Antony Essay Research Paper Antony died 30 — страница 4

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magistrate. For on the appointment of a dictator, with the one exception of the tribunes, all other magistrates cease to exercise any authority in Rome. Dolabella, however, who was tribune, being a young man and eager for change, was now for bringing in a general measure for cancelling debts, and wanted Antony, who was his friend, and forward enough to promote any popular project, to take part with him in this step. Asinius and Trebellius were of the contrary opinion, and it so happened, at the same time, Antony was crossed by a terrible suspicion that Dolabella was too familiar with his wife; and in great trouble at this, he parted with her (she being his cousin, and daughter to Caius Antonius, colleague of Cicero), and, taking part with Asinius, came to open hostilities with

Dolabella, who had seized on the forum, intending to pass his law by force. Antony, backed by a vote of the senate that Dolabella should be put down by force of arms, went down and attacked him, killing some of his, and losing some of his own men; and by this action lost his favour with the commonalty, while with the better class and with all well-conducted people his general course of life made him, as Cicero says absolutely odious, utter disgust being excited by his drinking bouts at all hours, his wild expenses, his gross amours, the day spent in sleeping or walking off his debauches, and the night in banquets and at theatres, and in celebrating the nuptials of some comedian or buffoon. It is related that, drinking all night at the wedding of Hippias, the comedian, on the

morning, having to harangue the people, he came forward, overcharged as he was, and vomited before them all, one of his friends holding his gown for him. Sergius, the player, was one of the friends who could do most with him; also Cytheris, a woman of the same trade, whom he made much of, and who, when he went his progress, accompanied him in a litter, and had her equipage not in anything inferior to his mother’s; while every one, moreover, was scandalized at the sight of the golden cups that he took with him, fitter for the ornaments of a procession than the uses of a journey, at his having pavilions set up, and sumptuous morning repasts laid out by river sides and in groves, at his having chariots drawn by lions, and common women and singing girls quartered upon the houses of

serious fathers and mothers of families. And it seemed very unreasonable that Caesar, out of Italy, should lodge in the open field, and with great fatigue and danger, pursue the remainder of a hazardous war, whilst others, by favour of his authority, should insult the citizens with their impudent luxury. All this appears to have aggravated party quarrels in Rome, and to have encouraged the soldiers in acts of licence and rapacity. And, accordingly, when Caesar came home, he acquitted Dolabella, and, being created the third time consul, took not Antony, but Lepidus, for his colleague. Pompey’s house being offered for sale, Antony bought it, and when the price was demanded of him, loudly complained. This, he tells us himself and because he thought his former services had not been

recompensed as they deserved, made him not follow Caesar with the army into Libya. However, Caesar, by dealing gently with his errors, seems to have succeeded in curing him of a good deal of his folly and extravagance. He gave up his former courses, and took a wife, Fulvia, the widow of Clodius the demagogue, a woman not born for spinning or housewifery, nor one that could be content with ruling a private husband, but prepared to govern a first magistrate, or give orders to a commander-in-chief. So that Cleopatra had great obligations to her for having taught Antony to be so good a servant, he coming to her hands tame and broken into entire obedience to the commands of a mistress. He used to play all sorts of sportive, boyish tricks, to keep Fulvia in good-humour. As, for

example, when Caesar, after his victory in Spain, was on his return, Antony, among the rest, went out to meet him; and, a rumour being spread that Caesar was killed and the enemy marching into Italy, he returned to Rome, and, disguising himself, came to her by night muffled up as a servant that brought letters from Antony. She, with great impatience, before received the letter, asks if Antony were well, and instead of an answer he gives her the letter; and, as she was opening it, took her about the neck and kissed her. This little story, of many of the same nature, I give as a specimen. There was nobody of any rank in Rome that did not go some days’ journey to meet Caesar on his return from Spain; but Antony was the best received of any, admitted to ride the whole journey with