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orations (pro Syll.), in which he styles them
"tabulæ publicæ." These, it is likely, were a
kind of parliamentary report, having reference,
almost exclusively, to the proceedings of the
senate: which numerous, grave, and regular
body could never have carried on their vast and
various business without some such registry.

"Divus" Julius knew, as well as any man,
that a purely parliamentary journal, published
"under authority," and, by consequence,
suppressing everything the public most desired to
know, would be hardly satisfactory to the latter.
On the other hand, it is undeniably repugnant
to the genius of an absolute government that its
councils should be publicly revealed. He might
have furthermore reflected that the amusing
topics supplied by the casual occurrences of a
great city are so far from harmful, under such
a constitution, that they rather serve to draw
away the minds of the people from a too anxious
scrutiny of state affairs.

In pursuance of this view, therefore,
immortal Cæsar decreed the establishment of a
publication which should combine instruction
with amusement, and detail at once the acts
of the people and their rulers. Perhaps by this
single act may the hero be said to have dealt
a fatal blow at the aristocratic tendencies of
Rome.

Great was the success of the imperial Daily
News. (Cæsar called it "Acta Diurna.") Its
pages were quoted by the Roman historians, and
appealed to by orators as an authority it would
be presumption to call in question. The appearance
of the oracle, at any distance from the city,
was a time of jubilee. Tacitus tells us (Annal.
lib. 16) that it was watched for with intense
eagerness by the army, and the provincial population
generally. And no wonder; for, in addition
to the graver doings of government, Cæsar's
Daily News furnished its readers with all the
noteworthy occurrences of the seven-hilled city,
its trials, punishments, elections, buildings,
sacrifices, prodigies, deaths, accidents, offences,
&c. Cæsar's staff of reporters ("actuarii")
were active and intelligent men. We may be
pretty sure that the colossal gooseberry, grown
last year in the garden of Mr. Bubfinch, at
Hemel Hempstead, had its prototype in that of
Publius Sergius Loquens at Ostia. An
additional guarantee of authenticity was derived
from the fact that the chief magistrates acted as
Cæsar's sub-editors, and assumed the responsibility
of every item of intelligence that was
suffered to appear.

The daily issue (there were no evening or
second editions) was, for certain cogent reasons,
not equal to that of the journals of our day.
The "Acta Diurna" was not in a position to
proclaim, with pardonable exultation, that its
circulation onsay the fourth of the nones of
Aprilexceeded one hundred and seventeen
thousand! It would perhaps be an error on
the complimentary side to estimate the circulation
of Cæsar's Daily News at from fifteen to
twenty copies. Of these, one was carefully laid
up, with other records, in the Hall of Liberty.
The rest, after going the round of the city, found
their way into the hands of the hungry news-
seekers in the provinces, where they circulated
with a rapidity that, even in  those days, left few
Romans of education and position long in
ignorance of what was passing in the metropolis
of the world.

We learn, from Cicero's epistles, that some
small journal, of sporting tendencies, was
already existing in Rome. "Chrestus's
Compilation" seems to have ministered to the fast
young Romans the pabulum furnished by "Bell"
to the "gentlemen sportsmen" of our own
age.

Cicero's reference to this publication is the
reverse of respectful. While governor of Cilicia,
he had engaged his friend Cœlius to supply him
with the news of Rome. Cœlius, either thinking
that his friend's mind needed relaxation, or,
perhaps, simply desirous of executing his task as
completely as possible, enclosed, in his first letter,
a kind of journal of occurrences in the city, but
of so trivial a character that Cicero, much
disgusted, hastily responds:

"Quid? tu me hoc," &c. "What! do you
think that I left it in charge with you to bother
me with accounts of the matches of gladiators,
adjournments of courts, and such-like articles, of
which, even when I am in town, nobody
ventures to speak to me? From you, O Cœlius, I
expect a political sketch of the state of the
commonwealthnot a Chrestus's newspaper!"
(Epist. Fam. lib. 2.)

The following extracts, as close as possible to
the originals, may give an idea of the form and
manner of these announcements:

"A.U.C. 586, 5th of the kalends of April.
The Fasces with Emilius the consul.

"The consul, crowned with laurel, sacrificed
at the temple of Apollo. The senate assembled
at the Curia Hostilia, about the eighth hour,
and a decree passed that prætors should give
sentence according to the edicts, which were of
perpetual validity."

(Imitated by the fashionable prints of two
thousand years later:

"His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales,
attended by Sir William Knollys, rode on horseback,
and presided at a meeting of the Belgian
reception committee.

"The House of Lords assembled at five
o'clock, and, ten minutes later, adjourned for a
fortnight.")

"Fourth of the kalends of April. Fasces
with Licinius, the consul.

"It thundered." (One might have imagined
this information superfluous; but the proceedings
of Jupiter "Tonans" were, perhaps,
habitually chronicled.) "This day, Marcus
Scapula was accused of an act of violence,
before Caius Babius, prætor. Fifteen of the
judges were for condemning him, and thirty-
three for adjourning the case."

(Scapula could not complain of a thin bench,
nor, had "Babius" been all his name implies,
could he have required more aid in the discharge
of his official functions.)

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