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the opportunity he had of being instructed by so great a master, whose society he preferred to all the vain and idle amusements which are generally so alluring to young per


Polybius's first care was to inspire Scipio with an aversion for those equally dangerous and ignominious pleasures, to which the Roman youth were so strongly addicted; the greatest part of them being already depraved and corrupted by the luxury and licentiousness which riches and new conquests had introduced in Rome. Scipio, during the first five years that he continued in so excellent a school, made the greatest improvement in it; and, despising the ridicule, as well as the pernicious examples of persons of the same age with himself, he was looked upon, even at that time, as a shining model of discretion and wisdom.

From hence, the transition was easy and natural, to generosity, to a noble disregard of riches, and to a laudable use of them; all virtues so requisite in persons of illustrious birth, and which Scipio carried to the most exalted pitch, as appears from some instances of this kind related by Polybius, and highly worthy our admiration.

Emilia, wife of the first Scipio Africanus, and mother of him who had adopted the Scipio mentioned here by Polybius, had bequeathed, at her death, a great estate to the latter. This lady, besides the diamonds and jewels which are worn by women of her high rank, possessed a great number of gold and silver vessels used in sacrifices, together with several splendid equipages, and a considerable number of slaves of both sexes; the whole suited to the opulence of the august house into which she had married. At her death, Scipio made over all those rich possessions to Papiria his mother, who, having been divorced a considerable time before by Paulus Æmilius, and not being in circumstances to support the dignity of her birth, lived in great obscurity, and never appeared in the assemblies or public ceremonies. But when she again frequented them with a magnificent train, this noble generosity of Scipio did him great honour, especially in the minds of the ladies, who expatiated on it in all their conversations, and in a city, whose inhabitants, says Polybius, were not easily prevailed upon to part with their money.


Scipio was no less admired on another occasion. was bound, by a condition in the will, to pay, at three different times, to the two daughters of Scipio, his grandfather by adoption, half their portions, which amounted to fifty thousand French crowns. The time for the payment of

a She was sister of Paulus Æmilius, father of the second Scipio Africanus. b Or, 11,250l. sterling.

the first sum being expired, Scipio put the whole money into the hands of a banker. Tiberius Gracchus, and Scipio Nasica, who had married the two sisters, imagining that Scipio had made a mistake, went to him, and observed, that the laws allowed him three years to pay the sum in, and at three different times. Young Scipio answered, that he knew very well what the laws directed on this occasion; that they might indeed be executed in their greatest rigour with strangers, but that friends and relations ought to treat one another with a more generous simplicity; and therefore desired them to receive the whole sum. They were struck with such admiration at the generosity of their kinsman, that in their return home, they reproached a themselves for their narrow way of thinking, at a time when they made the greatest figure, and had the highest regard paid to them, of any family in Rome. This generous action, says Polybius was the more admired, because no person in Rome, so far from consenting to pay 50,000 crowns before they were due, would pay even a thousand before the time of payment was elapsed.

It was from the same noble spirit that, two years after, Paulus Æmilius his father being dead, he made over to his brother Fabius, who was not so wealthy as himself, the part of their father's estate which was his (Scipio's) due, (amounting to above threescore thousand crowns) in order that there might not be so great a disparity between his fortune and that of his brother.

This Fabius being desirous to exhibit a show of gladiators after his father's decease, in honour of his memory (as was the custom in that age), and not being able to defray the expenses on this occasion, which amounted to a very heavy sum, Scipio made him a present of 15,000 crowns ¢, in or der to defray at least half the charges of it.

The splendid presents which Scipio had made his mother Papiria, reverted to him, by law as well as equity, after her demise; and his sisters, according to the custom of those times, had not the least claim to them. Nevertheless, Scipio thought it would have been dishonourable in him, had he taken them back again. He therefore made over to his sisters whatever he had presented to their mother, which amounted to a very considerable sum; and by this fresh proof of his glorious disregard of wealth, and the tender friendship he had for his family, acquired the applause of the whole city.

These different benefactions, which amounted altogether to a prodigious sum, seem to have received a brighter lusOr, 13,500/. sterling.

α Κατεγνωκότες τῆς αὐτῶν μικρολογίας. © Or, 53751, Sterling.

tre from the age in which he bestowed them, he being still very young; and yet more from the circumstances of the time when they were presented, as well as the kind and obliging carriage he assumed on those occasions.

The incidents I have here related are so repugnant to the maxims of this age, that there might be reason to fear the reader would consider them merely as the rhetorical flourishes of an historian, who was prejudiced in favour of his hero; if it was not well known, that the predominant characteristic of Polybius, by whom they are related, is a sincere love for truth, and an utter aversion to adulation of every kind. In the very passage whence this relation is extracted, he has thought it necessary for him to be a little guarded, where he expatiates on the virtuous actions and rare qualities of Scipio; and he observes, that as his writings were to be perused by the Romans, who were perfectly well acquainted with all the particulars of this great man's life, he would certainly be animadverted upon by them, should he venture to advance any falsehood; an affront, to which it is not probable that an author, who has ever so little regard for his reputation, would expose himself, especially if no advantage was to accrue to him from it.

We have already observed, that Scipio had never given into the fashionable debaucheries and excesses to which the young people at Rome so wantonly abandoned themselves. But he was sufficiently compensated for this self-denial of all destructive pleasures, by the vigorous health he enjoyed all the rest of his life, which enabled him to taste pleasures of a much purer and more exalted kind, and to perform the great actions that reflected so much glory upon him.

Hunting, which was his darling exercise, contributed also very much to invigorate his constitution, and enabled him also to endure the hardest toils. Macedonia, whither he followed his father, gave him an opportunity of indulging to the utmost of his desire his passion in this respect: for the chase, which was the usual diversion of the Macedonian monarchs, having been laid aside for some years on account of the wars, Scipio found there an incredible quantity of game of every kind. Paulus Æmilius, studious of procuring his son virtuous pleasures of every kind, in order to divert his mind from those which reason prohibits, gave him full liberty to indulge himself in his favourite sport, during all the time that the Roman forces continued in that country, after the victory he had gained over Perseus. The illustrious youth employed his leisure hours in an exercise which suited so well his age and inclination; and was as successful in this innocent war against the beasts in Macedonia, as his father had been in that which he had carried on against the inhabitants of the country.


It was at Scipio's return from Macedon, that he met with Polybius in Rome; and contracted the strict friendship with. him, which was afterwards so beneficial to our young Roman, and did him almost as much honour in after ages, as all his conquests. We find, by history, that Polybius lived with the two brothers. One day, when himself and Scipio were alone, the latter unbosomed himself freely to him, and complained, but in the mildest and most gentle terms, that he in their conversations at table, always directed himself to his brother Fabius, and never to him. "I am sensible," says he, "that this indifference arises from your supposing with all our "citizens, that I am a heedless young man, and wholly averse "to the taste which now prevails in Rome, because I do not "devote myself to the studies of the bar, nor cultivate the 86 graces of elocution. But how should I do this? I am told perpetually, that the Romans expect a general, and not an "orator, from the house of the Scipios. I will confess to you "(pardon the sincerity with which I reveal my thoughts) that your coldness and indifference grieve me exceedingly." Polybius, surprised at these unexpected words, made Scipio the kindest answer; and assured the illustrious youth, that though he always directed himself to his brother, yet this was not out of disrespect to him, but only because Fabius was the eldest; not to mention (continued Polybius) that, knowing you possessed but one soul, I conceived that I addressed both when I spoke to either of you. He then assured Scipio, that he was entirely at his command; that with regard to the sciences, for which he discovered the happiest genius, he would have opportunities sufficient to improve himself in them, from the great number of learned Grecians who resorted daily to Rome; but that, as to the art of war, which was properly his profession, and his favourite study, he (Polybius) might be of some little service to him. He had no sooner spoken these words, than Scipio, grasping his hand in a kind of rapture: "Oh! when," says he, shall I see the happy day, when, disengaged from all other avocations, and living with me, you will be so much my friend, as to improve my understanding, and regulate my affections? It is then I shall think myself worthy of my illustrious ancestors." From that time Polybius, overjoyed to see so young a man breathe such noble sentiments, devoted himself particularly to our Scipio, who ever after paid him as much reverence as if he had been his father.





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However, Scipio did not only esteem Polybius as an excellent historian, but valued him much more, and reaped much greater advantages from him, as being so able a warrior, and so profound a politician. Accordingly, he consulted him on every occasion, and always took his advice even when

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he was at the head of his army; concerting in private with Polybius, all the operations of the campaign, all the movements of the forces, all enterprises against the enemy, and the several measures proper for rendering them successful.

• In a word, it was the common report, that our illustrious Roman did not perform any great or good action without being under some obligation to Polybius; nor ever commit an error, except when he acted without consulting him.

I flatter myself that the reader will excuse this long digres sion, which may be thought foreign to my subject, as I am not writing the Roman history. However, it appeared to me so well adapted to the general design I propose to myself, in this work, viz. the cultivating and improving the minds of youth, that I could not forbear introducing it here, though I was sensible this is not directly its proper place. And indeed, these examples show, how important it is, that young people should receive a liberal and virtuous education; and the great benefit they reap, by frequenting and corresponding early with persons of merit; for these were the foundations whereon were built the fame and glory which have rendered Scipio immortal. But above all, how noble a model for our age, (in which the most inconsiderable and even trifling concerns often create feuds and animosities between brothers and sisters, and disturb the peace of families) is the generous disinterestedness of Scipio, who, whenever he had an opportunity of serving his relations, thought lightly of bestowing the largest sums upon them! This excellent passage of Polybius had escaped me, by its not being inserted in the folio edition of his works. It belongs indeed naturally to that book, where, treating of the taste with regard to solid glory, I mentioned the contempt in which the ancients held riches, and the excellent use they made of them. I therefore thought myself indispensably obliged to restore, on this occasion, to young students, what I could not but blame myself for omitting elsewhere.



I promised, after finishing what related to the republic of Carthage, to return to the family and posterity of Masinissa. This piece of history forms a considerable part of that of Africa, and therefore is not quite foreign to my subject.

From the time that Masinissa had declared for the Romans under the first Scipio, he had always adhered to that honourable alliance, with an almost unparalleled zeal and fidelity. Finding his end approaching, he wrote to the pro

a Pausan. in Arcad. 1. vii. p 505.

b A. M. 3857. A. Rom. 601. App. p. 65. Val. Max. 1. v. c. 2.

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