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finding his reflections the fame with Plato's, Cs that plea-
" fure is the greatefl allurement to evil, that the greateft
" burden and calamity of the foul is the body, from which
*' it cannot difengage itfelf, but by fuch thoughts and
" reafonings as wean and feparate it from all corporeal
" pailions and affections " he was fo much charmed with
his difcourfe, that he grew more in love with frugality
and temperance. It is laid, however, that he learned Greek
very late, and that he was confiderably advanced in years
when he began to read the Grecian writers, among
whom he received fome advantage from Thucydides,
but much more from Demoflhenes, towards forming his
ftile, and improving his eloquence. And indeed we find
his writings confiderably adorned and enriched with
maxims and hiftories borrowed from Greek originals ,
and among his apothegms and moral fentences, there are
many things literally tranflated from them.

There lived at that time a certain Roman nobleman
of great power and eminence, called Valerius Flaccus,
whofe fagacity and penetration enabled him to difcern
a virtuous difpofition from early indications, and whofe
goodnefs and generofity inclined him to cherifh and ad-
vance it. This perfon having an eftate adjoining to


C A T O the C E N S O R. 429

Cato's often heard his fervants fpeak of his neighbour's
laborious and temperate manner of life, and was told
that he would go early in the morning to the neigh-
bouring villages, to plead and defend the caufes of fuch
as applied to him ; that from thence he would return
into his field, where with a forry jacket over his moul-
ders, if it was winter, or naked, if it was fummer,
he would labour with his domefticks, and when their
work was over, would fit down with them at the fame
table, eat of the fame bread, and drink of the fame
wine. They related likewife feveral other proofs of his
condefcenfion and moderation, repeating many of his
fay ings, which were full of wit and good fenfe. Vale-
rius pleafed with thefe accounts fent to invite him to
dinner ; and from that time, by frequent converfation,
difcovered in him fo much fweetnefs of temper, pro-
bity, politenefs and wit, that he feemed to him like an
excellent plant, that deferved to be better cultivated,
and to be removed to a better foil ; he therefore per-
fuaded him to go to Rome, a'nd apply himfelf to
affairs of flate.

He had not been long there before his pleading
gained him friends and admirers ^ and Valerius's great
refpect for him, and endeavours to advance him, add-
ing to his general efteem, he was firft made a military
tribune, and afterwards Quaeftor. And having gained
great reputation and honour in thofe pofts, he was joined
with Valerius himfelf in the higheft dignities, being fei-
low-conful with him, and afterwards Cenfor.

Among all the ancient fenators, he attached himfelf
chiefly toFabius Maximus, not fo much on account of
his great power and authority, as becaufe he efteemed
and admired him mod, and looked upon his character
and manner of life as the beft model by which to form
his own. So that he made no fcruple of differing with
the great Scipio, who, though he was at that time very
young, was the perfon that moil oppofed and envied
the power of Fabius. For being fent Qusefhor with Sci-
pio in the African war, and finding the General live ac-
cording to his ufual manner, at a very great expence,


430 The L I F E of

and give his troops money without the leaft oeconomy,
he fpoke freely to him, and told him, " That the great-
" nefsof the expence itfelf was not the greateft damage to
" the publick ; but that it was an irreparable injury
" to corrupt the ancient fimplicity of the foldiery, and ac-
" cuflom them to luxury and riot, by giving them more
" pay than was neceflary for their fubfiftence. To this
" Scipio replied, That there was no occafion for fo exact
" a treafurer in a war that would be carried on with fuch
" vigour and expedition that he was indeed obliged to
" give the people an account of the actions he performed,
" but not one of the money he fpent." Upon this anfwer,
Catoleft Sicily and returned to Rome, where, together
with Fabius, he loudly exclaimed in the fenate againfl
Scipio's vail and needlefs expences, faying, " That he tri-
" fled away his time in theatres and places of exercife, as
" if he had not been fent to make war, but exhibit pub-
" lick games and diverfions -" in confequence of this, tri-
bunes were fent to examine the matter, with orders, if
the accufation proved true, to bring Scipio back to Rome.

When the tribunes were arrived in the army, Scipio
reprefented to them, " That the fuccefs of that war de-
*' pended entirely on the great expence and preparations
that had been made for it ; that when he was at leifure, he
had indeed chearfully lived with his friends, but that his
" liberality had not hindered him from obferving an exact
" difcipline, nor had his amufements made him remifs in
" ferious and important affairs." With this anfwer the
tribunes were fatisfied, and Scipio fet fail for Africa.

But to return to Cato ; the power and reputation he
gained by his eloquence ipcreafed daily ; fo that he was
generally (tiled the Rom^n Demoflhenes ; but what was
flill more admired and celebrated was his manner of
life. In eloquence, he had many rivals, all the youth
of Rome afpiring after the glory of fpeaking well, and
endeavouring to excel each other but it was very rare
to meet with perfons like him, that would copy the ex-
ample of their forefathers by enduring bodily labour,


(3) This Cato fays in exprefs and ufelefs. " Vendat boves vetu-
words ; he will have the mafter of " los, armenta delicula, oves deli-
a family fell every thing that is old culas,lanam, pelles,ploftrum ve-


C A T O the C E N S O R. 431

that would be content with a dinner, cooked without
fire, and a fpare frugal fupper at night ; that would be
fatisfied with a plain drefs and a poor cottage, and ac-
count it more reputable not to want fuperfluities than to
poflefs them. The (late was now no longer able to
preferve the purity and feverity of its ancient difcipline
by reafon of its vail extent ; the many different affairs
under its management, and the infinite number of
people that fubmitted to its government, introduced a
variety of new cuftoms and modes of living. Juflly
therefore was Cato admired, who alone, when ail the
other citizens were frightened at labour, and foftened
by pleafure, remained unconquered by either, not on!y
in his youth, and when his ambition was at the height,
but when he was old and grey-haired, after his Conful-
fhip and triumph ; like a brave wreftler, who after he
lias come off conqueror, obferves his common rules,
and continues his ufual exercifes to the very laft.

He writes himfelf, that he never wore a garment
that coft more than an hundred drachmas ; that even
when he was Praetor, or Conful, he drank the fame
wine with his fervants ; and that the provifions for his
table at dinner never coft above thirty Afles ; and that
this was done out of love to his country, that his body
being made ftrong and robuft, by a plain fpare diet,
might be rendered more able to fuftain the fatigues of
war. He adds, that having a piece of fine Babylonian
tapeftry left him by a friend, he fold it immediately ;
that in all his country houfes, he had not a wall plai-
flered or white-wafhed ; that he never gave above fifteen
hundred drachmas for a Have, always refufing fuch as
were handfome and delicate, and chufing thofe that
were ftrong and fit for labour, to drive his cattle, or
take care of his horfes ; and (3) thefe flaves he thought
he ought to fell again when they were grown old, that
he might not maintain ufelefs creatures. In a word,
he thought nothing was cheap that was luperfluous, but


" tus, ferramenta vetera, fervum " trcm familias vendacem, noi:
" fenem, fervum morbofum, & fi- " cniacem ciFe oportet."
" quidaliud fuperfit, vemiat. Pa-

00 This

432 The LIP E of

that every thing was dear, even at the fmalleft price, if
needlefs ; and he preferred arable land and paflure to
gardens or walks that require much watering or fweep-

Some impute thefe things to fordid avarice ; but
others maintain, that he confined himfelf within nar-
rower bounds, on purpofe to correct by his example
the extravagance and luxury of his fellow-citizens.
But for my part, I look upon it as a fign of a mean and
ungenerous difpofition, to ufe fervants like beads of
burden, and to turn them off, or to fell them in their
old age ; as if there were no communication to be main-
tained between man and man, any further than neceftity
or intereft required. Nay good-nature and humanity
have even a larger extent than mere juftice, for the ob-
ligations of law and equity reach only to mankind, but
we may extend our kindnefs and beneficence to irrati-
onal creatures ; and fuch actions will flow from a good
and generous nature, as water from an exuberant foun-
tain. It is agreeable to a humane good-natured man to
take care of his horfes and dogs, not only whild they
are young and ufeful, but even when they are grown
old and pad their labour. Thus the Athenians, after
they had finimed the temple called Hecatompedon, fet at
liberty the beads of burden that had been chiefly em-
ployed on that occafion, fuffering them to feed at large
in the padures, free from any further fervice ; and it is
faid that when one of thefe came afterwards of its own
accord, to offer its fervice, by putting itfelf at the head
of the teams that drew the carriages to the citadel, and
went all the way before them, as it were to incite and
encourage them to undergo their labour, a decree was
made that it mould be kept at the publick charge till
it died. The grave's of Cimon's mares with which he
thrice conquered at the Olympick games are dill to be
teen near his own monument. Many others have taken
care to bury their dogs when dead, which they had fed
and been fond of when alive. Xanthippus the father of
Pericles being embarked with the red of the Athenians,
when they were obliged to abandon their city, his dog


C A T O the CENSOR.. 433

fwam by the fide of his fhipto Salamin, and was after-
wards buried by him in that place which is ftill called
the Dog's grave. For we ought not to ufe living crea-
tures as we do fhoes or houfhold goods, which we throw
away when they are worn out with ufe ; and were it
only to learn benevolence to mankind, we mould habi-
tuate ourfelves to tendernefs and compaflion in thefe
lower inflances. For my own part, I would never fell
an ox grown old in my fervice ; much lefs could I ever
refolve to part with an old fervant for a little money,
and expel him as it were from his country, by turning
him out of my houfe, and forcing him from his ufual
place of abode, and manner of living ; efpecially confi-
dering that he would be as ufelefs to trie peribn that
bought him, as he was to me that fold him. Cato,
however, feems to boaft of his having left behind him
in Spain the horfe that he rode when he commanded
there, that he might not put the publick to the charge
of carrying him from thence to Italy. But whether
fuch things as thefe are to be afcribed to a greatnefs
or meannefs of foul, is left to the reader's judgment
to decide.

The temperance of Cato, however, was truly admi-
rable. All the time he commanded the army, he never
demanded of the publick above three Attick Medimniof
wheat a month for himfelf and his whole family, and
lefs than a Medimnus and a half of barley a-day for his
horfes. When he was Governor of Sardinia, though
his predeceflbrs ufed to put the publick to a great ex-
pence for tents, bedding and clothes, and {till more by
a numerous retinue of friends and domefticks, befides
plays, entertainments and the like ; he, on the con-
trary, was remarkable for an incredible plainnefs and
frugality. For he never put the publick to any ex-
pence ; and when he vifited the cities under his govern-
ment, he went on foot without a chariot, attended only
by one publick officer, who carried his garment and a
veflel for facrificing. But if in fuch things as thefe
he appeared eafy, plain, and agreeable to all that were
under his command, he on the other hand made them

VOL. II. Ee feel

The L I F E of

feel his gravity and feverity in every thing elfe : for he
was inexorable in whatever related to publick juftice,
and inflexibly rigid in the execution of all his orders ;
fo that the Ro;ran government had never till then ap-
peared to that people either fo terrible, or fo amiable.

The fame character that appeared in his conduct and
behaviour, was likewife to be found in his ftile, which
was elegant, facetious and familiar, and at the fame
time grave, nervous and fententious. And as Plato fays
of " Socrates, that he appeared to ftrangers, an ignorant,
" rude buffoon, but (4) that he was full of virtue within,
" and fpoke fuch pathetick and divine things as would
" move the very foul, and force tears from the hearers
" eyes ;" the fame may be faid of Cato : fo that I cannot
comprehend their meaning, who have compared his ftile
to that of Lyfias : however we mail leave this to be de-
termined by fuch. to whom it more properly belongs to
judge of the feveral kinds of Roman ftiles. For my own
part, being perfuaded that the diipofitions and manners
of men may better bedifcovered by their words than their
looks, (though fome are of a different opinion) I (hall here
write down fome of his mod remarkable fayings.

One day when the people clamoured violently and un-
feafonably for a dillribution of corn, to diffuade them
from it, he began to harangue them thus ; " It is a dif-
" ficult tafk, my fellow-citizens, to (peak to the belly which
" has no ears." Another time reproving the exceflive luxu-
ry of the Romans, he faid, " It was hard to faveacity where
" a fifh was fold for more than an ox." On another occa-
fion he faid, " The Roman people were like fheep ; for as
" a fingle fheep will not obey the fhepherd alone, but does
" all for company, conftantly following the flock ;juftfo
" is it with you Remans ^ thofe counfellors whofe advice
" you would fcorn to follow, when alone, lead you as they
" pleafe, when you are collected together." Speaking of
the authority that wives affumed over their hufbands, he
faid, " All men ufually govern the women, we govern all
" men, and our wives govern us." But this faying might
have been taken from the Apothegms of Themiftocles,


(4) This paflage is taken f t g m the Sympofium of Plato.

(5) Among

C A T O th C E N S R.

whofe fon governing him in many things through his mo-
ther, he faid to her, "Wife, the Athenians, govern all the
*' Greeks, I govern the Athenians, thou governed me,
" and thy fon governs thee^ let him therefore ufc his pow-
" er more fparingly, which as filly as he is, makes him
"-matter of all Greece." Another time Cato faid, " that
*' the people of Rome put a price not only upon feveral
*' kinds of colours ; but likewife fludies and arts; for,"
added he, " as dyers dye fuch purples as pleafe belt, and
" are mod efteemed, fo our youth only dudy and fearch
** after fuch things as you approve and commend." Ex-
horting them once to virtue, he faid, " If ye are become
" great by virtue and temperance, do not change for
*' the word ; but if it be by intemperance and vice>
4t change for the better, for ye are that way great enough
u already." Concerning fuch perfons as often made in-
tered for places, he u fed to fay, " that they were people
" who not knowing their way, for fear of lofing it fought
" for Lifters to go before and conduct them." He reproved
his fellow-citizens for often chufing the fame perfons to
the higheft pods and dignities ; You, faid he, a either
* c put no great value on your pods of honour, or elfe
" you cannot find many perfons worthy to fill them."
Concerning one of his enemies who led a very profli-
gate and infamous life, he faid, " his mother takes
" it for a curfe and not a prayer, when any one
" v/ifhes this fon may furvive her/' One day pointing at a
man who had fold an eftate left him by his father near
the fea-fide, he pretended to admire at the man as one
ftronger than the fea itfelf ; for, faid he, " what the fea
" could not w,aih away without great difficulty, he has
" fwallowed at once without any pains at all." When
King Eumenes came to Rome, the fenate received him
with all imaginable honour, and all the principal men
among the Romans drove to outdo one another in making
their court to him ; but it plainly appeared that Cato
flighted and fhunned him ; whereupon one faid to him,
" Why do you thus fhun Eumenes, who is fo good a King,
" and fo great a friend to the Romans ?" " He may be a good
"King," replied he, "but I know very well that the ani-
* mal called a King is a man- eater 5 nor is there one among

Eea "tie

436 Me LIFE of

" the moft renowned of them all that can be compared to
" Epaminondas, Pericles, Themiftocles, Manius Curius,
" or even to Amilcar furnamed Barcas." He often faid,
'" that his enemies hated him becaufe he rofe before day,
" not to take care of his owa affairs but thofe of the com-
" mon wealth." He faid, " that he had rather do well, and
" not be rewarded, than do ill and not be punimed ; and
." that he could pardon other mens faults, but never for-
** give his own." The Romans having named three am-
bailadors to go to the King of Bithynia, one of whom had
the gout, another had his fkull trepanned, and the third
was reckoned a fool, Cato ridiculing this choice, faid,
" That Rome had fent an embafly that had neither feet,
" head, nor heart " (5.) He was folicited by Scipio, at the
requeft of Polybius, to favour (6) the caufe of thofe that
were bammed out of Achaea ; when the matter came be-
fore the fenate, there were great debates, fome declaring
for the return of the exiles, while others oppofed it ; but
" Cato rifmg up, faid, " We trifle away a whole day here,
*' as if we had nothing elfe to do but to debate whether
" a parcel of old Greeks (hall be interred by our grave*-
." diggers, or by thofe of their own country." The fenate
having decreed that the exiles mould return home, Poly-
bius ibme days after begged leave to appear before the
fenate, in order to prefent a petition in behalf of thofe ex-
iles, that they might be reftored to the honours they en-
joyed before their banifhment ; but before he took this
ftep, he went to Cato to know his opinion of the matter,
and told him his defign ; at which Cato fmiled and faid,
* c that this wasjuft as if Ulyifes mould have wifhed to
" return to the cave of the Cyclops for a hat and belt
"which he had left behind." He fometimes faid, that
" wife men learn more from fools, than fools from wife
"merr; becaufe wife men mun the follies of fools, but
" fools will not follow the example of wife men." He ufed
-to fay, t; that he loved young people that blufhed, rather

" than

... (5) Among the ancients the having been accu fed of being in
.'heart frequently fignrfies the a confpiracy to deliver up their
" undemanding.' country to the King of Perfia,

,;. (6) .Plutarch fpeaks here of were feized, fent to Rome,anddif-
.thofe ihoufand Achsans, who perfed all over Italy, in the firft


C A T O the C E N S O R.

" than fuch as grew pale ; and that he did not like a fol-
" dier that moved his hands in marching, and his feet in
" fighting, and who fnored louder in bed than he mouted
ct in battle." Jetting on a very fat man, he faid, " Of what
" fervice to his country can a body be, that has nothing
ct but belly ?" When a certain voluptuous man courted his
friendfhip, he refufed it, faying, " that he could not live
"with a man whofe palate had a quicker fenfation than
" his heart." He ufed to fay, " that the foul of a lover lived
c< in the body of another ; and that in all his life he never
" repented but of three things ; the firft was, that he had
" trufted a fecret to a woman the fccond, that he had
" gone by water when he might have gone by land ; and
" the third, that he had fpent a day without doing any
"thing at all." To a very debauched old man he faid,
" Friend, old age has deformities enough of its own, do
" not add to it the deformity of vice." A tribute of the
people who was fufpected to be a poifoner, propofmg an
unjuft law which he took pains to have paffed, Cato faid
to him, "Young man, I do not know which is the moft
" dangerous to drink what you prepare, or to enact what
" you propofe." Being fcurriloufly treated by a man who'
led a licentious and diflblute life, "A conteft," faid he,
'* between theeand me is very unequal ; for thoucanft hear
'* ill language with eafe, and return it with pleafure ; but
" for my part, it is unufual to me to hear it, and difagree-
"able to fpeak it," Thefe are fuch of his layings as have
been tranfmitted to us, and by thefe we mayjudge of
the reft.

Being chofen Conful with his friend Valerius Flaccus,
the government of that part of Spain by the Romans cal-
led Citerior, fell to his lot. There, having fubdued fome
of thofe nations by force of arms, and won others by
kindnefs, he found himfelf all at once furrounded by an
army of barbarians, and in danger of being defeated, and
driven out of his new fettlements. Whereupon he fent


year of the hundred and fifty- ed by a decree of the fenate,

third Olympiad. There they con- which was particularly made in

tinued feventeen years.after which, favour of Polybius, who was one

Inch as remained alive, who were of the number,

about three hundred, were reftor- E e 3 (7) The

43 8 Me LIFE of

immediately to defjre the afliftance of the Celtiberians,
his neighbours ; but they demanding two hundred ta-?
lents, as a reward for their fervice, all the officers of the
army thought it intolerable that the Romans mould be
obliged topurchafe alMance of barbarians; but Cato faid,
" This bargain is not fo bad as you imagine , for if we con-
" quer, we will pay them at the expence of our enemies -,
11 but if we are conquered, there will be no body either to
"pay, or make the demand." But he won the battle, and
after this every thing fucceeded according to his defiie.
Polybius fays, " that the walls of all the cities of that part
" of Spain, that lies on this fide the river Baetis were razed
*' by his command in one and the fame day, notwithiland-
*' jng they were many in number, and all of them full of
" brave and warlike men. Cato himfelf writes, that he
4t took more cities than he fpent days in his expedition ;"
por is this a vain boaft, for they were in reality four hun-*
dred in number.

Notwithstanding his troops had taken a prodigious
booty in this expedition, yet he gavebefides to each man.
a pound of filver, faying, " it was better that all of them
** mould return home with a little filver, than only a few
" with a great deal of gold." And for .his own part he af-
ftires us, that of all the things that were taken during the
whole war, nothing came to hisfhare but what he eat and
drank. "Not" faid he, ft that I blame fuch as make an
*' advantage of thefe opportunities ; but becaufe I had
" rather contend with the bell men for valour, than with
" the richeft for wealth, or with the moil covetous for love
" of money." And he not only kept himfelf clear from all
kind of plunder an4 extortion, but likewife all his fervants,
and fuch as were more immediately under his command.

He had brought five fervants with him to the army,
one of which, whofe name was Paccus, having bought
three boys out of thofe that were taken prifoners, and
finding his matter had knowledge of it, durfl not ap-
pear before him, but chofe rather to hang himfelf than
come into his prefence j whereupon Cato caufed the


(7) The year after his eonfulfiilp, and the fecond year of thp


C A T O the C E N S O R. 439

three boys to be fold, and the price of them to be put
into the publick treafure.

While he was bufy in lettling'the affairs of Spain, Scipio
the great, who was his enemy, and had a mind to put a
flop to the courfe of his fuccefs, and have the honour
of finifhing the war himfelf, prevailed fo far by his
power and intereft, as to be chofen to fucceed him in that
government. After which he loft no time, but made all
poflible hafte to take from Cato the command of the ar-
my ; but he, hearing of his march, went to meet him,
taking with him five companies of foot, and five hun-
dred horfe, as a convoy to attend him, and by the way

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