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out the least remains of the body; in the other, the books were found. Petilius, then prætor, having examined them, made his report upon oath to the senate, that it appeared to him inconsistent both with justice and religion, to publish them: in consequence of which, all the volumes were carried into the Comitium, and burned.
Glory follows in the train of great men, and in, creases after their death: for envy does not long survive them; nay, it sometimes dies before them. The misfortunes, indeed, of the succeeding kings added lustre to Numa's character. Of the five that came after him, the last was driven from the throne, and lived long in exile; and, of the four others, not one died a natural death. Three were treacherously slain. As for Tullus Hostilius, who reigned next after Numa, he ridiculed and despised many of his best institutions, particularly his religious ones, as effeminate and tending to inaction; with a view to dispose the people to war. He did not, however, abide by his irreligious opinions; but falling into a severe and complicated sickness, exchanged them for a superstition", very different from Numa's piety. Others liķewise were infected with the same false principles, when they saw the manner of his death, which is said to have happened by lightning
view of restoring among the people their primitive simplicity of worship.*
None are so superstitious in distress as those, who in their prosperity have laughed at religion. The famous Canon Vossius was not less remarkable for the greatness of his fears, than he was for the littleness of his faith.
92 The palace of Tullus flostilius was burned down by lightning; and he, with his wife and children, perished in the flames. Though some historians say that Ancus Marcius, who (as the grandson of Numa) expected to succeed to the crown, took the opportunity of the storm to assassinate the king.
NUMA AND LYCURGUS
gone through the Lives of Numa and Lycurgus, we must now endeavour (though it is no easy matter) to contrast their actions. For the resemblances between them are obvious enough; their wisdom, for instance, their piety, their talents for government, the instruction of their people, and their deriving their laws from a divine source.
The first then of their peculiar distinctions, was Numa's accepting a crown, and Lycurgus's relinquishing one. The former received a kingdom without seeking it, the latter resigned one when he had it in possession. Numa was advanced to sovereign power; when a private person and a stranger ; Lycurgus reduced himself from a king to a subject. It was an honour to the one, to have attained royal dignity by his justice; and it was an honour to the other, to have preferred justice to that dignity. Virtue rendered the one so respectable as tò deserve a throne, and the other so great as to be above it.
The second observation is, that they managed their respective governments, as musicians do their lyres, each in a different manner. Lycurgus wound up the strings of Sparta, which he found relaxed with luxury, to a stronger tone: Numa softened the high and harsh tone of Rome. The former had the more difficult task. For it was not their swords and breast-plates, which he persuaded his citizens to lay aside, but their gold
and silver, their sumptuous beds and tables : what he taught them was, not to devote their time to feasts and sacrifices, after quitting the rugged paths of war, but to abandon entertainments and the pleasures of wine for the laborious exercises of arms and the wrestling-ring. Numa effected his purposes, in a friendly manner, by the regard and veneration which the people had for his person : Lycurgus had to struggle with conflicts and dangers, before he could establish his laws. The genius of Numa was more mild and gentle, softening and attempering the fiery dispositions of his people to justice and peace. If we be obliged to admit the sanguinary and unjust treatment of the Helots, as a part of the politics of Lycurgus, we must allow Numa to have been far the more humane and equitable lawgiver, who permitted absolute slaves to taste of the honour of freemen, and in the Saturnalia to be entertained along with their masters'. For this also they tell us) was one of Numa's institutions, that persons in a state of servitude should be admitted, at least once a-year, to the liberal enjoyment of those fruits which they had helped to raise. Some however pretend to find in this custom the vestiges of that equality, which subsisted in the times of Saturn; when there was neither servant
The Saturnalia was a feast, celebrated on the 14th of the calends of January. Beside the sacrifices in honour of Saturn, who upon his retiring into Italy introduced there the happiness of the golden age, servants were at this time indulged in mirth and freedom, in memory of the equality which prevailed in that age: presents were sent from one friend to another; and no war was to be proclaimed, or offender to be executed. It is uncer. tain, when this festival was instituted. Macrobius says, it was celebrated in Italy long before the building of Rome; and he probably is right, for the Greeks kept the same feast under the name of Chronia. (Macrob. Saturn, I. 7.) (L.) M. Ricard affirms, that it was established, subsequently to Nuna's reign, by Tullius Hostilius or Tarquinius Superbus.*
hor master, but all were upon the same footing, and as it were of one family.
Both appear to have been equally studious to lead their people to temperance and sobriety. As to the remaining virtues, the one was more attached to fortitude, and the other to justice. Though, possibly, the different nature and quality of their respective governments required a different process, For it was not through want of courage, but to guard against injustice, that Numa restrained his subjects from war: neither did Lycurgus endeavour to infuse a martial spirit into his people with a view to encourage them to injure others, but to guard them against being injured by invasions. As each had the luxuriances of his citizens to prune, and their deficiencies to supply, they must necessarily make very considerable alterations.
Numa's distribution of the people was indulgent and agreeable to the commonalty, as with him a various and mixed mass of goldsmiths, musicians, shoemakers, and other trades composed the body of the city. But Lycurgus in modeling his state inclined to the nobility, and proceeded in a severe and unpopular manner; putting all mechanic arts into the hands of slaves and strangers, while the citizens were only taught how to manage the spear and the shield. They were only artists in war, and servants of Mars; neither knowing nor desiring to know, any thing but how to obey, command, and conquer their enemies. That the freemen might be entirely and once for all free, he would not suffer them to give any attention to their circumstances; but that whole business, in the same manner as the dressing of their meat, was to be left to the slaves and the Helots. Numa made no such distinction as this: he only put a stop to the gain of military rapine.
Not solicitous to prevent an inequality of subis stance, he forbade no other means of increas ing the fortunes of his subjects, or of rising to the greatest opulence”; neither did he guard against poverty, which at the same time entered and overflowed in the city. While there was no great disparity in the possessions of his citizens, but all were moderately provided, he should first have combated the desire of gain, and like Lycurgus have watched against it's inconveniences; for those were by no means inconsiderable, but such as gave birth to the many and great troubles, that happened in the Roman state.
As to an equal division of lands, neither was Lycurgus to blame for making it, nor Numa for not making it. The equality, which it caused, afforded the former a firm foundation for his government; and the latter, finding a division already made, and probably as yet subsisting entire, bad no occasion to make a new one.
With respect to the community of wives and children, each took a politic method to banish jealousy. A Roman husband, when he had a sufficient number of children, and was applied to by one that had none, might give up his wife to him?, and was at liberty both to divorce her and to take her again. But the Lacedæmonian, while his wife remained in his house, and the marriage subsisted in it's original force, allowed his friend, who desired to have children by her, the use of
. And this, from the severity with which the wealthy patricians treated their debtors, was the chief source of the calamities of Rome; by causing innumerable disturbances among the plebeians, which could only in general be quieted by the harsh remedy of a new war.
It does not appear, that Numa afforded any sanction to this liberty. Plutarch himself says, a little below, that no divorcewas known in Rome till long afterward.