Puslapio vaizdai



scapegoat for all this bloody and horrible privileged pair who founded it, we a adventure.

a loss to know whether to call it the As a matter of fact, Anicetus accepted. fortunate or the most unhappy of a The freedman whom Agrippina had sent families of the ancient world. It i to announce her misfortune was impris- possible for the historian who unders oned and put in chains, in order to convey this terrible drama, filled with so the impression that he had been captured catastrophes, not to feel a certain im carrying concealed weapons and in the act sion of horror at the vindictive fer of making an attempt upon the emperor's that Rome showed to this house, whic life by the order of his mother. Anicetus order to bring back Rome's peace ai then hastened to the villa of Agrip

preserve her

pire, had bees pina and surround

ted to exal: ed it with a body

self a few de of sailors. He en

above the ord tered the house,

level of the and with two offi

cient aristot rushed into

Men and wo the room where

the young and Agrippina, reclin

old, the knave ing upon a couch,

the large-hea was talking with

the sages and servant, and

fools of the fa killed her. Taci

alike, all wit tus tells us that

exception, wer when Agrippina

secuted and saw one of the offi

ted against. cers unsheathe his

again, if we sword, she asked

cept the perso him to thrust her

the two foun through the body

and those who which had borne

Drusus and

manicus, had Thus died the last woman of the house of Augustus,

prived them and, with the ex

deprived even ception of Livia, From a photograph by Brogi of the bust in the

tonia, of e the most remark

their life or able feminine fig


greatness or ure in that family.

honor, and no She died like a sol

frequentlyitro dier, on duty and at her post, bravely de- them of all these three together. I fending the social and political traditions who, like Tiberius and Agrippina, defe of the Roman aristocracy, and the time- the ancient Roman tradition, were h honored principles of Romanism against the hounded, and defamed with a no less a influx of those new forces of a later age fury than Caligula and Nero, who so which were seeking to orientalize the an

to destroy it. No one of them, wha cient Latin republic. She died for her fam- his tendencies or intentions, succeed ily, for her caste, and for Rome, without making himself understood by his tim even having the reward of being remem- by posterity; it was their common fa bered with dutiful regard by posterity; for be misunderstood, and therefore hoi in this struggle she had sacrificed not merely calumniated. The destiny of the w her life, but even her honor and her fame.

was even more tragic than that of Such, furthermore, was the common des- men, for the times demanded from t tiny of all the members of this family, and if we except Livia and Augustus, the belonging to this privileged family,

as a compensation for the great hon


her son.

good fortune

young, Rome

Museo Nazionale, Naples


they possess all the rarest and most diffi- upon which depend the stability of the cult virtues.

family and the future of the race. And What was the cause of all this? we ask. for every era this is a question of life and How were so many catastrophes possible, death. In such periods when one world and how could tradition have erred so is dying and another coming to birth, all grievously? It is almost a crime that pos- conceptions become confused, and all atterity should virtually always have studied tempts bring forth bizarre results. He and pondered this immense tragedy of his- who wishes to preserve, often destroys, so tory on the basis of the crude and super- that virtue seems vice, and vice seems virficial falsification of it which Tacitus has tue. Precisely for this reason it is more given us. For few episodes in general difficult for a woman than for a man to suchistory impress so powerfully upon the ceed in fulfilling her proper mission, for she mind the fact that the progress of the is more exposed to the danger of losing her world is one of the most tragic of its phe- way and of missing her particular func

Especially is such knowledge tion; and since she is more likely to fail in necessary to the favored generations of realizing her natural destiny, she is more prosperous and easy times. He who has likely to be doomed to a life of misfortune. not lived in those years when an old world Such was the fate of the family of Auis disappearing and a new one making its gustus, and such especially was the fate of way cannot realize the tragedy of life, for its women. The strangers who visit Rome at such times the old is still sufficiently often go out on Sunday afternoons to lisstrong to resist the assaults of the new, ten to the excellent music that can be and the latter, though growing, is not yet heard in a room which is situated in one strong enough to annihilate that world on of the little streets near the Piazza del the ruins of which alone it will be able to Popolo and which used to be called the prosper.

Men are then called upon to Corea. This hall was built over an ansolve insoluble problems and to attempt cient Roman ruin of circular form which enterprises which are both necessary and any one can still see as he enters. That impossible. There is confusion every

ruin is the entrance to the tomb which where, in the mind within and in the Augustus built on the Flaminian Way for world without. Hate often separates himself and his family. Nearly all of the those who ought to aid one another, since personages whose story we have told were they are tending toward the same goal, buried in that mausoleum. If any reader and sympathy binds men together who are who has followed this history should one forced to do battle with one another. At day find himself at Rome, listening to a such times women generally suffer more concert in that old Corea, which has now than men, for every change which occurs been renamed after the Emperor Augusin their situation seems more dangerous, tus, let him give a thought to those victims and it is right that it should be so. For of a terrible story of long ago, and may he woman is by nature the vestal of our spe- remember that here, where at the begincies, and for that reason she must be more ning of the twentieth century he listens to conservative, more circumspect, and more the flow of rivers of sweet sound-here virtuous than man. There is no state or only, twenty centuries ago, could the memcivilization which has comprehended the bers of the family of Augustus find refuge highest things in life which has not been from their tragic fate, and after so much forced to instil into its women rather than greatness, resolved to dust and ashes, rest into its men the sense for all those virtues

at last in peace.


[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

BY THE HON. WILLIAM J. GAYNOR Mayor of New York, late Judge of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York

N the whole range of rights won by dition we now see realized in some parts of

human progress, none is more impor- this country where corrupt newspaper protant than free speech and a free press. prietorship is in the ascendant and running Without them free government could not its baleful course. exist. Yet democratic institutions have The abuse of the power of the press, no deadlier enemy than the professional especially by that part of the press which, falsifier of daily events or the professional to gain greater circulation, appeals to the libeler who ruins reputations and poisons passions and prejudices of the ignorant the community through the printed sheet: and thoughtless, causes more misery than and free government cannot survive the war or pestilence; and in the United States continuance of such a condition. Freedom it is principally responsible for the freof speech and of the press means freedom quent failure of men of ability, character, to speak and write the truth, not falsehood and patriotism to enter or continue in the or abuse.

public service. Their wives and growing There are about 23,000 newspapers in children beg them to stay out of public the United States to-day, served by per- affairs for their sake. haps 100,000 writers. The immensity of The wife of Abraham Lincoln has borne the power for good represented by the witness to the agony inflicted on him by American press, supplementing the work newspaper libelers when he was staggering of half a million public school teachers, to under the burdens of the Civil War. “I say nothing of 215,000 ministers of reli- have enough to bear now, yet I care nothgion, makes it all the more important that ing for them,” he said. "If I 'm right, no shelter should be given to him who I 'll live; and if wrong, I 'll die, anyhow; turns journalism into systematic deception so let them fight at me unrestrained." And or moral assassination.

they kept at him, nagging and belittling It is not only that the libeler wickedly him in the most vicious ways they could invades the home, spoils private character, invent. Even his anxious soul, as limned and spreads social suffering and confusion, in his anxious face, was the subject of but he strikes at the very heart of good their brutality. government by intimidating public officials Through the mists of a century of by persistent and systematic misrepresen- American history come the words of tation, thereby corrupting public know- Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Samuel ledge and public sentiment, upon which Smith: free government depends. As Alexander Hamilton said of a libelous press: “It Were I to undertake to answer the calwould encourage vice, compel the virtuous umnies of the newspapers, it would be more to retire, destroy confidence, and confound than all my own time, and that of twenty the innocent with the guilty.” That con- aids, could effect. For while I should be answering one, twenty new ones could be laws are in all essential respects the same invented. I have thought it better to trust as those of England. The difference is in to the justice of my countrymen, that they the failure of prosecuting officers to enwould judge me by what they see of my force them, and in the weakness of our conduct on the stage where they have placed courts in the trial of libel cases, criminal me, and what they knew of me before the and civil. If our jurors also deal lightly epoch since which a particular party has with libels against which the jurors of supposed it might answer some view of England sternly set their faces, the fault theirs to vilify me in the public eye. Some, is still with our judges.

is still with our judges. In England the I know, will not reflect how apocryphal is judge fulfils his office. He takes and keeps the testimony of enemies so palpably betray- that legitimate control and direction of ing the views with which they give it. But the case on trial which belongs to him by this is an injury to which duty requires law. He does not loll back in his chair every one to submit whom the public thinks and let the jury be mystified or perplexed proper to call into its councils.

about the law of the case, or in any re

spect in which he should be a light and a Though the American people detest a guide to them, by the misleading contenlibeler, the law of criminal libel is very tions of counsel. These things are cleared poorly enforced, and in most localities, up decisively and promptly as the trial especially in large cities, scarcely at all. proceeds. In the end the jury knows If the individual be not protected by gov- where it stands and exactly what falls to ernment in his character and reputation, it for decision. Our judges have always government fails at an essential point. It had the same wholesome power, but many is worse than if government failed to pro- of them let it slip through their fingers. tect him in his rights of property -- as much The conviction of a libeler presents no worse as a libeler is worse than a property difficulties. The definition of a criminal thief.

libel is the same here as in England. Any The meanest of all libelers are those malicious publication by writing or picture who assassinate character for their own which imputes a criminal offense or moral personal aims and ambitions.

dereliction to any person, or, falling short We in America frequently read of ver- of this, is nevertheless such as to hold him dicts of conviction in criminal prosecu- up to hatred, contempt, obloquy, or even tions for libel in England, followed by ridicule, is a criminal libel. In a criminal sentences of imprisonment. They attract prosecution for libel the published matter our attention because the like seldom oc- is presumed to be false until the defendant curs in this country, and then only in the proves it to be true. The prosecution does case of petty and uninfluential libelers. not have to prove it false. Malicious inThe newspaper proprietor who libels with- tent is the essence of the crime; and such out scruple, and spreads pain and sorrow intent is also presumed from the libelous without a pang, showing an utterly black publication itself until the defendant disheart, goes on here and enriches himself proves it. The burden is on the defendant by his vile trade without the interruption to rebut this presumption. Proof by him of a criminal indictment.

of the truth of the libelous matter may not We still more often read of verdicts in do so, for the truth is not of itself always civil actions for damages for libel in Eng- a defense. The libel may be all the worse land so much larger in amount and so for being true. The law permits the demuch more frequent than we are accus- fendant to give in evidence the truth of tomed to in this country as to present a the published matter, but only as explanalike contrast.

tory of his intent; that is, to show that his Most people think these differences are motives were laudable instead of malicious. because the law of libel in England is Such proof may show the very contrary different from ours. They ask, Why that his motives were mean and base. For should not our libel laws be changed to needlessly and wantonly to rake up and be like those of England, so that we may publish the failings of others, to their inalso punish libelers and stop their de- jury or annoyance, is as inexcusable in law testable trade, the meanest and basest as in morals. The old saying, “The known? They are mistaken. Our libel greater the truth, the greater the libel," that is to say, the greater may be the libel, law as they understand the court to de -is as true and as much a part of the law clare it, but there is no way to make them of criminal libel now as it ever was, al- do so. The law does not permit them to though superficial persons may think it be called to account or punished for failobsolete. The moral philosopher Paleying to do so, even though it be apparent says the malicious publishing of truth or that their failure was intentional; and falsehood is in moral view equally wrong. their verdict of acquittal is unappealable

Proof of the truth of the matter charged and final. They therefore have the as libelous exonerates in a criminal prose- "power" to decide the law as well as the cution for libel only when it is made to facts, whatever their abstract duty may be appear that such matter was published in respect of taking the law from the "with good motives and for justifiable court. As the saying is, they may not do ends.” That the matter is true does not it right, but they have the right to do it. of itself suffice. Good motives appearing, But early in the eighteenth century malice is disproved, and without malice some judges of the common-law courts in the crime does not exist. Malicious intent England began to deny that this rule apis the gist of the crime. And whether such plied in criminal prosecutions for libel. defense be made out is for the jury, not They wanted to exempt libel prosecutions the court or judge, to say. No judge can from it. They were started on this course stand in the way of an honest jury by by certain rulings of the obnoxious court shielding a libeler or forcing the conviction of the Star Chamber, which sat without of a truthful and honest writer. It took juries and lent itself to the despotism of a long time to establish this.

the Stuarts. It derived its name from the The question whether the court or the room it sat in. The theory of these judges jury on the trial of an indictment for libel that it was the province of the court alone, should judge of the meaning of the pub- and not of juries, to judge of the meaning lished matter, and of the malice or motive of the published matter, and of the intent of the defendant, and whether the defen- of the defendant in publishing it - to judge dant might prove the truth of such matter whether his motive was worthy or unworin his defense, was long a floating and thy, or, to use the settled word, malicious litigious one. It has a history and litera- -grew by degrees. They would leave to ture all its own, and over which manyjuries only the question whether the dehave been fascinated. Its final settlement fendant published the libelous matter, and marks an era in the history of the growth require them to render verdicts of guilty of free government, which cannot exist or not guilty according to how they found without freedom of truthful and honest that one fact, leaving all else, meaning, speech; and that is what the phrase "free motive, etc., to the court to decide after speech” means. It may be that a sum- their verdict of guilty was rendered. They mary of the long controversy, begun in said that the meaning and the intent were England and continued here, may prove inferences to be drawn by the law from interesting, and it will serve to make plain the published matter itself, and therefore the law as it now is, and the power of for the court, and not for the jury, to juries over libelers, unhampered by judges. draw. They also refused to allow the de

The jury in prosecutions for all kinds of fendant to prove the truth of the published crime are the judges of both the law and matter. They said that a libel is punishathe facts, and this was so from the begin- ble because of its evil tendency,—that is, ning. The judge or court instructs or its tendency to arouse passion and procharges them as to the law, and it is their voke sedition or a breach of the


,duty to be attentive and try to understand and that as such tendency would exist the law as it is thus given to them, not whether the matter were true or false, its always an easy job-and to follow it. But truth or falsity was immaterial, and they in the end the case is turned over to them, therefore would not permit evidence of its and then by their verdict they resolve the truth to be given. This left out of acmingled questions of law and fact as best count the motive of the defendant, which they can by a verdict of guilty or not is the gist of the crime. They did not guilty. It is true that it is, and always consider whether proof of the truth might was, their duty to accept and apply the show or tend to show, especially in connec

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