Cicero, Marcus

, the son of Marcus Tullius Cicero, was born, as has been observed in the foregoing article, in the year that his father obtained the consulship: that is, in the year of Rome 690, and about 64 years before Christ. In his early youth, while he continued under the eye and discipline of his father, he was modest, tractable, and dutiful; diligent in his studies, and expert in his exercises: so that in the Pharsalic war, at the age of seventeen, he acquired great reputation in Pornpey’s camp. Not long after Pompey’s death he was sent to Athens to study under Cratippus; and here first his irregularity of conduct and extravagance of expence made his father uneasy, but he was soon made sensible of his folly, and recalled to his duty by the remonstrances of his friends, and particularly of Atticus; so that his father readily paid his debts, and enlarged his allowance, which seems to have been about 700l. per annum. From this time, all the accounts from the principal men of the place as well as his Roman friends who had occasion to visit Athens, are uniform in 'their praises of him. When Brutus arrived there, he entrusted him, though but twenty years old, with a principal | command in his army, in which he acquitted himself with great courage and conduct; and in several expeditions and encounters with the enemy, where he commanded in chief, always came off victorious. After the battle of Philippi, and the death of Brutus, he escaped to Pompey, who had taken possession of Sicily with a great army, and fleet superior to any in the empire. This was the last refuge of the poor republicans, where young Cicero was received again with particular honours; and continued fighting in the defence of his country’s liberty, till Pompey, by a treaty of peace with the triumvirate, obtained, as one of the conditions of it, the pardon and restoration of all the proscribed and exiled Romans, who were then -in arms with him. Cicero therefore took his leave of Pompey, and returned to Rome with the rest of his party, where he lived for some time in the condition of a private nobleman, remote from all public affairs; partly through the envy of the times, averse to his name and principles; partly through choice, and his zeal for the republican cause, which he retained to the last. But here at the same time he sunk into a life of indolence and pleasure, and the intemperate love of wine, which began to be the fashionable vice of this age.

Augustus, however, now made him a priest or augur, as well as one of those magistrates who presided over the coinage of the public money: and no sooner became the sole master of Rome, than he took him for his partner in the consulship: and by these favours to the son, Augustus made some atonement for his treachery to the father. Soon after his consulship, he was made proconsul of Asia, or, as Appian says, of Syria, one of the most considerable provinces of the empire: from which time we find no farther mention of him in history. He died probably soon after; before a maturity of age and experience had given him an opportunity of retrieving the reproach of his intemperance, and distinguishing himself in the councils of the state. But from the honours already mentioned, it is evident that his life, though blemished by some scandal, yet was not void of dignity; and, amidst all the vices with which he is charged, he is allowed to have retained his father’s wit and politeness. 1


Ibid. Vallambert’s “Hist. M, T, Ciceronis, Marci filii,” Pans, 1545, 8v<x