1. 'T WAS well and wisely order'd by our provident Forefathers, that as our actions, so our speeches should both be ushered in by the attendance of Prayer: Since weak Mortals can undertake nothing with any prospect of success, without the favour, and countenance of the Divine Beings. Which pious and commendable custome to whom more proper, than to me, who am a Consul, or when more seasonable and requisite than while by the command of the Senate, and Autho∣rity Page 2 of the Commonwealth, we are encouraged to a solemn return of thanks to the best of Princes? For what indeed is a more acceptable, more generous gift of Heaven, than a Prince who is Just, Religious and in all accomplish∣ments allied to those Gods, who gave him? So that were it yet a matter of debate, whether Kings ow'd their Ori∣ginal to chance or compact, or not ra∣ther to the more creditable title of Divine Right: were this (I say) any subject for contest; yet that our Prince at least may justly claim a Divine Right is be∣yond all colour of dispute. For he was instated in his Empire not by any blind hit of fate or fortune, but by the more regular conduct of an all-wise providence, and brought, as it were, by the hand of God himself to be happily Crown'd and inthron'd before the Holy Altar, that place, which (if any) is a heaven upon earth; for it is there that Omnipotence does more especially reside. Upon this account duty and devotion prompt me to address my self to you, most potent Jove, the best and greatest God, hereto∣fore the Founder, and still the Preserver of our Roman Empire, to beg of you, so to direct my heart and tongue, that Page 3 I may deliver nothing unbecoming a Consul to speak, nothing improper for a Senate to hear, and nothing unworthy of that Prince, who is to be the Sub∣ject of my following Discourse: Grant that in all I mention, I may pay a re∣spective deference to freedom, faithful∣ness and truth; and let this thankfull acknowledgment of the benefits of a good Prince seem as far from flattery, as it really is from force.
2. In the first place, I think it ought to be the caution, not onely of a publick Magistrate, but of every inferiour Sub∣ject, to speak nothing of our Prince, which may in the least measure be applied to another. Let us therefore banish such expressions which a just resentment did heretofore extort: Let us make no wonted complaints, be∣cause we labour under no wonted grie∣vance: let us not in publick proclaim the usual harangues, because in private we whisper not the usual Oppressions. Let the altered tenour of our speeches betray the happy change of times; and from the form of our thanks let it now appear, that we can dare to speak of our Prince, as of no more than a Page 4 Man, though his Predecessours have been heretofore fawn'd into the title of Gods. We speak not now of a Tyrant, but of a tender Patriot, not of an imperious Lord, but an indulgent Father of his people. His humility bends him into a compli∣ance of being thought as one of us (and herein does he commence the more our Superiour, because his modesty would stoop him into no more than our equal) nor does he less forget that he himself is a man than that he is advanc'd to Reign over men. Let us therefore become sen∣sible of our own happiness, and let our improv'd Loyalty render us in some mea∣sure worthy of such a blessing: While we honestly reflect how much more a chearfull obedience we owe to such Su∣preme Governours who assert the liber∣ties, rather than to those who attempt the slavery of their people. Rome indeed has had her choice of Princes, but with the same joy that she was wont to com∣mend one for beautifull, she admires this for valiant, and with the same ac∣clamations she was wont to extoll the voice of one, and gesture of another, in this she adores his Piety, his Tempe∣rance, and his Clemency. To what straits and difficulties, alas, are we drove? Page 5 We must needs waver in suspence whe∣ther, amidst the transports of joy, we shall rather insist on his Grandeur, and Godlike Majesty, or on his obliging sweetness, his affable deportment, and most endearing courtesie. Now, what more just, what more becoming than that sirname of Best, which our Senate did joyntly confer upon him? And which the extravagant pride and ambi∣tion of former Princes hath made his peculiar title. Farther, how reasonable, how equitable is it, we should conspire to make him happy, who hath already made us so? Thus let him doe, and this let him hear, as sensible that we would not speak these things, except they were the same he had first acted: And yet at the rehearsal of them, his modesty constrains him to reply in tears, being sensible, the commendation is di∣rected to the Man, not to the Prince.
3. The same temper we observ'd in our first unpremeditate shouts of joy, the same let us full maintain in this more studied delivery of our thanks. For we may well suppose that no gratitude can be more sincere and acceptable, than where it is exprest in the nearest resem∣blance Page 6 to those Extempore acclamations, which have no leisure to be otherwise than natural and unfeign'd. For my own part, I shall endeavour through the whole Sequel of my speech to make a due allowance to the modesty and mo∣deration of our Prince. Nor shall I less consider what will make him blush to hear, than what the merit of his vertues might claim to be spoke. An excellent and rare accomplishment this in a Prince, that in the return of thanks I am now prepar'd to offer, there is more danger he should think me too lavish than too thristy in his commendation: That I give no offence this way must be the greatest of my care, this my onely caution. For it is indeed otherwise easie to return thanks to a Person who really deserves it, there being no danger that when I mention his humanity he should suspect I give a rub at his pride; when his thrist, that I glance on his luxury; when his clemency, that I slily upbraid his cruelty; when his generousness, that I reflect on his avarice; when his tem∣perance, that I jirk his excess; when his industry, that I condemn his sloth: Or lastly, when I proclaim his valour, that I do but tax his cowardise. Nor Page 7 do I fear the rallying my self into frown or favour according as I shall be too profuse, or too sparing in my Character of him. Lastly, I shall guide my mea∣sures by this observation, that the Gods themselves are better aton'd by the holi∣ness and innocency, than by the accurate and neatly drest petitions of their re∣spective Votaries, and sooner accept of him who brings to their Altars an humble and an honest heart, than of him, who ac∣costs them with a well penn'd harangue.
4. But an Order of Senate must be obey'd, whereby, (for the publick good) it was reasonably decreed that by the mouth of the Consul, under the title of Thanks, good Princes might be reminded of what they have, and bad ones inform'd what they ought to have, done. Which ceremony is at this time more especially requisite, because the modesty of our Prince has discounte∣nanced all private, and would have wav'd their publick thanks, but that he is so obliging, as not to resuse what the Senate has so unanimously resolv'd. In either (most sacred Sir) you acquit your self to glory and admiration, as well that elsewhere you will not accept of thanks Page 8 as that here you will. The honour hereby done you is far from the quest and aim of your own ambition, it is the free and undesir'd grant of those, who confer it on you. Your part here∣in is no more than a compliance with our importunate requests; and the com∣pulsion is on your side to hearken to your deserts, not on ours to proclaim 'em. My Lords, It has often cost me many a silent and serious thought, what excellent qualifications that Person ought to be endow'd with, who is invested with the Government of Land and Sea, impowered with the management of Peace and War. And yet after a crea∣ting to my self the Idea of one the most absolutely accomplisht for the discharge of this Royal Office, I could never (no not in wish) propose a person more excellent, than him we are now infi∣nitely obliged with. One indeed has glistred in War, but then he has grown mouldy in Peace: Another has gained repute in his Robes, but lost it in his Armour: One has frown'd his Sub∣jects into an awfull respect, another has wheedled them into love by a popular submission: A publick miscarriage has rob'd one of the credit of his happy Page 9 acquitments in private: Another by a home misfortune has fullied that esteem, he bravely gain'd abroad. In a word, there was never yet any, whose Vertues were not eclipst by the interposure of some near aboding Vice. But in our Prince what unclouded raies of glory meet? What an unallay'd mixture of all that is commendable? His affability abates nothing from his Majestick port and Grandeur; his obliging freedom does no-way trespass on his becoming gravity, his candour and condescention do not at all lessen the claims of his due respect. Add to this his manly height and proportion'd strength of body, the ornament of a black hair, the advantages of a stern and command∣ing look, the perfection of a found and healthy middle age, and as an express favour of Heaven, the budding appea∣rance of some few gray hairs, as the en∣sign of Wisedom, rather than the effect o• declining years. What can all these import less than a Prince, hmn'd by Na∣ture's self in her best adorning colours?
5. And such indeed ought he to have been, who climb'd his Throne not through a Sea of bloud, who purchas'd a Crown Page 10 not by Rapine and Massacre, but by the calm mercy of appeas'd Heaven, and the innocent method of an universal con∣sent. Is there no distinction to be made between such a Prince, whom humane means shall ordain, and such a one, whom Divine Providence does more im∣mediately appoint? Providence (Great Sir) that was most eminently concern'd in your happy advance, as was abundantly evidenc'd by a remarkable instance at your first going General to the Imperial Army: Other Princes have drawn cre∣dulous Presages from the bloud of Sacri∣fices, the flight of Birds, or some such like whims of Superstition: But you were encourag'd by a more assuring to∣ken; for going to pay your accustom'd Devotions at the Holy Altar, when for greater privacy you had shut your self within the Temple, the crouds that stood waiting at the outer doors, igno∣rant of your being within, loudly salu∣ted, as was intended, Jove, but as the event shew'd, you, under the Title of Emperour: And so indeed was the Omen understood by all, though you your self were unwilling it should be so inter∣preted. Your Modesty inclin'd you to refuse the Empire, but your refusal con∣vinc'd Page 11 the world that you the better de∣serv'd it: You were hereupon to be compell'd, though compell'd indeed you could not have been, had not the pub∣lick good, and the safety of these Na∣tions enforc't you to a charitable com∣plyance; you seeming so generous, that you would not have accepted of a King∣dom, if it had been barely to govern, and not rather to have redeem'd and preserv'd it. So that I believe those tu∣mults and troubles which preceded your happy Reign, were therefore Or∣dained by Heaven, to make your long-opprest people more sensible of the com∣forts enjoy'd under the gratious insluence of so good a Prince: For as a calm air, and a smooth Sea are never more wel∣come than after the bustling allarum's of storms and tempests; so may we well conceive those gusts of Seditious rage and fury, which for some time obstruc∣ted your settlement, were purposely con∣triv'd to prepare a better relish to those joys your peacefull Reign affords. The dispensations of Providence being so or∣dered, that Prosperity may lecture us how to bear our Misfortune, and Afflic∣tions instruct us how to prize our happi∣ness, the secret springs whereof God Page 12 does so industriously conceal, that the events of good and bad do not seldom result from their quite contrary appea∣rances.
6. It was indeed an eternal blot to the Age it was acted in, it was a woun∣ding blow to this Nation, that a Sove∣reign * Prince, a Father of his People should be assaulted, seiz'd, imprison'd, stript by his own too-yielding goodness, of the power of saving or relieving his Friends, and rob'd of that Prerogative wherein Sovereignty does chiefly con∣sist, the doing nothing by force or re∣straint. Yet if all these Misfortunes were design'd but as a purchase for your enriching Reign, I may be bold to say, that had the rates been much higher, they had scarce been equal to the value of so inestimate a Prize. But farther yet, Military Discipline was let sink in∣to disorderly and corrupt practices, that your Skill and Conduct might amend and re-inforce it. Unheard-of Exam∣ples were brought in to be balanc'd by the most regular Proceedings of your Reign: And in short, a Prince was forc'd to Condemn those he would wil∣lingly have sav'd, that we might have a Page 13 Prince whose will can never be forc'd. You deserv'd to have been Adopted long before you actually were so, though in∣deed had your Adoption been sooner, the blessing of your Reign must have needs been less. You waited for that convenience of time, wherein the ac∣ceptance of a Crown was rather a Cour∣tesie to others, than a kindness to your self. The trembling state fled for Sanc∣tuary to your protecting Bosome, the ruinous and just falling Empire was by Nerva's choice assign'd to be upheld by you. From distant Countries you were call'd home, and importun'd to comply with the being Adopted: As Comman∣ders employ'd in Foreign Service are upon urgent occasions recall'd to divert their Arms to the more seasonable de∣fence of their own Countrey. Thus in one and the same action the mutual Gal∣lantry of Father and Son do interchange∣ably appear, he bestows on you a Crown, you return it to him better guarded, and more confirm'd. You are the first who could ever make a requital equal to such a Present, the obligation whereof you have so fully discharg'd, that the giver does even yet remain your debtor; For by his imparting to Page 14 you a share of the Empire, you become onely the more thoughtfull and con∣cern'd, he the more quiet and secure.
7. O rare and unheard-of passage to a Throne! It was not your own Am∣bition, not your own Jealousies, but another's desire, another's fear that push'd you on to the Imperial Dignity: and though you seem to have attain'd the highest pitch of Honour, yet the con∣dition you exchang'd for this, was in∣deed more happy, it being the most de∣sirable comfort to live a Subject under the best of Princes. You were admit∣ted to a relieving participation of his cares and troubles, rather than a digni∣fying share of his power and greatness: Nor did a bright, and smiling, but the black, and clouded face of affairs induce you to accept the offer. You interpos'd to bear a chearfull part in the support of the Empire, when the other sustainer of it was now weary of the pressure. There was no Alliance, no Relation between the Adopter and the Person Adopted, save that both were best besitting, the one to make, the other to be made choice of. You therefore were Adopted, not as others, for the sake, or by the interest Page 15 of a Wise, your Adopter not being biast by the relation of a Father-in Law, but disengag'd and impartial as a generous Prince; and the Divine Nerva is in no other sense your Parent, than as he is the common Father of us all. Nor indeed in Elective Kingdoms is it fit that a Successour should be otherwise assum'd. Were you, Sir, to transfer from your self to another this vast legacy of the Roman Empire, would you look for an Heir no farther than your own Bed; and must the Successour to all your Imperial Dignity be no better than what hap∣pens to be found within the narrow li∣mits of your own House? Would you not rather bestow some pains in a search through the whole City, and take him for your Son, him for your next Heir, who is best accomplish't, and most like those Gods, he must one day represent? He who is to govern all ought sure to be chosen out of all; for you leave not a Lord of your private Family, that you must needs assign him, who comes next in bloud, but a supreme Governour of a free-born People. It were stiff and Tyrannical, nay absurd, not to Adopt him who is born to be an Empe∣rour, should he not be Adopted. This Page 16 was the course the great, the good Ner∣va took, well thinking there could be no difference between Generation and Election, if Children were not Adopted with better Judgment than they are be∣got. Though indeed it is the humour of Subjects more patiently to admit the un∣happy issue, than the ill choice, of Prin∣ces.
8. This danger therefore Nerva did most cautiously avoid, and trusted not to the shallow advice of Men, but took counsel from the Gods themselves. While not in a private Chamber, but an open Temple, not before the Nup∣tial Bed, but the Holy Altar of Jupiter, (that best and greatest God) did the Ceremony of your Adoption pass, that Adoption from whence we date our lives, our liberties, our peace, our joy, our all. The Gods were indeed (and well might they be) proud of appropria∣ting this honour to themselves, this was their project, their enterprise: Nerva was no more than a Trustee in their behalf, he in Adopting, and you in being Adop∣ted, did both but shew your submission to the Dictates of Divine Pleasure. A Laurel was brought from Pannonia,Page 17 the Gods so ordering it, that the inau∣guration of a victorious Prince might be attended with the Omen of Conquest and success: This the Emperour Nerva stuck in the bosome of Jupiter, when on the sudden being elevated in some kind of Divine transport, before a numerous Assembly of Men and Gods, he pro∣nounced you his Adopted Son, that is, the staff of his declining years, the sup∣port of his pressing Empire. Then as if he had been disburthen'd of the load of Government, how did he hug himself in a lightsome rest and ease? (Nor in∣deed is there much difference between the perfect resignation of a Crown, and the taking a Partner into Sovereignty, save that this last is more difficult and less practicable than the other.) He now leans intirely on your shoulders, and by their strength upholds both himself and the Empire: Your youth, your vigour seem to recover his, and upon the in∣fluence of your power all Factions, all Tumults are gag'd and eternally silent. Though this happiness, it must be con∣fest, is owing not to a bare Adoption, but to the efficacy of that Person, who is so Adopted. So that had Nerva made choice of any other, he had come short Page 18 of this happy, this blest event. Most of us may yet remember when an * A∣doption was not the appeasment, but the rise and occasion of an uproar and Sedition. We might now again have felt the same dismal effects, if the E∣lection had fell on any, but on you. That Emperour, it is true, who by too great remissness has fool'd away his due respect and esteem, must ask his Subjects leave to dispose of his Em∣pire: But your Election was free and absolute without noise or murmur as much, no question, out of awe and re∣gardfull dread of you, as out of reve∣rence to that Prince, who declar'd you Elect. You were admitted to be a Son, a Caesar, an Emperour, a Collegue of the Tribunitian Power, all these digni∣ties heapt on you at the same time, which a late natural † Father durst onely by degrees bestow upon one of his own Sons.
9. A signal instance this of your ad∣mirable prudence, that you please and oblige not onely when Successour but while Companion and Co-partner in the Empire. For Successour indeed you must have been even against your Page 19 own will, but half sharer you need not have been content with, if your ambi∣tion would have otherwise advis'd. Can posterity ever believe that the Son of a Patrician, a Consular, Triumphal Fa∣ther, one who was himself at the head of a stout, a numerous, and an obedient Army, was not by that Army created Emperour? He, who while he comman∣ded in Germany had conferr'd on him by our Senate the title of Germanicus: Can it be imagin'd that one in these power∣full circumstances should make no at∣tempt upon the Empire, that he should take no other method toward his own advance, than that of serving and o∣beying? For obedience, Coesar, was your onely ambition, and it was out of duty alone that you complied with the being made a Prince: Never more Loyally approving your self a Subject. than when you submitted to the summons of being ordain'd a Sovereign. When ab∣sent and ignorant of the honours done you, made Germanicus, Coesar, Empe∣rour, and yet after all this preferment, still as submissive and humble as a pri∣vate man. It will seem strange that you could not know, whether ever you should be an Emperour, •ay you actu∣ally Page 20 were so, before ever you knew it. And as soon as the messenger of your advancement came, your reception of the news betrayed, that you had rather have remain'd in the quality you were in, if it had been manners or duty to have refus'd the honour. But must not a Subject have obey'd his Sovereign, an Ambassadour his Prince, a Son his Fa∣ther? Where then were all discipline? Where were that long practis'd Tradition deliver'd down to us from our Ance∣stours, That whatever were enjoy'd by Royal command, should without farther dispute be chearfully perform'd. And what if he should have order'd you from Province to Province, from the service of one War to the task of ano∣ther? Think, by the same authority he sent you out to the conduct of an Army, by the same he recalls you to the acceptance of a Crown. Nor is there much difference between his com∣missioning you a General, and his or∣daining you an Emperour, save that in this last your obedience is the more creditable, because The glory of being dutifull is so much the more, as it is exercis'd in any thing contrary to the bent of a man's own inclination.
Page 21 10. It confirm'd and advanc'd the authority of him, who commanded, that his authority had so lately been en∣croacht upon. Which blest you with an opportunity of being then more seasonably Loyal, when others were more basely factious. The command of the Prince was backt with the Votes of the Senate, and consent of the peo∣ple. It was not onely the single judg∣ment of Nerva, but a concurrent and universally approv'd Election. He one∣ly (as an honour due to his Imperial dignity) led the way and did that which all first, would soon have done, had not his doing prevented 'em. Nor indeed would the World have been ra∣visht with joy at the event, if they had not jointly both allow'd and applauded the design before ever it was put in exe∣cution. But with how discreet a temper, good Gods, did you behave your self amidst all these caresses of fortune? An Emperour in Style, in Effigies, in Statue, but in Modesty, Vigilance, Industry, an Officer, a Deputy, a Common Sol∣dier: While in a becoming posture you marcht before your Colours, led up your Troops, and wish'd no other bene∣fit Page 22 might accrue by your adoption, than the honour of acquitting your self a du∣tifull and obedient Son, in which state of subjection you desir'd a long continu∣ance, a long scene of glory. Providence had exalted you to the first place, yet could you contentedly have demean'd your self to the second, and there have remained much longer, yet longer, to a good old age. Nor while another shar'd with you in the title of Emperour, were you willing your self to appear more than a private Subject. Heaven heard your Prayers which were no other than consistent with the good and happiness of that just and pious old man, who the Gods wisely remov'd to a better World, that, after so Divine and consummate an action, he might have no leisure to mis∣employ his pains in any trifle of mortal concern. For There is this respect due to an unimitable exploit that as it is the best, so it ought to be the last of all our earthly undertakings; and therefore ought the Authour immediately to be deifi'd, it being likely the World will enquire, whether he, were not a God, when he did it. Thus he who had no better claim to the title of common pa∣rent than by being yours, being great Page 23 in same, when he had liv'd a while to see how well you could bear up under the weight of an Empire, left you to the World, and the World to you: Leaving us sensible of our greater loss, because in you he provided that our loss should be the less.
11. When dead, you, as a respectfull Son, first honour him with your tears, then with a Temple. Not herein imi∣tating those former presidents, which have afforded indeed examples of like Piety, but upon far different induce∣ments. Tiberius deified Augustus, but it was onely his ambition to entail a God∣head on the Crown. Nero past the same compliment on Claudius, but it was onely to expose him. Titus did as much for Vespasian and Domitian for Titus, but the first, that he might appear the Son, this latter the Brother of a God. You have enroll'd your Father among the Stars, not to strike an awe into the people, not to put an affront on his fellow Deities, not to derive an honour on your self, but because you devoutly thought him more than humane. It abates much from the glory of this ho∣nour, when it is done by those, whose Page 24 pride thinks themselves as really Gods as those, whom by this ceremony they make so. And though you have conse∣crated to his Divinity an Altar with its due ornaments, and a Priest to Officiate at it, yet have you prov'd him a God in nothing more, than that you your self are so much like him: For in a Prince who dies after a setled appointment of his Heir, the most convincing Argument of his Divinity is a good Successour. Has the dazelling immortality of your Father blinded you into any pride or conceited∣ness? Do you copy after the vain and affected humour of our modern kinsmen to deified Heroes? Or do you not rather imitate those more generous souls of the Ancients, who bravely founded this Empire, which our enemies have but of late found courage to assault, though now they dare so, we have no surer proof of their flight or conquest, than, the pageantry of their triumphs. This, makes 'em assume some spirit, and em∣boldens 'em to shake off that yoke, they think they have now long enough labour'd under; nor would they contend onely for redemption of their own liber∣ties, but would quite change the Scene, and bring us to our turn of being Page 25 slaves, accepting of no truce, but upon even terms, and prescribing those condi∣tions, they ought onely to receive.
12. But now all return to their due bounds of obedience, and to an ambition of performing what their betters com∣mand. For they now see a Roman Ge∣neral of the true old stamp, of the same mettle with those, who made good their dignifying titles by Fields strow'd with Murthered Carcasses, and Seas ting'd with the bloud of their enemies. So that now we are entreated to accept of hostages, and not, as formerly, forc'd to purchase 'em. Nor do we now on hard terms and unreasonable rates buy the credit of coming off Victours. They humbly beg, they oft petition, and accord∣ing as we think good, we either grant or deny both, we keep our Grandeur, in both we exert our authority, if we grant, they are thankfull, if we deny, they durst not repine. They durst not, knowing that you have tam'd a surly * people, even in that season of the year, which was most beneficial to them, and most injurious to us, when Danube's banks kept a passable entercourse by Ice, and could transport whole Armies on Page 26 the bridge that winter made, when the barbarous Nations were arm'd as much by weather and by climate, as by Darts and Weapons: And yet at your ap∣proach, as if the season of the year were by your influence thaw'd into a change, they confin'd themselves within their holds and caves, while our Soldiery marcht along the banks, and had you allow'd 'em to have pursued that advan∣tage, which the enemy oft took, they had made the same depth of winter, which us'd to be the other's greatest security, the time of their total rout and subversion.
13. This was the respect you bore among your enemies, what among your own Souldiers? How did you oblige 'em at the same time to duty and ad∣miration? While they felt no hunger, but what you bore a part in: No thirst, but what you your self set for an ex∣ample of patience: In the exercising of your Troops you mingled your own sweat and dust with theirs, desiring in all things to be barely their equal, except in the odds of strength and va∣lour: Charging briskly, and as freely receiving the charge, now whirling Darts at others, then standing the brunt of Page 27 those thrown at you, spurring on the courage and dexterity of your men, seeming never better pleas'd, than with those who could strike the deepest blow on your shield or helmet: For you commended the boldest darer, and pro∣vokt him on to a greater boldness, a becoming boldness, which they could not want, while they saw you stand over them a Spectatour and a Judge of their activity: You handling their Arms, poizing their Darts, and if any complain'd of their heaviness, you whee∣dled him into content by making no∣thing of throwing 'em your self. You recruit the weary, relieve the sick. You never enter your own Pavilion, till you have first visited each Souldiers Tent, nor take your own repose, till you see others all asleep. A General thus completely qualified would not so much have rais'd my wonder, if he had hapned among the Fabricii, the Scipio's, the Camilli, for then perhaps the heat of imitation might have chaft him on, and he might have been toucht with a noble scorn of coming a whit behind the best. But that now in these sneaking and cowardly times, when the profes∣sion of Arms is sunk from solid action Page 28 to a superficial sight, degenerated from rough labour to an idle pleasure, when our Companies are exercis'd not by ex∣perienc'd home Commanders who have won the mural and the civick Crown; but by some upstart modish Grecians: when our discipline is thus corrupt, how strange is it to see one of the good old Roman stamp, who fights and conquers without a rival, without an example, to convince the lazy World, that as he Reigns alone, so he alone deserves to Reign?
14. And have you not, Caesar, from your very Infancy been nurst, been train'd to these glories? Nay did you not in your very Cradle, as it were, commence a Heroe? While yet a Stri∣pling, your Parthian expedition added to the Catalogue of your Father's Victories, and you even then deserv'd the title of Germanicus. For hearing of the Parthi∣an inroads on our neighbouring Allies, you did courageously dispatch, and bravely scour them back, making both the Rhine and Euphrates joyntly admire your prowess: Marching along through the most distant Countries, yet not so fast in person, as in fame, gradually Page 29 encreasing your reputation, and appear∣ing still greatest where you appear last: And all this before you were Emperour, before you were Successour to a God. And though Germany be inviron'd with many Warlike Nations, hem'd in with several inaccessible desarts, and blockt up, as it were, with the Alpes, the Pyre∣noean Mountains, and other craggy Hills, which might be called great, if not compar'd with the former, which so much exceed 'em: Yet when through these discouraging tracts you led, or rather (such was the expedition) you hurried your nimble Army, you never so much as took Chariot, or mounted your Horse, having onely a light hunting Nag brought after you, which was more for shew than service, never making any use of him but onely, when your Army were at the end of their march, to gal∣lop for diversion o'er the neighbouring Fields. Shall I wonder most at the on∣set of your enterprises, or at the event of them? 'Tis much that you held out to the end, 'tis yet more that you never doubted you should fail or come short, of your first resolves. I question not but that * Prince, who, sending for you as far as from Spain, commission'd you to Page 30 the charge of the German War, being too lazy for the enterprise himself, and yet envious of those parts, he was forc'd to employ; I say, I question not but he admir'd your conduct, and yet was jealous of your eminence. As the Di∣vine Hercules was out of malice em∣ploy'd by his * Prince in several hazar∣dous undertakings, yet still return'd a Victour, and by doing so deriv'd a stron∣ger odium upon the greatness of his success. And thus came you always off so triumphantly, that your happy discharge of one expedition did but make way for your fresh engagement in another.
15. While you were a military Tri∣bune, you marcht on through several Countries, with the age of a youth, yet the courage of a man: Forestalling fortune then kindly instructing you, in what you were afterward to instruct others. You not being content to glance over your slighted charge, and huddle up a tiresome War, but so acted the subordinate Officer, as if you de∣serv'd immediately to be Supreme Com∣mander, having nothing left to learn your self, when you should be advanc'd Page 31 to the Province of teaching others. You were verst and completely skill'd by ten several expeditions in the customs of the World, in the Situation of Countries, in the advantages and conveniency of different grounds, in the property and temper of foreign Waters and Airs, which you had made as samiliar to your body, as those of your own native Countrey. How often (not out of fear or misfortune, but as spoils won from the enemy) have you chang'd your half spent Horse and batter'd Arms? So that time shall come when posterity shall take out their Children, and in curi∣osity conduct 'em to the several places, where such a field drank up your show∣ring sweat, where the fruit of such a tree was your homely repast, where such a stone was your hardy pillow, where such a Cottage was your humble Inn. As it is not unlikely that in some of those very places you your self have been bid remember what noble Atchieve∣ments had been there wrought by some of your fam'd and immortal Forefathers. This your bravery was long since shewn; for they who were your fellow Soul∣diers are now old and almost worn out: Though indeed you were fellow Souldier Page 32 to every one before you were his Gene∣ral: Thence comes it that you can salute 'em all by their respective names, and can rehearse to each their most me∣morable acts of gallantry; nor can any shew a scar receiv'd for his Countrey, but that at the time of receiving it you were both a witness, and a commander of his valour.
16. But the discreet manage and command over the bent of your Educa∣tion is to be admir'd beyond all other your additional accomplishments: That bred up in Arms, and nurst in a War, you should love and court the blessings of peace. Nor, because your Father inur'd to triumphs, and a victorious Lau∣rel was consecrated to Jove on the very day of your Adoption, do you therefore seek all occasions to improve your patri∣mony of triumphal honours: No, you fear not the consequence of War, and yet you catch not at pretences for quar∣rel. It was a noble (believe me, dread Sovereign) it was a noble Act to stand deliberating on the banks of Danube, assur'd of Victory should you pass, and yet out of goodness not tempting, not urging them to Battel, whose cowardice Page 33 declin'd it: The one whereof was an effect of your courage, the other of your Clemency; it was your Clemency, that induc'd you to forbear the engagement, it was your courage, that made them afraid to engage. Our Capitol shall be henceforth adorn'd not with stoln Cha∣riots, not with the Trophies of a coun∣terfeit victory, but upon our Emperour's return with an honest and justly obtain'd glory, it shall shine with the purchases of peace and settlement, and be stuft with spoils of the enemy, so great, so many, that it may be easily guest, there is none remains unconquered. This far surpasses all former triumphs. The oc∣casion of our Wars being not drawn on by choler, rashness or ambition, but al∣way from the more allowable and justi∣fying cause of calling for satisfaction for such affronts, which shall be put upon our Empire. And if from henceforth any foreign Prince shall be so unadvis'd and daring as to draw down your anger and vengeance on him, though he be guarded by the interposal of Seas and Rivers, though he lye intrencht within the natural fortification of Hills and Mountains, yet shall not all these in the least obstruct your irresistible at∣tempts, Page 34 the Waters shall sink into pas∣sable fords, the Mountains shall cringe into humble plains, the Seas shall retire into dry sands, and the presumptuous Prince shall with terrour think, that not onely a landing Navy, but a transplan∣ted Nation is pour'd in upon him.
17. Methinks I now behold a triumph not made up with feathers stoln from our own Provinces, nor laden with Gold injuriously extorted from our Confede∣rates and Allies, but nobly deckt with ho∣stile spoils and chains of captive Kings. Methinks I see our Souldiers ratling over the names of mighty Generals, and pointing at the bodies suitable to the greatness of their name. Methinks I see the Pageants expressing the method and manner of your respective con∣quests. Before go shoals of Barbarian Captives with their hands tied behind, to denote they are now bound to obey: after these follow you in your stately Chariot as treading on the necks of en∣slav'd Nations, bearing before you the reliques of those shields and helmets, which your own hand has pierc'd and batter'd: Nor are there wanting the spoils of disarm'd Generals, whom you Page 35 never fail'd of dismounting and making your Royal Prisoners, if haply any of them were so bold as against your une∣qual skill to dare an Encounter: Though indeed a single cast not onely of your Darts, but of your very looks would make the proudest of 'em stand rebukt, and even in the face of a whole Cam∣paign, at the head of their own Army, to shake, tremble and retire: And from henceforth, whenever a respect for the honour of our Empire shall engage you to an invasive, or a defensive War, your past moderation may assure us, that you conquer not because you may triumph, but triumph onely because you con∣quer.
18. The remembrance of one thing gives occasion for the recollecting of another: How worthy and serviceable a performance is it, that you have re∣triev'd the impair'd and lost discipline of Arms, scowring off the lazy Lethargy of the last age, purging out their sloth, their stubbornness, their not caring to obey? 'Tis safe to be fear'd, 'tis safer to be belov'd, you are safe and happy in both. There is no General, who ought either to fawn for, or yet to slight, the Page 36 affections of his Souldiers, but rather fond of their love, yet not affraid of their hate, he ought so to demean him∣self, that he may securely overlook the works, see to their being rightly Mar∣shal'd, take account of their Arms, give order for the entrenchments, and assign the several Posts or Stations to each respective Sentinel. For he indeed is by no means a Prince, but a slave to his own jealousies, who suspects those stra∣tegems to be design'd against himself, that are prepar'd against the Enemy, which has been a cowardly surmise of some, who have fear'd their own Forces would be turn'd against themselves. With shame we consess it, in former times Military profession was just sunk into nothing, mens bodies, as well as their minds, were heavy, dull and droop∣ing, swords with rust were riveted into scabbards, where they slept and forgot their primitive employ: Our Generals stood upon their Guards more from suspicion of their own Subjects than for prevention of the attempts of foreign Princes, and fear'd the treachery of their own Souldiers, more than the violence of their profest Enemies.
Page 37 19. It is the nature of the heavenly bodies that the lesser and more obscure dwindle, wink, and die into the lustre of more dazling Orbs: And thus Am∣bassadours must loose both their state and authority at the personal appearance of those Princes, they had the honour to represent. Whereas you indeed out∣shin'd all, yet without eclipsing the splendour of any weaker lights, each person kept his glory as entire while you were present, as when absent: Nay some of your delegates were made the more honourable by your company, while respected by you, they met with the more respect from others. By these endearments you gain'd on the affections of all, from the highest to the most in∣seriour quality, so acting by turns the part both of a General and a common Souldier, that you prescrib'd and im∣pos'd Military duties, as a Supreme Commander, and yet assisted in the performance of them, as an equal com∣panion. How happy were all under your Conduct, all your past associates, of whose loyalty and industry not your Ears, but your Eyes inform'd you, the knowledge whereof you had not from Page 38 the partial advice of others, but from the safer and stronger proofs of your own experience: And you were thus farther kind to them, that in your ab∣sence you listn'd to no envious reports, but believ'd what you had sound your∣self, sooner than catcht at what you heard from others.
20. Now did the longing wishes of Rome recall you, and the more fond affection, you bore your Countrey, over∣sway'd that love, you had shewn your Souldiers. So that now you return, yet with so strict a Discipline, with so little of forrage, plunder or other abuse, as if you came from a regular peace, ra∣ther than from a tumultuous War: And, though it seem too trifling to add to your commendation, I cannot but ob∣serve, that no Father, no Husband fear'd the injurious effects of your return. Chastity has been a vertue in most o∣thers affected onely, and pretended to, but in you it was so unfeign'd, as not to be reckoned among those endowments, which are acquir'd by habit, but those implanted by nature. There was no grievance in the pressing of Carriages, no nicety in the taking up of lodgings, Page 39 no trouble in the catering of dainties for your entertainment. Add to this, that your Progress at the head of your Troops was with so much of dispatch, and in so well govern'd order, as if you went with Commission to an Army, ra∣ther than return'd in triumph with one. So little different were your temper and behaviour then while a Subject, and since when an Emperour. How unlike this was the late March of a former Prince (if it may be call'd a march, and not rather an hostile incursion) when he pillag'd houses and dispossest the in∣habitants, sack'd and burnt all before him, as if some Enemy had made an in∣road for spoil and booty, or those very Barbarians, he fled from, had prest on in pursuit of Victory? The aggriev'd Provinces ought to have rested satisfied that it was the journey of a Domitian, not of a Prince. Therefore to promote the publick good, rather than advance your private reputation, you publish'd an Edict of the particular expences both of his and your own German expedition. It is indeed a commendable custome for a Prince to keep a just reckoning betwixt himself and his Empire, so to undertake any enterprise, and so to re∣turn Page 40 from the management of it, as if he were shortly to be call'd to an exact account: And if he thus punctually cast up what he spends, he will be sure not to spend more, than he may be willing to own. Beside, by your pub∣lishing this bill of charges, succeeding Princes may meet with Precedents of frugal and more lavish disbursements, and when two such different examples are propos'd, they must give men leave to judge of their inclinations, according∣ly as they adhere to the one, or the other.
21. For these so many and so remark∣able merits, what advance of honours what additional titles did you not abun∣dantly deserve? Yet it was not with∣out a strugling regret that you comply'd with the acceptance of that one appel∣lation of Father of your Countrey. How long were we forc'd to strive and combat with your modesty? And with how much of difficulty did we at last over∣come? That name, which most of your Predecessours receiv'd at their first Inauguration, as duly as they did that of Emperour and Caesar, you differ'd till such time, as your self, the most Page 41 impartial judge of your own merit, could not but own you deserv'd it. So that to you of all other did regularly happen truly to be the Father of your Countrey, before you were declar'd so to be. For under that character did we entertain you, both in our judgments, and in our affections: Nor would the publick zeal have stood upon the cere∣mony of any one title, but that having experienc'd your indulgence much more, than your authority, it would have seem'd undutifull, as well as improper, not to have styl'd you Father, much sooner than Lord, or Emperour: Which honourable appellation with what sweet∣ness, what affection do you answer the just intent and occasion of? Living in an Empire with your Subjects, as in a Family with your Children; returning as a Prince, when you went out no better than a Subject, and yet having your thoughts no higher for your ad∣vance to a Crown, but thinking both your self and us in the same equal rela∣tion amidst all your Royalty, as when in a private Station: Content in all re∣spects to be, as one of us, and so much greater onely, by how much better, than others.
Page 42 22. How long hop'd, how wish'd for was that day when at your return you past in publick through the City? Nay the very manner of your solemn March how gratefull, how obliging? Former Princes have usually been brought in, not onely in pompous Chariots drawn with white Racers, but, what has more of State and pride, supported on the shoulders of men; while you, so much the more visible onely, as the more tall and proper of your retinue, seem'd to ride in a triumph, not over the patience of your people, but over the Grandeur of Princes. No age, no infirmity, no different Sex was debar'd from the com∣mon benefit of glutting their eyes on that welcome and unusual sight. Chil∣dren were taught to know you, young men pointed, old men admir'd, and even those, whose sickness had confin'd 'em to their beds, or chambers, contrary to the advice of their cautious Physicians, came forth, and seem'd confident, that the bare influence of so blest an object would complete their recovery. Some were content now to dye, since they had liv'd to see, what they had so long pray∣ed for: Others were the more eager Page 43 to have their lives prolong'd as knowing it would be some comfort to live under the Protection of so excellent a Govern∣ment. Women thought it now some joy to be made Mothers, since they saw to what Prince they brought forth Sub∣jects, and what a long prospect of hap∣piness was thereby entail'd on their Chil∣dren. The tops of houses were all cover'd with spectatours, who climb'd and hung over at that venturous rate, as if they were just falling, yet for crouds of company below were not likely to come to the ground. The streets were throng'd on either side, and scarce a narrow lane left for your pas∣sage. The multitude from all quarters discharg'd loud peals of joy, and thun∣dred from every part in shouts and ac∣clamations: While this rejoycing at your return, being as universal, as the benefits of it, grew still greater, as you march'd farther, and advanc'd along with every step you made.
23. It was a pleasure to see you return those embraces to the Senate, which they had lent you at parting: A pleasure to find you could salute most of the principal Gentry by their names Page 44 without a Remembrancer. A pleasure that you would not onely condescend to take notice of your meaner Subjects, but would be very free and familiar in your discourse with them: And above all, the greatest pleasure that you march'd leisurely, and allow'd time for the people to have a full view of you, nay would suffer any of the Mobile to come up, and make the nearest approach to your Person, not being afraid even the first day to trust your self with a promiscu∣ous rabble, and therefore not environed with too numerous a Guard, but free and open to receive the Addresses some∣time of your Senate, at other times of your Courtiers, according as by turns they paid their dutifull respects. Those of your Guard, that clear'd the way before you, past quietly and offer'd no injuries, nor affronts: And your Soul∣diers were distinguish'd, scarce by habit, much less by roughness, or incivility, from the rest of the people. When you began to mount the Capitol, how comfortable an occasion did that give of recollecting the time and place of your Adoption? And what a peculiar joy was it to those, who had from thence before saluted you Emperour? Nay I believe Page 45 the very Deity of the place took great satisfaction in reviving that signal work of his own Providence. But when you stood on that particular Station from whence your Father had pronounc'd this secret of the Gods, how the Tem∣ple echo'd with repeated shouts? How were the former acclamations renew'd? And how like was this day to that other, which occasion'd it? How loaded were the Altars with Victims and Sacrifices? How zealous and devout were the peo∣ple in praises for your Succession, and prayers for your preservation? Knowing that to send up their petitions for your safety was in effect to beg a blessing on themselves, their Children, and all their other Secular concerns. From hence you retir'd to your Palace, but with so hum∣ble a look, so meek a carriage, as if you had been returning onely to your pri∣vate house; The rest went all to their respective homes, there to rejoyce with∣out hypocrisie, because without witness of their joy.
24. Such a magnificent entrance might have been apt to have allur'd others to pride and ambition: But you unshock'd by all temptations grew still more to be admir'd, Page 46 more to be belov'd. In a word, such you are, as others do but promise to be. You are the first precedent of a Prince who proceeds better, than he first began: Your excellent temper joyning those proper∣ties, which heretofore seem'd incompa∣tible, the modesty of a beginner, and the constancy of a long stander in Go∣vernment. You suffer not your subjects to throw themselves at your feet, and think it too much state to require they should kneel, and kiss your hand. The addition of an Empire has not made you one whit the more big or stately than before: You us'd to walk much, you continue the same custome: You were wont to take delight in toil and labour, you doe the same still: In a word, Fortune has chang'd all about you, yet has made no alteration on your steady self. When you take the Air abroad, it is free for every one to stop at the sight of you, to come up, and meet you, to walk on even with you, or to pass by and go beyond you: You come among us as familiarly, as if you were but one of us, and accept of our company, not out of necessity, but choice. Every one, who has access to you, staies his own time, and breaks off his discourse, when Page 47 his own modesty, not your weariness, does advise. We are indeed Govern'd by you, and subject to you, yet no other∣wise, than as to our Fundamental Laws, which both direct and punish without partiality, or passion. You are eminent and Supreme as Power and Authority in the Abstract, which are indeed above all, yet are administred by some, and ex∣ercis'd on anothers. In past ages Princes from a haughty disdain of doing like the rest of the World, and a fear of being thought equal to their subjects, if they dissented not in their customs from them, had lost all use of their feet, so that they were forc'd to be carried on the necks and shoulders of others, yet when thus mounted, they were much your inferi∣ours in respect of that higher degree, whereto your own deserts, and the duty of your subjects have rais'd and exalted you. You reach Heaven the more just∣ly by submitting to tread earth, and go the farther beyond us, by vouchsafing to walk with us.
25. Nor do I fear (my Lords) to be thought too tedious on this Subject: Since it is chiefly to be wish'd that the particulars, for which a just return of Page 48 thanks is due to Princes, should be many; and many indeed they are, which it would be more manners to stifle and pass by unobserv'd, than to be short and abrupt in the delivery of them: Because it naturally happens, that what is designedly conceal'd is by such cunning suppression better set off, than if it were slightly and trivially express'd. Though indeed I can but concisely touch at his generous enriching of several Families, his frank bestowing of a Largess on the people, and that the whole of what he had promis'd, when the Souldiers receiv'd no more than a part of their Donative. This was an Argument of no ordinary spirit, to give most to those whom he might best have deny'd: Yet this odds was in other respects made up, and neither side was left to brag, or complain of an inequality: The Souldiers had a part onely, but then they were first serv'd: The people were forc'd to wait, but then their patience was rewarded with a Re∣cept of the whole. How impartial and equal was the Dividend made? How carefull were you that none should be defrauded of their share? It was allow'd even to those, who had not first been Page 49 nominated, but were deputed in the room of others: So that those tasted of your bounty, whom you, lay under no promise to relieve. If one happen'd to be detain'd by business, another by sick∣ness, this by a voyage, that by travel, their just shares were preserv'd for them; and care taken that no ones distemper, employment, or absence should be his loss, but each appear at his own time, whenever his will, whenever his occasi∣ons would best dispence with him. It was generous and like your self (Heroick Cae∣sar) to reach the most distant Countries by the extent of your liberality, to let no not the widest space set bounds to your munificence, to prevent the mis∣chiefs of chance, to shackle up the powers of fortune, and so to contrive it, that at your dispersing a Largess the worst infirmities of humanity should never balk your bounty, but every one be less sensible of his being a Man, than of being a free Denizen of Rome.
26. On the day of distributing such Largesses, it was formerly the custome that shoals of young Children (the nur∣sery and breed of a future people) us'd to flock in the streets, and wait the Page 50 coming of the Prince; the Parents took great pains to shew him to their little ones, and to teach them some cur∣sory form of petition, who accordingly pratled, as they were taught, and ad∣drest their pretty gabble to the deaf Ears of the Prince, while not knowing either what they ask'd, or when they were deny'd, the grant was generally defer'd, till they came to years of more growth and understanding. Whereas you were so frankly generous, as to impart your charity without staying for the Ceremony of being entreated, and, though you took pleasure in look∣ing upon Troops of Petitioners, yet you prevented their trouble of Address, and met them in your bounty, before they could approach you in Person. Nay you commanded the very Infants to be Enroll'd among the objects of your Royal care, that being Educated at your charge, they might from their Cradle acknowledge you their Foster Parent. You thought it but just and reasonable that those, who were bred for your ser∣vice, should be bred at your expence: That they should be supported by a pension, till they were able to earn a pay: And so be all not more indebted Page 51 to their natural Parents for being born Infants, than to you for their being made Men. It is a discreet generosity (Caesar) to discharge the expence of bringing up these budding hopes of Rome: There can be no disbursements to better ad∣vantage, none that will more effectually purchase you an immortal name, than what are thus laid out for the good of Posterity. The rich have encourage∣ments to get Children from the several * privileges they thereby gain, and to avoid such inconveniences which they must otherwise undergo: The poor have but one inducement, and that is the blessing of breeding up subjects to so good a Prince. These Children thus born to the alone use of his service, except he cherish, feed, and maintain them, he knows he should but hasten the decay of his Empire, and push on the ruine of the Commonwealth. For a Prince who guards his Nobility with favour and protection, while he leaves his Com∣monalty naked and defenceless, does but provide for a tottering head with no limbs, no body to poise or support it. It is easie to guess what complacency you must needs take in the being so loudly welcom'd with the congratulating noise of all rela∣tions, Page 52 of each Sex, and every age: To make up the joyfull Chorus, Children pratled their very first attempts to speak, those Children for whom you made so early provision, as freely to give, before their loosned Tongue had the power to ask. And indeed among all the other blessings of your Government, this must be accounted the most eminent, that it is a pleasure, nay a profit to be the Fa∣ther of many Children.
27. The fondest Parents fear now no other dangers to ruine their hopes, than the bare casualties of humane frailty, nor among incurable mischiefs is the anger of the Prince any longer to be reckoned. A main encouragement to educate Chil∣dren arises from the hopes of a liberal maintenance, and the prospect of hono∣rable employs, but 'tis much more en∣couraging to breed them to the enjoy∣ment of a fix'd liberty, and a secure unaltered property. Let a Prince take no care to enrich his subjects, so he at∣tempts not to impoverish them, let him not maintain, so he does not destroy, and yet most persons, even under such an indifferent Government, would be desirous of Issue: But on the other Page 53 hand, if he plunders more, than he be∣stows, if he ruine more Families, than he raises, it will unavoidably in a short while happen, that all will see reason to repent the birth of themselves and their Ancestours, as well as bewail that of their Children and posterity. But in the disposals of your bounty, as being entirely free from such extortion, I can commend nothing more justly, than that whatever you grant, was your own to bestow; not feeding your Subjects, as wild Beasts do their young, by the violent acquists of Murther and rapine: Your favours becoming alway the more acceptable, because those, who are o∣blig'd by them, know that no others were defrauded of them: And that for all the enrichments they receive no one is made poorer, but the Royal Do∣nour onely and not properly he neither; for being truly Lord of all Estates, he is owner of so much, as his Subjects possess.
28. More copious matter of com∣mendation seems now (Caesar) to call me some other way: But why so soon diverted? As if I had enough insisted on, as if I had sufficiently respected and Page 54 admir'd your large and almost profuse beneficence not bestow'd by way of po∣licy to bribe off those calumnies and slanders, your Conscience tells you, you had given just occasion for, nor to drown the discontents, and murmurs of your people, by the offer of a more comfor∣table Subject of discourse. You bought off the envy of no miscarriage by a wheedling Largess, nor aton'd for any illegal action by the settlement of a pen∣sion; neither was that at any time the ground of your doing good, to com∣pound for the passing uncensur'd, in what you had done ill. The intent of your bounty was the purchase, not of excuse, but of love; and the people always return'd from your Courts of Judicature, not so much pacified for former abuses, as oblig'd by an assurance of never being injur'd. You offer'd your Largess with as much joy to give, as those to receive, as secure in your grants, as they in their acceptance: And that which some of your Predecessours disburs'd to calm the discontent of swelling spirits, and take off that odium they found themselves to lie under, this you distributed with as much of innocence and simplicity as others could possibly receive it. No less (my Page 55 Lords) than five thousand freemen has the good nature of our Prince sought for, found out, and reliev'd: These are the supplies of War, these the guards of peace, maintain'd at the publick charge, and thereby taught to respect their Countrey, not onely as their place of birth, but as their nurse and bringer up. Out of these are our Armies to be recrui∣ted, our Tribes fill'd up, and from the loins of these shall in time proceed such, whose liberal fortune shall secure them from all need of relief. Let the Gods give you (Great Sir) that length of days, your merits seem to challenge, and keep unchang'd that generous Soul, they have endow'd you with: And when you see the Roll of Infants, who are to be the objects of your alms, enlarg'd, (for their numbers do daily increase, not because Children are better belov'd of their Parents, but subjects of their Prince) you may relieve them if you please, you may maintain them if you see fit, if not, it is enough that they are born to obey, and must discharge their allegi∣ance without bribe or reward.
29. It may well be reckoned one con∣tinued Largess of our Prince, that he Page 56 has contriv'd to furnish our City with a never failing supply of Corn: Which piece of provident husbandry added here∣tofore no less glory to Pompey, than his regulating Elections by a law against purchase of Votes, his scouring the Seas of Pirates, and making the East and West a successive subject of his triumphs. This one project of stocking Rome with a constant import of provisions, equall'd, nay exceeded the best of his other At∣chievements. With the same care, the same charity, has our Prince made the high-ways securely passable, clear'd the Ports, frighted away the fears of plun∣der and robbery, as well in journeys by Land, as voyages at Sea: And made so open an entercourse of trade and com∣merce between the most distant Nations, as if those commodities, which are the growth but of one Countrey, were the native product of all. With joy we find that the wants of each year are abundantly supplied with the yield and encrease of it, and this brought to our own homes without force or compul∣sion. We do not plunder nor rifle our Allies, we do not cheat their Barns of the promis'd Harvest, but let them quietly carry in what their fields afford, what Page 57 the several seasons do allow: Nor do we charge them so thick with fresh taxes, as to disable them from paying off their old Arrears. The publick treasury does not steal, what it professes to purchase, but honestly buys in stores of provisions, which are again so vended without fraud or exaction, that we have plenty at home, and yet make no dearth or scarcity abroad.
30. Egypt has always brag'd of being a fertile nurcery of Corn, and that with∣out being indebted to the Charity of the Heavens, without needing the relief of refreshing showers: For she is sufficient∣ly moistned by the Waters of her own River, whose customary overflowings have so fatned and enrich'd her soil, that she seems a Storehouse to other Nations, and might with modesty be entitled the Granary of the World. This very Countrey by a surprising drought was parch'd and withred into one continued Wilderness: For Nilus shrunk back, and would not overpass its banks, but like other Rivers ran on in a bounded and confin'd chanel. So that vast tracts of land by being thus deprived of their accustom'd moisture dried and crumbled Page 58 into the most barren dust and sand. In vain did Egypt now expect comfort from the denying clouds, in vain did she gape for any blessing from the skies, since the wonted Authour of her full Barns sunk down and contracted her plenty into as narrow a compass, as his own streams. Nor did the unconstant River keep up to those banks which were wont to be his shortest bounds, but crept yet lower, and seem'd to at∣tempt the sneaking away undiscovered, leaving the shallows of his own bottom as dry and scorch'd, as any other parts of the Sun-burnt desarts. The hungry people thus loosing the benefits of a wish'd-sor inundation, and thereby the hopes of all food and sustenance, direct those prayers to Caesar, which in vain they had spent on their unregarding Ri∣ver: While placing their devotions now aright, their petitions were answer'd, as soon as heard. Thus swift (O Empe∣rour) is the reach of your power, thus dispatchfull upon all occasions your Acts of Mercy, that the most miserable need use no other methods of relief, than barely to let you know their wants.
Page 59 31. I wish indeed plenteous Crops and fruitfull years to the several inhabi∣tants of each part of the World: Yet I cannot but believe that Egypts being plagu'd with this miserable dearth was a mere trick of fortune to try your power, and make proof of your extensive care and vigilance. For since your merits claim success in all attempts, it is appa∣rent that whatever deplorable chances happen, they are onely to afford fresh matter and new subjects for the employ of your undaunted vertues: Prospe∣rity indeed may make men happy, but misfortunes alone can approve them great. It has been a long receiv'd opinion that Rome could not feed her inhabitants without supplies from Egypt: This made that haughty Province boast, that the Conquerours of the World were beholden to her for their bread, and at her disposal must they either feast or starve. We have now quitted the obli∣gation, and repaid the utmost of what she could charge upon us: She has re∣ceiv'd back that Corn she was wont to export, and recall'd those stores she has formerly dispenc'd. Let Egypt therefore learn, let her by this experiment believe, Page 60 that she gives us not a necessary suste∣nance, but pays us a justly impos'd tri∣bute: Let her know we can live with∣out her assistence better than she without our protection. Let Nilus now, as oft as the sullen humour takes him, stick to his own chanel, and be shackled to an imprisonment within his own banks, Rome scorns to be concern'd, and Egypts self will feel no worse effect, than that her Vessels must launch out empty as they were wont to return, and take in their Cargo here at Rome where they were us'd to unlade: While the method of their trading being thus alter'd, they may change their devotion, and turn their prayers for a safe Voyage out to a fair wind home. It had been next to a miracle (Caesar) if these wants of Egypt had not enhanc'd the price of Corn, and made a much greater scarcity at Rome, but that your providence had so well stock'd it, as to have enough to spare, and give the World a proof that Rome without Egypt might well subsist, but Egypt never without Rome. Here had been an end of a most flourishing Nation, had it been a free and indepen∣dent State; they were asham'd of their unaccustom'd dearth, and their never Page 61 yet experienc'd hunger made them blush no less than pine: While your oppor∣tune charity, with one and the same kindness both spar'd their modesty, and reliev'd their wants. Their husband∣men were surpris'd to see Corn, which was not of their own growth, and wonder'd from whence the Harvest came, or in what other part of Egypt there had been an overflowing Nile: Thus did your bounty correct the bar∣renness of their soil, and their deserting River at this lowest ebb never rose higher to the glory of Rome.
32. What a blessing is it for all Na∣tions to be brought under the subjection of our Empire, since they are thereby engag'd to pay Allegiance to a Prince, who can dispence out plenty here and there according as different times and occasions require? Who can seed and nurture a Foreign Province with as much of tenderness, as if it were a Colony onely of Roman Citizens. Nay the extent of his influence does in some measure outreach even that of the Hea∣vens themselves: For those glorious Orbs are never so lavish of their blessings, as in the same year to disperse the same Page 62 portion of them through all Countries and Climates; whereas he, with the same open hand toward all, if he does not prevent a dearth, does at least re∣dress the mischiefs of it: If he com∣mand not a plenty, he does at least cor∣rect the niggardness of nature, and makes full amends for whatever she peevishly detains. He brings the widely distant East and West to meet, and to a won∣derfull embrace in an interchangeable commerce: So that whatever is the growth of one place, or the desire of another may every where be had, and equally enjoy'd. From this happiness let all Nations be convinc'd, how much more for their advantage it is to be united under the Government of one, than by a specious liberty to be crum∣bled into thousands of weak and help∣less parties: For if separate and inde∣pendent from each other, their mischiefs would be peculiar, and their blessings incommunicate: But when confederate and intermix'd, their evils are abated by falling not singly on themselves, and their benefits enlarg'd by being imparted to others. But with respect to Egypt, whether something of Divinity wait on their soil, or some Genius attend their Page 63 River, I hope both their Earth and their Waters will treasure up that Corn, our Prince bestows, in such sort, as in time to restore it multiplyed: Not that we shall demand any interest for the Loan, but that we would have them confess an obligation to pay it. Let them make amends for the loss of one years crop by a long unintermitted yield of plenty, which let them measure out to us the more freely, as we are the more sparing to exact.
33. Having thus provided for the advantages both of your subjects and Allies, having thus secured our profit, you come now to consult our pleasure: And present us with magnificent Shews, not trifling, or of a short continuance, not corrupting the Spectatours to vice or debauchery, but improving their courage, and leading them on to a ge∣nerous scorn of wounds, and more noble contempt of death; while they see an eager pursuit of glory and an ambitious quest of victory even in the basest slaves, and most wretched of Malefactours. And in setting forth these Plays, how unparallel'd your bounty, how exact your justice, above all prejudice for one Page 64 faction, or partially for another? When∣ever we ask'd, you frankly gave, nay, offer'd more than we had the confidence to desire. You seem'd to chide our bashfulness, and invited us on to a free∣dom of petitioning, while from hence we were oblig'd with many fresh and unexpected favours. Then how free was it to come to these diversions? How safe to declare our approbation or dis∣like? No person argued of impiety, as was sadly wont, for houting or con∣demning any particular gladiatour. No Spectatour was himself made a spectacle to pay for his dear-bought pleasure at the heavy price of Fire and Gibbet. He * was little better than raving mad, and had no right estimate of true honour, who drew treason from the most sportive actions, nay the very looks of Specta∣tours, who thought we affronted him, if we ador'd not his Fencers, who be∣liev'd the slighting of their skill was a contempt of his own Majesty, having no less a conceit, than that he himself was a God, and they his Princely Represen∣tatives, and so took as to himself what indignities were offer'd to them.
Page 65 34. Instead of this bloudy, this ac∣cursed shew, how fair, how innocent a one have you oblig'd us with? We have now seen false Evidences, and suborn'd Informers punish'd with the same seve∣rity, as Thieves and Murtherers: This sort of plague did lately so far spread, that they sculk'd not in corners or un∣frequented places, but throng'd the Tem∣ples, and crouded the Courts of Justice; At the mercy of these Rascals lay every man's life and estate, no degree, no con∣dition secure, the being a Father or be∣ing childless was a like criminal, when these Villains were agreed to make it so. To this fatal mischief in former times the spleen and avarice of our Princes has much contributed. But you nobly resolv'd to correct this abuse, and when you had reform'd the discipline of the Camp, you came to regulate the pro∣ceedings of your Courts of Justice too▪ You stop'd the farther growth of this accursed gangrene, and by a well tim'd severity took care that your Imperial City, founded and supported by Laws, should not be ruin'd by the illegal exe∣cution of them. And therefore though your fortune, and your bounty have Page 66 conspir'd to oblige us with the sports, sometime of strong and bulky men, now of savage beasts, then of wild ones to a wonder tam'd, and finally with an exposing to open view those * Rarities till now hoarded and lock'd up from publick sight: Yet have you done no∣thing more honourable, nothing more becoming the glories of your Reign, than your just retribution of suborn'd witnesses: We fed our eyes with seeing them drawn through the Streets to the place of execution, we look'd and blest our selves at the comfortable sight, when (like victims to atone for the bloud their perjuries had shed) they were drag'd away to make the fame ignominious end, they had brought so many innocent souls to. Some of them in order to be transported were thrust on shipboard, and delivered over to the mercy of storms and billows: deserved∣ly were they expell'd that Countrey their misinformations had laid desolate. If any of them hap'd to escape the Justice of Winds and Sea, they should be lan∣ded on barren Rocks, and unfrequented Shores, there to drudge out a laborious, and a miserable lise, far from all Societies, which they were not fit to be members of.
Page 67 35. A memorable sight this! A fleet of Evidences turn'd loose to grapple with the Winds who spread their sails toge∣ther in the storms, and sly before the driving waves, till their Cariere be stopt by dashing against some surly Rock. A gallant prospect from the safer Shore to view the rambling Navy toss'd and scatter'd through the foaming Ocean! And a fit occasion this of fresh gratitude to our Prince, who preserving his Cle∣mency untainted, has delivered over these criminals to the justice of the Sea and the Gods thereof. A notable in∣stance this of what alterations short times may produce, when to those very desarts, where the innocent were lately so injuriously banish'd, the guilty are now most justly confin'd: And all those savage Islands so lately fill'd with salsly accused Senatours, are now more pro∣perly stock'd with these perfidious Infor∣mers; whom you have not onely curb'd or stifled for the present, but by penal∣ties answerable to their black crimes to∣tally quell'd and supprest them for ever. If any now attempt to cheat others of their livelyhood, they must lose their own, if they would dispossess others of Page 68 their homes, they must turn out them∣selves. Nor can they elude the intent of the Law, or shuffle off the sentence of the Judge; they cannot shift with a cold iron, which shall make no mark, nor impression, nor can they laugh at those torments, that never hurt them. Their Fines must be now proportion'd to their faults, their hopes of escape must be now less, than their fear of smart, and they must dread others as much, as they themselves were lately dreaded. With a noble courage did the Divine Titus begin to secure us from these mischiefs by the guard of severe and seasonable Edicts, and in gratitude for this attempt was he deservedly deified. How much more justly hereafter (yet long may the coming of that hereafter be) shall you be worthy of the same divine ho∣nours, who have built upon and com∣pletely finish'd those Laws, which at the rough foundation were thought merito∣rious of entitling him a God? The difficulty of this accomplishment was much the greater upon this account, that the Emperour Nerva, who deserv'd you for his Son, deserv'd you his Suc∣cessour, made so many additions to this Edict of Titus, that he seem'd to leave Page 69 no room for your completing hand; and yet you have so far enlarg'd it, as if nothing had been done before. Any of these Reformations singly dispenc'd would have been highly gratious, and well accepted of, but you pour'd them forth all at once, like the Sun and beams of day, which sprinkle not their light by fits and parcels, but dart it forth in discontinued streams, not confin'd to par∣ticular corners, but expanded through the whole surface of the World.
36. What a blessing is it to see the Treasury free and unoppressive, in as profound a quiet, as before all distur∣bances created by Informers? It is now a Temple indeed, and the * Deity, it was dedicated to, does there certainly reside: It is no longer a drainer of the People, a repository of exactions or dishonest gains, and there is now one place at least, where the innocent are no longer made a prey to the unjust. Yet are all lawfull dues levied to the full, and no abatements made of what would be injurious to the Republick to lose: Nor are the penalties remitted to any, whom a fair trial shall convict: Yet is there a free Process for recovery Page 70 of damages upon malitious or suborn'd accusers: And, in short, the case is so well alter'd, that men fear the Laws, not the Informers. But perhaps you have not taken so much care in regulating of your private Exchequer, as of the Treasury? Yes, the greater, by how much more boldly you can dispose of your own, than of what belongs to the publick. Your Advocate, your Attor∣ney may be now cited, and proceeded against, as the Law directs: For justice may be now had against them, as well as against ordinary Offenders, their pe∣nalties the same or greater, if you mea∣sure their punishment by the greatness of their figure and quality. Not the Princes will and pleasure, but Lots and an Urn, the common method of Electi∣ons, assign a Judge to the Exchequer: And if any be otherwise promoted, it is free to reject him, and to say of one, he is unqualified because he is timorous, and does not sufficiently understand the interest of his Countrey, and of another he is more fit for the employ, because he is true to his Countrey, and loyal to his Prince. Caesar and his subjects try out their Titles at the same Bar: And what, Sir, is to your eternal credit, your Page 71 Exchequer is often cast, which yet can never come to the worst but under a good Prince. This is great obligation, and what a greater yet, that your Ad∣vocates are all persons of such integrity that the people desire no other Counsel, no other Judges, though it be free, for any not to entertain them, or to appeal from them: For though you assign them, you leave it to our choice to comply or refuse, knowing it is the highest grace of Royal favours to have the liberty of not accepting them.
37. The charges and expence of Go∣vernment impose a necessity of taxes, which though they appear a burthen and grievance to particular persons, yet is that seeming inconvenience vastly out-balanc'd by their promoting the wel∣fare of the community. For this use and purpose was the twentieth part of all Legacies formerly assign'd: And this being light and easie to those heirs onely, who bore no relation to the de∣ceas'd, but hard and grievous to the next of bloud, it was levi'd onely upon the one, and remitted to the other. For∣asmuch as it was apparent that men would not without reluctance, or rather Page 72 not at all, endure to have any part embezelled or par'd off from that Estate, which their birth had given them a title to, which was never the possession of a distinct family, or which they could but barely hope would be bequeathed to them, but which was their proper and immediate inheritance, and ought to pass downward by right of descent and proximity of bloud. Yet was this ex∣emption allow'd onely to the ancient Denizens, all the late-comers, whether enfranchis'd by the privilege that the Latins might claim, or by the boon and favour of the Prince, (except by express dispensation they had obtain'd the right of kindred) were in respect of the nearest re∣lation accounted as no better than Aliens. Thus what was design'd for the greatest ease and benefit, was soon perverted into the greatest grievance. The City of Rome was fill'd with jars, discords, and breaches in families, while the next heirs without any undutifull or disobli∣ging carriage were in a manner dishin∣herited and debarr'd their right. Yet were some so sond of the honour of being incorporated with us, that they thought not onely the forfeiture of the twentieth part of their estates, but the Page 73 loss of kindred was abundantly recom∣penc'd by the title of Roman Citizens: Though upon those who priz'd it at so high a value it ought the more freely to have been conferr'd. Your Father Nerva therefore did hereupon decree, that what goods past from the Mother to the Children, or from the Children to the Mother (though at their being Indenizen'd they had not re∣ceiv'd the right of cognation) should not be liable to this tribute of the twentieth part. The same immunity he allow'd to a Son as heir to his Father, (provided he were not emancipated from his Fahter's power and disposal) thinking it unjust, oppressive, and almost impious to exact any thing in cases of so near alliance, and judging it no less than some sort of Sacrilege to cut asunder the holy ties of relation by so sharp and rigid an imposal: Nor could he digest it as at all reasonable, that any Tax should so be rais'd, as to make Fathers and Chil∣dren strangers to each other.
38. Thus far went your Royal Prede∣cessour, wherein though he fell short perhaps of the best of Princes, he came up at least to the best of Fathers: For Page 74 being to adopt one of as large a Soul as himself, he betray'd this generous piece of indulgence, that he would but slight∣ly begin and barely set the example, leaving to his Son an entire, and almost unattempted Field of glory. Immedi∣ately therefore to his Charity did your munificence farther add, that as the Son in the inheritance of his Father, so the Father in that of the Son should be ex∣empt from all encumbrances, and by his unhappy ceasing to be a parent, not lose the advantage of his once having been so. It is an Heroical mercy of you (Caesar) not to exact Tribute of tears, nor to make a Father's loss your gain. Parents shall now succeed to what their Children died possess'd of, without fraud or diminution; nor indeed would it be any way just, that they should have partners in their inheritance, who have none in their sorrows. No persons left Childless are call'd to account amidst their fresh and undigested grief, nor is the Father compell'd to bring in an In∣ventary of what was left him by his Son. Our Prince's unparallel'd bounty herein will appear the more admirable, if I knew the grounds and reasons of it: For it may indeed be deservedly reputed Page 75 an ambition, vain glory, profuseness, or any worse name, rather than liberality, if not grounded on some firm and solid reason. Your motives therefore for thus doing were what are highly, Sir, wor∣thy of your Clemency, to abate the afflictions of disconsolate parents, and, after the shrewd temptation of one loss, not superadd the trial of another. It is indeed misery enough for a mournfully surviving Father to be sole heir to a dear departed Son, without the dividing with a co-heir contrary to the will and know∣ledge of the deceas'd. Farther, when divine Nerva had decreed that Children coming to an enjoyment of their Fathers Estates should be exempt from a pay∣ment of the twentieth part, it was but reasonable this privilege should extend to those inheritances, which past from Sons to Fathers, as well as from Fa∣ther to Son: For why should Children have the advantage of their Parents, and why should not the same equity ascend? This exception (Caesar) is by you remov'd, and the Father made ca∣pable to succeed the Son, supposing the Son to have been in his Father's power, which supposal too you took always for granted, having respect to that prime Page 76 and fundamental Law of Nature, which does at no time acquit Children from a subjection to their Parents, nor allows to Rational beings, what is wildly practis'd among brutes alone, that strength should give the onely Title to Dominion and Command.
39. Neither would our Prince rest satisfied to exempt the first degree of bloud from an imposition of the twen∣tieth part; but his goodness scorning these limits flies beyond, and endows the second likewise with the same privi∣lege. So that the Brother in the Sisters Estate, the Sister again in the Brothers, the Grandfather and Grandmother in that of the Grandchildren, and these again in that of theirs, should come to a free enjoyment without tax or compo∣sition. And to those, who by the right of Latium were made free of Rome, he granted the same immunities, allowing in all consanguinity a free passage to the direct course of nature: Which are fa∣vours indeed that former Princes were content to be petition'd for, yet not with so much intention of shewing their Prerogative to grant, as their power to deny. Hence may we aptly learn what Page 77 a generous Soul it argued to gather up and reunite our scatter'd, and as it were divorc'd Families, to regraft and so hus∣band them as that fresh branches may shoot forth from the first paternal stocks: to comply with that which has been so often refus'd, to give to all in common what particular favourites could never obtain; and finally, to bar himself of so many occasions of exerting his Preroga∣tive in conferring these favours as extra∣ordinary on them, whose loyalty had deserv'd 'em, and in detaining them from such, who had been factious or ungrate∣full. He deem'd it, I believe, unreaso∣nable that petition should be made to an earthly Prince for what the Gods themselves by a branch of their eternal law had long since past into a natural charter. If by birth you are Brothers and Sisters, Grandfather and Grandchil∣dren, or such like relations, this title exempts you from the foremention'd tax, without any other Ceremony of peculiar licence. The Emperour, afford∣ing this farther instance of his humanity parallel to all the former, thinks it as invidious to make a mock gilt of what was your own by a Precedent property, as it would be unjust to take whatever Page 78 you are legally possess'd of. With courage therefore, and a bold assurance stand for honours, sue for offices, this breach and interruption of descents shall be no bar to your hopes or designs. All shall entirely enjoy the same proximity of bloud, they did before, with more of freedom, more of privilege. Nay the most remote, and just ceasing degrees of affinity, in conveyances of small or but competent estates, shall be eas'd of this contribution of the twentieth part: For our indulgent Prince has impos'd it onely on those plentifull fortunes, that can well asford to bear it out.
40. A low and slender inheritance shall be eas'd from this burthen: In such cases the gratefull heir may bestow it on a Monument in memory of the Testatour, or may disburse it all in the charges of his Funeral, none to correct or restrain him, none to call him to account: For on whatever consideration the Legacy was bequeath'd him, he may arbitrarily dispose of it, as his own will or discretion shall direct. The Law for payment of the twentieth part is now so order'd, that a man must be very rich besore he can come within the Page 79 compass of it. What before was the subject of fear and grief, is now turn'd into joy, what was judg'd an oppression, is chang'd into ease and privilege: So as the heir not dreads, but wishes his Estate may come within the reach of this Law. By another clause of this Edict it is provided that those, who were in Arrears to the State for this tribute should be freely remitted, and without expence discharg'd. To remedy what is gone and past seems even beyond the power of the Gods themselves. Yet this have you perform'd: While past debts are outdated, and those persons, who long since contracted them, are neither now to owe, nor to pay here∣after. You so perfectly redress all our former grievances that there re∣mains no token of our ever having suffer'd under evil Princes. Nay if your power were of equal extent with your mercy, or were not feasible, which is indeed not possible, you would not onely reinstate those, who had been injuri∣ously outed of their possessions, but even restore to life as many, as without guilt or cause have been no better than for∣mally murthered: But since you could not reinsuse their lost bloud, you have Page 80 at least redeem'd their spent fortunes, by forgiving those fines and lapses, which were made due in the Reign of your Predecessours. Another Prince would have been so incens'd at their being be∣hind-hand in Arrears, that he would have punish'd their backwardness with a fine of double, nay perhaps fourfold value to the principal debt: But you think it equally dishonest to exact what was unjustly made due, as to make due, what would be injustice to exact.
41. Your frugal management (Cae∣sar) makes you fit for the care and charge of a Consul, whose proper office it is to manage and moderate the ex∣pences of the publick: For when I consider that you have remitted our Assessments, bestow'd a Donative, dis∣penc'd a Largess, expell'd Informers, and abated our Taxes, methinks you might well be question'd, whether you have so cast up your Revenues, as to provide for the necessary occasions of Empire: Or is there such magick in good husbandry, that a little well or∣der'd can be able to suffice a vast ex∣pence, a prodigious munificence? What account can be given why other Princes, Page 81 when they had scrap'd and rifled all they could hook in, and held fast whatever by any means they procur'd, were yet after all in beggary and want. Where∣as you, who expend much, and yet take in but little, have always plenty, always to spare. Few of your Prede∣cessours ever wanted such instruments, who with sowre looks and severe car∣riage were very punctual and rigorous in exacting the Imperial revenues. Nay some Princes themselves have from a stingy inclination been so very intent and watchfull, that they seem'd to need no Deputies, or Under-officers: While we were all along trepan'd to a falling out among our selves, and so help'd by informations to undoe each other. Whereas your ears, as they are guarded against all other insinu∣ations, so they are more especially deaf to all fawning complaints. All persons therefore of that scandalous employ are now supprest and silenc'd, and there is none who will malitiously report, now there is none who will hastily believe. Thus are we beholden to you not onely tor the goodness of your own Morals, but for the Refor∣mation of ours.
Page 82 42. The Voconian and Julian Laws though of great advantage did not pour in more fines to the Exchequer, than that one strategeme of bringing all per∣sons upon any srivolous offence within the reach of Treason. This fright and danger you have now releas'd us from, in not being too jealous of your honour, which none have experienc'd more im∣pair'd, than those, who have been un∣seasonably suspicious of encroachments on it. Friends are now made faithfull, Children dutisull, and Servants obedient. These last are reduc'd to a just awe and subjection, and taught to know that those they serve are masters of them. For they are not our Servants now who are made Confidents to our Prince, but we our selves: Nor does the Father of his Countrey, now listen to slaves more readily, than to the Lords of them. You have freed us from our family and home enemies, and by thus providing for the publick safety you have stifled and put an end to that Servile War which we were so long harast and afflicted with. Wherein you have not more oblig'd the Masters, than you have advantag'd the Servants too: For you have made these Page 83 more honest, as well as more secure. All these redresses, I know, your mo∣desty will scarce allow, to be commen∣ded, and suppose them not likely to be so, yet they must needs be gratefull to those who can well remember since a * Prince suborn'd Servants to swear against their Masters, and instructed them in what crimes they should accuse them of. This was a sad and deplorable mischief often experienc'd, where the Servants had no more of integrity, than the Prince had of honour or conscience.
43. In the same Catalogue of your vertues is this farther to be rank'd, that our last Wills are now secure, and the true intent of Testatours most religi∣ously observ'd. You do not injuriously engross the whole upon an opportunity of being bequeath'd a part. No fraud, no forgery entitles you to undesign'd, Legacies. No ones displeasure at his nearer relations, no ones unnaturalness of passing by his own Children, no ones frenzy, or want of senses on his sick bed is the occasion of your being en∣rich'd: Nor is your favour or pardon by way of commutation hereby either brib'd or purchas'd. You are nam'd Page 84 Heir not to buy off other offences, but to reward your own merits. All dying persons are left entirely to their own choice: Your friends may remember you, strangers may pass you by: No distinction in this respect between the times of your being a private Subject, and your being now an Emperour, save that now your love to more, makes you deservedly the more belov'd. Keep on, Coesar, in this method, and you will soon experience, that it will highly ad∣vance not onely your reputation, but your interest, that persons should assign you their Heir, out of mere kindness and affection, rather than out of fear or compulsion. Many Families did your Father's bounty raise, many Estates have you your self bestow'd: If any of these men, who owe their whole fortunes to the Crown, be at their death so ungrate∣full, as to make no return, the affront is past by unreveng'd, those who were appointed Heirs are allow'd a quiet pos∣session, and you are content with no other requital, than the glory of doing good unrewarded: And indeed a thank∣full receiver makes us better pleas'd with our favours, but a churlish and ungrate∣full one renders us the more to be admir'd Page 85 for them: Though which of your Predecessours car'd to prefer the credit of the one before the profit of the other? Which of them did not think he had a just title to recall what he had formerly given? Nay the ivery gifts of our Prin∣ces, like those of cajoling Tyrants, have been mere hooks cover'd o'er with gaudy baits, snares lin'd with some specious trepan, till seizing and entangling the good-natur'd prey, they drew in what∣ever was so credulous, as to fasten on them.
44. How much does it conduce to a better deportment to come at ease and prosperity through the rougher road of hardships and trouble? This trial, and this improvement of it did you make: You far'd no better than we did, you were surrounded with perpetual fears and dangers, which were then the attending alarms of all the innocent. You knew and had experience how much ill Prin∣ces were hated even by those whose flattery made them ill. You remember while a subject, what, with the rest of us, you were wont to wish, and what as apt to complain of. You now are what you judg'd others ought to be; Page 86 nay you are better than you even wish'd those others to have been. And we now so inur'd to the blessings of an easie Government, that whereas before the top of our wishes was a Prince, but indifferent, and somewhat better than the worst, we can now be content with none, but absolutely the best. There is no one therefore so ignorant of your abilities, or so much a stranger to his own infirmities, as to be ambitious of com∣ing after so unparallel'd a President. Nay so conscious must they all be of the im∣possibility of reaching up to your exam∣ple, that it must be hereafter more easie to be your Successour, than it is before hand to wish the being so. For who would covet to undergo the same weight of care? Or who can presume to acquit himself with any tolerable comparison to your unequal'd excel∣lence? Even you your self were sen∣sible what a difficulty and disadvantage it was to succeed a good Prince, and on that account were backward and unwil∣ling to be Adopted. Is it a pattern so easie to be copied after, that no person is now tempted to debauch himself for a purchase of pardon to his other misde∣meanours? Life, and the reputation of life Page 87 honesty, are both now guarded from all assault and violation. It is not now thought policy for persons of a strict and severe carriage to retire from the notice of the Court, and bury them∣selves up in private. For there is now the same encouragement given to all vertues, as in the purest of former times. Nor is weldoing rewarded onely by the complacence of a good Conscience, but by a farther and more publick recom∣pence. You love a fix'd and resolute temper in your subjects, and their great∣ness of spirit you do not, like other Princes, check and restrain, but indulge and promote. The honest and upright meet now with preferment, who here∣tofore wish'd for nothing but excuse: On these you confer Honours, Offices, Employments: These your friendship courts, these your judgment esteems, while your favours whet on their indu∣stry of being good, and make their in∣tegrity more resolv'd, when they see it so well accepted. Nay the vitious are hereby deter'd, as well as the vertuous encourag'd. For a reward of the good makes others out of policy honest, as well as a punishment of the bad affrights others on the same grounds from being Page 88 evil. There be few of so sound a judg∣ment as not to take the measures of Justice and dishonesty, as they respect their interest, and accordingly adhere to the one or the other, as it best suits with their gain and advantage. The far greater numbers of mankind observe what courses will be most beneficial, and when they see the wages of industry paid to sloth, of activeness to sleep, and of temperance to luxury, they take up a counterfeit profession of those arts they see others thrive so well upon; they personate and aim at the seeming like them so long. till at last they become in truth what they designd to be in ap∣pearance onely.
45. Most of our former Princes, ex∣cept your Father, and one or two more, (perhaps I may have over numbred them) were better pleas'd with the vices, than with the vertues of their subjects: first because it was natural in them to be delighted with those, who were nearest their own humour, and then they sup∣posd such would be most crouching and patient under Tyranny. whose debau∣cheries had already enslav'd them; in the bosome therefore of these they emptied Page 89 their bounties, and their secrets: But the just and sober were glad to be cloi∣ster'd up in privacies and retirements, them they never call'd out on the Stage, but to affront, to accuse, and persecute. Whereas contrary to these shamefull abuses, you chuse your friends out of the best and most conscientious: And indeed there is some Justice, that they should be the favourites of a good Prince. who were the hatred of a bad one. You, know, that as boundless Tyranny and legal Sovereignty are of a much different nature, so none loves the Prince better, than he, who most abhors the Tyrant. And these you animate and incite to all that's good and glorious, setting your self as a great Exemplar, and by your own Morals giving proof what course of life, what sort of men, you are best pleas'd with. You have not therefore taken on you the Cen∣sureship or superintendency of Man∣ners, because you would win upon our dispositions more by allurements, than Correction. And indeed it is hard to determine by which of these methods a Governour shall more easily reform a People, by barely suffering them to be good, or by compelling them to be so Page 90 We are pliable and ductile, prepar'd to follow wherever our Prince shall lead the way: To be endear'd to him, and approv'd by him is our utmost ambition (which yet is an honour that those, who are not like him can never hope to arrive to) And in short by your steady attention to his example, we all tran∣scribe the same Copy, and strive to resemble that one Original: For indeed we should be very dull and awkard if we, who had readily learn'd of a bad Prince, should not be as forward in the imitation of a good one. Go on, Caesar, and the influence of your actions shall be as powerfull, as the Authority of a Censor: For the Life of a Supreme Governour is indeed a Censorship, and that a standing, unchangeable one, by that we are directed, by that we are sway'd, not by the force of command, but the persuasiveness of Precedent. And fear indeed is but an unfaithfull guide to vertue: Men are much better wrought upon by examples, which have no conve∣nience that they demonstrate to be fea∣sible, whatever they recommend.
46. And what terrour could have enforc'd that which a respect to you has Page 91 easily effected. One * of your Prede∣cessours got the People to comply with taking away the spectacle of the Panto∣mimes, yet was this permission extorted rather than freely granted. But now you are intreated to doe, what the other compell'd the doing of and that did now commence a favour, which before was a necessity. Nor were there fewer Petitions or less unanimous Addresses to you for the taking them away, than there had been to your Father for resto∣ring them: And herein, though acting directly opposite, you both did well; for what by an evil Prince had been remov'd, ought to have been restor'd, and when on that account restor'd, ought for several other reasons again to be remov'd; for even where an ill person does well, there may lie a just exception against the Authour, but none against the Action. The same people therefore, that were both spectatours and applauders of a mimical † Emperour, do now dislike the trifling Pantomimes, and condemn such effeminate sports, as corruptive, and debasing, of the manly Genius of the times; from whence it is obvious to collect, that the example of Princes does influence the very rabble and vulgar, so Page 92 that if the one be serious and severe, the other correct their looseness and immediately conform. Proceed now, Caesar, and advance that glory your gra∣vity has gain'd: Let that steadiness of temper, which has generally been bran∣ded for state and pride, be now deser∣vedly esteem'd the result of vertue and good Morals. By this voluntary imita∣tion of you, persons have chastiz'd their own vices, who ought to have been chastiz'd out of them: And they have reform'd themselves, who needed by punishments to have been reform'd by others; so that none find reason to com∣plain of your severity, though all have a freedom to complain: And so indeed does it always happen, that people never complain less of any Prince, than of him, who allows them the greatest li∣berty so to doe. But under your Reign the most malitious can find no occasion of complaint: All management of af∣fairs is a subject of content, all of joy. The good are prefer'd, and the bad (which is the securest state of society) neither fear nor are fear'd, knowing they shall not unjustly be accus'd themselves, nor daring unjustly to accuse others. You remedy all our distempers, yet Page 93 at our own entreaties, at our own re∣quest; and whomever you make good, you add this farther obligation to the favour, that it was not what you impos'd or enforc'd, but what they themselves defir'd.
47. By your conduct how well or∣der'd the life, how regulated the man∣ners of our Roman youth? What trou∣ble, what charge do you spare for in a Princely Education of them? What encouragement do you give to Masters of Rethoricks? What countenance and advancement to Philosophers? So that under your patronage our studies are animated with life, vigour and a safe repose, which the dull cruelty of for∣mer ages persecuted into flight and ba∣nishment: While the Prince conscious of his own vices expell'd those arts, which would be sure to reprehend them, not so much out of hatred, as fear of coming within their lash and reproof. But these same arts you embrace, enter∣tain, and give attention to: You readily perform whatever they enjoyn, and love them as eagerly, as you are deservedly approv'd by them. Every Professour in each part of learning, after all your Page 94 other excellent endowments, must more especially commend your easiness of access. With an open and hospitable soul your Father over his Palace Gates set up this Inscription, The Publick Buildings, but in vain he had done this, except he had adopted a Son, who would have liv'd in publick: And how well does the course of your life agree with this Motto, so exactly indeed that it seems invented by none, but your self: For what Courts, what Temples are more open and passable? Not the Ca∣pitol it self, that place of your adoption, has more of company, more of resort. There be no Bars, no rough denial of entrance, no hard language nor affronts, and after an escape through a thousand Guards and Centinels, no excluding at last from the presence Chamber. A prosound stilness is all around you, but the greatest about your Person. Every where such becoming silence, such aw∣full quiet, that the Imperial Court may well present her self, as a pattern of mo∣desty to the smallest family, and most humble cottage.
48. How familiarly you entertain all comers? How patiently you epect Page 95 them? Dedicating one entire part of the day to this diversion, though so much taken up with more serious and urgent affairs. So that we come to pay our Addresses, not in a timorous hurry, not as if we ran for our life, and the loss of our heads were to be the forseit of our slackness, but leisurely and as our own conveniency will best admit of. Nay when the Prince does purposely attend our waiting on him, we may make so bold as to absent, if any necessary occasions detain us at home: And for this rude∣ness we need make no elaborate excuse, your goodness forgives sooner than our submission can acknowledge the offence. For you know it is every man's comfort and ambition, as well as his duty, to visit you frequently, to wait on you often, and therefore to enlarge our joy you give a freer and more repeated ad∣mission to your presence. Nor to be∣stow these customary salutes must we search you out in retirements and soli∣tudes, but we enter your Palace, and there engage in a familiar converse with you, as if your Court were an Ordinary or place of publick entertainment for all, which lately that timorous * Monster had fortified with whatever might strike Page 96 a terrour and amazement: While turn∣ning his Palace into a lurking den, he sometime there suck'd the bloud of his nearest relations, and at other times sallied out to worry and devour the noblest prey, he could seize or trepan. Terrour and threatnings were without, within dread and danger; so that it seem'd alike perilous to be either ad∣mitted or excluded. Add to this, the monster himself was fatal to meet, ghastly to look on, pride in his Fore∣head, fury in his Eyes, a womanish paleness in his Body, impudence shining through his Face in fiery redness, that argued more of bloud, than blush: None could presume to approach him, none might dare to salute him, never peeping out of his dark retirements, never cree∣ping forth from his belov'd confinement, except by rapine and desolation to make as great a solitude of those places he should visit, as of those he left.
49. Yet within these walls and apart∣ments he harbour'd the Traytours, he nurs'd up the conspiracy, and enclos'd with himself the revenger of his Vil∣lanies, Providence. His long call'd for punishment broke through the Guards, Page 97 and rush'd on through bolts and fasten'd Gates, as easily as if open doors and a clear passage had seem'd to egg and in∣vite it. His usurp'd pretence of divi∣nity could then avail him nothing, and in vain did he hope for shelter in those Closets and withdrawing Rooms, where he had wont so often to retire out of a fear, a scorn, and a hatred of mankind. How much more safe, how much more secure is the same Palace, now it is no longer impannell'd with trenches and baricadoes, no longer fenc'd with the engins of cruelty, but fortified alone by the arts of love? While experience hereby learns this one great Truth that a Prince's strongest Guard is his own Inno∣cence: And to need no defence is the most inaccessible fort, the strongest bul∣wark. In vain does he encompass him∣self with terrour, who is not first fur∣rounded with loyalty and love: His jealousies serve but to augment his dangers, and arms of defence invite on weapons of execution. Nor are they your serious hours onely, which you spend in our sight and society: Do you not joyn company with us as fre∣quently in your repasts and diversions? Are not your meals always publick, Page 98 and your table free for all comers? Do you not take as great a pleasure in feasting us, as we do a pride in being your guests? Are you not willing and patient to hear our impertinencies, and do you not invite us on to a freedom of diseourse? The time allotted to these banquets does not your humanity to∣ward us enlarge, as much as temperance toward your self would abridge and contract? You do not make a full meal by your self in private, and then sit gravely at the upper end of a publick table, making remarks and observations on the humours and behaviours of the guests. You do not belch from an overcharg'd stomach, and affront rather than feast your deluded friends by set∣ting before them such dishes, which you your self scorn to touch or taste of: Nor hating the hurry and uneasiness of such crouded entertainments do you withdraw to hidden rarities, and a re∣tir'd gluttony. Farther we admire not the costliness of your plate dishes, nor the exquisite cookery, nor the stately serving them up, but your endearing pleasantness, your obliging civility, which we can never nauseate, never surfeit upon: All your good humours Page 99 being natural, unseign'd, and occasionally poiz'd with a becoming gravity. Your table is not tainted with foreign super∣stition, nor debauch'd with light ge∣stures, or loose talk, but there is a gratious welcome, an inossensive jocose rallying, and many times learn'd and profitable discourse. After this wel-hus∣banded expence of the day, you betake your self to sleep and repose, which are always short and sparing, as if you grudg'd the loss of time never more, than when you spent it out of our sight and company.
50. And if we thus share in the en∣joyment of whatever you possess, how absolute, how unencroach'd upon is our own propriety? You do not by any illegal methods shuffle out the true owners, to engross and seize upon any pleasant ponds, delightfull lakes, or goodly forests; nor do the flouds, the Fountains, and the Ocean serve onely for the prospect of one Imperial Land∣lord. Caesar can now fee more than he will strictly call his own, and he is satisfied that his Empire should be of a larger extent than his Crown-lands. Nay he has refunded into the Empire Page 100 much of his own hereditary Estate, which his Predecessours held, not so much to enjoy themselves as to hinder others from the enjoyment of them. Therefore the stately Seats and Manors of Noblemen their proper Lords inha∣bit: Nor are the fair Mansions of great persons either impair'd by the prodigal abuse of servants, or decay'd by the ruinating mischief of standing empty. We may now view these noble edifices lifting up their long drooping heads, and rising, like those Birds of the East, out of their own ashes. Herein, Caesar, you highly merit not onely of the Inhabitants, but of the very houses, by repairing the ruines, banishing their so∣litude, and reprieving from a burial in the dust these magnificent structures with as much of gallantry of soul, as they first were built with: These very roofs and walls, though mute and sense∣less, do in a manner tell forth your praise, and as loudly proclaim their own joy, that they are brush'd up to a decen∣cy and neatness, that they are made tenantable, and have the honour to be inhabited by Gentlemen, not by slaves. This Prince now frankly exposes to sale the whole Inventory of those goods, Page 101 which were the cursed extortion of that * other, who still scrap'd on for bigger heaps, though he had already more than he knew how to use. Then it was death or, at the lightest, sequestration to have a larger house or fairer seat: But now our Prince seeks out those persons, who were thus wrongfully ex∣pell'd, and with justice reinstates them in their former possessions. Those grounds, which were the Garden of a late prosuse † Emperour, and those other adjacent fields, which seem'd the Suburbs of Cae∣sar, not of the City, we can now either hire, buy or build upon, So great is the Royal goodness, so secure is the conditi∣on of the present times, that the Prince both thinks us worthy of Imperial possessions, and we our selves are not afraid of being thought so. Nor do you allow us onely to purchase, but oft make us as firm a title by deed of gift, parting without any mercenary regard with much of that Estate, which by your choice and adoption was conferr'd on you. You make over that to others, which your merits procur'd to your self, as if you thought nothing more your own, than what you enjoy by the proxy of your friends.
Page 102 51. Yet is our Prince as provident in building, as he is thristy in preserving: Therefore our streets do not rattle, our City does not tremble with the noise and weight of overladed Carriages, our houses are unshock'd, our Temples no longer aguish or palsical. Though. you succeeded a Prince, who was but little solicitous of advancing his Revenues, yet you find enough remaining for your occasions, nay can spare something out of that small stock, he left you: And as your Father debar'd himself from the full exaction of what the fortune of the Empire gave him, so have you abridg'd your self in the use and expence of what your Father bequeath'd you. But not∣withstanding this good husbandry in private concerns, how sumptuous and magnificent are you in whatever relates to the publick? Here Castles, there Temples, with so much of dispatch and expedition, as if they could not be thought to be new built, but onely re∣pair'd. Here the beautifying and en∣largement of the great Cirque makes it so proud and lofty, that it dare chal∣lenge and vie with any of the best dedi∣cated Mansions of the Gods: It is now Page 103 a place fit for entertainment of the Con∣querours of the World: Nor is the place it self a less ravishing sight, than the most gaudy of those shews, that are there exhibited. Yet to view and admire the Architecture is not more delightfull, than to see that the Seats allotted to Prince and people are of the same level, all equal and uniform, no difference nor distance observ'd, no chair of State assign'd for the Emperour, he can now no more claim any one particular place, than he can engross the whole shew. Your subjects therefore have now as good a prospect, as your self; nay they feed their eyes on you, as well as on the sports: For you are not pent up in a box or litter, but sit open and unconfin'd among the rest of the spectatours, the rest of the people, the people, for whose reception you have added five thousand benches: For you knew their greater numbers would now take up more room, being advanc'd by the encouragement of your Largesses, and by the same hopes of your bounty still invited to encrease their samilies, to multiply their offspring.
Page 104 52. If any former Prince had been thus generous, his head should have been encircled with rays of divinity, his shrine of Gold or Ivory had crouded in among the Gods, his Altars should have been gaily deck'd, his Victims fat and costly. Whereas you come not into our Temples to receive, but pay devotion: The highest honour your modest Statues claim is to wait at the outer porch and entrance, and there to stand (as it were) Centry for the Gods. Hence are the Deities more profoundly ador'd by men, when they see that an Emperour, though never so Majestick, will not presume to en∣croach Heaven, or to intrude among the number of Gods. Of your Statues therefore we see but one or two, and those of mean brass, plac'd at the out∣side of the Capitol; whereas but a little while since, every passage, every ascent, every corner of the Temple was deck'd or rather defil'd with cast gold and sil∣ver, when the shrines of the Gods were debauch'd with the intermixed Statues of an incestuous Prince. However your few brazen ones stand inviolate, and will so remain as long as the Temple it self Page 105 endures, while theirs of gold and such like pretious materials are, all the legions of them, rudely batter'd down, and made a sacrifice to publick joy. It was a sport and pastime to humble those exalted heads, to make them prostrate and kiss the ground, to maul them with hammers, to hew them with hatchets, as if at every stroak bloud and pain had been to follow. None was so moderate in the venting of his raptures, none so sober in his overflowing joys, but that he thought it a luscious piece of re∣venge to see their mangled limbs, their dissever'd joynts, and finally their grim and ghastly images devested of all their borrow'd Majesty, and thrown into the flames to be melted down into better use and service. With the like piety, Caesar, you will not permit us to make any return of thanks for our obligations to your sacred Genius, but order us to direct the Address onely to the high and mighty Jove: What we owe to you, we must pay to him, though to him no otherwise due, than as you, the dispenser of all other gifts, were your self indeed a gift of his. Whereas formerly numerous herds of sacrifice were drove in such shoals to the Capitol, Page 106 that the common roads were two nar∣row for their passage, and they were forc'd to hurry them through bye-lanes and allies to reach the place allotted for their slaughter, where the thirsty Altars of our * Imperial Lord God were be∣dew'd with as much bloud of Beasts, as he had shed of Men.
53. Whatever (my Lords) I have or shall deliver in reflexions upon former Princes, it is done with this honest intent to shew how much our Prince has improv'd the Morals, and better'd the condition of preceding times: And indeed praises are never well drawn, or set off to due advantage, except when shadow'd by comparisons. Nay it is one part of the duty of subjects toward the best of Emperours to ex∣claim against those, who were most unlike him. For indeed they never enough revere good Princes, who do not detest the evil. Besides, there is no greater instance of our Emperour's high deserts, than that under his Reign it is safe and allowable to inveigh against so many of his Predecessours, as were unjust and Tyrannical. We cannot yet forget, nor without abhor∣rence Page 107 remember, the late cruelty on Nero's * Freeman. Can we think he would have suffer'd his actions to have been censur'd, who so zealously reveng'd his death? He did wisely indeed to stifle all reports; for he might well have interpreted that to have been spoke of himself, which was spoke of one so nearly like him. Therefore this one vertue (Caesar) I must needs com∣pare, nay prefer, to all your other, that we have now liberty to vindicate our selves of oppressive Emperours for past grievances, and by their example to admonish future Princes, that there is no place, no time, wherein the ashes of bloudy Tyrants shall not be rak'd out, and expos'd for the trampling sub∣ject of curses and reproach. Therefore (my Lords) since we can as freely utter our complaints, as we do our joys, let us as well murmur at what we once suffer'd, as triumph at what we now enjoy: We may doe both indifferently under a good Prince. Let this be the Subject of our whispers, and of our louder acclamations, of our private discourse, and more publick harangues: Remembring that the present Prince is then best commended, when his ill de∣serving Page 108 Predecessours are most lash'd and chastis'd. And on the contrary when∣ever the times are cautious of smartly animadverting upon wicked Princes, it is a shrewd sign that the present is as bad, as were the former.
54. What greater stretches, what farther improvement of flattery could have been then made, when the dau∣bing Encomiums of Emperours were the main subject of Plays, Banquets, Drolls, Dances, and were apishly canted forth with all the bussoonery of ridiculous voice, garb, and gesture? Nay it was yet a greater scandal, that they were tickled with praises in the Senate, as well as on the Stage, by the graver Consul, as well as by the jilting Actour. But far from such prosanation have you remov'd these mock vanities. Therefore not thick, and luscious bombast, but serious Remarques, and the eternal me∣moires of impartial history will deliver down your name, and embalm your memory. While the more silent the Scenes and Stages are, the more shall the Theatres themselves resound your glory: That glory which your coldness to accept does the more enflame: For Page 109 of those honours, which we offer, and would almost obtrude upon you, some you admit of with a great deal of re∣luctance, and others you entirely refuse. Formerly there was nothing so vulgar, nothing so trivial debated in Senate, but that all, who were ask'd their Vote, must have usher'd in their answers with a glossy harangue upon the Prince. The business of the great Counsel was perhaps nothing more weighty than to advise about encreasing the number of gladiatours or incorporating some com∣pany of Mechanicks, or such like petty trifles: And yet as if the bounds of the Empire were enlarg'd, and some mighty exploit perform'd, we built in honour of the Emperour prodigious triumphal Arches that would overtop the very Temples, and we some time dedicated so many months, two or three perhaps at once, to be new nam'd from, the Titles of the Prince: While all this they not onely by connivence admitted, but seem'd to challenge them as their right and desert. But now which of us diverts from the cause in agitation, and falls to an unseasonable descant upon the Prince? It is a re∣solute modesty in you not to hearken Page 110 to flatteries, and since they are so custo∣mary to bestow on Princes, it is a boldness in us to dare the forbearance of them. We now meet in Senate not to fawn and be basely fulsome in our compliments, but to be intent on the concerns propos'd, and faithfully dispatch the business of the consult. To your candour and integrity we owe, that you never dissemble, but we can trust and believe that you heartily ap∣prove those things, you allow, and as reasonably dislike whatever you con∣demn. We there begin, we there end our consultations, where under another Prince it was lawfull neither to begin nor end. Some of your Predecessours, it is true, were so modest in pretence, that they would not accept those ho∣nours, we decreed for them, but there was none so self-denying, as not to take some satisfaction in their being decreed. Whereas your disrelish of the offer, as well as shame of acceptance, is so signal and unparallel'd a vertue, that it adds more to your glory, than all the most specious Titles. While your name becomes hereby transmitted to future ages, not engrav'd on Marbles, and bulky Pillars, but treasur'd up in Page 111 the more lasting memorials of Books and Annals.
55. The report will reach down to the longest ages of the World, that there was once a Prince, who in the height of glories, the midst of triumphs, had usually none, or if any, those mean and sparing honours conferr'd on him. And indeed if we should designedly lay out for glittering trophies, for lofty titles, we must needs fall short of the more copious vein of former times: For dissimulation in this respect is far more ingenious than truth; slavery than free∣dom, fear than love. Beside, all inven∣tion being long since drawn dry by the strains and efforts of flattery, we can find but one fresh and unsullied, but one unpresidented, honour to bestow on you, and that is to dare to say nothing. Yet if our transports of Loyalty do sometime break silence, your modesty yields, and some part of our offers you gratiously receive, to give proof that it is not out of pride or disdain you wave the highest honours, since you can sometime stoop to accept the lowest; and this (Caesar) argues more of discre∣tion, than if you refus'd all, for to re∣fuse Page 112 all would savour of surly pride or ambition of being thought above them, but to comply with an acceptance of the smallest imports much of goodness, much of moderation. By which frugal temper you are both a friend to us, and a good husband to your own Exchequer, for you hereby limit the expences there∣of not draining it in vain projects to be replenish'd by extortion from the inno∣cent. Your Effigies therefore are of the same cheap materials with those, which have been dedicated to private persons, in gratitude for some eminent meriting of the publick. Your Statues (though a Caesar) are now, but of the same vulgar metal with the Bruti and Camilli: Nor indeed does the occasion of them much differ; for they expell'd Tyrants, and drove a victorious enemy from our walls; you have quell'd and for ever banish'd Tyranny it self, and all the heavy effects of a slavish yoke, and have so setled the Prince, that there is no room for the Tyrant. But when I reflect on your wisedom and judicious conduct, it seems no longer strange, that you should disown or moderate these brittle and fading titles; for you know wherein the firm and immortal glory Page 113 of a Prince consists: You know what goes to the making up those honours, which no rage of flames, no teeth of time, no envy of Successours, can ever fully or eclipse. Arches and Statues, nay Altars and Temples, though never so magnificent, oblivion will soon shroud and interr, posterity will censure or for∣get. Whereas he, that can triumph over his own ambition, he who makes a conquest of his own will and passions, his fame shall still encrease with the rolling years, and his praises be rehear∣sed by those, who must needs be im∣partial, succeeding generations. Far∣ther, there be no Monarchs, but that their memory, either good or bad, will be sure to pass down to future ages. A Prince therefore must not barely covet that fame, which is eternal; for that he cannot avoid, but he must provide for that, which is good, and commen∣dable: And this is to be procur'd, not by Monuments and Statues, but by vertue and desert. For after all those other trifles, the shape and figure of a Prince can never be so lively represented in gold or other metal, as in the hearts of his subjects, those inward tables, where it is your happiness (Great Sir) Page 114 to be deeply engrav'd. Your Majestick air, your becoming aspect, being legibly imprinted in the tongues, eyes and very souls of all your people.
56. I suppose your Lordships have observ'd, that I stand not to make choice of what heads I deliver, having resolv'd to praise the Prince, not his actions: For even the bad may doe those things, that are justly commendable, but the Actours themselves can never be prais'd, unless completely good. Therefore Dread Sove∣reign, there is no glory adorns you more, than that in the presentment of our thanks, we have nothing to conceal, nothing to omit. For what stain or blemish is there in your whole Reign, which any speaker need palliate or sup∣press? What minute, what moment, of time has been a barren Theme for praise, a fruitless camp of glory? All your designs so accurately modell'd, all your actions so illustrious, that he seems best to commend them, who does but faithfully recite them. Hence is it that my speech has already swell'd to this proportion, and yet I have dispatch'd but your first two years. How much have I already said of your moderation, Page 115 and yet how much have I yet more to say? As that of your undertaking a second Consulship, when thereto appoin∣ted by your Princely Father: And this you did merely in obedience to his com∣mands; for when the Gods had trans∣ferr'd to your shoulders the Sovereign Power, and you were thereby come to a disposal of your self, as well as to the management of an Empire, you refus'd a third Consulship, though your happy acquitment in the two former so well accomplish'd you for another discharge of that office. It is great and generous to wave Authority, greater yet to wave that, which would be certainly attended with renown and glory. Which should I most admire, your Consulships executed, or your Consulship resus'd? Executed, not in a soft repose at Rome, not in the dull intrigues of peace, but among barbarous Nations, amidst the toils of War: As those Primitive Heros, who from Consuls commencing Gene∣rals, exchang'd their Gown for a Cloak, and so march'd to far distant Lands to discover, fight and conquer. It was ho∣nourable for our Empire, glorious for your self, that our Allies and Confederates saw you dispense justice in their own Countrey Page 116 and their own doors. The meen and pre∣sence of a Consul must needs have then commanded an awe and respect, when his Tribunal was erected in the open Camp, and his person guarded not onely with the rods and axes, but the more solemn attendance of Piles and Ensigns. The Grandeur of the Judge was enhanc'd by the diversity of Petitioners of all climes and languages, few being able to express themselves without the help of an Interpreter. It is noble to prescribe Laws to your subjects, how much more to your enemies? It looks big to hear Causes in the peacefull Forum, how much more Stately and terrible to place the Ivory chair on the wide Cam∣pagne, and there to distribute justice, where you so lately shew'd your valour. It might in peace be safe and hazardless to encamp upon the banks of the Rhine or Danube, but how bold, how Heroick is it to despise the sury of Barbarians, to check and repress their daring attempts, not more with the glittring of Arms, than with the awe of Gowns? Nor did our Legions reverence your picture onely drawn in their Shields and En∣signs, but had you in Person, and with joy full acclamations to your own face Page 117 proclaim'd you General, a name which others might deserve from the conque∣ring, but you alone from the despising, of the enemy.
57. Thus did you merit in the Exe∣cution of your first and second Consul∣ships, and this farther do you deserve for the adjournment of your third, that being newly advanc'd to the Empire, you thought you might be excus'd from any other encumbrance, and were far from the desire of additional honours: you refus'd therefore that office, when yet some of our Emperours have been so greedy of it, as to thrust themselves in after the putting by those, who were regularly Elect. Nay there was * one, who toward the end of his Reign was so eager for the place that he turn'd out a Consul when his year was just expi∣ring, and seiz'd the short remainder. This honourable office therefore which former Princes, both at the entrance and exit of their Reigns, have been so fond of, that when fairly supplied, they have encroach'd and wrested themselves into, this you, when vacant, pass by, and leave for the discharge of private subjects. Was it that you thought it in∣vidious Page 118 to allow Trajan a third Consul∣ship, or the Prince a first? As to your second, we know you were a General, when preferr'd to it, yet under the au∣thority of a Royal Master; and therefore in this you can challenge to your self nothing of honour or example, save that of loyalty and obedience. In this City, which has seen the same men five or six times Consuls, not such onely, who in our declining liberty usurp'd the ho∣nour by force and violence, but those, who, when retir'd and absent, were e∣lected without their ambition, without their knowledge: In this very City do you the Monarch of the World reject a third Consulship, as too great, too in∣vidious. Can a mighty Coesar, an Em∣perour, a Father of his Countrey be more moderate, than the Papirii or Quintii, who though not over ambi∣tious to procure, were yet proud of, this honour, when conferr'd on them? But, you'll say perhaps, the occasions of the Commonwealth requir'd their repeated advancements: Well but were not you invited by as many urgent occasions of the Commonwealth, of the Senate, nay of the Consulship it self, which seem'd sensible that your Page 119 acceptance of it would leave a lustre and glory to the place for ever?
58. I would not encourage you to fol∣low his * example, who by a continued Consulship made a kind of prolong'd and undistinguish'd year: Yet when∣ever you undertake this charge, I can justly compare you with those best of your Predecessours, who have supplied it not to advance or interest themselves, but to serve and oblige the publick. There was in the Senate one, who had been thrice Consul, when you refus'd the third Consulship: An insufferable affront indeed our votes would have impos'd on your modesty, that you the Prince should be as many times Consul, as one of your subjects; this would have been too excessive a strain of bashfulness, had you even been but a private person. Before your ascent to the Empire, while the Son of a Consular and triumphant Father, had you been created Consul, you must have serv'd out the employ, nay it would have seem'd the reward of your merits, and sutable to your noble birth: Whereas now though so much better qualified, and more deserving the honour, yet private persons are allow'd Page 120 to open the year, and from their names to give a date and computation to the Calendar. And this indeed was an in∣stance of our liberty restor'd, that not the Prince but a fellow-subject was our Consul. Thus when the last of Ty∣rants was expell'd, the year ran free and unshackled from arbitrary sway: Thus when we were redeem'd from slavery our Calendar commenc'd with the names of private men. Wretched am∣bition was it in those Emperours, who would continue their Consulship as long as their Reign: Though perhaps it was not ambition more than envy and ill nature to engross every year to themselves, and not to lay down their ornamental badge, the Purple Robes, till sullied, defac'd, and quite worn out. Which shall I most admire in you, your magnanimity, your modesty, or your bounty? It was magnanimity to abstain from an honour so much affected by others, it was modesty to wave the acceptance, and it was bounty to let others enjoy it.
59. But it is now time so far to oblige the Consulship as by a voluntary management of it to improve its credit Page 121 and reputation. For if you always stand out, it may have a sinister inter∣pretation, and be well suspected that you think it too mean, and beneath your Grandeur. It is certain you resus'd it rather because you thought it above you, yet will none be induc'd to believe so, except you can be prevail'd on at last to comply. When you excuse your self from triumphal Arches, from Tro∣phies, and from Statues, we may afford to pardon your modesty, because those indeed are bestow'd on your self with∣out any appendage of benefit to others. But we now entreat on a publick ac∣count, that you would set a Predecent to future Princes, to renouce an unactive ease, to adjourn interrupting pleasures, to awake from the slumber of Court debauches, and for some small time at least fairly to put on that Purple, which their Predecessours have stole back to themselves after they had conserr'd it on others; let them regularly mount that Seat of justice, which they should guard from Usurpers, let them approve them∣selves in conduct, what they affect to be in title, nor any longer desire to be Consuls onely for the name and shadow of honour. You have discharg'd a se∣cond Page 122 Consulship I know, but the pru∣dence of it was experienc'd not by Rome, not by us, but by your Armies, by your Provinces, by remote and foreign Na∣tions. We have heard indeed that you fail'd in no one point of the office of a Consul; but, alas, we have onely heard so: It is reported indeed that you were most just, most gratious, most patient, yet is it all report: It is not fit we should always resign up our faith to a spreading fame and rumour; but let our own experience, our own eyes at last confirm the hearsay. How long shall we admire what was at a distance per∣form'd? Give us to make a nearer proof whether that second Consulship has raised you into conceitedness and pride. One intervening year may have great influence on the Morals of men, much more of Princes. It is common∣ly deliver'd, that the vertues are so con∣nexed that he who has really one, must needs have all. Yet we desire to expe∣rience once more, whether a good Con∣sul and a good Prince are one and the same thing: For besides the difficulty of managing two separate, and yet both Sovereign Powers, there is likewise some diversity in the powers themselves, Page 123 since with allowance to the character of each, that action might well become a Prince, which would be improper, per∣haps absurd in a Consul.
60. I am sensible that the main reason you could object that next year for re∣fusal of the Consulship, was because you could not fairly discharge it in your ab∣sence. But being now return'd to the City and restor'd to our eager wishes, what farther cause can be alledg'd, why you should not satisfy our importunities, and let us taste those blessings, we are so im∣patient for. It is beneath you to come into the Senate, unless you have Power to assemble it; to be present at their debates except you sit Judge of them: Or to hear them vote and canvass, unless you are to determine, and confirm their re∣solves. If you would have that tribunal of justice, the Consul's Chair, restor'd to its pristine Splendour and Majesty, grace it with your presence. If you would preserve inviolate a respect to the Magistrate, a vigour to the Laws, a re∣straint to Offenders, be you the sole dispenser of right and justice. As it would be very odd in you, if a private person, to be our Consul without being Page 124 Senatour, so it is altogether as unseemly to be our Prince without being a Consul. With these weighty reasons after long strugling was our Prince's modesty at last overcome: But how overcome? Not to debase himself to an equal level with private men, but to advance pri∣vate men to an equal pitch with himself. He accepted the third Consulship, that he might countenance others being thrice Consuls. He knew their reluctan∣cy, he knew their bashfulness, that they would not presume to be a third time Consuls, except as Collegues with one, who was so. This signal mark of honour has been but very seldom allow'd, and then not onely to Fellow-Generals, and partners of sweat and danger; but this have you conserr'd on persons of obscu∣rer note, who have serv'd you indeed stoutly and loyally, yet as wrapt in the peacefull Gown, never as engag'd in the broils of War. Their faithfulness, their integrity you are willing to think your self oblig'd to recompence: Yet few Princes care to own an obligation, or, if they own it, can yet seldom affect the person, who bestow'd it. Whereas you, Coesar, both confess the kindness and repay it. Therefore when you made Page 125 that last pair a third time Consuls, you did it not so much to acquit your self a mighty Prince, as to approve your self a gratefull friend. Nay by the greatness of your bounty you seem to improve and augment the past services of your subjects: For they are apt to think that their own merits bear some proportion to your rewards, and so judge the one more considerable, be∣cause the other are so magnificent. What Prayers can I make for so generous a Donour, but that you may ever oblige, ever be oblig'd, and leave it doubtfull, whether it be more advantage to your subjects to have done kindnesses to you, or to receive favours from you.
61. Methinks I view'd the Senate in its ancient Splendour, when I saw one thrice Consul sitting President, and first asking the suffrage of those, who were a third time design'd Consuls. How bright was their honour, how much more out∣shining was yours? It happens una∣voidably that bodies vast and losty, when evershadow'd by those that are more exalted, shrink in appearance, and seem the less for the others greatness: So the most Eminent of your subjects Page 126 compar'd with your overtopping Gran∣deur are humbled into a loss of their wonted height, and the more nigh they would aspire to your elevation, the more visibly they slide from their own. Yet even those you could not rear to an equal pitch with your self, you have at least so far advanc'd, that they as much overlook others, as you do them. If in this your third Consulship you had made but one thrice Consul with your self, it had argued a great and communica∣tive soul. For as it is an argument of happiness to have as much power as will, so is it of goodness to have as much will as power. He is to be commended, who merited the third Consulship; but he more, under whom it was merited. He is great and remarkable who received such a reward of deserts, but he much greater, that bestow'd it. But thinking it too scanty to have admitted a single person onely to a share of this dignity, you made two several Collegues to your sacred self. So that beyond doubt this was the sole reason of your conti∣nuance in the office longer than the usual time, that you might have two Successive Partners, and bear your turn of Government with them both. Each Page 127 of these had discharg'd his second Con∣sulship under your Royal Father, but how much less honourable that, than now under your more auspicious Reign? Their just resigned fasces seem'd yet in their sight, their lately dismiss'd Lictors seem'd still to echo in their Ears, when they were reinstated in their chair, re∣endow'd with Purple. So of old, when an Enemy was upon the assault, and our Republick alarum'd with the un∣expected danger, they Elected such per∣sons as the office had before experienc'd and consulted the security of the publick so much more than the honour of the elect, that they seem'd not to restore the men to their Consulships; but their Consulships to the men. Such is the efficacy of your goodness, that what before was the effect of necessity, is now the result of a free and unforc'd bounty. They had just put off their Purple Robes, they must on with them again; the Lictors were but now discharg'd, they must be again retain'd: Their friends were scarce got home from their visits to Congratulate and joy them, when streight they must return and repeat the Ceremony. Was this a goodness less than divine, was this but a humane Page 128 power, to make so quick a repetition of our joys, to revive our hopes when but just expir'd, to give no respite to our Congratulations, nor to suffer a longer interval of reassuming the Consulships, than the very instant time of Resigna∣tion? Thus may you ever doe, nor in such a course may your soul or your fortune ever faint or tire. May you give third Consulships to many, and when you have given them to many, may there yet remain many and many more, who shall as well deserve them.
62. In all favours that are impartially bestow'd as an encouraging reward to merit, the content and satisfactïon is not greater to the present Receivers, than it is to all, who are, or may be, alike deservers of them. So in the disposal of these Consulships the joy was not confin'd to the particular mem∣bers thus preferr'd, but was communi∣cated to the whole Senate, who were as well pleas'd, as much oblig'd, as if the same honour had been conferr'd on every single man: For these they had the best opinion of, the greatest kind∣ness for, these had they unanimously chose for Trustees of managing and Page 129 retrenching the publick expences: And their being so much countenanc'd by the Senate made them the more endear'd to Caesar. We have had of late very frequent proofs that the judgment of the Senate was always oppos'd by that of the Prince: Nay there us'd to be no∣thing more fatal for the crushing and keeping back a rising man,. than for the Prince to suspect that he was popu∣lar and a leading man in the Senate: He always hated our Favorites, and to be even, we as seldom relish'd his. But now Prince and Senate take no other measures for their love than eminent merit, and strive to oblige most the most deserving. We agree in our sen∣timents of men, we trust each others character of them, and what is an argument of our united judgments and affections, we both like, we both love, the same. Therefore, my Lords, dare to own our inclinations, and openly profess your friends. You need not dissemble your good opinion for fear it be a prejudice to your selves, nor conceal your dislike lest it prove an advantage to others. Coesar allows or dissapproves the same with the Senate. While you are present, or even when absent, he Page 130 consults and advises with you: He made them a third time Consuls, whom your votes had so ordain'd, and he made them in the same order, wherein your wisedom did appoint. His generosity is either way to be admir'd, whether he love none so well, as those he knows we most respect, or though he may love some better, does at least prefer none before them. Rewards are pro∣pos'd to the aged, examples to the younger; all may own their acquain∣tance, and make their visits without secrecy or suspicion. Every one, who gives the highest respect, the freest wel∣come to the friends of the Senate, does with the same civility oblige the Prince, who accepts the honour done to good men as done to himself; and at the same time reputes it no glory to be greater than others, unless they also be great, who are to confess him greater. Go on, Caesar, in these honest resolves, and rest assur'd we so are, as common fame re∣ports us to be, from hence borrow your thoughts, from hence your estimate of us, and give no credit to those sly insi∣nuations, that entrap not those they are whisper'd against, sooner than those, who listen to them. It is safer to believe Page 131 all than some: For particular persons may both impose, and be impos'd upon; but none has deceiv'd all, all can deceive none.
63. I return now to your Consulship, though indeed there be many things preceding, which relate to it, and ought by way of Introduction to be first in∣sisted on. As namely that you appear'd at the assemblies for Election as a Can∣didate not onely of the Consulship, but of glory, immortality, and a fam'd example, which good Princes cannot but imitate, and even the bad must needs admire. The people of Rome beheld you in the solemn place of E∣lection, where you patiently attend to all those Ceremonies, which on this occasion are us'd, and are content to be made a Consul with the same customary rites as one of us. Which of your Prede∣cessours would ever condescend to doe this honour to the office, or to the peo∣ple? Did not some buried up in sleep, and overcloy'd with a yesterdays debauch, lie snorting till the news was brought up to their bed sides? While others in∣deed set up and watch'd, but within the walls of their own Chambers, where Page 132 they plotted and contriv'd the banish∣ment of those very Consuls, who de∣clar'd them their Successours. O vile ambition and degenerate from the true spirit of Majesty, to covet that honour you so much disdain, to disdain that honour, you so much covet! And when from your garden walks you could overlook the field of Election, yet to come no nearer to it, than if you were disjoyn'd by the broadest streams of the Rhine or Danube. Do you hate the bestowing of those votes, you are so impatient for? And content in your retirements to have the news of your Election brought, will you not at all appear in publick, nor allow to a free City so much as the liberty of dissem∣bling their joy? Lastly, during the whole time of Election must you needs so sculk and cloister your self up, as if the design of their meeting was not an agreement to advance you to the Con∣sulship, but a conspiracy to depose you from the Empire? Our Imperial Lords had this proud fancy, that they ceas'd to be Princes, whenever they stoop'd to doe any thing like ordinary Senatours. Yet many absented themselves not so much out of pride perhaps as fear, being Page 133 conscious of their whordoms and incest, they durst not presume to pollute the auguries, nor with their unhallow'd feet to tread such sacred ground. They were not yet flush'd on to that height of impiety, as in that spatious camp to defy all discovery of their villanies, and stand the eyes of men, and the acuter Gods. On the contrary your innocence your devotion prompt you to be pre∣sent, where the business of the State is dispatch'd, and the service of Religion perform'd. Other Princes have merited the Consulship before they receiv'd it, but you in the very act and manner of receiving.
64. All the trouble of Ceremony might have been spar'd, if you would have pleaded that exemption, you might have challeng'd as a Prince. And in∣deed it was so little expected, that the Assembly was just dissolving and going off, when to the wonder and surprize of us all, you come up to the Consuls Chair, and there offer'd to take the oath in that form, which was before unknown to Princes, except when they impos'd it on others. You see now how necessary it was you should not have Page 134 refus'd the Consulship, for we could never have imagin'd you would have done thus, had your refusal prevented the experience. I am amaz'd (my Lords) nor am I yet satisfied, whether I may credit my own eyes or ears, but am apt to question whether all be not a delusion, that I have heard and seen. An Emperour, a Coesar, an Augustus, a Pontifex Maximus, stood up before the Consuls feet, the Consul sate while the Prince himself was standing, he sate steady and unmov'd, as if he had been accustom'd so to doe: And thus sitting he administred the oath, which the Prince devoutly took, and loudly repeated these words, wherein he devoted his life and family to the bitterest curse of divine vengeance, if he violated that faith, which he now solemnly gave. Your glory (Caesar) is bright, and for ever uneclipst, whe∣ther succeeding Princes shall deviate from, or conform to, this great exam∣ple. What tongue can declare, what words can express, that you would doe the same when a third time Consul, as when the first: The same, when a Prince, as when a private man: The same when an Emperour, as when the Page 135 subject of an Emperour! I protest I know not which is more honourable, which more generous, that you did that for which you had no Precedent to fol∣low, or that, in loudly rehearsing what another more sostly dedicated, you fol∣low'd the precedent of that person, who prompted and read the form of oath to you.
65. In the Forum likewise with the same submission you paid obedience to the Laws, those Laws (Caesar) which were never hop'd, or indeed design'd to be obligations to Princes. But you would allow your self no greater ex∣emption, than one of us, though for this we could willingly afford you the larger allowance. This is the first time I ever heard, the first, I ever knew a Prince not above his Laws, but the Laws above their Prince. Caesar when Consul claims no higher privilege than others. He swears to an observance of the Laws in the hearing of the Gods, (and whom shall the Gods better hear∣ken to than to an appealing Caesar?) He swears in the presence of those per∣sons, who are to swear the same, and he is conscious that none ought more Page 136 religiously than himself to keep the oath, because none is more concern'd than himself in the ill consequence of breaking it. And therefore at the resignation of your office, you again swore that you had punctually perform'd your former oath. It was an act of resolution to make such a promise, and of integrity to observe it. To frequent so often the Courts of Justice, to repair to that Tri∣bunal, which the pride of former Princes thought scorn to approach, here to re∣ceive, here to lay down your dignity, how worthy your great self, how diffe∣rent was it from their customs who, when the Consulship had been mounted (or rather trampled upon) by them for a few days, grew weary and disclaim'd it by Edict? The same course they took for the convention of the Senate, the summons of Election, and the ta∣king of the oath, that the ordering of these latter might be answerable to the former, and they onely known to have been Consuls, because theirs, and no other, names began the Calendar.
66. I have not (my Lords) pass'd over the consulship of our Prince, but onely for some time deferr'd it, that I Page 137 might bring into one place all that con∣cern'd his oath. For we must not, as on a dry and barren subject, spin and vamp out the same topick of praise, nor be guilty of a dull tautology in the mention of one thing twice. How glorious was the dawn of that morning wherein your third Consulship commenc'd? When entring the Senate you address'd your self now jointly, then severally, encou∣raging all to reassume their sinking li∣berty, to take their respective shares in bearing up the drooping Empire, to a∣wake and be more intent on the publick good. All before you might perhaps give the same formal advice, but none before you was ever believ'd to be in earnest. There was yet floating in our eyes the shipwrecks of many noble Senatours, who when wheedled into a prospect of the greatest calm, were dash'd and sunk by an unexpected storm. For the smoothest Seas were not more treacherous, than the smiles of those Princes, who had so much of subtilty, so much of trepan, that it was more safe to have them profestly angry, than pretendedly well pleas'd. But where∣ever you invite, secure and courageous we follow and attend. You bid us use Page 138 our freedom, we accept the offer; you command us to speak our thoughts, we doe so: And our never having so done before was not a cold indifference, nor dull heaviness of temper, no it was a terrour, a fear, a slavish caution, a pru∣dential policy taught by dangers, that made us sit unconcern'd, and turn our eyes, ears and hearts from all regard to the gasping Republick. Whereas now supported by your hand, and relying on your gratious leave, we release our lips so long shackled up in slavery, we unloose our tongues so long bridled in with dread of mischiefs and dangers. You would have us be sincerely as you profess and advise; your encouragements would neither dissemble nor betray: You have no reserves, nothing of sly∣ness, nothing of treachery to gull the credulous, and at last to ensnare the contriver himself; for fraud was always repay'd in its own coin, and scarce was there ever any Prince deceiv'd, but he who had first deceiv'd others.
67. And that this was the genuine sense of our Princes instructions to us might be collected not more from his words, than from his manner of deli∣very. Page 139 How tuneable and well poiz'd was the cadence of every period? How unaffected was the truth of every sen∣tence! What an energy in his very accent! What an earnestness in his looks! What a confirmation in his eyes, habit, gesture, and the air of his whole body! He will therefore always be mindfull of what he encourag'd us to, and will be ready to acknowledge, that whenever we make use of that freedom he gave, we therein pay our allegiance, and observe but his com∣mands. Nor will he censure us for wavering or unsteady, if we exert that licence the present times allow, though he remembers we so lately did otherwise through fear and compulsion. We us'd to pray for th• security of the Empire, the safety of the people, nay for the preser∣vation of the Emperours, and for their sake, of the Empire. But now see how boldly we have alter'd the tenour of our prayers! In those petitions, which relate to a blessing on the Prince, we interpose this clause or condition, If he Govern well and for the benefit of all. These are prayers that deserve to be offer'd, deserve to be answer'd. The Republick (Caesar) by your own express order has Page 140 made a covenant with the Gods, that they shall keep you in peace and safety, while you keep your subjects so, and when otherwise, they shall withdraw their providence, recall their protection, and let you sink under a load of curses and imprecations. Other Princes wish'd and endeavour'd to survive the Repu∣blick; but you neither relish nor enjoy your own health, except attended with the common safety. You suffer no prayers to be made for you, except the contents of them imply an advantage to those that make them. And solemn∣ly every year you appeal to the Gods, desiring them to pass sentence, and de∣pose you, if you have ceas'd to be otherwise, than when they first preferr'd you. Thus with a spotless and unac∣cusing conscience you article with the Divine Beings to give you such pro∣tection onely, which you merit, know∣ing that they can best judge of your deserts. Do you think (my Lords) he does not oft recollect and meditate upon these his own words, I have deliver'd a Sword into the hands of the Captain of my Guards, with a command he should draw it against me, if I act contrary to that duty, I owe the publick; nor do I Page 141 deprecate the anger of the Gods, or so much as wish for their connivence, if I incense their justice, or willingly provoke their vengeance: Nay I am heartily content my subjects, if by me opprest, should make me no vows of allegiance, or when made, if by me injur'd, let them be absolv'd from the obligation of them.
68. It is therefore (Caesar) by the Gods express consent that you are shel∣ter'd from all mischiefs, and securely guarded with health and peace. For when you petition the Gods should protect you no longer, than you Govern well, you are sure you Govern well, because they yet protect you. Hence we pass the day in mirth and profoun∣dest quiet, which distracted other Prin∣ces with perpetual alarms of doubt and suspicion: While now rack'd with jealousies, then tortur'd in suspence, still fearing we should not long en∣dure the galling yoke, they expected every minute to hear of mutinies and revolts; and if any wind or weather had detain'd those messengers that were in their road from distant Provinces, they dreaded what their conscience had Page 142 assur'd them they deserv'd, and imme∣diately concluded a Rebellion was be∣gun. Nor did they suspect onely some few designing men, but were constrain'd to be jealous of all alike: For when by an evil Prince every one of more worth than himself is fear'd as an en∣croaching Successour, there being none, but worthier, there can be likewise none, but such who are an object of his fear. But your security is fix'd and stable, no delay of Couriers, no detain∣ment of Paquets, can suspend or interrupt it. You know all are bound by oath to obey you, because you have bound your self by oath to defend them. Nay there is none, but what is conscious that to pay his duty is to purchase his advantage. We love you indeed for your deserts, yet after all we love you not more for your sake, than for our own. For really there is a selfishness in our subjection, nor is there any one day wherein our prayers for your long life are not grounded upon interest, as much as upon Religion, or Loyalty. And indeed those Princes are a scandal to their dignity, who have any other ends of Government, than the welfare of that community they are set over. It is Page 143 observable that no Princes pump and pry into the secret thoughts of their subjects, but onely those, who are not belov'd. Whereas would the good be as searching, and attentive in this re∣spect as the bad, would you, Caesar, be as curious and inquisitive in this regard as your Predecessours, what joy, what comfort, what feeding satisfaction might you find in the recesses of every heart? What fine discourses of you might you hear among the Women and Children, even in places unfit for dissimulation or complement, their Kitchings and Chim∣ney corners? You would soon confess that they are more lavish of their good words in private, than they justly sup∣pose your modesty would allow them in publick. For though love and hatred be extremely distant, yet herein they conspire, that we express our love to good Princes most freely in those retire∣ments, where we most securely vented our hatred of bad ones.
69. Yet had you the open experience of our judgment and affections, as much as in your presence was possible to ex∣press, on that day wherein you so far cherish'd the hopes, and allaid the dis∣appointments Page 144 of the respective Candi∣dates, that you let no ones joy give occasion of grief to another. Those, who were elect, return'd in triumph, and those that miss'd came off with hopes, and a prospect of better success in their next attempts; so that many were to be Congratulated, yet none needed pity or comfort. You advis'd our young Gentlemen to seek out for preferment by a dependence on the fa∣vour of the Senate, learning them to hope for honours from the Prince by engaging the interest of his great Coun∣cil. Wherein if any wanted a Precedent, you propos'd your self to his imitation: A hard example, Coesar, that which none of the Candidates, nor of future Princes neither, shall be ever able to follow! For what Candidate is more observant of the Senate for one day, than you for your whole life, and more especially at that very time, when you presided and gave judgment of the Can∣didates? Has any other motive but your respect to the Senate induc'd you to offer preferments to our Gentry as a reward of their deserts, nay to confer them before they were fully deserv'd? So that Nobility is no longer eclipst, Page 145 but illustrated by the Prince. The des∣cendants from ancient families, the un∣degenerate issue of freeborn Ancestours Caesar does neither fear nor make afraid, but exalts them to early honours pro∣portion'd to the dignity of that race, they sprang from. If there be any branch, any remainders, of an ancient stock, he prunes and cultivates them to flourish, and grow up for the service of the Commonwealth. Great and good old names are retriev'd from that oblivi∣on, they lay buried in, and reinvested with honour and credit by that goodness of Coesar, which extends to the raising of new families, and to the preserving of old ones.
70. One of the Candidates had been Questor of a Province, wherein one of the largest Cities had computed their revenues, and setled the receipt of them in an easie method; the whole contri∣vance being manag'd by his care and conduct. Of this you thought fit to acquaint the Senate, and to move that the merits of it might be considered, For under such a Prince, whose vertues exceed the greatness of his birth, why should they be in a worse condition, Page 146 whose actions may ennoble their poste∣rity, than those, whose Ancestours have ennobled them? O generous and wor∣thy soul! May you ever thus encourage our Magistrates, and incite them to be qualified for their charge, not so much by punishments inflicted on the bad, as by rewards bestow'd on the good. Our youth by your influence is inflam'd, and takes a hot pursuit of those industri∣ous courses, which it sees are authoriz'd by your approbation. Nor can any be otherwise inclin'd, that knows there is nothing done abroad, but what you have a perfect account, an exact infor∣mation, of. It is of much use and ad∣vantage (Coesar) for the Governours of Provinces to be assur'd, there is laid up for their prudence and integrity, the greatest reward, the countenance and favour of their Prince. Acute and vi∣gorous dispositions, if not quite starv'd, have at least been extremely dash'd and disheartned by these uneasie, yet reaso∣nable thoughts, what motives have we to vertue or honesty? If we doe never so well, our Prince shall have no infor∣mation of it, or, if he have, will take no notice, no farther regard. This negligence or untowardness of Princes Page 147 by granting impunity to the evil, and proposing no encouragements to the good, deter'd not those from vice, nor incited these to ambition. But now if any happily acquit himself in the Go∣vernment of his Province, he is sure to be adorn'd with such dignity, which shall seem acquir'd by his vertues. The peevish enclosures are remov'd, and to all is laid open an unbounded field to honour and glory, wherein all may attain their laudable designs, and when attain'd may safely thank themselves, and repute them the effect of their own industry. You have likewise for the future redeem'd our Provinces from the fear of oppression, and the necessity of continual accusations. For if those, to whom the Provinces have paid their thanks and approbation, be hereupon countenanc'd and preferr'd by the Prince, this will have so good influence on the regulating of others, that there will be no need of complaints for the future. The Candidates will soon be sensible that nothing will so much promote their interest in the pursuit of a new office, as their industrious behaviour in a former. The good discharge of one employ is the easie procurement of ano∣ther, Page 148 and past honours bring on future. I would not have the Governour of a Province for a testimonial of his inte∣grity produce the hands of his favourites, or the shufling Affidavits of his crea∣tures and dependants, but the decrees of Colonies, the judgment of Corpora∣tions: That so Cities, Countries and Nations may have some influence on our Elections, and have their suffrages in some measure occur and intermix with ours. And thus the most effectual way of petitioning for a Candidate will be an Address of thanks to him from that Province, which he has lately ob∣lig'd by his good Government of it.
71. What a comfort, what a pleasing joy was it, for the Senate to see that at your putting up, or nomination of e∣very Candidate, you gave him a courte∣ous salute stepping down from your Royal Seat, as if you already meant to Congratulate his Success! Shall I more admire your civility, or condemn the stifness of those, who have render'd this favour the greater by making it so rare and unaccustom'd? While riveted and fast nail'd as it were to their Chairs of State, they would but just hold forth Page 149 their hands, and this too so slow and sparingly, as if a touch of that were a never to be deserved favour. Your good nature therefore presented us with an unusual sight, a Prince and a Candi∣date standing on even ground, and the fountain of honour not higher than those lesser streams, which slow'd from it. This condescension of yours was by the whole Senate applauded with these pathetick acclamations, So much the more great, so much the more August. And he indeed, who is already Supreme, has this onely method for a farther advance, to stoop and submit without being jealcus it will abate from his height. For there is nothing less im∣pairs the just Grandeur of a Prince, than a meek humility. Beside your civilities seem'd not more taking in themselves, than in your happy art of expressing them. Your eyes, your voice, your gesture were wholly employ'd to grace and set off your delivery, and yet as if you were not hereby at all diver∣ted, you omitted no one circumstance of any other occasional complaisance. When the names of the Elect were to be approv'd, you were one of the ap∣provers, while from the mouth of a Page 150 Prince came the suffrage of a Senatour. And we, who were formerly proud if the Prince would accept of our testi∣mony, are now oblig'd with his. But while you, Coesar, (the Oracle of worth) pronounc'd the men to be deserving, you made them to be, what you so adjudg'd them. Nor did you approve onely of their merits, but of the opini∣ons of the Senate, who were as glad to have their judgment confirm'd by yours, as the others could be to have their vertues ratifyed by your commenda∣tion.
72. While you pray'd that our E∣lections might have a happy event to us, to the Republick, and but lastly to your self: Ought not the order of this form to be inverted, and by an easie transposal of the words should we not implore the Gods, that all you doe, or shall doe, may be for ever prosperous, first to you, then to us, and the Republick: Or (to contract our devotion) to you alone, for in you is wrapt up the hap∣piness both of us and the Republick? There was a time (and that time too long) when the interests of Prince and People were divided, and the advantage Page 151 of the one was a prejudice to the other. But now we share with you in the same fortune, our good luck or disasters run parallel with yours, nor can we be any more happy without you, than you by your own consession could be without us. And had you thought that your safety was independent from ours, you would not have clos'd up your Prayers with this petition, That the Gods would so answer your requests, as you continued to merit our affections. So sacred in your esteem is the love of your sub∣jects, that you profess first to desire theirs, and not till afterward that of the Gods: Nay and are willing to be indulg'd by the Gods, onely on condi∣tion you are first endear'd to us. And really the unfortunate end of many Princes gives reason to believe, that those are seldom regarded by the Gods, who are not belov'd by men. It was hard to Commemorate these Prayers with a sutable return of praise, yet we attempted and did our utmost toward it. What ardour of love, what sparkling joy, what flames of passion did we ex∣press in our rapturous acclamations! It was the resounding echo, Coesar, not of our affections, but of your vertues, of Page 152 your deserts, which no flattery could ever invent, no terrour could ever ex∣tort. Whom have we so fear'd thus to dissemble, whom have we so lov'd thus to pretend? You have had experience of the necessity impos'd by slavery; when did you ever hear, or when your self declare any such hearty professions, as to be compar'd with these? Fear indeed oft whets the invention, yet after all betrays an unwilling mind. Wit squeez'd out by compulsion is of a far different strain from that which flows voluntary and unforc'd. The chearfull and the discontented have a style, at least a tone, peculiar to the humours they are of, and neither can possibly counterfeit without discovery. The miserable, have one dialect, the happy another, nay though the contents of their speech be the same, the circumstances of each are distinguishable from their voice and delivery.
73. You your self were a witness of our universal joy. We were so taken up with transport, that we had no leisure to mind our habit, no desire to be curi∣ous of our outward garb. Our houses ccho'd with peals of shouts, nor could Page 153 thickest walls exclude the piercing noise. To spread the taking news, every man was upon the wing, and flew from his own home, though in such a sort of ecstasie, that he was scarce sensible he did so. We did many things by choice, and many too by instinct, nay some by compulsion; for even joy in excess has a tyrannick power. Nor could your modesty impose any bounds to our exul∣tation; but the more you stifled our zeal, the more it flam'd: Yet not out of stubbornness, but necessity: For as it was in your power to give occasion to our joy, so it is beyond our own to set measures to it. You your self ap∣prov'd the sincerity of our joys by sealing them with your own tears. We saw your dropping eyes, we saw your blushing looks, and espied as much of bloud in your sace, as there was of modesty in your heart. While this en∣flam'd our zeal to pray, that you might always have the same cause to weep, the same motives to be out of countenance. To these benches (supposing they can answer) we'll put the question, whether ever they beheld the tears of a Prince? No, but a Senate in tears they have often seen. You have brought an in∣convenience Page 154 on future Princes, and laid a burthen on the posterity of your subjects: For the people will expect their Princes should deserve the like ac∣clamations, and Princes will take offence, if they do not hear them.
74. I can say nothing more proper, nothing more concise, than what was by the whole Senate so oft repeated, O happy you! Which we said not in respect to the plenty of your fortune, but to the largeness of your soul. And indeed it is no small part of happiness to be thought by others worthy of it. On that day, among many other pas∣sages, which with prudence and gravity were deliver'd, this more especially de∣serves remark, Believe us, nay search and believe your self. This we speak with a mighty confidence in our selves, but a greater in you. One may haply beguile another, but none can easily delude himself: Let him but rip open his own thoughts, and ask his consci∣ence, what he deserves, and he shall meet with neither flattery, nor conceal∣ment. This very method gains us credit with a good Prince, which made us but suspected by the bad: For they were Page 155 so conscious of their failures, that what∣ever professions we made of Loyalty, they could never be affected with them, nor believe they were hearty, and sin∣cere. Again, we pray'd the Gods might so love you, as you lov'd us. Who would be so prophane, if he were not assur'd that your kindness to the people is so great, that the favour of Heaven to you can ne'er exceed it? Farther we desir'd the God's, They would love us, as you did. Had we not therefore reason to bless our selves with this exclamation, O happy we! For who indeed can on this side humanity be more happy than we, who have no need to pray that the Prince may love us, but that the Gods would doe it so well as he does? Hence does this devoutly dispos'd City, which always paid a just deference to piety and religion, think that nothing can more advance her exalted bliss and welfare, than that the Originals would take pat∣tern of their image, and the Gods be pleas'd to imitate Coesar.
75. But why should I endeavour to enumerate all particulars? As if my speech could either contain, or my me∣mory recollect, what you, my Lords, Page 156 to rescue from all oblivion, have been pleas'd to insert in our publick records, and preserve in more lasting inscriptions on brass. To be recommended to po∣sterity in these monumental memoires was a favour formerly allow'd onely to the Orations of Princes, while our ha∣rangues were buried under that roof, where they were deliver'd: Nor indeed did they deserve to survive, they being such, as neither Prince nor Senate could justly glory in. But these now of ours are so well regulated, that to expose them to the open World, and deliver them down to future ages, will be agreeable both to the honour and inte∣rest of the Republick. First, that the whole Universe may be witness of our Loyalty, then, that it may appear we presume to commend the good, and, when occasion serves shall as freely dare to reprove the bad, and that not onely in their graves, but while life and reign do yet continue: Lastly, that we may by experiment evince, we would for∣merly have been as gratefull, but that we were thus unfortunate, as never be∣fore to have the same subject and op∣portunity of so approving our selves. But with what earnestness, what impor∣tunities Page 157 were we forc'd to solicite you, before you would comply to let our affections, and your deserts be publish'd? Though the transmitting them over to future ages would have this notable con∣venience, that Princes might hence learn how to distinguish between harangues unseign'd and counterfeit, and be oblig'd to you for the discovery. They may spare the trouble of seeking out new roads to a good reputation, they need onely not deviate from that, you have put them in: They need not study the cure of flattery, but take care onely to pre∣vent a relapse: They'll know what they ought to doe, and will know as well what they must expect to hear. Beside those prayers, wherein the whole Senate has joyn'd with me, what shall I pray more for the Senate it self, than that (your blessings, Caesar, implying her happi∣ness) may the same joy always, over∣flow in your heart, which in tears was strain'd through your eyes? May you love that day, and yet be the occasion of one more joyfull, may you deserve more and still hear more: For in our duty of thanks and praise we can onely repeat the same words, unless you supply us with new matter successively to proceed upon.
Page 158 76. How honourable, how Roman-like was it for the Senate, complying with your exemplary patience, to sit three days without intermission or ad∣journment, while you behav'd your self not as a Prince, but as a Consul? Every one started what questions, he pleas'd; Any one might dissent from another's judgment, or retract his own, and free∣ly advise whatever he thought would conduce most to the interest of the publick. All were in their turns con∣sulted, the votes of all were cast up, and not the first, but the best resolves were sure to prevail. Whereas hereto∣fore who durst speak, who dar'd so much as whisper, but those onely, who were first ask'd their opinion? The rest dissatisfy'd within themselves, and swel∣ling their undigested murmures, were forc'd to stifle their dislike, and with a relenting heart and discompos'd body let their silence pass for a consent. One alone by the dictate of the Prince pro∣pos'd what all the rest were oblig'd to comply with: Though they all and especially the first proposer privately disallow'd and condemn'd it: And no∣thing sure can be more displeasing than Page 159 what's thus extorted against the will of the major part, and yet pretended to be by the consent of all. Some Emperour perhaps out of respect to the honourable assembly might curb and restrain him∣self within the Senate house, but no sooner out, than he reassum'd the cha∣racter of a Prince, and with contempt disclaim'd his office of a Consul. But our Prince was so a Consul, as if he had no other title, and thought nothing be∣low himself, that was not below the dignity of that place. He appear'd in pub∣lick without any thing of troublesome pomp, without a burthensome train: He stop'd onely to consult the Augurs, and take instructions from the Gods. None was disturb'd, none was rudely thrust aside, there was so much freedom for the Passengers, so much civility in the Lictors, that a croud of strangers would oft stop the Prince and Consul. In a word, his procession was every way so modest and inoffensive, that we seem'd to have a primitive Consul reviv'd under the disguise of an Emperour.
77. He went often to the Forum, and as frequently to the publick meetings for Election, where he sate President as Con∣sul, Page 160 and took as much pleasure in de∣claring of the Elect, as he had before done in nomination of the Candidates. Those Candidates, who stood before his Curule Chair, as he himself had so late∣ly done before the Consul's, and there took the same oath which not long be∣fore had been taken by the Prince, who knew the Ceremony of it to be so so∣lemn, and the obligation so strong and effectual, that he would bind others with it as firmly, as he had freely en∣gag'd himself. The remainder of the day he spent in his Courts of Justice: And there what a devout esteem of equity and conscience? What a respect and reverence of the Laws! If any address'd themselves to him as a Prince, he corrected their mistake, by meekly answering he sate there as a Consul. The rights of other Magistrates, their privi∣leges or authority were not by him encroach'd nor impair'd, but often ad∣vanc'd. For he would remit many points from his own cognisance to be determin'd by the Pretors, to whom he was pleas'd to give the title of Collegues, not because it sounded popular, but be∣cause he really so esteem'd them; ac∣counting that place so honourable that Page 161 he thought a Pretor not unworthy to be the Collegue of a Prince. Farther, he was so constant and unwearied in his attendance on the Bench, that he seem'd even fed with labour, and refresh'd with pains. Who of us could have endur'd the same toil? Who undergone the same drudgery? Who would not be either unwilling or unable to serve out so laborious an employ? Though in∣deed it is but fitting, he should excell all other Consuls, who has himself the power of creating Consuls: For other∣wise his strength would be dispropor∣tion'd to his fortune, if he could bestow that office, which he could not manage. Nay when he makes Consuls, he in∣structs them in the duty of the place, and renders them sensible, that he under∣stands the nature of what he gives, and expects, nay provides, that they should be as apprehensive of what it is they receive.
78. From hence does the Senate more justly desire, and even with importuni∣ties little less than command, that you would accept the fourth Consulship. This was not a motion started in flat∣tery, but the offer of a serious intention, Page 162 and let your compliance satisfie that you believe us to be in earnest in a matter wherein the Senate can never beg, nor ever be reliev'd with a greater favour. For as other common mortals, so even Princes (though they write themselves Gods on Earth) must shortly resign a frail and borrow'd life. It is therefore their duty to contrive and endeavour to serve the Republick, even beyond the Grave in bequeathing them such monu∣ments of justice and moderation, which an able Consul has the best opportunies to erect. And since it is your intention to reduce and restore our liberty, what honour should you more affect, what title should you more often assume, than that of Consul, which was the first badge of your redemption from slavery? It has not less of Grandeur to be both Prince and Consul, than to be Prince alone. In your acceptance of this dig∣nity you made some allowance to the modesty of your Collegues, your Col∣legues I may presume to term 'em, be∣cause you your self impos'd that name, and would have others call them by it: They would not have the confidence to appear themselves in a third Consulship, till they saw you labouring in a fourth: Page 163 For it must needs have been too much for a subject, which a Prince should have thought enough. But you comply, Coesar, with our importunate desires, and are as charitable to our prayers, as the Gods are attentive to yours.
79. Your third Consulship no doubt contented you, but it makes us the more dissatisfied; your complete discharge of that does but whet us on to be more impatient for your being farther engag'd. We should have been more cold in our Address, if we had not already a proof of your deportment. You might have detain'd us from a past experience more tolerably, than you can disoblige us with a present repulse. How eagerly must we needs interrogate, Shall we see him again Consul whose abilities we are so well assur'd of? Shall he hear and return the same wonted expressions of mutual content and joy? Shall he again dispense as much satisfaction, as he receives? Shall he manage that publick Jubilee, which his deserts alone occasion? Shall he endeavour to re∣strain our affections, and yet, as for∣merly, not have power to doe it? Such a conflict between the Loyalty of the Page 164 Senate, and the modesty of the Prince must needs be glorious to both, which ever gains the victory or defeat. There will be joys I presume as yet untasted: For none can be so shallow as not to imagine his vertues will advance with his ho∣nour, and the oftner he is employ'd, the better will he still improve. Any other, if he had not quite enslav'd himself to debauch and luxury, would at least have tempered his labours with ease and re∣mission. But this, when he respites from the cares of his Consulship, applies him∣self to those of the Empire, and so di∣vides his thoughts on the concernments of each, that his being a Prince does not interrupt his acquitment as a Con∣sul, nor his being a Consul distract or impede his discharge as a Prince. We see him generous in indowing whole Provinces, and as free in relieving particular Garrisons. No difficulty in giving Audience, no delays of return∣ing answers: All are easily admitted, all as quickly dismist, nor are the Royal Gates any longer besieg'd with crouds of humble Petitioners, who must throng and tediously attend for en∣trance.
Page 165 80. Through the whole course of your judicial proceedings how gentle is your severity, and yet how uncheap your mercy! You sit not to enrich your own Exchequer, nor take you any other methods for your final resolves, than the impartial administration of justice. Those, who stand to plead be∣fore you, are not so solicitous of their own fortunes, as of your estimation; nor are they so much concern'd for what you determine of their cause, as for what you conclude of their Morals. How much like a Prince, how much like a Consul is it to reconcile divided Cities, to compose a fluctuating people, to quell their tumultuous humours by reason more than power, to redress the injurious Decrees of other Judges, and by repeal to undoe whatever was unjust∣ly done! In short, like the noblest of the Planets to have an eye over all places, an influence on all things, and like a God to appear and assist wherever invok'd! Such an almighty goodness is alone dispens'd by that great disposer of the Universe, when he pleases to look down on the humble Earth, and make the actions of us mortals a part of his Page 166 divine inspection: which is indeed a drudgery that you have now discharg'd him from; he may now confine his Providence within the extent of the hea∣vens, since in you he has appointed a Vicegerent, who can suffice for the concerns of this inferiour World: A Vicegerent, who exactly performs the pleasure of his great Master, and makes every succeeding day contribute to our benefit, and his own glory.
81. Whenever you have dispatch'd the exigencies of publick affairs, you make your very diversions but an ex∣change of labour. For what other re∣creation do you accustome your self to, than toilsome ones of swift walking, of hard riding, of scouring the Parks and Forests, of rousing the timorous game from their Dens of refuge, of breaking through woods and thickets, and visiting the Deities of those abstruse abodes? This was of old the Education of our youth, this their employ, this their pleasure. In this method were our future Generals train'd up, to contend in speed with the nimblest beast, in valour with the most couragious, and in strategeme with the most crafty. It was one sort of military Page 167 exercise in peace to clear the Countrey from the irruptions of wild beasts, and to rescue the husbandman's long hopes from the damages of a ravenous waste and spoil. Nay this sport was affected by those Princes, who would not be at the pains to prosecute it, so they usurp'd that pleasure, they were too lazy, to attain, by having beasts in some con∣triv'd Enclosures let out, as if in open field dislodg'd, and then shot and woun∣ded, as it by mighty art and wonderfull dexterity. But our Prince with a scorn of such poor shams spends more of sweat in pursuing than in killing of them, and takes as much pleasure in finding them out, as in running them down. If he chuse at other times to divert himself by water, he does not idly let his eyes float along with the streaming sails, but he manages an Oar, he sets hand to the Rudder, and contends with the stoutest Tarpolin to break a rising wave, to secure the tackle from a ruffling wind, and so with art and strength to cut through the toughest of resisting flouds.
82. How much different was the hu∣mour of that late * Emperour, who dar'd not trust the smoothness of the Page 168Alban lakes, or the shallow silence of the Port of Baiae, that could not endure the least motion of an Oar, but trem∣bled at every stroak they made! And therefore without disturbance of Sail or Oar, he was tow'd along by another Vessel, and so drawn like some sacrifice for religious expiation, which must be neither touch'd nor approach'd. A scan∣dalous spectacle to see a Roman Em∣perour tug'd along by another boat, as if a Captive drag'd in triumph. Nor did more distant flouds and foreign rivers scape this reproachfull sight: Danube and the Rhine were made acquainted with it, who rejoyc'd to be thus wit∣ness of our shame. It being no more a scandal to our Empire that this goodly project should be display'd on the Roman Coasts, on the Roman Seas, than presen∣ted on the banks of her enemy, that enemy, whose custome it is to slide along these waters when they are froze into Ice, and to wade, sail over, or swim cross them in all milder seasons of the year. But to return, I should not com∣mend your strength of body, or agility of limbs, if they were not set off with a stronger and more active soul, which the indulgence of fortune could never Page 169 effeminate, nor the temptations of Roy∣alty ever debauch into sloth and intem∣perance. So that whether the recrea∣tions of our Prince shall carry him to the Mountains, or call him to the Ocean, I shall ever much admire his body invigorated by exercise, and his joynts compact by labour. Those He∣roes, whom the Goddesses accepted of for husbands, were not more honour'd by their divine Marriage, than by these nobler arts of Hunting and Navigation. Now when the sports and most divertive pastimes of our Prince are so severe, how much more painfull must those pleasures be, which he takes in more serious con∣cerns! Those pleasures of the mind, wherein every one betrays his gravity, reservedness, discretion, and other such commendable qualities. Who so disso∣lute, as not to be seemingly eager and intent on whatever employs their ex∣pence of time? Right down idleness exposes all our infirmities, which the being taken up with any sort of business might prudently conceal. Have not ma∣ny Princes squander'd away their spare hours in Gaming, Riot and Excess, while their remission from cares was onely to be more intent on the worse Page 170 drudgeries of Vice and Debauchery?
83. Great fortunes are always atten∣ded with this inconvenience, that none of their actions lie hid, none undisco∣ver'd. The condition of Princes pro∣motes this unhappiness, and makes not onely their Palaces to be ransack'd, but even their bed chambers and very closets to be rissd and expos'd. But this, Coesar, turns to your advantage; for nothing can more illustrate your glory than to be throughly look'd into. Those ex∣ploits are admirable which you act a∣broad, nor are those performances a whit less famous which you exert within your own walls. It is honourable that you preserve your self from all infection of vice, it is more credit that you fortifie others against the like contagion. Nay, by how much harder it is to reform others than to amend our selves, so much the more commendable is it, that being your self the best, you have made the goodness of others to equal your own. Many otherwise of unsullied repute have miserably tainted their reputation by a Wise either too unadvifedly taken, or too tamely endur'd. So that a domestick infamy has blotted those, who had been Page 171 too illustrious abroad, and they might have been the greatest of Romans, if they had not been the unhappiest of husbands. But your Royal Consort is your glory and your ornament: Who more chast! Who more pious! Were a grave and reverend High Priest to make choice of a Wife, would he not chuse her or her equal, were it possible her equal could be found? Of all your Grandeur, how doth she claim a share in nothing but the content and comfort? How con∣stantly does she love, how devourly does she respect, not your power, but your Person? You are both but one soul united: Your State does nothing impair your familiar affections, and an exalted happiness has made no worse impressions on you both, than a sense and experience how well you can digest it. How modest is she in her Apparel! How frugal in her train! How discreet and decent in her Garb! The honour of this may perhaps redound to her Royal Husband, who sets the pattern, gives the instructions, and leaves to her the alone glory of a dutifull compliance. When she sees you march with so little of pomp, so lit∣tle of tumult, does she not her self pass with the less noise, the less solemnity? When Page 172 she finds you so accustom'd to walking, does she not imitate as far as the weak∣ness of her Sex will permit? These courses would become her, should you your self doe otherwise: But where you lead the way, where you are so exem∣plary, how ought she to conform as a Wife for your honour, and as a Woman for her own!
84. Your Royal Sister too, how doth she remember that she has you for her Brother? How does she copy after your integrity, your truth, your can∣dour? So that if any compare her with your happy Consort, from the prudent deportment of them both, he will find reason to doubt, which is the best foun∣dation for a vertuous life, to be well bred, which was the portion of the one; or to be nobly descended, which was the fortune of the other. Nothing is so apt to breed quarrels as emulation, espe∣cially in women, where it is oft begot by a nearness in alliance, fomented by equality, inflam'd by envy, till it end at last in the most inveterate spite and hatred. From hence it ought to be esteem'd the greater wonder, that two Ladies in the same Palace, of the same Page 173 Quality, should have no feuds, no con∣tention. They bear with each other, they never dispute the right of prece∣dence, and while both passionately love you best, they think themselves uncon∣cern'd, which of them you shall please best to love. They have the same in∣tentions, they take the same course of life: nay they are scarce distinguishable to be two different persons; for with one soul they imitate and closely follow your steps, and therefore they must needs have the same Morals, because both have exactly borrow'd yours. Hence a well manag'd moderation, and hence a security against all change of fortune; for those can never be in dan∣ger of falling, whose humility always keeps them down. The Senate offer'd them the Title of August, but to this they earnestly pleaded an excuse, either be∣cause you first refus'd the appellation of Father of your Countrey, or because they conceiv'd it more honour to be term'd your Wife, your Sister, than to be styl'd August. Though what motives soever induc'd them to a denial, they ever deserve to be, and shall ever be, so esteem'd, the more August, the more their modesty rejects that Title. For Page 174 what can be more commendable in Woman, than to believe that true ho∣nour consists not in aiery names, but in the solid judgment of the World, and so to raise themselves to dignifying epi∣thets by the very act of refusing them?
85. That good old comfort of the Primitive World, Friendship, was out∣dated, and quite shufl'd off the Stage, to make room for flattery, complement, and, what's worse than avow'd hatred, a pretence of love. Especially in the Courts of Princes it was so unfashiona∣ble, that the very name was a word of reproach. For indeed what friendship could possibly be contracted between Lords on the one hand, and slaves on the other? This blessing, Sir, have you bestow'd. You have friends, because you are one: And indeed it is this way of bribing that can alone procure them. For love cannot like other duties be im∣pos'd on subjects; there is no one passion more free, more voluntary, more im∣patient of the curb, or more resenting of ingratitude, if it meet not with a like return. A Prince may perhaps be unjustly hated, nay even hated by those whom he does not hate: But belov'd Page 175 he can never be, unless by those he loves. That you therefore love your subjects, is prov'd from your being belov'd by them: And what is the greatest ho∣nour, the whole glory of both must be confest your own, while being Superi∣our to all, you stoop to be equal and familiar with the lowest, and from an Emperour humble your self into a friend, though indeed you are then most of an Emperour, when as a Friend you Reign in the hearts of men. Nor is your pru∣dence less than your goodness herein concern'd; for since the fortune of Prin∣ces may in some exigencies stand in need of the friendship of many, it is their po∣licy to provide themselves many friends. May a belief of this ever attend you, may you keep as constant to this vertue, as to all your other: And may you always rest assur'd that hatred or ill will in a Prince is one of the poorest mean spirited humours, that possibly he can be guilty of. To be belov'd is the sweetest of humane comforts, nor is it less satisfaction to a generous soul to love: Both which you are so blest with, that you love most passionately, and are yet more passionately belov'd; first, be∣cause for many to love one is easier, Page 176 than for one to love many, and then you have such a faculty at obliging, that whomever you entertain a kindness for, he must be very ungratefull, if he make not a more ample return.
86. It is worthy our pains to relate what penance you impos'd on your self, that you might deny nothing to your friend. You parted with a most * Ex∣cellent man, one you lov'd and priz'd to the just value of his merits: You par∣ted with him as it were grudgingly and against your will, as if you would by persuasion, though not by force, have detain'd him. You made a trial by ab∣sence how much you should want him, and though to be separate was the most averse to your inclination, you yield be∣cause it was his request. An instance of good nature this beyond a precedent, that a Prince and his subject friend should have contrary desires, and yet the prince comply, the friend prevail. O generous selfdenial worthy an Eter∣nal Record, to chuse a Captain of the Guards not out of those, who thrust themselves on the place, but out of them, who declin'd it: And then again when tir'd with noise and hurry, to Page 177 restore the same person to those retire∣ments, he was call'd from: And when you your self lie under an uneasie pres∣sure from the encumbrance of an Em∣pire, not to envy another the enjoyment of quiet and repose. We are now made sensible (Caesar) how much we are in∣debted for your own toilsome and la∣borious Station, since you granted this weary Petitioner a Writ of ease, as the greatest favour he could ask, or you be∣stow. What a trouble and discomposure were you in, when you brought him on his way? For you would attend him to the Sea side, and there at his going aboard embrace and take your last fare∣well. Caesar here stands upon the en∣vious shore, and wishes his parting friend a happy voyage, and (if he him∣self so please) a quick return. Nor does he leave him so, but looks as long as distance will allow, and then follows after with Prayers, Sighs and Tears. I shall say nothing of your presents and rewards for his past service. For what bounty can equall this single kindness of permission and discharge, wherein you have so well deserv'd of him, that he ought to condemn himself as too blunt, too positive, in resolving a departure, Page 178 and doubtless he began to repent, and considered whether he should not tack about and return: Nay he had certain∣ly done it, if he had not suppos'd it as much happiness to be Loyal in distant thought and wish, as in a nearer Socie∣ty and converse. He gain'd much ho∣nour by the discharge of that preser∣ment, and a much greater by the resig∣nation of it; to which when you com∣plied, you shew, that your service is no prison, nor shall any man be confin'd longer, than he himself please.
87. This was generous and agreeable to the character of a publick parent, to enforce nothing, but always to remem∣ber, that no office can be so considera∣ble, but that the person endow'd with it may possibly prefer a disengag'd freedom. You are worthy (Caesar) to promote such to dignities as whose modesty will soon after resign them: And when they make it their petition to be excus'd, may you, though with reluctance, oblige them. May you not think your self abandon'd by those, who seem fond to retire; and for a supply of able Ministers may you still find those you can invite from, as well as those you shall remand to, a Page 179 privacy and solitude. You therefore who are the Princes more especial favo∣rites, whose friendship and familiarity he more designedly courts, improve that good opinion he is pleas'd to conceive of you, this ought to be your Province, this your duty. Neither envy nor be jealous that you are possibly less regarded than some others; for when by his more signal affecting of particular persons he has given proof that he can love intens∣ly, he is to be excus'd if he love some in a more remiss degree. However be assur'd that in your Loyalty toward him, there can be no mean observ'd, since you are not to prescribe, but onely fol∣low in his example the laws and mea∣sures of your love. This man would be caress'd when present, that esteem'd when absent, both shall have their will; none by residence shall grow cheap, none by di∣stance shall be forgot. Every one in all cir∣cumstances preserves that respect he me∣rits, and our Prince can sooner let his eyes loose the resemblance, than his heart for∣feit the memory, of his absent friend.
88. Many Princes, who have been Lords of their subjects, have been yet slaves to their own servants: Their Page 180 pleasure was a command, their advice a law, through their eyes passd all repre∣sentments, to their ears came all petiti∣ons, and by their llands were dispens'd all places of preferment. Whereas you indeed are courteous and obliging to your servants, yet still keep them at so due a distance, that it seems a compe∣tent reward for their industry, if they be but by your judgment approv'd honest and faithfull. And indeed nothing is more an argument of a weak Prince, than powerfull servants. First therefore you retain none, but such, who have best deserv'd by their Loyalty to your sacred self, or first adherence to your Royal Father. And these, when admitted to your service, you so exquisitely frame and mould that they learn to take mea∣sures of their fortune not from your condition of Supremacy, but from their own of subjection: While we pay them the much greater respect, because their modesty does less demand it. Was it not therefore upon just motives that the Senate and people of Rome conferr'd on you the sirname of Best? True, this Title has been before assum'd, but never till now deserv'd. For might the merits of any Prince have laidany tolerable claim Page 181 thereto, it had certainly been by publick consent assign'd, and not by a selfish ambition usurp'd. Had it been more proper to have stil'd you Happy? No, that had been a compliment to your fortune, not a Character of your vertues. Or had it been better to have entitled you Great? No, this had been an Epi∣thet of envy, more than of glory. An Excellent Prince adopted you into his own name, and the Senate has superad∣ded the name of Best, which is as justly your due, as that you derive from birth∣right: It being no more significant nor distinguishing to call you Trajan, than to call you Best. Thus of old were the Pisos sirnam'd frugal, the Laelii, wise, and the Metelli pious: Which several appellations are all compris'd in this one of yours; for he cannot properly be entitled Best, who excells not all others in every of their respective vertues. De∣servedly therefore, after many other Titles, was this annext, as of all the greatest. It is much less to be Empe∣rour, to be Caesar, to be Augustus, than to be of all Emperours, of all Caesars, of all Augustus s the Best. Hence is the Supreme Parent of the World ador'd first by the attribute of Best, and not Page 182 till secondly by that of Greatest. The more divine your glory, who are equally both the Best by far, and by far the Greatest. You have gain'd a name that never can descend, or be transferr'd to another: In a good Prince it will seem borrow'd, and in a bad it must appear usurp'd. Nay should each of your Successours assume it, it would after all be esteem'd peculi∣arly yours. For as the rehearsal of Au∣gustus reminds us of that person it was first conserr'd on, so a repetition of this name of Best shall always prompt po∣sterity to reflect on you, and whenever after they are compell'd to flatter others with this Title, so oft shall they recol∣lect, who first deserv'd it.
89. What joys, Divine Nerva, are you now crown'd with, that you see the event so well answer your hopes, that he proves to be the Best whom you elected under a prospect of his being so! What a comfort and contentment is it, that compar'd with this your Son you your self are infinitely excell'd! Nor indeed could any thing argue a soul more untainted with spite and envy, than that being your self so Excellent, you were not affraid of adopting one Page 183 whose brighter eminence should in some measure shadow and obscure your yield∣ing lustre. And you, happy Trajan, his natural Father (who if not promoted to the honour of a God, are at least ad∣vanc'd to the dignity of a Heroe) what a pleasure must it needs reflect to see him who, during your stay on Earth, was but a common Souldier, at best but a Tribune, now since your remove so great a General, so great a Prince! You seem to engage in an amicable conten∣tion with his adoptive Father, whether were more glorious to have elected, or to have begot, so illustrious a Son. Both of you do indeed equally (that is infi∣nitely) deserve of the Commonwealth, to which you are the occasion of so rich a blessing, who though he could bestow but the credit of a triumph on the one, and the glory of deifying on the other, yet are you both adorn'd by all his honours, no less effectually than if you your selves had merited them.
90. I know (my Lords) that as other Romans, so more especially the Consuls ought so to express their joys, as to seem more affected with the benefits conserr'd on the publick, than with any Page 184 interest resulting to themselves. For as it is more frequent, and indeed more just, to have ill Princes hated for common injuries, than for any private damage; so ought the good to be more respected and belov'd for their influence on the protection of mankind, than for any favours reach'd out to particular persons. But whereas it has been authoriz'd by custome that Consuls, after a presentment of the publick thanks, should in their own names return some acknowledge∣ment of their private obligations; give me leave to discharge this part of my duty not with more respect to my self, than to Cornutus Tertullus, my worthy Collegue. For why should I not address my thanks for him, in whose advance and interest I my self am equally con∣cern'd. Especially since our Severeign has made us joynt Partners in that ho∣nour, to which had he promoted but any one of us, our affections were so united, our friendship so inviolate, it had indifferently oblig'd us both. That ty∣rannick enemy of good men by the Se∣questration and Murther of our best friends had made us alike sufferers, while we still dreaded that Thunder, which often fell so near us. The same belov'd Page 185 acquaintance which we had great com∣fort of while enjoy'd, the same did we the more lament, when snatch'd from us: And as we have now the like re∣freshments of hope and joy, so had we then always one and the same occasion of grief and fear. The Divine Nerva was pleas'd to confer this reward on our past sufferings, that he would advance us to be Prefects of the Treasury, however less deserving, for an instance of the hap∣py change of times, wherein they were now honourably employ'd, who so lately wish'd for no more than a safe retreat.
91. We had not been full two years in this great and laborious office, when you Sir, (the best of Princes, the grea∣test of Commanders) offer'd us the Con∣sulship, making that most eminent of honours the more acceptable by our not being impos'd a tedious waiting for it. So much do you differ from those Princes, who conceiv'd that a difficulty of obtaining set a value on their favours; and that therefore preserments were al∣ways the more welcome, if the persons at last oblig'd with them had been first dismiss'd with excuses, and baited with delays, which were no less than a seem∣ing Page 186 repulse, so long, till their expectation was anger'd, and their hopes affronted. Our modesty forbids to recite what a Character you were pleas'd to give of us, how in our integrity and love to our Countrey you compar'd us with the best of Primitive Consuls: Whether deser∣vedly or no we dare not determine; for as it would be a scurvy complement flatly to deny what you ventur'd to affirm, so it would be an unbecoming confidence to own or assume what your good nature pronounc'd, but our merit no-way requir'd. Though indeed you are worthy to create such Consuls, who may rise up to that Character, and make the praises no longer a kind Hyperbole. Pardon us, Dread Sir, if among all your favours, we esteem this the most grate∣full, that you have again made us Col∣legues. Our engag'd affections, our agreeable humours, our united interest could have been concern'd in no greater blessing. And indeed our natural dis∣positions are so turn'd alike, that our friendship is more owning to our temper, than to our vertues, and we are born of such a sympathising judgment that either of us can no sooner dissent from his Collegue, than from himself. They are Page 187 not therefore slight and single joys, which our preferment gives us since each has a double share and enjoys as much his friends honour, as his own. They, who are Successively Consuls, have that dignity twice, but then it is at several times: Whereas we are twice Consuls in the same year, once for our selves and once for each other.
92. How remarkable was it that while we were Prefects of the Treasury you gave us the Consulship before you appointed our Successours? One dignity was endow'd with another, and our ho∣nour was not barely continued, but even doubled. And as if it had been too mean a favour at the close of one office to have remov'd us to another, your bounty prevented that occasion, and heap'd on us a new one before the former expir'd. So great was the con∣fidence you repos'd in our integrity, that you resolv'd it most convenient, af∣ter our acquitment in so publick a Sta∣tion, not to strip us of all employ, nor to reduce us to private men. Farther, you were pleas'd to assign us Consuls for part of the same year, wherein you your self had begun the office. The Page 188 Annals shall therefore record our names in the same roll with yours, and the remainder of the year shall bear date from us, as the beginning did from you. To doe us the greater honour you were pleas'd to sit president at our Election, and to perform those Ceremonies, which custome at that time has made requisite. We were made Consuls by your judge∣ment, and pronounc'd so by your voice: That you, who voted for us in the Court, might as well afterward declare us in the field. But what a more eminent act of grace was it, that you resign'd us the Consulship in that very month which was made glorious by your thrice happy birth! That we might have the honour to sign that Edict, and give order for those shews, which were to solemnize that memorable * day which took from us the worst of Princes, gave us the best, and brought forth a better than the best. We shall amidst this Jubilee ride trium∣phant in our Consular Chariot, and surrounded with those shouts and accla∣mations, that shall be echo'd at your appearance, we shall be even deafned with the vollies of noise, and distracted all around, not be able to determine from which side the louder peals alarm.
Page 189 93. But above all it exacts the grea∣test acknowledgment, that you will allow us a free and unstinted exercise of that authority, you have committed to us. No threats, no terrour from the Prince does either break our courage, or per∣vert our resolutions. Nothing shall be spoken against our wills, nothing de∣creed against our judgments. The just respect to persons so intrusted is kept sacred, and still likely to be inviolate; nor are we debar'd the liberty of secu∣ring our rights, if Majesty it self should attempt to encroach them. And there∣fore if the Consulship under our discharge lose any thing of privilege, it is the fault of us, not of the times. For as to the Prince, Consuls may be such as they were, while Supreme Governours, be∣fore the reduction of Monarchy. What answerable return of thanks can we make for all these favours, but onely to remember that we are Consuls, and Consuls of your creation! Let us there∣fore so debate, so enact as our Character requires. Let us so behave our selves, as if subjection to such a Prince were the most perfect state of liberty. Let us divide neither our Counsels nor en∣deavours. Page 190 Let us think our selves involv'd in the same concern, engag'd to the same duties, and let us purchase the same e∣minence in care and industry, which we justly claim in dignity and respect.
94. To shut up my discourse, I hum∣bly intreat those Guardians and Super∣visers of our Empire, the Gods, and more especially I beg of you Supreme Jove, that you would confirm those blessings, you have bestow'd, and make your favours the more endearing by a long and long continuance of them. You heard our imprecations against the worst of Tyrants, hear as readily our prayers for the best of Princes. We do not weary nor persecute you with devotion, we pray not severally for peace, for concord, for safety, for wealth, or ho∣nour, but all these are sum'd up in that single petition, which craves the preser∣vation of our Prince. Nor do we herein implore, what you are unaccustom'd to bestow. For you have shelter'd him under your protection ever since that time you snatch'd him from the talons of a griping Vultur. It was not without your pro∣vidence that amidst those storms, where∣in all that was high, was rudely shock'd Page 191 and batter'd, he who stood most exalted, escap'd all blast and tempest. He was unobserv'd by the worst of Princes, who could not be pass'd over by the best. You gave us a proof of your judgment of him, when you entitled him (in his march toward the Army) to your own name, your own honour. You, speak∣ing by your Representative the Empe∣rour, did adopt to him a Son, to us a Parent, and to your self a Pontifex Maximus. Wherefore with the more full assurance of being heard, I humbly pray in that form, which he himself prescrib'd, if he Govern well the Repu∣blick, and consult the good of all; first, that you would prolong his life, and de∣liver him down as one continued blessing to our childrens children: Then that you would give him a late Successour of his own loins, who should be as happy by birth, as he himself was by adoption, or if your providence deny this, be you of Counsel in his choice, and direct him to such a one, who may deserve to be a∣dopted in the Capitoline Temple.
95. How much I am indebted to your Lordships is Chronicled in our publick records. You have given me a creden∣tial Page 192 testimony of my peaceableness in the Tribuneship, modesty in the Pretorship, and constancy in that Province, you im∣pos'd me, to plead in the defence of our Allies. Farther, you approv'd my desig∣nation to the Consulship with so many joyfull expressions, that it is made my duty to endeavour I may so husband and im∣prove your favours, that they shall not seem to be ill bestow'd. For certain whether a person deserves an honour, can never be so safely judg'd, as after he has attain'd it. Do you but countenance my attempts, and believe that, if I were ever advanc'd by that dissembling Tyrant before he betray'd his hatred to the good, if after he own'd it, I declin'd his service; if when I saw the most compendious road to preferments was by ill arts, I chose the honester, though the farther wayabout: If in bad times I were numbred among the criminals and condemn'd, if in good among the innocent and secure: Finally if I as much love the best of Princes, as I were hated by the worst: Then shall I ever serve your Lordships, not as one who is Consul, nor as a person that has been so, but as him. who is always a submissive Candidate for that office.