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the commonwealth. Which though he had always intended to do, and at last did, yet he did not put off his mask; but so carried himself that, what with the reasonableness of his demands, what with the pretence of a desire of peace, what with the moderate use of his successes, he turned the envy on the other party, and made it seem that he was driven for his own safety into a necessary war. The hollowness of which pretence was clearly proved, when the civil wars being ended, and he being in possession of the sovereign power, and all the rivals that could cause him any anxiety being removed out of the way, yet he never once thought of restoring the commonwealth, no, nor cared to make so much as a pretence of doing it. Which plainly shows that the desire and purpose of obtaining the sovereignty had always been in him, and at last came out. For he did not merely seize an occasion that offered itself; himself made and shaped the occasions. It was in the business of war that his ability was most conspicuous; and so great it was, that he could not only lead an army but make one. For he was not more skilful in conducting actions than in the management of men's minds: and that not by any ordinary kind of discipline, that inured them to obey commands, or awakened a sense of shame, or enforced by severity ; but one that inspired a wonderful ardour and alacrity, and won the battle almost before it began : and endeared him to the soldiery more than was good for a free commonwealth. Versed as he was moreover in every kind of war, and uniting civil arts with military, no accident took him so unexpectedly but he had a remedy prepared for it; nothing fell out so cross, but he drew some advantage from it. For his own person
he had a due respect: as one that would sit in his tent during great battles, and manage everything by messages. From which he derived a double advantage : first that he went seldomer into danger, and secondly that if ever the fortune of the day were going against him, his own presence was as good as a fresh reinforcement to restore the battle. And in his warlike arrangements and enterprises he did not conduct things merely according to precedent, but would invent with consummate judgment new devices framed to the occasion. In his friendships he was constant enough, and singularly kind and indulgent. And yet he made choice of such friends that it was easy to see that he meant their friendship to be an instrument and not an impediment. And since his aim both by nature and principle was not to be eminent among great men, but to command among followers, he chose for his friends men that were of mean condition, but industrious and active, to whom he might be all in all. Hence the saying “Let me die, so Cæsar live," and the like. With nobles and equals he made friendships according to his occasions ; but he admitted no man to intimacy except such whose hopes rested entirely in himself. In letters and learning he was moderately well accomplished, but it was that kind of learning which was of use in the business of life. For he was well versed in history, and had wonderful knowledge of the weight and point of words; and because he attributed much to his felicity, he affected to be learned in the stars. Eloquence he had also, natural and pure. To pleasures he was naturally inclined, and indulged freely in them; which in his early times served the purpose of simulation ; for no one feared any danger from such a disposition. But he so governed his pleasures, that they were no hindrance to his interest and main business, and his mind was rather invigorated than made languid by them. At the table he was sober, in his lusts not particular, in public entertainments gay and magnificent. Such being the man, the same thing was his destruction at last which in the beginning was his advancement, I mean the desire of popularity. For there is nothing so popular as the forgiveness of enemies: and this it was which, whether it were virtue or art, cost him his life.
CHARACTER OF AUGUSTUS CÆSAR.
AUGUSTUS CÆSAR was endued, if ever man was, with a greatness of mind, calm, serene, and wellordered : witness the exceeding great actions which he conducted in his early youth. For men of impetuous and unsettled dispositions commonly pass their youth in various errors; and it is not till middle age that they show what they are. But those whose nature is composed and placid may flourish even in their first years. And whereas the gifts of the mind, like those of the body, are contained and completed in three things, — health, beauty, and strength, — he was certainly in strength of mind inferior to his uncle Julius, but in beauty and health of mind superior. For Julius being of a restless and unsettled disposition, though for the compassing of his ends he made his arrangements with consummate judgment, yet had not his ends themselves arranged in any good order ; but was carried on and on with an impulse that knew no bounds, aiming at things beyond the reach of mortality. Whereas Augustus, as a man sober and mindful of his mortal condition, seems to have had his ends likewise laid out from the first in admirable order and truly weighed. For first he made it his aim to be at