Note on the e-text: this Renascence Editions text was provided by Ben R. Schneider, Lawrence University, Wisconsin. It is in the public domain. "Florio's Translation of Montaigne's Essays was first published in 1603. In 'The World's Classics' the first volume was published in 1904, and reprinted in 1910 and 1924." Content unique to this presentation is copyright © 1998 The University of Oregon. For nonprofit and educational uses only.
WILL but speake a word of this infinite argument, and slightly glance at it, to show the simplicitie of those who compare the seely greatnesse of these times unto that. In the seaventh booke of Ciceroes familiar Epistles (and let Gramarians remove this title of familiar if they please, for, to say truth, it makes but little to the purpose: and they who in lieu of familiar have placed ad familiares, may wrest some argument for themselves, from that which Suetonius saith in Cæsars Life, that there was a volume of his Epistles ad familares) there is one directed unto Cæsar then being in Gaule, in which Cæsar repeats these very words which were in the end a former letter that Cæsar had written to him: 'Touching Marcus Furius, whom thou bast commended unto me, I will make him King of Gaule, and if thou wilt have me preferre any other of thy friends, send them to me.' It was not new in a simple Roman Citizen (as Cæsar then was) to dispose of kingdomes, for as well deprived he King Deiotarus of his, to give it to a gentleman of the city of Pergamo, called Mithridates. And those who writ his Life mention many kingdomes sold by him. And Suetonius reporteth that he at one time wrested three millions and five hundred thousand crownes of gold from King Ptolomæus, which amounted very neere unto the price of his kingdome.Tot Galatæ, tot Pontus est, tot Lydia numnis -- CLAUD. in Eutrop. 1. i. 20, 3Marcus Antonius said, 'The greatnesse of the Romane people was not so much discerned by what it tooke as by what it gave.' Yet some ages before Antonius was there one amongst others of so wonderfull authoritie, as through all his history I know no marke carrieth the name of his credit higher. Antiochus possessed all Egypt, and was very neere to conquer Cyprus and others depending of that Empire. Vpon the progresse of his victories, C. Popilius came unto him in the behalfe of the Senate, and at first arrivall refused to take him by the hand before he had read the letters he brought him. The King having read them, said he would deliberate of them. Popilius with a wand encireled the place about where he stood, and thus bespake him: 'Give me an answer to carry back to the Senate before thou goest out of this circle.' Antiochus, amazed at the rudenesse of so urging a commandement, after he had paused a while, replyed thus: 'I will doe what the Senat commandeth me.' Then Popilius saluted him as a friend unto the Roman people. 'To have renounced so great a Monarchy and forgon the course of so successfull prosperity by the only impression of three written lines! He had good reason, as afterward he did, by his Ambassadors to send the Senate word that he had received their ordinances with the same respect as if they had come from the immortall Gods. All the kingdomes Augustus subdued by right of war, he restored to those who had lost them, or presented strangers with them. And concerning this purpose, Tacitus, speaking of Cogidunus, King of England, by a wonderful trait makes us perceive this infinit greatnes and might. The Romans (saith he) were from all antiquity accustomed to leave those kings whom they had vanquished in the possession of their kingdomes under their authoritie: Vt haberent instrumenta servitutis et reges: (CORN. TACIT. Vit. Jul. Agric.) 'That they might have even Kings also f or instruments of their bondage.' It is very likely that Soliman, the great Turke, whom we have seene to use such a liberality and give away the Kingdome of Hungary and other dominions, did more respect this consideration then that he was wont to alleage; which is, that he was over wearied with the many monarchies and surcharged with the severall dominions, which either his owne or his ancestors vertue had gotten him.
Forsomuch let Galatia go,
Forsomuch Lidia, Pontus so.