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here."6S Pompey was as eager 69 as Cæsar was ready to shed the blood of his countrymen; and none who joined the one or the other saw any alternative for themselves but to submit, whether their leader should conquer or be conquered.
Cæsar was, as has been mentioned, at Ravenna, with some of his best soldiers by his side and his whole army within his reach. Pompey was at Rome, supported by Cato, half trusted by Cicero, and obeyed by the Senate with their adherents in town and in country. The lower classes, and almost all the younger men, except of the nobility, favored Cæsar, whose cause was as vehemently supported in the city as though upheld with his own voice or his own sword, by the creatures whom he had bought, body and soul, to do his will. Scribonius Curio was succeeded in the tribuneship, at the close of the year, by Marcus Antonius, whom we call Mark Antony; and it would be difficult to decide which of the two, as a dazzling, a reckless, or a profligate man, would most accurately represent the party whom Cæsar led, or most strikingly contrast with the Tribunes of earlier days. After various parleys, messages, threats, edicts, and terrible commotions," the Senate decreed
unlimited authority to the magistrates, with Pompey at their head, in protection of the Commonwealth, as they saw fit to profess, against Cæsar as a public enemy.72 Antony and Curio, flying for their lives, found him already on the southern side of the Rubicon, the boundary of his province, at Rimini.73 He had five thousand men with him, and was in open war against his adversaries at Rome.
The complaints which Cæsar had reason to make on his own score, and the injuries to the Tribunes acting as his champions, were, in his times, grounds of demanding any redress he was able to procure. But the more urgent motive from which he acted was confessed, and not unwittingly, in the words he addressed to his attendants, when he paused a moment, as if in doubt, on the bank of the Rubicon:-“If I delay, my friends, to cross this stream, I shall be put to harm ; but if I cross it, all men will suffer.” 74 With his selfishness of judgment and of expectation, he could not hesitate to decide for himself against his fellow-beings. The passage over the Rubicon was followed up by such celerity and vigor in his operations,75 that, while the great body of the lower citizens and slaves who composed the population of Italy looked on unconcerned, Pompey, with the Consuls and all his adherents in the Senate or of any class, was forced to fly to Brundusium, and thence
across the sea to Greece. In less than three months Cæsar was master of Italy. On arriving at Rome, he met the remaining Senators, and exhorted them in the persuasive language he could always use, to lay aside their fears, if any they had, and trust in him.76 He addressed the multitude who thronged to see him in a similar tone, but promised a distribution of corn and money,” – more powerful arguments, as he well knew, than any explanations he could make before them. At the same time, he demanded complete submission; and there was but one Tribune 78 so bold or so blind as to attempt independence.
In four years more,79 Cæsar was the sovereign of the whole Roman world. The first step taken by such a man and at such an hour was decisive; yet the rapidity of the next and the surety of the last strides he made were greatly owing to the irresoluteness,80 the ostentation, and, above all, the separation of his antagonists. The best men in Pompey's train were soon disheartened. Cicero, first doubting, then joining the side which seemed to support itself the most upon the laws, soon repented, not merely of serving the ambition he perceived to be as threatening in Pompey as that which he resisted in the per
76 Dion Cass., XLI. 15.
79 From the spring of A. C. 49 77 Ibid., 16.
to that of 45. 78 Metellus, who attempted to 80 See Cic., Ad Div., IV. 1, prevent Cæsar from obtaining pos- XIV. 14, and Ad Att., VII. 11, session of the public treasury. Pliny 12, 13, 21, 22. (Nat. Hist., XXXIII. 17) tells over 81 Their threats were those of the plunder. See Plut., Cæs., 35; madmen. Cæs., Bell. Civ., III. 83. Pomp., 62 ; Cic., Ad Att., X. 4. Cic., Ad Att., IX. 7, 9, XI. 6.
son of Cæsar,82 but, further, of having armed himself at all in civil war.83 Before he was seen, as he said, by . Cæsar, he was forgiven ; 84 for he could not be feared. So Cato, distrusted for his republicanism by the leader and the whole party to whom he adhered, and yet too obstinate to make his peace with the conqueror, died by his own hand 86 in the fourth year of the contest,86 when scarcely a straw remained to which he could cling upon the then subsiding seas.
Cæsar, who readily pardoned Cicero, lamented that Cato should have grudged him the honor of saving his life.87 The clemency he adopted towards all his opponents, though it sprang from an overweening consciousness of superiority rather than from any generous humanity, was one of the means by which he triumphed. “Let us try," he wrote to two of his partisans, “to recover the good-will of all, and to gain a lasting victory; since others have failed to escape odium or to retain their advantages the longer for their cruelty. ,.... I am not going to imitate Sulla.”88 The difference between the earlier and the later conqueror was, that the example of Sulla's dominion had so quickened the ambition and so dictated the achievements of Cæsar from his youth, that the sovereignty he established for himself in his manhood did not need to be planted or watered with the same ferocity that had been indispensable to his predecessor.
82 Cic., Ad Att., VIII. 11; Ad Div., IX. 6.
83 The sneer of the epitomizer of Livy (CXI.), “ Vir nihil minus quam ad bella natus," is now to Cicero's praise. “Me discessisse ab armis,” he says himself, “ numquam pænituit.” Ad Ait., XI. 6.
84 Pro Ligar., 3. See Plut., Cic., 49.
85 Plut., Cat., 54.
86 A. C. 46. He was forty-eight years old. Plut., Cat., 70, 73.
87 Plut., Cat., 72; Cæs., 54. 88 Ap. Cic., Ad Att., IX. 7.
The clemency of Cæsar and the feebleness of his enemies were really the chief instruments of his success. But neither energy nor bloodshed could have been spared. In the year of his march upon Rome, and within a few days of his entry into the city, he departed to reduce the legions of his antagonist in Spain. Before his return, he received the dictatorship, which he held only long enough, eleven days, to secure his election to the consulship, and to obtain the passage of several laws in behalf of his followers and in favor of public tranquillity.89 He then 90 made haste to reach Brundusium, and to sail, in defiance of winter storms, to the Grecian shore, where a campaign of several months resulted in the total rout of Pompey, with all his forces, at Pharsalia. The defeated leader fled to Egypt, where, on his arrival, he was slain, the day before his fifty-eighth birthday, by order of the Egyptian court. 91 Cæsar pursued him from Pharsalia, but wept to hear his miserable end.92 He could have ruled the world as safely without the murder of his humbled foe.
89 Suet., Cæs., 41-43. Plut., Plut., Pomp., 80. “Non possum,” Cæs., 37. Cæs., Bell. Civ., III. 2. says Cicero, writing of Pompey's 90 A. C. 48.
death, “ ejus casum non dolere. 91 Plut., Pomp., 77 - 79. Cæs., Hominem enim integrum, et castum, Bell. Civ., III. 104.
et gravem cognovi.” Ad Att., 92 And put his murderers, or XI. 6. those whom he could seize, to death.