Puslapio vaizdai

such an accusation did much harm, and friends was a certain Titius Sabinus, and for this reason, whether true or false, ene- the implacable Sejanus destroyed him with mies were glad to repeat it whenever they a suit of which Tacitus has given us an wished to discredit a character. Lastly, all account, a horrible story of one of the most the ancient writers, even the most hostile, abominable judicial machinations which tell us that up to a ripe age Tiberius pre- human perfidy can imagine. Dissensions served his exemplary habits. Is it likely, arose to aggravate the already serious then, that suddenly, when already old, he danger in which Agrippina and her friends should have soiled himself with all the had been placed. Nero, the first-born son, vices ? At all events, if there is any truth and Drusus, the second, became hostile at contained in these accounts, we can at most the very moment when they should have conclude that as an old man Tiberius be- united against the ruthless adversary who came subject to some mental infirmity and wished to exterminate them all. A last that the man who took refuge at Capri rock of refuge remained to protect the was no longer entirely sane.

family of Germanicus. It was Livia, the Certain it is, in any case, that after his revered old lady who had been present at retirement to Capri, Tiberius seriously the birth of the fortunes of Augustus and neglected public affairs, and that Sejanus the new imperial authority, and who had was finally looked upon at Rome as the held in her arms that infant world which de facto emperor. The bulletins and re- had been born in the midst of the convulports which were sent from the empire sions of the civil wars, and a little later and from Rome to the emperor passed had watched it try its first steps on the through his hands, as well as the decisions pathway of history. Livia did not much which Tiberius sent back to the state. love Agrippina, whose hatred and inAt Rome, in all affairs of serious or slight trigues against Tiberius she had always importance, the senators turned to Seja- blamed; but she was too wise and too sonus, and about him, whom all fell into the licitous of the prestige of the family to habit of considering as the true emperor, allow Sejanus entirely to destroy the house a court and party were formed. In fear of Germanicus. As long as she lived, of his great power, the senators and the Agrippina and Nero could dwell safely in old aristocracy suppressed the envy which Rome. But Livia was feeble, and in the the dizzy rise of this obscure knight had beginning of 29, at the age of eighty-six, aroused. Rome suffered without protest she died. The catastrophe which had that a man of obscure birth should rule been carefully prepared by Sejanus was the empire in the place of a descendant of now consummated; a few months after the the great Claudian family, and the sena- death of Livia, Agrippina and Nero were tors of the most illustrious houses grew subjected to a suit, and, under an accusaaccustomed to paying him court. Worsetion of having conspired against Tiberius, still, virtually all of them aided him, either were condemned to exile by the senate. by openly favoring him or by allowing him Shortly after his condemnation, Nero coma free hand, to complete the decisive de- mitted suicide. struction of the party and the family of The account which Tacitus gives us of Germanicus-of that same Germanicus of this trial is obscure, involved, and fragwhom all had been fond and whose mem- mentary, for the story is broken off at its ory the people still venerated.

most important point by an unfortunate After the retirement of Tiberius to lacuna in the manuscript. The other hisCapri, all felt that Agrippina and her sons torians add but little light with their brief were inevitably doomed sooner or later to phrases and passing allusions. We do not succumb in the duel with the powerful, therefore entirely understand either the ambitious, and implacable prefect of the contents of the charges, the reason for the pretorians who represented Tiberius at condemnation, the stand taken by the acRome. Only few generous idealists cused, or the conduct of Tiberius with reremained faithful to the conquered, who gard to the accusation. It seems hardly were now near their destruction; such sup- probable that Agrippina and Nero could porters as might possibly ease the misery have been truly guilty of a real conspiracy of ruin, but not ward it off or avoid it. against Tiberius. Isolated as they had Among these last faithful and heroic been by Sejanus after the retirement of


Tiberius to Capri, they would scarcely should exercise the rule and have all its have been able to set a conspiracy on foot, burdens and dangers while he left to even if they had so desired. They were others the pomp, the honors, and the adpaying the penalty for the long war of vantages. Although Tiberius allowed the calumnies and slanders which they had senate to heap honors upon his faithful waged upon Tiberius, for the aversion and prefect of the pretorians, and though he the scorn which they had always shown himself showed his gratitude to him in for him. In this course of conduct many many ways, even going to the point of senators had encouraged them as long as being willing to give him the widow of Tiberius alone had not dared to have re- Nero in marriage, he never really expected course to violent and cruel measures in to take him as his colleague or to designate order to make himself respected by his him as his successor. Tiberius was family. But such acts of disrespect be- Claudian, and that a knight without ancame serious crimes for the unfortunate cestry should be placed at the head of the woman and her hapless son, even in the Roman aristocracy was to him unthinkaeyes of the senators who had encouraged ble; after the exile of Nero he had cast them to commit them, now that Sejanus his eyes upon Caius, another son of Gerhad reinvigorated the imperial authority manicus, as his possible successor. Nor with his energy, and now that all felt that had he hidden his intention: he had even behind Tiberius and in his name and place clearly expressed it in different speeches to there was acting a man of decision who the senate. Therefore Sejanus must finally knew how to punish his enemies and to re- have come to the conclusion that if he ward his friends.

continued to defend Tiberius and his inThe trial and condemnation of Agrip- terests, he could no longer hope for anypina and Nero were certainly the machi- thing from him, and might even compronations of Sejanus, who carried along mise the influence and the popularity with him not only the senate and the which he had already acquired. Tiberius friends of the imperial family, but perhaps was hated and detested, there was a nueven Tiberius himself. They prove how merous party opposed to him in the senmuch Sejanus had been able to strengthen ate, and he was extremely unpopular imperial authority, which had been hesi- among the masses. Many admired Sejatating and feeble in the last decade. Se

nus through spiteful hatred of Tiberius, janus had dared to do what Tiberius had for it amounted to saying that they prenever succeeded in doing; he had destroyed ferred to be governed by an obscure that center of opposition which gathered knight rather than by an old and detested about Agrippina in the house of Germani- Claudian who had shut himself up in cus. It is therefore scarcely necessary to Capri. And thus Sejanus seems to have say that the ruin of Agrippina still further deluded himself into

deluded himself into believing that if he increased the power of Sejanus. All succeeded in doing away with the embowed trembling before the man who had peror, he could easily take his position by dared humiliate the very family of the Julio- setting aside the young son of Germanicus Claudii. Honors were showered upon his and profiting by the popularity which the head; he was made senator and pontifex; fall of Tiberius would bring him. Little he received the proconsular power; there by little he came to an understanding with was talk of a marriage between him and the enemies of Tiberius and prepared a the widow of Nero; and it was finally conspiracy for the final overthrow of the proposed that he be named consul for five odious government of the son of Livia. years. Indeed, in 31, through the will of Many senators had agreed to this, and cerTiberius, he actually became the colleague tainly few conspiracies were ever organof the emperor himself in the consulate. ized under more favorable auspices. TiHe needed only the tribunician power to berius was old, disgusted with everything make him the official collaborator of the and everybody, and alone in Capri; he had emperor and his designated successor. virtually not a single friend in Rome; Every one at Rome, furthermore, consid- about what happened in the world he ered him the future prince. But having knew only what Sejanus told him. He arrived at this height, Sejanus's head was was therefore entirely in the hands of the turned, and he asked himself why he man who was preparing to sacrifice him to the tenacious hatred of the people and of the mob; and in Rome blood flowed in the senatorial aristocracy. Young, ener- torrents. getic, and the favorite of fortune, Sejanus Antonia might now have enjoyed the had with him a formidable party in the satisfaction of having saved through her senate, he was the commander of the pre- foresight not only Tiberius, but the entire torian guard,—that is, of the only military family, when suddenly one of the surges force stationed in Italy,—and he had ter- of that fierce tempest of ambitions and harified with his implacable persecutions all treds tore from her side even her own those whom he had failed to win over daughter, Livilla, the widow of Drusus, through his promises or his favors. Could and cast her as a prey into that sea of the duel between this misanthropic old blind popular frenzy. The reader has man and this vigorous, energetic, ruthless perhaps not forgotten that eight years beclimber end in any other way than with fore, when Sejanus was hoping to marry the defeat of the former? But now step- Livilla, he had repudiated his first wife, ping forward suddenly from the shadows Apicata. Apicata had not wished to outto which she had retired, a lady appeared, live the ruin of her former husband, and threw herself between the two contes- she killed herself, but only after having tants, and changed the fate of the combat. written Tiberius a letter in which she acIt was Antonia, the daughter of the fa- cused Livilla of having poisoned Drusus mous triumvir, the revered widow of through connivance with Sejanus, whom Drusus.

she wished to marry. I confess that this After the death of Livia, Antonia was accusation seems to me hardly probable, the most respected personage of the im- and I do not believe that the denunciation perial family in Rome. She still watched, of Apicata is sufficient ground for admitwithdrawn but alert, over the destiny of ting it. Above all, it is well to inquire the house now virtually destroyed by what proofs Apicata could have had of this death, dissensions, the cruelty of the laws, crime, and how she could have procured and the relentless anger of the aristocracy. them even if the crime had been commitIt was she who scented out the plot, and ted. Since the two accomplices would have quickly and courageously, she informed been obliged to hide their infamous deed Tiberius. The latter, in danger and in from all, there was no one from whom Capri, displayed again the energy and they would have concealed it more caresagacity of his best period. The danger fully than from Apicata. We must furwas most threatening, especially because ther note that it is not probable that a Sejanus was the commander of the pre- cautious man, as Sejanus was in the year torian guard. Tiberius beguiled him with 23, would have thought of committing so friendly letters, dangling in front of him serious a crime as that of poisoning the the hope that he had conceded to him the son of his protector. For what reason tribunician power,- that is, that he had would he have done so ? He did not then made him his colleague, - while at the think of succeeding Tiberius; by removing same time he secretly took measures to ap- Drusus, he would merely have improved point a successor for him. Suddenly the situation of the family of Germanicus, Sejanus learned that he was no longer which at that time was already hostile to commander of the guard, and that the em- him and with which he was preparing to peror had accused him before the senate struggle. Instead, might not this accusaof conspiracy. In an instant, under this tion in extremis be the last vengeance of a blow, the fortunes of Sejanus collapsed. repudiated woman against the rival who The envy and the latent hatred against for a moment had threatened to take the the parvenu, the knight who had risen position from which she herself had been higher than all others, and who had driven? Apicata did not belong to the humiliated the senatorial aristocracy with aristocracy, and, unlike the ladies of the his good fortune, were reawakened, and senatorial families, she had not therefore the senate and public opinion turned been brought up with the idea of having fiercely against him. Sejanus, his family, to serve docilely as an instrument for the his friends, his accomplices, and those who political career of her own husband. Perseemed to be his accomplices, were put to haps her denunciation was the revenge of death after summary trials by the fury feminine jealousy, of that passion which the lower orders of Roman society did not prevail over the greatness of Livilla! So extinguish in the hearts of their women Livilla took refuge in her mother's house as did the aristocracy.

and starved herself to death, for she was This denunciation, however,-we know unable to outlive an accusation which it this from the pages of ancient writers, – was impossible to refute. was one of the most terrible griefs of Ti- Tiberius's reign continued for six years berius's old age.

He had loved his son after this terrible tragedy, but it was only tenderly, and the idea of leaving so hor- a species of slow death-agony. The year rible a crime unpunished, in case the accu- 33 saw still another tragic event, the suisation was true, drove him to desperation. cide of Agrippina and her son Drusus. Of Yet, on the other hand, Livilla, the pre- the race of Germanicus there remained sumptive criminal, was the daughter of his alive only one son, Caius (the later Emfaithful friend, of that Antonia who had peror Caligula), and three daughters, of saved him from the treacheries of Sejanus. whom the eldest, Agrippina, the mother of As for the public, ever ready to believe all Nero, had been married a few years before the infamies which were reported of the to the descendant of one of the greatest imperial house, it was firmly convinced houses of Rome, Cnæus Domitius Enobarthat Livilla was an abominable poisoner. bus. Tiberius still remained as the last A great trial was set on foot; many sus- relic of a bygone time to represent ideas pects were put to torture, which is evi- and aspirations which were henceforth dence that they were arriving at no definite lost causes, amid the ruins and the tombs conclusions, and this was probably because of his friends. Posterity, following in the they were seeking for the proofs of an footsteps of Tacitus, has held him and his imaginary crime. Livilla did not survive dark nature alone responsible for this the scandal, the accusations, the suspicions ruin. We ought to believe instead that of Tiberius, and the distrust of those about he was a man born to a loftier and more her. Because she was the daughter of fortunate destiny, but that he had to pay Drusus and the daughter-in-law of Tibe- the penalty for the unique eminence to rius, because she belonged to the family which fortune had exalted him. Like the which fortune had placed at the head of members of his family who had been the immense empire of Rome, she would driven into exile, who had died before not be able to persuade any one that she their time, who had been driven to suicide was innocent. The obscure woman, with- in despair, he, too, was the victim of a out ancestry, who was accusing her from tragic situation full of insoluble contradicthe grave, would be taken at her word by tions; and precisely because he was desevery one; she would convince posterity tined to live, he was perhaps the most and history; against all reason she would unfortunate victim of them all.

(To be continued)







tion shall be filed against any officer until RASH EXPERIMENT

he has actually held his office for at least twelve months, and but one recall petition

shall be filed against the same officer durcently said in private conversation: ing his term of office." “If judges could have been recalled in What does this indicate if not that GovJohn Marshall's time, there would have ernor Wilson and his advisers perceived been at least two movements to recall him the danger of misdirected passion, which as Chief-Justice, and each of them would might wrong both the city and one of its have been led by a President of the United officials by removing him for an act of States."

duty and of justice at the moment unThe reference was, of course, to the dis!! popular? like of Marshall's decisions expressed by A system must stand or fall by its appliboth Jefferson and Jackson. Marshall's cation to extreme cases. If the recall is epoch-making opinion in “Marbury versus good for mayors and governors, it is also Madison” gave deep offense to Jefferson, good for Presidents. But if it had been and he is thought to have had that case in possible to recall a President, there can be mind when, fifteen years later, he wrote of no doubt that Washington would have the judiciary as a "subtle corps of sappers been recalled at the time of the excitement and miners,” and spoke of “a crafty chief- over the Jay Treaty, Lincoln in 1862, and judge who sophisticates the law to his Grover Cleveland in 1894. mind by the turn of his own reasoning." Recall of judges, as a concrete pro

Indeed, the beginnings of the recall of posal, has scarcely as yet been put before judges may be said to date from that the voters. It was embodied in the conperiod, for John Randolph, in a rage at stitution drafted for Arizona, but if she the failure to impeach Justice Samuel is admitted by Congress as a State, it will Chase, proposed as an amendment to the be only after her citizens have had an Constitution that “The Judges of the Su- opportunity to vote upon the judicial repreme Court and all other Courts of the call as a separate and distinct provision. United States shall be removed by the In California a constitutional amendment President on the joint address of both allowing the recall of judges is to be subHouses of Congress.” Needless to say, mitted to the electors. that cirium ardor prava jubentium did not These two specific instances have proprevail.

voked much discussion in the country at Something may perhaps be said for the large. At first many were taken with the recall of non-judicial and elective officials. new idea. But it must be said that the It is much talked of nowadays as a useful weight of argument is heavily against the weapon in municipal and in State admin- innovation. President Taft has opposed istration. But those who propose to apply it emphatically; Colonel Roosevelt guardit even in that limited sphere are forced to edly; Governor Wilson explicitly. In admit, if they are sober-minded men, that both Houses of Congress the sentiment it is a sword which may cut the hand that against it has been pronounced and even seeks to wield it, and that its use must be militant. So obvious is the present trend carefully guarded.

of opinion that it is safe to predict that Thus, in the general law passed this there will be little experimenting with year by the New Jersey Legislature, pro- the recall of judges for a long time to viding for a commission plan of govern- come, except possibly in Arizona and Caliment in those cities that choose to adopt it, fornia. If those commonwealths choose there is a provision for the recall. But it to make of themselves a kind of laboratory is significantly hedged about. The lan- in legislative experimentation for the beneguage of the statute is: "No recall peti- fit of the rest of the nation, they will

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