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that the lofs of them would not be great, nor much
lamented by the Romans. Fabius therefore threw out
thefe men as a bait for Hannibal, to divert him from
Tarentum. The defign fucceeded accordingly ; for Han-
nibal marched with his forces to Caulonia ; and in the
mean time Fabius laid fiege to Tarentum. The fixth
day of the fiege, the young Tarentine came by night
to Fabius, and having well obferved the place where
the Brutian commander, according to agreement, was
to let in the Romans, gave an account of the whole mat-
ter to him. But Fabius thought it not fafe to rely
wholly upon the treachery of the commander, but with
part of his forces went to the place himfelf in great
filence ; while the reft of his army aflaulted the town
both by land and fea with a horrible clamour. Moft
of the Tarentines running to defend the town on that
fide where the attack was made, Fabius, upon a fignal
given by the Brutian commander, fcaled the walls at
the place defigned, and entered the town without op-

Here we muft confefs, that Fabius cannot be acquitted
of the charge of vanity ; for that it might not appear
to the world, that he had taken Tarentum by treachery,
he commanded his men to put all the Brutians to the
fword. But by this action, he not only failed of re-
moving this fufpicion, but incurred befides the reproach
of perfidy and inhumanity. Many of the Tarentines
were alfo killed, and thirty thoufand of them were fold
forflaves. The army had the plunder of the town, and
there were brought into the treafury three thoufand
talents. Whilft they were carrying off the fpoils, the
officer who took the inventory, afkcd what fliould be
done with their Gods, meaning the ftatues and pictures
in the temples ; Fabius anfwered, (8) Let us leave their


in hie armour, and in the atti- fiance, was lancing his darts, and
tude of a combatant, " Suo quif- Jupiter hurling his thunder ; on
" quehabitu in Modo Pugnantium which circumflance is founded
" formati." Liv. Apollo, for in- the epithet of Angry, as if thofe
VOL, II. F Gods

82 T/c LIFE of

angry Gods to the Tarentines. However he carried away
a Coloflian ftatue of Hercules (9) which he afterwards
placed in the capitol, near an equeftrian ftatue of him-
felf in brafs. Fabius ihewcd on this occafion that he
was inferior to Marcellus, not only in a tafte for the fine
arts, (i) bat much more in mercy and humanity ; as we
have already obferved in the life of Marcellus.

When Hannibal had the news brought him that Ta-
rentum was befieged, he marched with great diligence
to relieve it ;. and being come within five miles, he was-
informed that the town was taken ^ which made him
fay, " that Rome had alfo a Hannibal, and that Ta-
" rentum was loft by the fame art by which he formerly
" got it." And being in private with fome of his friends,
he plainly told them, that he always thought it difficult,
but now he held it inlpollible, with the forces he had
to mafter Italy.

Upon this fuccefs, Fabius had a triumph decreed him
at Rome, much more fplend-id than the former ; for
they looked upon him now as having evidently gained
the fuperiority over Hannibal, whofe Ichemes he defeated
with the fame eafe that an able wreftler difingages him-
felf from the hold of an antagonift who no longer re-
tains his former vigour. For the army of Hannibal was
at this time partly worn away with continual action,
and partly enervated with opulence and luxury. Mar-
cus Livius (who was governor of Tareutum when it was
betrayed to Hannibal, and then retired into the caftle,
which, he kept till the town was retaken) (2) being en-

Gods had in reality fought for fenfe of their former calamities,
the Romans againft their own de- and infpire them with envy, ha-
rotees the Tarentines. At the tred and revenge againft the con-
fame time this fa-ying of Fabius querors. This fubjecl is very well
contained in it very wholfome ad- handled in the gfh book of Poly-
vice to the Romans, who were bius.

warned not to carry fo Rome (9) Strabo in his fixth book

thofe ufelefs ornaments of the makes mention of this particu-

conquered cities j as ferving not lar, and adds that this ftatu^ was

only to give the people a tafte of of brafs, and was the work of

luxuryand expence, but to awaken Lyfippus.

in the minds of the conquered fub- ( i ) For Marcellus, when he took:

ji&s, who fhould behold thepi, a Syracufe, brought from thence all



vious of the honours which Fabius received, boafled in
the fenate, that hej not Fabius, was the caufe of the
recovery of Tarentum. Fabius replied laughing, " You
u fay very true, for if you had not loft Tarentum, I had
il never recovered it." Among other honours which the
Romans paid to Fabius, they nominated his fon Conful
for the next year. When he was entered upon his of-
fice, and was one day employed in fome bufmefs relat-
ing to the war, his father, either by reafon of age and
infirmity, or perhaps out of defign to try his fon, came
up to him on horfeback. Whereupon the young
Conful prefently bid one of his lidtors command his
father to alight, and tell him that if he had any bufi-
nefs with the Conful he mould come on foot. The
whole ailembly was moved at this, and turned their
eyes upon Fabius, by their filence, and by their looks
exprefling their refentment of the indignity that had
been offered to a perfon fo venerable for his age and
his authority ; but he inftantly alighted from his horfe,
and v/ith great fpeed, came up and embraced the Conful,
" My fon, laid he, I applaud your fentiments and your be-
" haviour. You have (hewn that you have a juft fenfe of the
" dignity of your office, and of the greatnefs of the people
" whom you command. This was the way by which we and
" our forefathers advanced the glory of the commonwealth,
" by preferring that to our own fathers and children."

And indeed it is reported, that the great grandfather
(3) of our Fabius, who was undoubtedly the greateft
man of Rome in his time, both in reputation and au-

the fined pictures and ftatues, and be taken with Livius, fome of his
whatever elfe was curious and friends who had undertaken his
elegant. defence unwarily faid, '' the recu-

(2) It is not likely that a man
againft whom an aftion lay for
having fuffered Tarentum to be
taken by Hannibal, fhould be fo
hurried on by his. ambition as to
be capable of fuch an haughty
expreffion. Livy's account is-
more probable ; for he fays that

' very of Tarentum was owing to
' Livius onlyj and Fabius in de-
livering his opinion added, It is
confeffed he was the caufe that
Tarentum was recovered to the
1 Romans, for it could never have
' been retaken by us if it had net
firft been. loft by him.

whilft the fenate had it under (5) Fabius Rul'us.
confideiation what courfe was to

Fa (4) This

8 4 the LIFE of

thority, \vho had been five times Conful, and had been
honoured with feveral triumphs for victories obtained
by him, condefcended to fer-ve as lieutenant (4) under
his own fon, when Conful in the expedition againft the
Samnites : and when afterwards his fon had a triumph,
beftowed upon him for his good fervices, the old man
followed his triumphal chariot on horfeback as one of his
attendants 5 . and though he had abfolute authority over
his fon, and was the greateft man in Rome, yet he glo-
ried in mowing his fubjedron to the laws and the magif-
trate But thefe were not the only actions worthy of ad-
miration, which he performed.

WhenFabius Maximus loft his foa, he bore the af-
fliction with moderation like a wife man and a tender
parent. And as it was the cuftom amongft the Romans,
upon the death of any illuilrious perfon, to have a fu-
neral oration recited by fome of the neareft relations, he
himfelf performed that office. This oration he committed
to writing and afterwards made publick.

After Publius Cornelius Scipio, who was fent Procon-
ful into Spain, had driven the Carthaginians out of that
province, having defeated them in many battles, and
ted reduced feveral towns and nations under the obe-
dience of Rome, he was received at his return with a
general joy and acclamation. Being elected Conful and
knowing what high expectations the people had from
him, he difdained to carry on the war againft Hannibal
in Italy ; this he looked upon as an antiquated me-
thod and worthy only of an old man. He tl/erefore
propofed no lefs a talk to himfelf than to transfer the
war to Carthage, and made ufe of all the credit and
favour he had with the people to prevail upon them to
tecond his deiign. (5) on the other fide oppofed
with all his might this undertaking of Scipio ; alarming
the minds of the people, and reprefenting the extreme


(4) This fon was called Q^ attend him fn his feeond expedi-
FabiusGurges ; he had been be- tion as h:s lieutenant,
fore defeated by the Samnites,

ami vrould have been degraded, (5) This matter was thoroughly
had not his father promifed to canvaffed, and debated in the


F A B I U S M A X I M U S. 85

danger into which the commonwealth would be brought
by following the counfels of this rafli young man. His
authority and perfuafions prevailed with the fenate to
efpoufe his fentiments ; but the common people thought
that he envied the fame of Scipio, and that he was afraid
left if this young conqueror mould perform any gnal
exploit, mould put an end to the war, or even remove it
out of Italy, he might be accufed of timidity and negli-
gence for having protracted it fo man}'- years.

To fay the truth, when Fabius fail oppofed this pro-
ject of Scipio, I believe he did it from a prudent .regard
to the public fafety, and from an apprehenfion of the
danger which the commonwealth might incur by fuch
an enterprize ; but I believe that ambition and envy of
Scipio's rifing glory made him the more violent in his
,-oppofition. For he applied himfelf to CrafFus, the
collegue of Scipio, and perfuaded him not to yield that
province to Scipio, but (if his inclinations were for
t'lat war) hirnfelf in peribn to lead the army to Car-
thage (6). He alfo hindred the giving money to Scipio
for the war, who was forced to raife i-t upon his own
credit and interefl, and was Supplied by the cities .of
Hetruria, which were wholly devoted to him. On the
other fide, CraiTus would not flir againft him, nor re-
move out of Italy, as being in his own nature an enemy
to ftrife and contention, and alfo as .having the care of
religion, by his office of high-prieft. Wherefore Fabius
tried other ways to break the defign ; he endeavoured
to difcourage thofe who voluntarily offered themfelves
to the fervice, and declaimed both in the fenate and to
the people that Scipio did not only himfelf fly from
Hannibal, but was defirous alfo to drain Italy of all its
forces, and to lead away the youth of the country af-
ter him to a foreign war, leaving behind them thejr
parents, wives and children, a jijefencelefs jprey to a


fenate. We find in Livy, what for he was at that time high-
was faid on the one fide and the priefl, and conftquently his cha-
other by Fabius and Scipio. Lib. rafter as fuch would not fuffe.r
,?xviii. him to go out of Italy.

(6) This Craffus could not do,

F 3 (7) Xylander

86 ne LIFE of

victorious enemy at their doors. With this he fo ter-
rified the people, that at laft they would only allow to
Scipio for the war, the legions which v/ere in Sicily, and
three hundred of thofe -men who had fo bravely ierved
him in Spain. In thefe tranfactions hitherto Fabius only
feemed to follow the dictates of his own wary temper.

But, after Scipio was gone over into Africa, when the
Romans received the news of his wonderful exploits and
victories, of which the fame was confirmed by the fpoils
he fent home ; when they heard of a Numidian King
taken prifoner, of a vaft {laughter made of the enemy,
of two camps burnt and deftroyed, and in them a great
quantity of arms and horfes -, when the Carthaginians
had fent orders to Hannibal to quit his fruitlefs expedi-
tion in Italy, and return to defend his own country -,
and when the whole people of Rome joined in admiring
and extolling the actions of Scipio ; even then did Fa-
bius contend that a fucceflbr mould be fent in his place,
alkdging for it only the vulgar trivial pretence of the
mutability of fortune, as if me would be weary of long
favouring the fame perfon. But by this behaviour he
gave great offence to the people, who looked upon it
as the effect of a morofe and envious difpofition, or
thought at leaft that age had rendered him timorous and
defponding, and filled him with exceffive apprehenfions
of the power of Hannibal. Nay after Hannibal had em-
barked with his army and left Italy, Fabius flill oppofed
and diflurbed the univerfal joy of Rome, by telling the
people that the commonwealth was never more in dan-
ger than now, and that Hannibal was a more dreadful
enemy under the walls of Carthage, than ever he had
been in Italy that it would be fatal to Rome whenever
Scipio fhould encounter his victorious army ftill warm
with the blood of fo many Roman Generals, Dictators
and Confuls. The people were ftartled with thefe decla-
mations, and were brought to believe, that the fur-
ther off Hannibal was, the nearer was their danger. But
when Scipio afterwards had defeated Hannibal and hum-

(7) Xylander is of opinion that does not fignify a Spit but a piece
the word Obdifcus in this place of money -, for that money anci-

F A B I U S M A X I M U S. 87

bled the pride of Carthage, the Romans were tranfport-r
ed with joy beyond their utmcft hopes ; and the empiie
which had been long fhaken by thefe dangerous ftorms,
was reflored to its former fecurity and glory.

But Fabius .Maximus lived not to fee the profperous
.end of this war, and the final overthrow of Hannibal,
nor to rejoice in the well-eftablifhed happinefs and fecu-
rity of the commonwealth ; for about the time that Han-
nibal left Italy, he fell fick and died. Epaminondas, as
we find in the hiftory of Thebes, died fo poor that he
was buried at the publick .charge j for, it is faid, no-
thing was found in his houfe but an iron fpit (8). Fa-
bius indeed was not buried .at the publick charge, but
every citizen contributed a fmall piece of money to-
wards the expence of his funeral, not becaufe he was
poor, but to (how that they refpefted mm as the father
of the people ; which made his death no lefs honour-
able than his life.

The CortparifGH of Fabius with Pericles.

SUCH were the lives of thefe two perfons fo illuf-
trious for their civil and military endowments :
fet us firft compare them in their military capacity.
Pericles prefided in his commonwealth, when it was in
2 moft flouriming and opulent condition, and in the
height of its power and fuccefs , fo that he feemed to
fland rather fupported by, than fupporting the fortune
of his country. But the Jnifinefs of Fabius, who under-
took the government in the worft and moft difficult
times, was not to preferve and maintain the well-efla-
blimed felicity of a profperous ftate, but tp raife and
uphold a finking and ruinous commonwealth. Befides
the victories of Cimon, of Myronides and Leocrates,
with thofe many famous exploits of Tolmidas, rather fur-
nifhed Pericles with an occafion of entertaining the peo-


ently was made in a pyramidal the life of Lyfander.
jform appears fropi a paffage in

F 4 (8) This


83 be Cpmparifon vf

pie at home with feafts and games, than laid him un-
der a neceffity of defending his country by arms.
Whereas Fabius, when he took upon him the govern-
rnent, had the frightful object before his eyes, of Ro-
man armies deftroyed,- of their Generals and Confuls
(lain, of all the countries round ftrowed with the dead
bodies, and the rivers ftained with the blood of his
fellow-citizens ; and yet by his mature and prudent coun-
fds, and the firmnefs of his refolijtion, he fuftained the
falling commonwealth, notwithstanding it had been
brought fo near its ruin by the rafhnels of other com-
manders. Perhaps it may be more eafy to govern a city
broken and tamed with calamities and adverfity, and
compelled to obey by danger and neceffity, than to
rule a people pampered and refty with long profperity,
as the Athenians were when Pericles held the reins of go- But then, not to be daunted nor diicompof-
ed by the vaft weight of calamities under which the
people of Rome groaned at that time, proves the invin-
cible courage and magnanimity of Fabius.

We may fet Tarentum re-taken, againft Samos won
by Pericles 5 and with the conqueft of Eubaea we may
put in balance the towns of Campania regained by Fa-
bius -, as for Capua, that was afterwards fubdued by the
Confuls Fulvius and Appius. I do not find that Fabius
won any fet battle, but that againft the Ligurians, for
which he had his firft triumph ; whereas Pericles erec-
ted nine trophies for as many victories obtained by land
and by fea. But no action of Pericles can be compared
to that memorable refcue of Minucius, when Fabius re-
deemed both him and his army from utter deftruction ;
an action, which comprehends the height of valour, of
conduct, and humanity. On the other fide, it does
not appear, that Pericles was ever ib over-reached as Fa-
bius was by Hannibal's ftratagem of the oxen ; when in
the valley of Cafilinum, Hannibal was (hut up without
any poflibility of forcing his way out, and yet was fuf-
fered to efcape in the night ; and when day was come,
worded the enemy, who had him before at his mercy.


Fabius with Pericles. 8p

It is the part of a good General, not only to provide
for, and judge well of the preient, but alfo to have a
clear forefight of things to come. In this Pericles ex-
celled, for he faw and foretold to the Athenians, what
ruin their war would bring upon them, by their grafp-
ing more than they were able to manage. But the ex-
pedition of Scipio in Africa, undertaken contrary to
the advice of Fabius, was attended with the greateft
fuccefs ; and that not through any unexpected turn of
fortune, but merely by the valour and conduct of the
commander. So that the misfortunes of the Athenians
mowed the fagacity of Pericles ; and the fuccefs of the
Romans proved how erroneous the judgment of Fabius
had been. And indeed, to lofe an advantage through
diffidence, is no lets biameaWe in a General, than to
fall into danger for want" of forefight : for both thefe
faults, though of a contrary nature, fpring from the fame
root, which is want of judgment and experience.

And for their civil policy ; it is imputed to Pericles,
that he was a lover of war, and that no terms of
peace, offered by the Lacedaemonians, would content
him. Nor do I think that Fabius would ever have yield-
ed any thing to the Carthaginians, but would rather have
hazarded all, than leflened the empire of Rome. The
mildnefs of Fabius towards his collegue Minncius fets
in a very difadvantageous light the conduct of Pericles
in his eager profecution of Cimon and Thucydides,
who were good men and friends to the nobility, but by
his practices were bammed. The authority of Pericles
in Athens was much greater than that of Fabius in
Rome ; for which reafon it was more eafy for him to
prevent the mifcarriages commonly arifing from the
weaknefs and infufficiency of officers, fmce he had got
the fble nomination and management of them ; Tolmi-
das only contrary to his orders, unadvifedly fought with
the Boeotians, and was defeated and flain : whereas Fa-
bius though too prudent to commit errors hirnfelf, yet
had not fufficient power to prevent the mifcarriages of
others. But it had been happy for the Romans if his


os The Comparifon 9 &c.

authority had been greater; for then we may prefume?
their diiafters had been fewer.

As to their liberality and publick fpirit, Pericles
flowed it in never taking any gifts, and Fabius in giv-
ing his own money to ranfom his (bldiers though the
ium did not exceed fix (9) talents. Notwithftanding
Pericles had innumerable prefents offered him from
Kings, and from the allies of the Athenians, yet no man
was ever more free from corruption. And for the beau-
ty and magnificence of temples and publick edifices,
with which he adorned his country, it mufl be confef-
fed, that all the ornaments and ftruftures of Rome, to
the time of the Caefars, were not to be compared, either
in greatnefs of defign, or of expence, with thofe which
Pericles only eredted at Athens.

(8) The copy is probably er- each mentioned bf Plutarch in

roneoui in this place. If a com- the life of Fabius, the fum will

putation be made from the num- amount to above ten talents,
ber of captives and the price of

4 L C7-

[9! ]

A L Q I B I A D E S.

AL G I B I A D E S, as it is fuppofed, was ancient,
ly defcended from Euryfaces the fon of Ajax, by
his father's fide, and by his mother's fide from
Alcmeon ; for Dinomache, his mother, was the daughter
of Megacles. His father Clinias, having fitted out a
galley at his own expence, gained great honour in
the fea-fight near Artemifium, and was afterwards (lain
in the battle of Coronea, fighting againft the Boeotians.
Pericles, and Ariphron, the fons of Xanthippus, being
nearly related to Alcibiades, were his guardians. It is
faid, and not untruly, that the kindnefs and frieEdmjp
which Socrates mowed to him, very much contributed
to his fame. Hence it is, that though we have not
an account from any writer, who was the mother o


92 The L I P E of

Nicias or Demofthenes, of Lamachus or Phormio, of
Thrafybulus or Theramenes, notwithftanding they were
all of them illuflrious perfons, and his contemporaries;
yet we know even the nurfe of Alcibiades, that her coun-
try was Lacedaemon, and her name, Amyclas ; and that
Zopyrus was his fchoolmafter ; the one being recorded
by Antifthenes, and the other by Plato.

It is not perhaps material to fay any thing of the
beauty of Alcibiades, only that it lafted with him in all
the ages of his life, in his infancy, in his youth, and in
his manhood $ and thereby rendered him lovely and a-
greeable to every one. For though it is not univerfally
true what Euripides fays, that,

Of all fair things the autumn is moftfair-,

Yet this happened to Alcibiades, amongft a few others,
by reafon of his happy conflitution and the natural vi-
gour of his body. It is faid, that his lifping, when he
ipoke, became him well, and gave a grace to his pro-
nunciation. Ariflophanes takes notice that he lifped, in
thofe verfes wherein he ridicules Theorus, becaufe Alci-
kiades, fpeaking of him, inftead of Corax, pronounced
Colax (i) ^ from whence the poet takes occafion toob-

How very luckily he lifp'd the truth.

Archippus alfo makes mention of it, thus reflecting
pon the fon of Alcibiades.

Proud his luxurious Jire to imitate.
See the vain youth affeft the f aunt 1 ring gait,
The hofely flowing robe, the lifping tongue,
And bead disjointed on the Jhoulder bung.

His manners were not uniform ; nor is it ftrange
.that they varied according to the many and wonderful
vicilTitudes of his fortune. All his paflions were natu-
rally ftrong i but the flrongeft of them was ambition,
and. defire of fuperiority : this appeared by feveral


(i) Alcibiades meant to call count of his avarice and rapacity ;
7'beoius Corax, or Raven, on ac- but by pronouncing it Colax he



.things related of him, whilft he was a child. Once be-
ing hard preiled in wreflling, and fearing to be thrown,
he got the hand of the perfon who ftrove with him, to his
mouth, and bit it with all his force; hisadverfary loofed
his hold prefently, and faid, " Thou biteft, Alcibiades,
" like a woman :" " No," replied he, " I bite like a lion."
Another time as he was playing with dice in the ftreet,
being then but a boy, a loaded cart came that way, when
it was his turn to- throw ; at firft he called to the driver
to flop, becaufe he was to throw in the way over which
the cart was to pafs ; the rude fellow did not hearken
to him, but drove on flill ^ and when the reft of the
boys, divided and gave way, Alcibiades threw himfelf
on his face before the cart, and ftr etching himfelf put,
bid the carter drive on, if he would : this fo ftartled the
man, that he put back his horfes, while all that faw it
were terrified, and crying out, ran to afiift Alcibiades.
When he began to ftudy, he obeyed all his other mafters
with great refpedt, but refufed to learn to play upon
the flute, as an ungraceful thing, and not becoming a

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