[Revenge of the aristocracy.] Over three hundred of the people were killed and thrown into the Tiber, and the aristocracy followed up their triumph as harshly as they dared. They banished some, and slew others of the tribune's partisans. Plutarch says that they fastened up one in a chest with vipers. When Blossius was brought before his judges he avowed that he would have burned the Capitol if Gracchus had told him to do it, so confident was he in his leader's patriotism - an answer testifying not only to the nobleness of the two friends, but to the strong character of one of them. Philosophers are not so impressed by weak, impulsive men. Blossius was spared, probably because he had connexions with some of the nobles rather than because his reply inspired respect. But while the aristocracy was making war on individuals, the work of the dead man went on, as if even from the grave he was destined to bring into sharper relief the pettiness of their projects by the grandeur of his own.

[The law of Gracchus remains in force.] The allotment of land was vigorously carried out; and when Appius Claudius and Mucianus died, the commissioners were partisans of Tiberius - his brother Caius, M. Fulvius Flaccus, and C. Papirius Carbo. [Its beneficial effects.] In the year 125, instead of another decrease in the able-bodied population, we find an increase of nearly 80,000. It seems probable that this increase was solely in consequence of what the allotment commissioners did for the Roman burgesses. Nor, if the Proletarii and Capite Censi were not included in the register of those classed for military service, is the increase remarkable, for it would be to members of those classes that the allotments would be chiefly assigned. Moreover, the poor whom the rich expelled from their lands did not give in their names to the censors, and did not attend to the education of their children. These men would, on receiving allotments, enrol themselves. The consul of the year 132 inscribed on a public monument that he was the first who had turned the shepherds out of the domains, and installed farmers in their stead; and these farmers became, as Gracchus intended, a strong reinforcement to the Roman soldier-class, as well as a check to slave labour. What was done at Rome was done also, it is said, throughout Italy, and if on the same scale, it must have been a really enormous measure of relief to the poor, and a vast stride towards a return to a healthier tenure of the land. [Difficulties and hardships in enforcing it.] But it is not hard to imagine what heart-burnings the commissioners must have aroused. Some men were thrust out of tilled land on to waste land. Some who thought that their property was private property found to their cost that it was the State's. Some had encroached, and their encroachments were now exposed. Some of the Socii had bought parcels of the land, and found out now that they had no title. Lastly, some land had been by special decrees assigned to individual states, and the commissioners at length proceeded to stretch out their hands towards it.

Historians, while recording such things, have failed to explain why the chief opposition to the commissioners arose from the country which had furnished the chief supporters of Tiberius, and what was the exact attitude assumed by Scipio Aemilianus. It is lost sight of that as at Rome there were two classes, so there were two classes in Italy. It is absurd constantly to put prominently forward the sharp division of interests in the capital, and then speak of the country classes as if they were all one body, and their interests the same. [Sidenote: Divisions in Italy similar to those in Rome.] The natural and apparently the only way of explaining what at first sight seems the inconsistency of the country class is to conclude, that the men who supported Tiberius were the poor of the Italian towns and the small farmers of the country, while the men who called on Scipio to save them from the commissioners were the capitalists of the towns and the richer farmers - some of them voters, some of them non-voters - with their forces swollen, it may be, by not a few who, having clamoured for more land, found now that the title to what they already had was called in question. Though this cannot be stated as a certainty, it at least accounts for what historians, after many pages on the subject, have left absolutely unexplained, and it presents the conduct of Scipio Aemilianus in quite a different light from the one in which it has commonly been regarded. He is usually extolled as a patriot who would not stir to humour a Roman rabble, but who, when downtrodden honest farmers, his comrades in the wars, appealed to him, at once stepped into the arena as their champion. [Attitude of Scipio Aemilianus.] In reality he was a reactionist who, when the inevitable results of those liberal ideas which had been broached in his own circle stared him in the face, seized the first available means of stifling them. The world had moved too fast for him. As censor, instead of beseeching the gods to increase the glory of the State, he begged them to preserve it. And no doubt he would have greatly preferred that the gods should act without his intervention. Brave as a man, he was a pusillanimous statesman; and when confronted by the revolutionary spirit which he and his friends had helped to evoke, he determined at all costs to prop up the senatorial power. [His unpopularity with the Senate.] But the Senate hated him, partly as a trimmer, and partly because by his personal character he rebuked their baseness. He had just impeached Aurelius Cotta, a senator, and the judices, from spite against him, had refused to convict. So he turned to the Italian land-owners, and became the mouthpiece of their selfishness, for a selfish or at best a narrow-minded end. The nobles must have, at heart, disliked his allies; but they cheered him in the Senate, and he succeeded in practically strangling the commission by procuring the transfer of its jurisdiction to the consuls. The consul for the time being immediately found a pretext for leaving Rome, and a short time afterwards Scipio was found one morning dead in his bed. [His death.] He had gone to his chamber the night before to think over what he should say next day to the people about the position of the country class, and, if he was murdered, it is almost as probable that he was murdered by some rancorous foe in the Senate as by Carbo or any other Gracchan. It was well for his reputation that he died just then. Without Sulla's personal vices he might have played Sulla's part as a politician, and his atrocities in Spain as well as his remark on the death of Tiberius Gracchus - words breathing the very essence of a narrow swordsman's nature - showed that from bloodshed at all events he would not have shrunk. It is hard to respect such a man in spite of all his good qualities. Fortune gave him the opportunity of playing a great part, and he shrank from it. When the crop sprang up which he had himself helped to sow, he blighted it. But because he was personally respectable, and because he held a middle course between contemporary parties, he has found favour with historians, who are too apt to forget that there is in politics, as in other things, a right course and a wrong, and that to attempt to walk along both at once proves a man to be a weak statesman, and does not prove him to be a great or good man.

[The early career of Caius Gracchus.] In B.C. 126 Caius Gracchus, seven years after he had been made one of the commissioners for the allotment of public land, was elected quaestor. Sardinia was at that time in rebellion, and it fell by lot to Caius to go there as quaestor to the consul Orestes. It is said that he kept quiet when Tiberius was killed, and intended to steer clear of politics. But one of those splendid bursts of oratory, with which he had already electrified the people, remains to show over what he was for ever brooding. 'They slew him,' he cried, 'these scoundrels slew Tiberius, my noble brother! Ah, they are all of one pattern.' He said this in advocating the Lex Papiria, which proposed to make the re-election of a tribune legal. But Scipio opposed the law, and it was defeated then, to be carried, however, a few years later. Again, in the year of his quaestorship, he spoke against the law of M. Junius Pennus, which aimed at expelling all Peregrini from Rome. They were the very men by whose help Tiberius had carried his agrarian law, and when Caius spoke for them he was clearly treading in his brother's steps. At a later time he declared that he dreamt Tiberius came to him and said, 'Why do you hesitate? You cannot escape your doom and mine - to live for the people and die for them.' Such a story would be effective in a speech, and particularly effective when told to a superstitious audience; but his day-dreams we may be sure were the cause and not the consequence of his visions of the night. For there can be no doubt that the younger brother had already one purpose and one only - to avenge the death of Tiberius and carry out his designs.

Such omens as Roman credulity fastened on when the political air was heavy with coming storm abounded now. With grave irony the historian records: 'Besides showers of oil and milk in the neighbourhood of Veii, a fact of which some people may doubt, an owl, it is said, was seen on the Capitol, which may have been true.' Fulvius Flaccus, the friend of Gracchus, made the first move. [Proposition of Fulvius Flaccus. Its significance.] In order to buy off the opposition of the Socii to the agrarian law, he proposed to give them the franchise, just as Licinius, when he had offered the poor plebeians a material boon, offered the rich ones a political one, so as to secure the united support of the whole body. The proposal was significant, and it was made at a critical time. The poor Italians were chafing, no doubt, at the suspension of the agrarian law. The rich were indignant at the carrying of the law of Pennus. Other and deeper causes of irritation have been mentioned above. In the year of the proposal of Flaccus, and very likely in consequence of its rejection, Fregellae - a Latin colony - revolted. [Revolt and punishment of Fregellae.] The revolt was punished with the ferocity of panic. The town was destroyed; a Roman colony, Fabrateria, was planted near its site; and for the moment Italian discontent was awed into sullen silence. No wonder the Senate was panic-stricken. Here was a real omen, not conjured up by superstition, that one of those towns, which through Rome's darkest fortunes in the second Punic War had remained faithful to her, should single-handed and in time of peace raise the standard of rebellion. Was Fregellae indeed single-handed? The Senate suspected not, and turned furiously on the Gracchan party, and, it is alleged, accused Caius of complicity with the revolt. [Caius Gracchus accused of treason. He stands for the tribunate.] It was rash provocation to give to such a man at such a time. If he was accused, he was acquitted, and he at once stood for the tribunate. Thus the party which had slain his brother found itself again at death-grips with an even abler and more implacable foe.

[Prominence of Gracchus at home and abroad.] There is no doubt that for some time past Caius Gracchus, young as he was, and having as yet filled none of the regular high offices, had had the first place in all men's thoughts. His first speech had been received by the people with wild delight. He was already the greatest orator in Rome. His importance is shown by the Senate's actually prolonging the consul's command, in order to keep his quaestor longer abroad. But his friends were consoled for his absence by the stories they heard of the respect shown to him by foreign nations. The Sardinians would not grant supplies to Orestes, and the Senate approved their refusal. But Gracchus interposed, and they voluntarily gave what they had before appealed against. Micipsa, son of Masinissa, also sent corn to Orestes, but averred that it was out of respect to Gracchus. The Senate's fears and the esteem of foreigners were equally just. What the life of Gracchus was in Sardinia he has himself told us; and from the implied contrast we may judge what was the life of the nobles of the time. [His description of the life of a noble.] 'My life,' he said to the people, 'in the province was not planned to suit my ambition, but your interests. There was no gormandising with me, no handsome slaves in waiting, and at my table your sons saw more seemliness than at head-quarters. No man can say without lying that I ever took a farthing as a present or put anyone to expense. I was there two years; and if a single courtesan ever crossed my doors, or if proposals from me were ever made to anyone's slave-pet, set me down for the vilest and most infamous of men. And if I was so scrupulous towards slaves, you may judge what my life must have been with your sons. And, citizens, here is the fruit of such a life. I left Rome with a full purse and have brought it back empty. Others took out their wine jars full of wine, and brought them back full of money.'

Such was the man who now came back to Rome to demand from the aristocracy a reckoning for which he had been yearning with undying passion for nearly ten years. An exaggerated contrast between him and Tiberius at the expense of the latter has been previously condemned. The man who originates is always so far greater than the man who imitates, and Caius only followed where his brother led. He was not greater than but only like his brother in his bravery, in his culture, in the faculty of inspiring in his friends strong enthusiasm and devotion, in his unswerving pursuit of a definite object, and, as his sending the son of Fulvius Flaccus to the Senate just before his death proves in the teeth of all assertions to the contrary, in his willingness to use his personal influence in order to avoid civil bloodshed. [Caius compared with Tiberius.] The very dream which Caius told to the people shows that his brother's spell was still on him, and his telling it, together with his impetuous oratory and his avowed fatalism, militates against the theory that Tiberius was swayed by impulse and sentiment, and he by calculation and reason. But no doubt he profited by experience of the past. He had learned how to bide his time, and to think generosity wasted on the murderous crew whom he had sworn to punish. Pure in life, perfectly prepared for a death to which he considered himself foredoomed, glowing with one fervent passion, he took up his brother's cause with a double portion of his brother's spirit, because he had thought more before action, because he had greater natural eloquence, and because being forewarned he was forearmed.

In spite of the labours of recent historians, the legislation of Caius Gracchus is still hard to understand. Where the original authorities contradict each other, as they often do, probable conjecture is the most which can be attained, and no attempt will be made here to specify what were the measures of the first tribunate of Caius and what of the second. [The general purpose of the legislation of Caius.] The general scope and tendency of his legislation is clear enough. It was to overthrow the senatorial government, and in the new government to give the chief share of the executive power to the mercantile class, and the chief share of the legislative power to the country class. These were his immediate aims. Probably he meant to keep all the strings he thus set in motion in his own hands, so as to be practically monarch of Rome. But whether he definitely conceived the idea of monarchy, and, looking beyond his own requirements, pictured to himself a successor at some future time inheriting the authority which he had established, no one can say. In such vast schemes there must have been much that was merely tentative. But had he lived and retained his influence we may be sure that the Empire would have been established a century earlier than it was.

[Date of the tribunate of Caius, December 10, B.C. 124.] Rome was thronged to overflowing by the country class, and the nobles strained every nerve in opposition when Caius was elected tribune. He was only fourth on the list out of ten, and entered on his office on December 10, B.C. 124. With a fixed presentiment of his own fate, he felt that, even if he wished to remain passive, the people would not permit him to be so. He might, he said, have pleaded that he and his young child were the last representatives of a noble line - of P. Africanus and Tiberius Gracchus - and that he had lost a brother in the people's cause; but the people would not have listened to the plea. It has been said that his mother dissuaded him from his intentions. But the fragments on which the statement is based are as likely as not spurious; and Cornelia's fortitude after she had lost both her sons would hardly have been shown by one capable of subordinating public to private interests.

[Story of his mother's sentiments.] It is far more likely that when in his stirring speeches he spoke of his home as no place for him to visit, while his mother was weeping and in despair, he was influenced by her adjurations to avenge his brother, and not by any craven warnings against sharing his fate. However this may have been, no timid influences could be traced in the fiery passion of his first speeches. [Story of the means by which he modulated his voice when speaking.] He was, in fact, so carried away by his feelings that he had to resort to a curious device in order to keep his voice under control. A man with a musical instrument used, it is said, to stand near him, and warn him by a note at times if he was pitching his voice too high or too low. It was now that he told his stories of the flogging of the magistrate of Teanum and the murder of the Venusian herdsman, and we can imagine how they would incense his hearers against the nobles. Against one of them, Octavius, he specially directed a law, making it illegal for any magistrate previously deposed by the people to be elected to office; but this, at Cornelia's suggestion it is said, he withdrew. Another law also had special reference to the fate of Tiberius. It made illegal the trial of any citizen for an offence which involved the loss of his civic rights without the consent of the people. [Caius procures the banishment of Popillius Laenas.] This law, if in force, would have prevented the ferocity with which Popillius Laenas hunted down the partisans of Tiberius; and Caius followed it up according to the oration De Domo, by procuring against Popillius a sentence of outlawry. One of the fragments from his speeches was probably spoken at this time. In it he told the people that they now had the chance they had so long and so passionately desired; and that, if they did not avail themselves of it, they would lay themselves open to the charge of caprice or of ungoverned temper. Popillius anticipated the sentence by voluntary retirement from Rome.

[His Lex Frumentaria.] Having satisfied his conscience by the performance of what no doubt seemed to him sacred duties, Caius at once set to work to build up his new constitution. It is commonly represented that in order to gain over the people to his side he cynically bribed them by his Lex Frumentaria. Now if this were true, and Caius were as clear-sighted as the same writers who insist on the badness of the law describe him to have been, it is hard to see how they can in the same breath eulogise his goodness and nobleness. To gain his ends he would have been using vile means, and would have been a vile man. [The common criticism on it unjust.] Looking, however, more closely into the law, we are led to doubt whether it was bad, or, at all events, even granting that eventually it led to evil, whether it would have appeared likely to do so to Caius. The public land, it must be remembered, was liable to an impost called vectigal. This vectigal went into the Aerarium, which the nobles had at their disposal. Now the law of Caius appears to have fixed a nominal price for corn to all Roman citizens, and if the market price was above this price the difference would have to be made good from the Aerarium. We at once see the object of Caius, and how the justice of it might have blinded him to the demoralising effects of his measure. 'The public land,' he said in effect, 'belongs to all Romans and so does the vectigal. If you take that to which you have no right, you shall give it back again in cheap corn.' In short, it was a clever device for partially neutralising the long misappropriation of the State's property by the nobles, and for giving to the people what belonged to the people - to each man, as it were, so many ears of corn from whatever fraction would be his own share of the land. [Contrast between the just proposal of Caius and the demagogy of Drusus.] When Drusus was afterwards set up to outbid Caius, he proposed that the vectigal should be remitted, and that the land that had been assigned might be sold by the occupier. How this would catch the farmer's fancy is as obvious as is its odious dishonesty. It was dishonest to the State because it was only fair that each occupier should contribute to its funds, and because it did away with the hope of filling Italy with free husbandmen. It was dishonest to the occupier himself, because it put in his way the worst temptation to unthriftiness. When Caius renewed his brother's laws he purposely charged the land distributed to the poor with a yearly vectigal. How different was this from the mere demagogic trick of Drusus! It appears, then, that the Lex Frumentaria of Caius is not the indefensible measure which modern writers, filled with modern notions, have called it. It has, moreover, been well said that it was a kind of poor-law; and, even if bad in itself, may have been the least bad remedy for the pauperism which not Caius, but senatorial misgovernment had brought about. No doubt it conferred popularity on Caius, and no doubt his popularity was acceptable to him; but there is no ground for believing that his noble nature deliberately stooped to demoralise the mob for selfish motives.

[His Lex Judiciaria.] One great party, however, he had thus won over to his side. The Lex Judiciaria gained over the equites also. It has been before explained that the equites at this time were non-senatorial rich men. Senators were forbidden by law to mix in commerce, though no doubt they evaded the law. Between the senatorial and moneyed class there was a natural ill-will, which Caius proceeded to use and increase. His exact procedure we do not know for certain. According to some authorities he made the judices eligible from the equites only, instead of from the Senate. In the epitome of Livy it is stated that 600 of the equites were to be added to the number of the senators, so that the equites should have twice as much power as the Senate itself. This at first sight seems nonsense. But Caius may have proposed that for judicial purposes 600 equites should form, as it were, a second chamber, which, being twice as numerous, would permit two judices for every senatorial judex. In form he may have devised that 'counter-senate,' which, as it has been shown, he in fact created. [The effects of it. The Senate abased, the equites exalted.] But whether Caius provided that all the judices or only two-thirds of them should be chosen from the equites, and in whatever way he did so, he did succeed in exalting the moneyed class and abasing the Senate. In civil processes, and in the permanent and temporary commissions for the administration of justice, the equites were henceforth supreme. Even the senators themselves depended on their verdict for acquittal or condemnation, and the chief power in the State had changed hands. Of course the change would not be felt at once to the full; but this was the most trenchant stroke which Gracchus aimed at the Senate's power. Here, again, it is customary to write of his actions as if they were governed solely by feeling, quite apart from all considerations of right and wrong. But Cicero declares that for nearly fifty years, while the equites discharged this office, there was not even the slightest suspicion of a single eques being bribed in his capacity as judex; and after every allowance has been made for Ciceronian exaggeration, the statement may at least warrant us in believing that Gracchus had some reason for hoping that his change would be a change for the better, even if, as Appian declares, it turned out in the end just the opposite. Indeed, it is beyond question that, as the provinces were governed by the senatorial class, judices who had to decide cases like those of Cotta would be more fairly chosen from the equites than from the class to which Cotta belonged.

[The taxation of Asia.] We know little of the arrangements for the taxation of Asia made by Gracchus. He provided that the taxes should be let by auction at Rome, which would undoubtedly be a boon to the Roman capitalists and a check to provincial competition. He is said also to have substituted the whole system of direct and indirect taxes for the previously existing system of fixed payments by the various states. There was a certain narrowness about the conceptions of both the Gracchi with regard to the transmarine world, which was common to all Romans; to which, for instance, Tiberius gave expression when he spoke of the conquest of the whole world as a thing which his audience had a right to expect; and this sentiment may have in this instance influenced Caius to use harshness. [The common criticism on the measure of Caius unjust.] But even here to condemn without more knowledge of his measures would be unjust. Fixed payments it must be remembered were not always preferable to tithes of the produce. In a sterile year the payers of vectigalia would be best off. Again, if a rich province like Asia did not pay tribute in proportion to other provinces, a re-adjustment of its taxes would not seem to the Romans unfair; and perhaps auction at Rome would after all be less mischievous than a hole-and-corner arrangement in the provinces. If the sheep were to be fleeced, they would not be shorn closest in the capital. [Measure for the relief of publicani.] To another of his provisions at all events no one could object - the one which gave relief to such publicani as had suffered loss in collecting the revenue.

[Alleged privileges conferred on the equites.] Gracchus had thus raised the equites above the Senate at Rome in the courts of justice, and opened a golden harvest to them in the provinces. It is conjectured that he also gave them the distinction of a golden finger-ring and reserved seats at the public spectacles. Two classes were thus gratified, the city poor and the city rich. [Caius attempts to conciliate the farmer class and the Italians.] But Gracchus had to deal also with those of the country class in whose favour his brother's agrarian law had been passed, and with those who had resented the law. To provide for the former he renewed the operation of his brother's law, which had been suspended by Scipio's intervention, and probably took away its administrations from the consuls and restored it to triumvirs; and as that might be insufficient, he began the establishment of many colonies in various parts of the peninsula; and even beyond it at Carthage, to which he invited colonists from all parts of Italy. To compensate and benefit the latter he proposed to give them the franchise, so as to secure them from such outrages as that of Teanum. For though such of them as belonged to Roman colonies or municipia possessed the franchise already, the mass of the Latins and Italians did not possess it. There are different accounts of this measure; but Appian says that he wished to give the Latini the Jus Suffragii and Jus Honorum, and to the rest of the Italians the Jus Suffragii only. But here he reckoned without his host. [Sidenote: Feeling at Rome.] The boons of colonies and cheap bread, and the prospect of a slice out of the public land occupied by Italians, were all not strong enough to overcome the deep, ingrained prejudice against extending the franchise. Rich and poor Romans met here on the common ground of narrow pride, and the offence caused by this wise project probably paved the way for the tribune's fall.

In speaking of the motives which induced Tiberius to seek the tribunate a second time (p. 33) it has been said that he was not influenced by personal considerations, but wanted time to carry out his measures. This view is confirmed by what Appian says about Caius, namely, that he was elected a second time; for already a law had been enacted to this effect, that if a tribune could not find time for executing in his tribunate what he had promised, the people might give the office to him again in preference to anyone else. This has been pronounced to be a blunder on Appian's part, but without adequate reason. It was in fact the natural and inevitable law which Caius would insist on first, and he would plead for it precisely on the grounds which Appian states. It is also clear that such a law once passed made virtual monarchy at Rome possible. [Other measures of Caius.] In fact the other measures of Caius were both worthy of a great and wise monarch, and might with good reason be thought to be designed to lead to monarchy. [Roads. Granaries. Soldiers' uniform. Age for service.] He constructed magnificent roads - along which, it would be whispered, his voters might come more easily to Rome. He built public granaries. He gave the soldiers clothing at the cost of the State. He made seventeen the minimum age for service in the army. He himself superintended the plantation of his own colonies. Everywhere he made his finger felt; but whether this was of set purpose or only from his constitutional energy it is hard to decide. His chief object, however, was to overthrow the Senate; and we have not yet exhausted the list of his assaults upon it. [Change in nomination to provinces.] Hitherto it had been the custom for the Senate to name the consular provinces for the next year after the election of the consuls, which meant that if a favourite was consul a rich province was given to him, and if not, a poor one. Caius enacted that the consular provinces should be named before the election of the consuls. By way, perhaps, of softening this restriction he took away from the tribunes their veto on the naming of the consular provinces. [Alleged change in the order of voting.] He is further supposed, though on slender evidence, to have changed the order of voting in the Comitia Centuriata. Formerly the first class voted first. Now the order of voting first was to be settled by lot, and so the influence of the rich would be diminished.

[General criticism of his schemes.] Such, in outline, was the grand scheme of Caius Gracchus. If he was less single-minded in his aims than his brother, he could hardly help being so; and, having to reconcile so many conflicting interests, he may have swerved from what would have been his own ideal. But that his main purpose was to break down a rotten system, and establish a sound one on its ruins, and that no petty motive of expediency guided him, but only the one principle, 'salus populi suprema lex,' is incontrovertible. When we think of him so eloquent, resolute, and energetic, conceiving such great projects and executing them in person, making the regeneration of his country his lodestar in spite of his ever-present belief that he would, in the end, fall by the same fate as his brother, we think of him as one of the noblest figures in history - a purer and less selfish Julius Caesar.

[Machinations of the nobles.] As the petty acts of the nobles had brought out into relief the large policy of Tiberius, so it was now. They resorted to even lower tricks than accusations of tyranny, and found in the fatuity or dishonesty of Drusus a tool even more effective than Nasica's brutality. The plantation of a colony at Carthage was looked at askance by many Romans. It was the first colony planted out of Italy, and the superstitious were filled with forebodings which the Senate eagerly exaggerated. Such colonies had repeatedly out-grown and overtopped the parent state. The ground had been solemnly cursed, and the restoration of the town forbidden. When the first standard was set up by the colonists a blast of wind, it is said, blew it down, and scattered the flesh of the victims; and wolves had torn up the stakes that marked out the site. Such malicious stories met with readier credence, because, if it is true that Caius had called for colonists from all Italy, and Junonia was to be a Roman colony, he was evading the decree of the people against extending the franchise; and he was thus admitting to it, by a side-wind, those to whom it had just in the harshest manner been refused. For, when the vote had been taken, every man not having a vote had been expelled from the city, and forbidden to come within five miles of it till the voting was over. Caius had come to live in the Forum instead of on the Palatine when he returned to Rome, among his friends as he thought; and still even in little matters he stood forward as the champion of the poor against the rich. There was going to be a show of gladiators in the Forum, and the magistrates had enclosed the arena with benches, which they meant to hire out. Caius asked them to remove the benches, and, on their refusal, went the night before the show and took them all away. Anyone who has witnessed modern athletic sports, and observed how a crowd will hem in the competitors so that only a few spectators can see, although an equally good view can be obtained by a great number if the ring is enlarged, will perceive Caius's object, and be slow to admit that he spoiled the show. But though such acts pleased the people, all of them had not forgiven him the proposition about the franchise; and his popularity was on the wane. [Drusus outbids Caius.] The Senate had suborned one of his colleagues, M. Livius Drusus, to outbid him. Either Drusus thought he was guiding the Senate into a larger policy when he was himself merely the Senate's puppet, and this his son's career makes probable, or he was cynically dishonest and unscrupulous.

Caius had meditated, it may be, many colonies, but, according to Plutarch, had at this time only actually settled two. Drusus proposed to plant twelve, each of 3,000 citizens. Caius had superintended the settlement himself, and employed his friends. With virtuous self-denial Drusus washed his hands of all such patronage. Caius had imposed a yearly tax on those to whom he gave land; Drusus proposed to remit it. Caius had wished to give the Latins the franchise; Drusus replied by a comparatively ridiculous favour, which, however, might appeal more directly to the lower class of Latins. No Latin, he said, should be liable to be flogged even when serving in the army. Drusus could afford to be liberal. His colonies were sham colonies. His remission of the vectigal was a thin-coated poison. His promise to the Latins was at best a cheap one, and was not carried out. But none the less his treachery or imbecility served its purpose, and the greedier and baser of the partisans of Gracchus began to look coldly on their leader. [Caius rejected for the tribunate.] It is stated, indeed, that on his standing for the tribunate a third time he was rejected by fraud, his colleagues having made a false return of the names of the candidates. In any case he was not elected, and one of the consuls for the year 121 was L. Opimius, his mortal foe.

The end was drawing near. Sadly Caius must have recognised that his presentiments would soon be fulfilled, and that he must share his brother's fate. [Preparations for civil strife.] His foes proposed to repeal the law for the settlement of Junonia, and, according to Plutarch, others of his laws also. Warned by the past, his friends armed. Men came disguised as reapers to defend him. It is likely enough that they were really reapers, who would remember why Tiberius lost his life, and that their support would have saved him. Fulvius was addressing the people about the law when Caius, attended by some of his partisans, came to the Capitol. He did not join the meeting, but began walking up and down under a colonnade to wait its issue. Here a man named Antyllus, who was sacrificing, probably in behalf of Opimius the consul, either insulted the Gracchans and was stabbed by them, or caught hold of Caius's hand, or by some other familiarity or importunity provoked some hasty word or gesture from him, upon which he was stabbed by a servant. As soon as the deed was done the people ran away, and Caius hastened to the assembly to explain the affair. But it began to rain heavily; and for this, and because of the murder, the assembly was adjourned. Caius and Fulvius went home; but that night the people thronged the Forum, expecting that some violence would be done at daybreak. Opimius was not slow to seize the opportunity. He convoked the Senate, and occupied the temple of Castor and Pollux with armed men. The body of Antyllus was placed on a bier, and with loud lamentations borne along the Forum; and as it passed by the senators came out and hypocritically expressed their anger at the deed. Then, going indoors, they authorised the consul, by the usual formula, to resort to arms. He summoned the senators and equites to arm, and each eques was to bring two armed slaves. The equites owed much to Gracchus, but they basely deserted him now. Fulvius, on his side, armed and prepared for a struggle. All the night the friends of Caius guarded his door, watching and sleeping by turns. [Sidenote: Fighting in Rome.] The house of Fulvius was also surrounded by men, who drank and bragged of what they would do on the morrow, and Fulvius is said to have set them the example. At daybreak he and his men, to whom he distributed the arms which he had when consul taken from the Gauls, rushed shouting up to the Aventine and seized it. Caius said good-bye to his wife and little child, and followed, in his toga, and unarmed. He knew he was going to his death, but

  For his country felt alone, 
  And prized her blood beyond his own.

One effort he made to avert the struggle. He induced Fulvius to send his young son to the Senate to ask for terms. The messenger returned with the Senate's reply that they must lay down their arms, and the two leaders must come and answer for their acts. Caius was ready to go. But Fulvius was too deeply committed, and sent his son back again, upon which Opimius seized him, and at once marched to the Aventine. There was a fight, in which Fulvius was beaten, and with another son fled and hid himself in a bath or workshop. His pursuers threatened to burn all that quarter if he was not given up; so the man who had admitted him told another man to betray him, and father and son were slain.

[Murder of Caius.] Meanwhile Caius, who had neither armed nor fought, was about to kill himself in the temple of Diana, when his two friends implored him to try and save himself for happier times. Then it is said he invoked a curse on the people for their ingratitude, and fled across the Tiber. He was nearly overtaken; but his two staunch friends, Pomponius and Laetorius, gave their lives for their leader - Pomponius at the Porta Trigemina below the Aventine, Laetorius in guarding the bridge which was the scene of the feat of Horatius Cocles. As Caius passed people cheered him on, as if it was a race in the games. He called for help, but no one helped him - for a horse, but there was none at hand. One slave still kept up with him, named Philocrates or Euporus. Hard pressed by their pursuers the two entered the grove of Furina, and there the slave first slew Caius and then himself. A wretch named Septimuleius cut off the head of Gracchus; for a proclamation had been made that whosoever brought the heads of the two leaders should receive their weight in gold. Septimuleius, it is said, took out the brains and filled the cavity with lead; but if he cheated Opimius, Opimius in his turn cheated those who brought the head of Fulvius, for as they were of the lower class he would pay them nothing. The story may be false; but Opimius was subsequently convicted of selling his country's interests to Jugurtha for money, so that with equal likelihood it may be true. In the fight and afterwards he put to death 3,000 men, many of whom were innocent, but whom he would not allow to speak in their defence. The houses of Caius and Fulvius were sacked, and the property of the slain was confiscated. Then the city was purified, and the ferocious knave Opimius raised a temple to Concord, on which one night was found written 'The work of Discord makes the temple of Concord.' That year there was a famous vintage, and nearly two centuries afterwards there was some wine which had been made at the time that Caius Gracchus died. The wine, says the elder Pliny, tasted like and had the consistency of bitterish honey. But the memory of the great tribune has lasted longer than the wine, and will be honoured for ever by all those who revere patriotism and admire genius. He for whom at the last extremity friend and slave give their lives does not fall ingloriously. Even for a life so noble such deaths are a sufficient crown.

[The mother of the Gracchi.] The child of Caius did not long survive him. The son of Tiberius died while a boy. Only Cornelia, the worthy mother of the heroic brothers, remained. She could (according to the purport of Plutarch's pathetic narrative) speak of them without a sigh or tear; and those who concluded from this that her mind was clouded by age or misfortune, were too dull themselves to comprehend how a noble nature and noble training can support sorrow, for though fate may often frustrate virtue, yet 'to bear is to conquer our fate.'

[Position of the nobles after the murder. Lex Maria.] The nobles no doubt thought that, having got rid of Gracchus, they had renewed their own lease of power. But they had only placed themselves at the mercy of meaner men. The murderous scenes just related happened in 121 B.C., and in 119 we read of a Lex Maria, the first law, that is to say, promulgated by the destined scourge of the Roman aristocracy. Every Roman could vote, and voted by ballot, and was eligible to every office. The first law of Marius was to protect voters from the solicitations of candidates for office. It is significant that the nobles opposed it, though in the end it was carried. Stealthy intrigue was now their safest weapon, but their power was tottering to its fall. Too jealous of each other to submit to the supremacy of one, it only remained for them to be overthrown by some leader of the popular party, and the Republic was no more. Yet, as if smitten by judicial blindness, they proceeded to hasten on their own ruin by reactionary provocations to their opponents. [Gracchan laws remain in force.] They dared not interfere with the corn law of Caius, for now that every man had a vote, which he could give by ballot, they were dependent on the suffrages of the mob. Neither dared they till seventeen years later make an attempt to interfere with the selection of the judices from the equestrian order, and even then the attempt failed. The scheme of taxation in the province of Asia was also left untouched. But what they dared to do they did. They prosecuted the adherents of Gracchus. They recalled Popillius from exile. When Opimius was arraigned for 'perduellio,' or misuse of his official power to compass the death of a citizen, they procured his acquittal. But when Carbo was accused of the same crime, they remembered that he had been a partisan of Tiberius, though since a renegade, and would not help him. So while Opimius got off, the champion of Opimius was driven to commit suicide - a fitting close to a contemptible career.

[Reactionary legislation.] But they soon assailed measures as well as men. The Lex Baebia appears to have secured those who had actually established themselves at Carthage in their allotments; but the Senate annulled the colonies which Caius had planned in Italy, and, with one exception, Neptunia, broke up those already settled. [The agrarian law annulled.] Then by three successive enactments it got rid of the agrarian law, and plunged Italy again into the decline from which by the help of that law she was emerging. 1. The occupiers were allowed again to sell their land. Tiberius had expressly forbidden this, and now the rich at once began to buy out the small owners, whom they often evicted by means more or less foul. 2. A tribune named Borius, or Thorius, prohibited any further distribution of land, thus knocking on the head the permanent commission. These two laws were tantamount to handing over to the rich in the city and the country the greater part of the public land, giving them a legal title to it instead of the possession on sufferance with which the Gracchi had interfered. The mouths of the farmers were stopped by the pernicious but tempting permission to sell their land. The people were cajoled by the vectigalia, which Drusus had abolished, being reimposed, and the proceeds divided among them. 3. Encouraged by the general acquiescence in these insidious aggressions they induced a tribune, whose name is conjectured to have been C. Baebius, to do away with the vectigalia altogether. [Lex Thoria.] The date of this law, usually called the Thorian law, was 111 B.C. The real Thorian law was probably carried in 118 B.C. Between these dates the rich would have been getting back the land from the poor occupiers, and so, when the Senate abolished the vectigalia, it was really pocketing them, and once for all and by a legal form turning the public into private land. This law, which is here called the Baebian law, Cicero ascribes to Spurius Thorius, who, he says, freed the land from the vectigal. But as Appian says that Spurius Borius imposed the vectigal, it is assumed that Cicero confused names, that the Spurius Borius of Appian was Spurius Thorius, and that the tribune whom Cicero calls Thorius was really quite another person. However that may be, the law would benefit the rich, because the rich would be owners of the land. Certain provisions of it were directly meant to prevent opposition in the country. For if many of the poor farmers would grumble at being ousted from their land, the land which had been specially assigned to Latin towns, and of which Tiberius Gracchus had threatened to dispossess them, was left in the same state as before his legislation; that is to say, the Senate did not give the occupiers an indefeasible title, but it did not meddle with them. Moreover, it amply indemnified the Socii and Latini who had surrendered land for the colonies of Caius, while some compensation was given to poor farmers by a clause, that in future a man might only graze ten large and fifty smaller beasts on the pastures of what still remained public land. By this law the jurisdiction over land which had been assigned by the triumvirs was given to the consuls, censors, and praetors, the jurisdiction over cases in which disputes with the publicani required settlement being granted to the consuls, praetors, and, as such cases would occur chiefly in the provinces which were mostly under propraetors, to propraetors also.

[Pernicious results of the reaction.] The results of this reactionary legislation are partly summed up by Appian, when he attributes to it a dearth of citizens, soldiers, and revenue. To our eyes its effects are clearer still. Slave labour and slave-discontent, 'latifundia,' decrease of population, depreciation of the land, received a fresh impetus, and the triumphant optimates pushed the State step by step further down the road to ruin. For the end for which they struggled was not the good of Italy, much less of the world, but the supremacy of Rome in Italy, and of themselves in Rome. Wealth and office were shared by an ever narrowing circle. Ten years after the passing of the Baebian law, it was said that among all the citizens there were only 2,000 wealthy families. And between the years 123 and 109 B.C. four sons and probably two nephews of Quintus Metellus gained the consulship, five of the six gained triumphs, and one was censor, while he himself had filled all the highest offices of the State. Thus, as Sallust says, the nobles passed on the chief dignities from hand to hand.

There must have been many of the Gracchan party, now left without a head, who burned for deliverance from such despicable masters. But they were for the time disorganized and cowed. [Caius Marius.] There was one man whom Scipio Aemilianus was said to have pointed out in the Numantine war as capable, if he himself died, of taking his place; and the rough soldier had already come forward as a politician, on the one hand checking the optimates by protecting the secrecy and efficiency of the ballot, and on the other defying the mob by opposing a distribution of corn; but for the present no one could tell how far he would or could go, and though he had already been made praetor, the Metelli could as yet afford to despise him. The death of Caius prolonged the Senate's misrule for twenty years. Twenty years of shame at home and abroad - the turpitude of the Jugurthine war - a second and more stubborn slave revolt in Sicily - the apparition of the Northern hordes inflicting disaster after disaster upon the Roman armies, which in 105 B.C. culminated in another and more appalling Cannae - these things had yet to come about before the cup of the Senate's infamy was full, and before those who had drawn the sword against the Gracchi perished by the sword of Marius, impotent, unpitied, and despised.

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