previous next

At last, being quite weary with himself, he acknowledged his extreme misery, in a letter to the senate, which begun thus: "What to write to you, Conscript Fathers, or how to write, or what not to write at this time, may all the gods and goddesses pour upon my head a more terrible vengeance than that under which I feel myself daily sinking, if I can tell." Some are of opinion that he had a foreknowledge of those things, from his skill in the science of divination, and perceived long before what misery and infamy would at last come upon him; and that for this reason, at the beginning of his reign, he had absolutely refused the title of the " Father of his Country," and the proposal of the senate to swear to his acts; lest he should afterwards, to his greater shame, be found unequal to such extraordinary honours. This, indeed, may be justly inferred from the speeches which he made upon both those occasions; as when he says, " I shall ever be the same, and shall never change my conduct, so long as I retain my senses; but to avoid giving a bad precedent to posterity, the senate ought to beware of binding themselves to the acts of any person whatever, who might by some accident or other be induced to alter them." And again: " If ye should at any time entertain a jealousy of my conduct, and my entire affection for you, which heaven prevent by putting a period to my days, rather than I should live to see such an alteration in your opinion of me, the title of Father will add no honour to me, but be a reproach to you, for your rashness in conferring it upon me, or inconsistency in altering your opinion of me."

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (Maximilian Ihm)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (17 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: