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full of that beautiful simplicity which is altogether natural, and is the distinguishing character of the best ancient writers. The author of whom I speak is Cicero; who in the follow. ing pages I have taken out of his letters, as translated by William Melmoth, Esq., shows that he did not think it in. consistent with the politeness of his manners, or the greatness of his wisdom, to stand upon record in his domestic character.
Cicero to Terentia, to my dearest Tullia, and to my son. If you
do not hear from me so frequently as you might, it is because I can neither write to you, nor read your letters, without falling into a greater passion of tears than I am able to support; for though I am at all times indeed completely miserable, yet I feel my misfortunes with a particular sensibility upon those tender occasions.*
Oh! that I had been more indifferent to life! Our days would then have been, if not wholly unacquainted with sorrow, yet by no means thus wretched. Ah! my dearest Te. rentia, if we are utterly and for ever abandoned by those gods, whom you have so religiously adored, and by those men, whom I have so faithfully served ; let me see you as soon as possible, that I may have the satisfaction of breathing out my last departing sigh in your arms.
And now, my Terentia, thus wretched and ruined as I am, can I entreat you under all that weight of pain and sorrow, with which, I too well know, you are oppressed, can I treat you to be the partner and companion of my exile ? But must I then be left without you? I know not how to reconcile myself to that hard condition ; unless your presence at Rome may be a mean of forwarding my return, if any hopes of that kind should indeed subsist. But should there, as I sadly suspect, be absolutely none, come to me,
* These letters were written during his exile, by the influence of his malignant adversary, Clodius.
I conjure you, if it be possible; for never can I think my. self completely ruined, whilst I shall enjoy my Terentia's company. But how will my dearest daughter dispose of herself? A question which you yourself must consider ; for as to my own part, I am utterly at a loss what to advise. At all events, however, that dear unhappy girl must not take any measure, that may injure her conjugal repose, or affect her in the opinion of the world. As for my son—let me not at least be deprived of the consolation of folding him for ever in my arms. But I must lay down my pen a few moments: my tears flow too fast to suffer me to proceed.
Let me conjure you to bear up under the pressure of af. fliction with as much resolution as possible. Remember that my days have all been honourable; and that I now suffer, not for my crimes, but my
virtue. I entreat you to take all possible care of your health : and be assured, your misfortunes more sensibly affect me than my own. Adieu, my Terentia, thou most faithful and best of wives! Adieu. And thou, my dearest daughter, together with that other consolation of my life, my dear son, I bid you most tenderly farewell,
Imagine not, my Terentia, that I write longer letters to others than to yourself: be assured at least, if ever I do, it is merely because those I receive from them require a particular answer. The truth of it is, I am always at a loss what to write : and as there is nothing in the present dejection of mind, that I perform with greater reluctance in ge. neral ; so I never attempt it with regard to you and my dearest daughter, that it does not cost me a flood of tears. For how can I think of you without being pierced with grief in the reflection that I have made those completely miserable, whom I ought, and wished, to have rendered perfectly happy?
I have the satisfaction to find, what indeed I had reason to expect, that you act with great spirit and tenderness in all my concerns. But I lament it should be my cruel fate to expose you to so many calamities, whilst you are thus generously endeavouring to ease the weight of mine. Be as. sured it is with the utmost grief I read the account which Publius sent me, of the opprobrious manner in which you were dragged from the temple of Vesta. Sad reverse indeed! that thou, the dearest object of my fond desires, that my Terentia, to whom such numbers were wont to look up for relief, should be herself a spectacle of the most affecting distress! and that I, who have saved so many others from ruin, should have ruined both myself and my family by my own indiscretion ! If you have any
affection for me, let not your anxiety upon my account injure your health ; which, alas! is al. ready too much impaired. Believe me, you are the perpetual subject of my waking and sleeping thoughts; and as I know the assiduity you exert in my behalf, I have a thousand fears lest your strength should not be equal to so continued a fatigue.
I received three letters from you by the hands of Aris. tocritus, and have wept over them till they are almost defaced with my tears. Ah! my Terentia, I am worn out with grief: nor do my own personal misfortunes more se. verely torture my mind, than those with which you and my children are oppressed. Unhappy indeed, as you are, I am still infinitely more so; as our common afflictions are at. tended with this aggravating circumstance, that they are justly to be imputed to my imprudence alone. Yes, my Terentia, I blush to reflect, that I did not exert that spirit I ought, for the sake of so excellent a wife, and such amia. ble children. I am perfectly sensible of those good offices, which Piso exerts towards us with so uncommon a zeal. Heaven grant I may live to enjoy with you and our children, the common happiness of so valuable a relation! In an. swer to your tender proposal of accompanying me in my exile, I rather choose you should continue in Rome, as I am sensible it is upon you that the principal burthen of my af. fairs must rest. If your generous negotiations should succeed, my return will prevent the necessity of that journey : if otherwise- -But I need not add the rest.
Take care of your health, 1 conjure you ; assuring your. self, that you are, as you ever have been, the object of my
fondest wishes. Farewell, my dear Terentia ! I see you so strongly before me whilst I am writing, that I am ut. terly spent with the tears I have shed. Once more, fare. well.
AN ALLEGORY FOR THE USE OF THOSE LADIES WHO HAVE
LOST THE AFFECTIONS OF THEIR HUSBANDS, AND ARE WIL
JUNO, says Homer, seeing her Jupiter seated on the top of Mount Ida, and knowing that he had conceived an aversion from her, began to study how she should regain his affections, and make herself amiable to him. With this thought she immediately retired into her chamber, where she bathed herself in ambrosia, which gave her
all its beauty, and diffused so divine an odour, as refreshed all nature, and sweetened both heaven and earth. She let her immortal tresses flow in the most graceful manner, and took a particular care to dress herself in several ornaments, which the poet describes at length, and which the goddess chose out as the most proper to set off her person to the best ad. vantage. In the next place she made a visit to Venus, the deity who presides over love, and begged of her, as a par. ticular favour, that she would lend her for a while those charms, with which she subdued the hearts both of gods and
For, says the goddess, I would make use of them to reconcile the two deities, who took care of me in my infancy, and who at present are at so great a variance, that they are estranged from each other's bed. Venus was proud of an opportunity of obliging so great a goddess, and therefore made her a present of the cestus which she used to wear about her own waist, with advice to hide it in her bosom, till she had accomplished her intention. This cestus was a fine parti.coloured girdle, which, as Homer tells us, had all the attractions of the sex wrought into it. The four prin.