. apud Suet. de claris Rhetoriad quem cùm fieret concursus, quòd bus. studiosissimus quisque apud eumex- [e] 3. de Orat. n. 93, 95. .erceretur, dolebam mihi idem non [ ] Paulatim & ipsa utilis ho. licere. Continebar autem doctissi. nestaque apparuit; multique eam morum hominum auctoritate, qui præsidii causa & gloriæ appetiveexistimabant Græcis exercitationi- runt. Suet. ibid. bus alimeliùs ingenia possse. Epist. [8] Plut. in vit. Cic.


great modesty, since his companions were the first who proclaimed it, and paid him such honours, as raised the jealousy of some of their parents.

At sixteen, which was the time youth were allowed to wear the toga virilis, or manly gown, Cicero's studies became more serious. [h] It was a custom then at Rome, for the father or next relation of a youth who had attained the age we are now speaking of, and designed for the Bar, to present him to one of the most celebrated orators, and put him under his protection. After this, the young man devoted himself to his patron in a particular manner; went to hear him plead, consulting him about his studies, and did nothing without his advice. Being thus accustomed betimes, to breathe, as it were, the air of the Bar, which is the best school for a young lawyer, and as he was the disciple of the greatest masters, and forming the most finished models, he was soon able to imitate them.

[i] Cicero himself tells us, this was his custom, and that he was a diligent hearer of the ablest orators in Rome. He devoted several hours every day to reading and composition ; and it is very probable, that what he makes Crassus [R] say, in his books de Oratore, he himself had practised in his youth ; that is, he translated the finest pieces of the Greek orators into Latin, in order to imbibe their style and genius.

[2] He did not confine himself barely to the study of Eloquence; for that of the law appeared to him one of the most necessary, and he devoted himself to

[h] Ergo apud majores nostros, ditus & assuefactus alienis experijuvenis ille, qui foro & eloquentiæ mentis . . . . solus statim & unus parabatur, imbutus jam domesticâ cuicumque causæ par erat. Dial. de disciplinâ, l'etertus honestis studiis, Orat. n. 34. deducebatur à patre, vel à propin. Reliquos frequenter audiens quis, ad eum oratorem qui princi- acerrimo studio tenebar,quotidieque pem locum in civitate tenebat. & scribens, & legens, & commenHunc sectari, hunc prosequi, hujus tans, oratoris tantum exercitationiomnibus dictionibus interesse. .. bus contentus non eram. Brut, 1. Atque hercule sub ejusmodi proceptionibus juvenis ille de quo lo. [k] 1. de Orat. n. 155. quimur, oratorum difcipuluis, fori (1) Brut, n. 306. auditor, sectator judiciorum, eru



it with uncommon application. He likewise made himself perfectly master of philosophy in all its branches [m]; and he proves, in several places, that it contributed infinitely more than Rhetoric towards making him an orator. [n] He had the best philosophers of the age for his masters.

Cicero did not begin to plead till he was about six and twenty. The troubles of the state prevented hiin from atteinpting it sooner. [0] His first essays were

[o] so many master-pieces, and they immediately gained him a reputation almost equal to that of the oldest lawyers. His defence of Sextius Roscius, and especially the part relating to the punishment of parricides, had extraordinary success, and gained bim great applause; and so much the more, as none else had courage enough to undertake the cause, on account of the exorbitant credit of Chrysogonus, freed man to Sylla the dictator, whose power in the commonwealth was at that time unlimited.

[p] The sensible pleasure his rising reputation gave him, was allayed by the ill state of luis health. His constitution was very tender ; the drudgery of the Bar, together with his warm and vehement manner of writing and speaking, made people fear he would sink under the weight; and all his friends and the physicians enjoined him silence and retirement.

n. 12.

[m] Ego fateor, me oratorem, si abesse putatur à vitæ periculo, si modò sim, aut etiam quicumque accedit labor, & laterum magna sim, non ex rhetorum officinis, sed contentio. Eoque magis hoc eos, ex Academiæ spatiis extitisse. Orat. quibus eram carus, commovebat,

quod omnia sine remissione, sine va. [n] Brut. n. 305 & 309.

rietate, vi summâ vocis, & totius co] Prima causa publica, pro corporis contentione dicebam. ItaSexto Roscio dicta, tantùm com- que cùm me & amici & medici hor. mendationis habuit, ut non ulla es. tarentur, ut causas agere desisterem, set, quæ non nostro digna patroci- quodvis potiùs periculum mihi adenio videretur. Brut. n. 3!2. undum, quàm à sperarà dicendi

Quantis illa clamoribus, adoles- gloriâ discedendum putavi. Sed centuli diximus de supplicio parrici. cùm censerem remissione & modedarum ? Orat. n. 107.

ratione vocis, & commutato genere [p] Erat eo tempore in nobis dicendi, me & periculum vitare summa gracilitas & infirmitas cor- posse, & temperatiùs dicere ; ea poris ; procerum & tenue collum : causa mihi in Asiam proficiscendi qui habitus & quæ figura non procul tuit. Brut. n. 313, 314.


It was a kind of death to him to renounce wholly the pleasing hopes of glory, which the Bar seemed to offer. He thought it would be enough to soften a little

a the vehemence of his style and pronunciation, and that a voyage might restore his health. And accordingly he set out for Asia. Some indeed imagined a political reason made his absence necessary, in order that he might avoid the consequence of Chrysogonus's resentment.

[9] He took Athens in his way, and continued there about six months. It is easy to judge, how one who was so fond of study, employed that time, in a city which was still looked upon as the seat of the most refined learning, and most solid philosophy. [ro] From Athens be went to Asia, where he consulted all the able professors of Eloquence he could meet with. And, not contented with all the treasures he had amassed there, he proceeded to Rhodes, purposely to hear the celebrated Molo. Though he had already acquired great reputation among the lawyers of Rome, he was not in the least ashamed of taking new lessons under him, and of becoming his disciple a second time. [s] But he had no reason to repent it; for this great master, taking him again under his tuition, corrected what was still vicious in his style; and completely retrenched that excessive redundancy, which, like a river that overflowed its banks, had neither measure nor boundaries.

[t] Cicero returned to Romeafter two years absence, not only more accomplished, but almost a new man. He had acquired a sweeter voice; his style was become [9] Brut. n. 315.

ni, quem Romæ quoque audierat, [*] Brut. n. 315, 316.

Rhodi se rursus formandum ac velut (s) Is Molo dedit operam, si mo. recoquendum dedit. Quint. I. 12. dò id consequi potuit, ut nimis redundantes nos & superfluentes ju- [t] Ita recepi me biennio post, venili quâdam dicendi impunitate non modò exercitatior, sed propè & licentiâ reprimeret, & quasi extra mutatus. Nam & contentio nimia ripas diffiuentes coerceret. Brut. vocis reciderat, & quasi deferbuerat D. 316.

oratio, lateribusque vires & corporis M. Tullius, cùm jam clarum mediocris habitus accesserat. Brut. meruisset inter patronos qui tum n. 316. crant, nomen. . . Apollonio Molo.


c. 6.

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