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In early times, accordingly, kings (for that was the first title of sovereignty in the world) applied themselves in different ways;1 some exercised the mind, others the body. At that period, however,2 the life of man was passed without covetousness 3 every one was satisfied with his own. But after Cyrus in Asia4 and the Lacedæmonians and Athenians in Greece, began to subjugate cities and nations, to deem the lust of dominion a reason for war, and to imagine the greatest glory to be in the most extensive empire, it was then at length discovered, by proof and experience,5 that mental power has the greatest effect in military operations. And, indeed,6 if the intellectual ability7 of kings and magistrates8 were exerted to the same degree in peace as in war, human affairs would be more orderly and settled, and you would not see governments shifted from hand to hand,9 and things universally changed and confused. For dominion is easily secured by those qualities by which it was at first obtained. But when sloth has introduced itself in the place of industry, and covetousness and pride in that of moderation and equity, the fortune of a state is altered together with its morals; and thus authority is always transferred from the less to the more deserving.10

Even in agriculture,11 in navigation, and in architecture, whatever man performs owns the dominion of intellect. Yet many human beings, resigned to sensuality and indolence, uninstructed and unimproved, have passed through life like travelers in a strange country;12 to whom, certainly, contrary to the intention of nature, the body was a gratification, and the mind a burden. Of these I hold the life and death in equal estimation;13 for silence is maintained concerning both. But he only, indeed, seems to me to live, and to enjoy life, who, intent upon some employment, seeks reputation from some ennobling enterprise, or honorable pursuit.

But in the great abundance of occupations, nature points out different paths to different individuals.

1 II. Applied themselves in different ways] Diversi. "Modo et instituto diverse, diversa sequentes."Cortius.

2 At that period, however] “Et jam tum."Tunc temporis præcisè, at that time precisely, which is the force of the particle jam, as Donatus shows. * * * I have therefore written et jam separately. * * * Virg. Æn. vii. 737. Late jam tum ditione premebat Sarrastes populos." Cortius.

3 Without covetousness] “Sine cupiditate.” " As in the famous golden age. See Tacit. Ann. iii. 26." Cortius. See also Ovid. Met. i. 89, seq. But "such times were never," as Cowper says.

4 But after Cyrus in Asia, etc.] “Postea verò quàm in, Asiâ Cyrus,” etc. Sallust writes as if he had supposed that kings were more moderate before the time of Cyrus. But this can hardly have been the case. " The Romans," says De Brosses, whose words I abridge, " though not learned in antiquity, could not have been ignorant that there were great conquerors before Cyrus; as Ninus and Sesostris. But as their reigns belonged rather to the fabulous ages, Sallust, in entering upon a serious history, wished to confine himself to what was certain, and went no further back than the records of Herodotus and Thucydides." Ninus, says Justin. i. 1, was the first to change, through inordinate ambition, the veterem et quasi avitum gentibus morem; that is, to break through the settled restraints of law and order. Gerlach agrees in opinion with De Brosses.

5 Proof and experience] “Periculo atque negotiis.” Gronovius rightly interprets periculo "experiundo, experimentis," by experiment or trial. Cortius takes periculo atque negotiis for periculosis negotiis, by hendyadys; but to this figure, as Kritzius remarks, we ought but sparingly to have recourse. It is better, he adds, to take the words in their ordinary signification, understanding by negotia "res graviores." Bernouf judiciously explains negotiis by "ipsâ negotiorum tractatione," i.e. by the management of affairs, or by experience in affairs. Dureau Delamalle, the French translator, has "l'expérience et la pratique." Mair has "trial and experience," which, I believe, faithfully expresses Sallust's meaning. Rose gives only "experience" for both words.

6 And, indeed, if the intellectual ability, etc.] “Quod si--animi virtus,” etc. " Quod si" can not here be rendered but if; it is rather equivalent to quapropter si, and might be expressed by wherefore if, if therefore, if then, so that if.

7 Intellectual ability] “Animi virtus.” See the remarks on virtus, above cited.

8 Magistrates] “Imperatorum.” "Understand all who govern states, whether in war or in peace." Bernouf. Sallust calls the consuls “imperatores,” c. 6.

9 Governments shifted from hand to hand] “Aliud aliò ferri.” Evidently alluding to changes in government.

10 Less to the more deserving] “Ad optimum quemque à minus bono.” " From the less good to the best."

11 Even in agriculture, etc.] “Quæ homines arant, navigant, ædificant, virtuti omnia parent.” Literally, what men plow, sail, etc. Sallust's meaning is, that agriculture, navigation, and architecture, though they may seem to be effected by mere bodily exertion, are as much the result of mental power us the highest of human pursuits.

12 Like travelers in a strange country] “Sicuti peregrinantes.” “Vivere nesciunt; igitur in vitâ quasi hospites sunt;” they know not how to use life, and are therefore, as it were, strangers in it. Dietsch. "Peregrinantes, qui, quâ transeunt, nullum sui vestigium relinquunt:" they are as travelers who do nothing to leave any trace of their course. Pappaur.

13 Of these I hold the life and death in equal estimation] “Eorum ego vitàm mortemque juxta æstimo.” I count them of the same value dead as alive, for they are honored in the one state as much as in the other. "Those who, are devoted to the gratification of their appetites," as Sallust says, "let us regard as inferior animals, not as men; and some, indeed, not as living, but as dead animals." Seneca, Ep. lx.

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