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Author: Plutarch
Editor: John D. Cox
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Life of Antony


11. Antonius' parentage. The liberality of Antonius' father. Antonius' grandfather was that famous orator whom Marius slew because he took Sylla's part. His father was another Antonius surnamed Cretan, who was not so famous, nor bare any great sway in the commonwealth: howbeit otherwise he was an honest man, and of a very good nature, and specially very liberal in giving, as appeareth by an act he did. He was not very wealthy, and therefore his wife would not let him use his liberality and frank nature. One day a friend of his coming to him to pray him to help him to some money, having great need, Antonius by chance had no money to give him, but he commanded one of his men to bring him some water in a silver basin, and after he had brought it him, he washed his beard as though he meant to have shaven it, and then found an errand for his man to send him out, and gave his friend the silver basin, and bade him get him money with that. Shortly after there was a great stir in the house among the servants, seeking out of this silver basin. Insomuch as Antonius, seeing his wife marvelously offended for it, and that she would examine all her servants one affair another about it, to know what was be come of it, at length he confessed he had given it away, and prayed her to be contented.

22. Julia the mother of Marcus Antonius. His wife was Julia, of the noble house and family of Julius Caesar: who, for her virtue and chastity, was to be compared with the noblest lady of her time. Marcus Antonius was brought up under her, being married after her first husband's death unto Cornelius Lentulus, whom Cicero put to death with Cethegus and others, for that he was of Catiline's conspiracy against the commonwealth. And this seemeth to be the original cause and beginning of the cruel and mortal hate Antonius bare unto Cicero. For Antonius self saith, that he would never give him the body of his father-in-law to bury him, before his mother went first to entreat Cicero's wife: the which undoubtedly was a flat lie. For Cicero denied burial to none of them whom he executed by law. Antonius corrupted by Curio. Now Antonius being a fair young man, and in the prime of his youth, he fell acquainted with Curio, whose friendship and acquaintance (as it is reported) was a plague unto him. For he was a dissolute man, given over to all lust and insolency, who, to have Antonius the better at his commandment, trained him on into great follies and vain expenses upon women, in rioting and banqueting: so that in short time he brought Antonius into a marvelous great debt, and too great for one of his years, to wit, of two hundred and fifty talents, for all which sum Curio was surety. His father hearing of it, did put his son from him, and forbade him his house. Then he fell in with Clodius, one of the desperatest and most wicked tribunes at that time in Rome. Him he followed for a time in his desperate attempts, who bred great stir and mischief in Rome: but at length he forsook him, being weary of his rashness and folly, or else for that he was afraid of them that were bent against Clodius. Thereupon he left Italy, and went into Greece, and there bestowed the most part of his time, sometime in wars, and otherwhile in the study of eloquence. Antonius used in his speaking the Asiatic phrase. He used a manner of phrase in his speech called Asiatic, which carried the best grace and estimation at that time, and was much like to his manners and life: for it was full of ostentation, foolish bravery, and vain ambition.

33. Antonius had charge of horsemen under Gabinius , proconsul, going into Syria. Antonius' acts against Aristobulus. After he had remained there some time. Gabinius, proconsul, going into Syria, persuaded him to go with him; Antonius told him he would not go as a private man: wherefore Gabinius gave him charge of his horsemen, and so took him with him. So, first of all he sent him against Aristobulus, who had made the Jews to rebel, and was the first man himself that got up to the wall of a castle of his, and so drove Aristobulus out of all his holds: and with those few men he had with him, he overcame all the Jews in set battle, which were many against one, and put all of them almost to the sword ; and furthermore, took Aristobulus himself prisoner with his son. Antonius' acts in Egypt under Gabinius. Afterwards Ptolemy, king of Egypt, that had been driven out of his country, went unto Gabinius to intreat him to go with his army with him into Egypt, to put him again into his kingdom: and promised him, if he would go with him, ten thousand talents. The most part of the captains thought it not best to go thither, and Gabinius himself made it dainty to enter into this war, although the covetousness of these 10,000 talents stuck sorely with him. But Antonius, that sought but for opportunity and good occasion to attempt great enterprises, and that desired also to gratify Ptolemy's request, he went about to persuade Gabinius to go this voyage. Now they were more afraid of the way they should go, to come to the city of Pelusium, than they feared any danger of the war besides: because they were to pass through deep sands and desert places, where was no fresh water to be had all the marshes, through, which are called the marshes Serbonides, which the Egyptians call the exhalations or fume, by the which the giant Typhon breathed. But in truth it appeareth to be the overflowing of the Red Sea, which breaketh out under the ground in that place where it is divided in the narrowest place from the sea on this side. So Antonius was sent before into Egypt with his horsemen, who did not only win that passage, but also took the city of Pelusium (which is a great city) with all the soldiers in it: and thereby he cleared the way, and made it safe for all the rest of the army, and the hope of the victory also certain for his captain. Now did the enemies themselves feel the fruits of Antonius' courtesy, and the desire he had to win honor: for when Ptolemy (after he had entered into the city of Pelusium), for the malice he bare unto the city, would have put all the Egyptians in it to the sword, Antonius withstood him, and by no means would suffer him to do it. And in all other great battles and skirmishes which they fought, being many in number, Antonius did many noble acts of a valiant and wise captain: but specially in one battle, where he compassed in the enemies behind, giving them the victory that fought in front, whereby he afterwards had such honorable reward as his valiantness deserved. Antonius' courtesy unto Archelaus being dead. So was his great courtesy also much commended of all, the which he shewed unto Archelaus: for having been his very friend, he made war with him against his will while he lived; but after his death he fought for his body, and gave it honorable burial. For these respects he won himself great fame of them of Alexandria, and he was also thought a worthy man of all the soldiers in the Romans' camp.

44. Antonius' shape and presence. But besides all this he had a noble presence, and showed a countenance of one of a noble house: he had a goodly thick beard, a broad forehead, crooked nosed, and there appeared such a manly look in his countenance, as is commonly seen in Hercules, pictures, stamped or graven in metal. The house of the Antonii descended from Hercules. Now it had been a speech of old time, that the family of the Antonii were descended from one Anton the son of Hercules, whereof the family took name. This opinion did Antonius seek to confirm in all his doings: not only resembling him in the likeness of his body, as we have said before, but also in the wearing of his garments. For when he would openly shew him self abroad before many people, he would always wear his cassock girt down low upon his hips, with a great sword hanging by his side, and upon that, some ill-favored cloak. Furthermore, things that seem intolerable in other men, as to boast commonly, to jest with one or other, to drink like a good fellow with everybody, to sit with the soldiers when they dine, and to eat and drink with them soldier-like, it is incredible what wonderful love it won him amongst them. And furthermore, being given to love, that made him the more desired, and by that means he brought many to love him. For he would further everyman's love, and also would not be angry that men should merrily tell him of those he loved. Antonius' liberality. But besides all this, that which most procured his rising and advancement, was his liberality, who gave all to the soldiers, and kept nothing for himself: and when he was grown to great credit, then was his authority and power also very great, the which notwithstanding himself did overthrow by a thousand other faults he had. In this place I will show you one example only of his wonderful liberality. He commanded one day his cofferer that kept his money, to give a friend of his five and twenty myriads, which the Romans call in their tongue decies. His cofferer marveling at it, and being angry withal in his mind, brought him all this money in a heap together, to show him what a marvelous mass of money it was. Antonius seeing it as he went by, asked what it was: the cofferer answered him, "It was the money he willed him to give unto his friend." Then Antonius, perceiving the spite of his man, "I thought," said he, "that decies had been a greater sum of money than it is, for this is but a trifle," and therefore he gave his friend as much more another time, but that was afterwards.

55. Antonius tribune of the people and augur. Now the Romans maintaining two factions at Rome at that time, one against the other, of the which they that took part with the Senate did join with Pompey, being then in Rome, and the contrary side, taking part with the people, sent for Caesar to aid them, who made wars in Gaul: then Curio, Antonius' friend, that had changed his garments, and at that time took part with Caesar, whose enemy he had been before, he won Antonius, and so handled the matter, partly through the great credit and sway he bore amongst the people, by reason of his eloquent tongue, and partly also by his exceeding expense of money he made which Caesar gave him, that Antonius was chosen tribune, and afterwards made augur. But this was a great help and furtherance to Caesar's practices. For so soon as Antonius became tribune, he did oppose himself against those things which the Consul Marcellus preferred (who ordained that certain legions which had been already levied and billed, should be given unto Cneus Pompey, with further commission and authority to levy others unto them), and set down an order, that the soldiers which were already levied and assembled should be sent into Syria, for a new supply unto Marcus Bibulus, who made war at that time against the Parthians. And further gave a prohibition that Pompey should levy no more men, and also that the soldiers should not obey him. Antonius acts for Caesar. Secondly, where Pompey's friends and followers would not suffer Caesar's letters to be received and openly read in the senate, Antonius, having power and warrant by his person, through the holiness of his tribuneship, did read them openly, and made divers men change their minds: for it appeared to them that Caesar by his letters required no unreasonable matters. At length, when they preferred two matters of consideration unto the Senate, whether they thought good that Pompey or Caesar should leave their army, there were few of the senators that thought it meet Pompey should leave his army, but they all in manner commanded Caesar to do it. Then Antonius, rising up, asked whether they thought it good that Pompey and Caesar both should leave their armies. Thereupon all the senators jointly together gave their whole consent, and with a great cry commending Antonius, they prayed him to refer it to the judgment of the senate. But the Consuls would not allow of that. Therefore Caesar's friends preferred other reasonable demands and requests again, but Cato spake against them: and Lentulus, one of the Consuls, crave Antonius by force out of the Senate, who at his going out made grievous curses against him. Antonius flieth from Rome unto Caesar. After that, he took a slave's gown, and speedily fled to Caesar, with Quintus Cassius, in a hired coach. When they came to Caesar, they cried out with open mouth, that all went hand over head at Rome: for the tribunes of the people might not speak their minds; and were driven away in great danger of their lives, as many as stood with law and justice.

66. Cicero reproved for lying. Hereupon Caesar went incontinently into Italy with his army, which made Cicero say in his Philippides: "That, as Helen was cause of the war of Troy, so was Antonius the author of the civil wars;" which indeed was a stark lie. For Caesar was not so fickle-headed, nor so easily carried away with anger, that he would so suddenly have gone and made war with his country, upon the sight only of Antonius and Cassius, being fled to him in miserable apparel, and in a hired coach, had he not long before determined it with himself. But sith indeed Caesar looked of long time but for some color, this came as he wished, and gave him just occasion of war. Alexander, Cyrus and Caesar all contended to reign. Caesar's ambition the only cause of the civil war. But to say truly, nothing else moved him to make war with all the world as he did, but one self cause which first procured Alexander and Cyrus also before him, to wit, an insatiable desire to reign, with a senseless covetousness to be the best man in the world; the which he could not come unto, before he had first put down Pompey and utterly overthrown him. Now after that Caesar had gotten Rome at his commandment, and had driven Pompey out of Italy, he purposed first to go into Spain against the legions Pompey had there, and in the mean time to make provision for ships and marine preparation, to follow Pompey. In his absence, he left Lepidus, that was Praetor, governor of Rome; and Antonius, that was tribune, he gave him charge of all the soldiers and of Italy. Caesar gave the charge of Italy unto Antonius. Then was Antonius straight marvelously commended and beloved of the soldiers, because he commonly exercised himself among them, and would oftentimes eat and drink with them, and also be liberal unto them, according to his ability. Antonius' vices. But then in contrary manner, he purchased divers other men's evil wills, because that through negligence he would not do them justice that were injured, and dealt very churlishly with them that had any suit unto him: and besides all this, he had an ill name to intice men's wives. To conclude, Caesar's friends, that governed under him, were cause why they hated Caesar's government (which indeed in respect of himself was no less than tyranny) by reason of the great insolencies and outrageous parts that were committed: amongst whom Antonius, that was of greatest power, and that also committed greatest faults, deserved most blame.

77. Antonius taketh sea with his army at Brundusium, and goeth unto Caesar. But Caesar, not withstanding, when he returned from the wars of Spain, made no reckoning of the complaints that were put up against him: but contrarily, because he found him a hardy man, and a valiant captain, he employed him in his chiefest affairs, and was no whit deceived in his opinion of him. So he passed over the Ionian sea unto Brundusium being but slenderly accompanied, and sent unto Antonius and Gabinius, that they should imbark their men as soon as they could, and pass them over into Macedon. Gabinius was afraid to take the sea, because it was very rough, and in the winter time: and therefore fetched a great compass about by land. But Antonius, fearing some danger might come unto Caesar, be cause he was compassed in with a great number of enemies first of all he drave away Libo, who rode at anchor with a great army before the haven of Brundusium. For he manned out such a number of pinnaces, barks, and other small boats about every one of his galleys, that he crave him thence. After that, he imbarkcd into ships 20,000 footmen, and 800 horsemen, and with this army he hoised sail. When the enemies saw him, they made out to follow him: but the sea rose so high, that the billows put back their galleys that they could not come near him, and so he scaped that danger. But withal he fell upon the rocks with his whole fleet, where the sea wrought very high, so that he was out of all hope to save himself. Yet, by good fortune, suddenly the wind turned south-west, and blew from the gulf, driving the waves of the river into the main sea. Thus Antonius, loosing from the land, and sailing with safety at his pleasure, soon after he saw all the coasts full of shipwracks. For the force and boisterousness of the wind did cast away the galleys that followed him: of the which, many of them were broken and splitted, and divers also cast away; and Antonius took a great number of them prisoners, with a great sum of money also. Besides all these, he took the city of Lyssus, and brought Caesar a great supply of men, and made him courageous, coming at a pinch with so great a power to him.

88. Antonius' manhood in war. Now there were divers hot skirmishes and encounters, in the which Antonius fought so valiantly, that he carried the praise from them all: but specially at two several times, when Caesar's men turned their backs, and fled for life. For he stepped before them, and compelled them to return again to fight, so that the victory fell on Caesar's side. Antonius led the left wing of Caesar's battle at Pharsalia, where Pompey lost the field. For this cause he had the second place in the camp among the soldiers, and they spoke of no other man unto Caesar, but of him: who showed plainly what opinion he had of him, when at the last battle of Pharsalia (which indeed was the last trial of all, to give the conqueror the whole empire of the world) he himself did lead the right wing of his army, and gave Antonius the leading of the left wing, as the valiantest man and skillfullest soldier of all those he had about him. After Caesar had won the victory, and that he was created Dictator, he followed Pompey step by step: howbeit, before, he named Antonius general of the horse men, and sent him to Rome. The dignity of the general of the horsemen. The general of the horsemen is the second office of dignity, when the Dictator is in the city: but when he is abroad, he is the chiefest man, and almost the only man that remaineth, and all the other officers and magistrates are put down, after there is a Dictator chosen.

99. Dissension betwixt Antonius and Dolabella. Notwithstanding, Dolabella, being at that time tribune, and a young man desirous of change and innovation, he preferred a law which the Romans call Novas Tabulas (as much to say, as a cutting off and cancelling of all obligations and specialities; and were called New Tables, because they were driven then to make books of daily receipt and expense), and persuaded Antonius his friend (who also gaped for a good occasion to please and gratify the common people) to aid him to pass this law. But Trebellius and Asinius dissuaded from it all they could possible. So by good hap it chanced that Antonius mistrusted Dolabella for keeping of his wife, and took such a conceit of it, that he thrust his wife out of his house, being his cousin-german, and the daughter of C. Antonius, who was Consul with Cicero; and joining with Asinius, he resisted Dolabella, and fought with him. Dolabella had gotten the market-place, where the people do assemble in council, and had filled it full of armed men, intending to have this law of the New Tables to pass by force. Antonius, by commandment of the senate, who had given him authority to levy men and to use force against Dolabella, went against him, and fought so valiantly, that men were slain on both sides. Antonius' abominable life. But by this means he got the ill will of the common people; and on the other side, the noblemen (as Cicero saith) did not only mislike him, but also hate him for his naughty life: for they did abhor his banquets and drunken feasts he made at unseasonable times, and his extreme wasteful expenses upon vain light huswives; and then in the day-time he would sleep or walk out his drunkenness, thinking to wear away the fume of the abundance of wine which he had taken over night. In his house they did nothing but feast, dance, and mask: and himself passed away the time in hearing of foolish plays, and in marrying these players, tumblers, jesters, and such sort of people. Antonius laid up his stomach before the whole assembly. As for proof hereof it is reported, that at Hippias' marriage, one of his jesters, he drank wine so lustily all night, that the next morning, when he came to plead before the people assembled in council, who had sent for him, he being queasy-stomached with his surfeit he had taken, was compelled to lay up all before them, and one of his friends held him his gown instead of a basin. Antonius' insolency. He had another pleasant player called Sergius, that was one of the chiefest men about him, and a woman also called Cytheride, of the same profession, whom he loved dearly: he carried her up and down in a litter unto all the towns he went, and had as many men waiting upon her litter (she being but a player) as were attending upon his own mother. It grieved honest men also very much to see that, when he went into the country, he carried with him a great number of cupboards full of silver and gold plate openly in the face of the world, as it had been the pomp or show of some triumph: and that eftsoons in the middest of his journey he would set up his hales and tents hard by some green grove or pleasant river, and there his cooks should prepare him a sumptuous dinner. And furthermore, lions were harnessed in traces to draw his carts: and besides also, in honest men's houses, in the cities where he came, he would have common harlots, courtesans, and these tumbling gillots lodged. Now it grieved men much to see that Caesar should be out of Italy following of his enemies, to end this great war with such greet peril and danger, and that others in the mean time, abusing his name and authority, should commit such insolent and outrageous parts upon their citizens.

1010. Caesar and Lepidus, consuls. Antonius buyeth Pompey's house. This methinks was the cause that made the conspiracy against Caesar increase more and more, and laid the reins of the bridle upon the soldiers' necks, whereby they durst more boldly commit many extortions, cruelties, and robberies. And therefore Caesar after his return pardoned Dolabella, being created Consul the third time, he took not Antonius, but chose Lepidus his colleague and fellow-consul. Afterwards when Pompey's house was put to open sale, Antonius bought it: but when they asked him money for it, he made it very strange, and was offended with them; and writeth himself that he would not go with Caesar into the wars of Africa, because he was not well recompensed for the service he had done him before. Yet Caesar did somewhat bridle his madness and insolency, not suffering him to pass his faults so lightly away, making as though he saw them not. Antonius married Fulvia, Claudius' widow. Fulvia ruled Antonius at home and abroad. And therefore he left his dissolute manner of life, and married Fulvia that was Clodius' widow, a woman not so basely minded to spend her time in spinning and housewifery; and was not contented to master her husband at home, but would also rule him in his office abroad, and commanded him that commanded legions and great armies: so that Cleopatra was to give Fulvia thanks for that she had taught Antonius this obedience to women, that learned so well to be at their commandment. Now, because Fulvia was somewhat sour and crooked of condition, Antonius devised to make her pleasanter, and somewhat better disposed: and therefore he would play her many pretty youthful parts to make her merry. As he did once, when Caesar returned the last time of all conqueror out of Spain, every man went out to meet him, and so did Antonius with the rest. But on the sudden there ran a rumour through Italy, that Caesar was dead, and that his enemies came again with a great army. Thereupon he returned with speed to Rome, and took one of his men's gowns, and so appareled came home to his house in a dark night, saying, that he had brought Fulvia letters from Antonius. So he was let in and brought to her muffled as he was, for being known: but she, taking the matter heavily, asked him if Antonius were well. Antonius gave her the letters, and said never a word. So when she had opened the letters, and began to read them, Antonius ramped on her neck, and kissed her. We have told you this tale for example's sake only, and so could we also tell you of many such like as these.

1111. Caesar and Antonius, consuls. Now when Caesar was returned from his last war in Spain, all the chiefest nobility of the city rode many days journey from Rome to meet him, where Caesar made marvelous much of Antonius above all the men that came unto him. For he always took him into his coach with him throughout all Italy, and behind him Brutus Albinus and Octavius the son of his niece, who afterwards was called Caesar, and became Emperor of Rome long time after. So Caesar being afterwards chosen Consul the fifth time, he immediately chose Antonius his colleague and companion; and desired, by deposing himself of his consulship, to make Dolabella Consul in his room, and had already moved it to the senate. But Antonius did stoutly withstand it, and openly reviled Dolabella in the Senate, and Dolabella also spared him as little. Thereupon Caesar being ashamed of the matter, he let it alone. Another time also, when Caesar attempted again to substitute Dolabella Consul in his place, Antonius cried out, that the signs of the birds were against it: so that at length Caesar was compelled to give him place, and to let Dolabella alone, who was marvelously offended with him. Now in truth Caesar made no great reckoning of either of them both. For it is reported that Caesar answered one that did accuse Antonius and Dolabella unto him for some matter of conspiracy: "Tush," said he, "they be not those fat fellows and fine combed men that I fear, but I mistrust rather these pale and lean men," meaning by [that] Brutus and Cassius, who afterwards conspired his death and slew him.

1212. Antonius unwittingly gave Caesar's enemies occasion to conspire against him. Antonius, unawares, afterwards gave Caesar's enemies just occasion and color to do as they did, as you shall hear. The Romans by chance celebrated the feast called Lupercalia, and Caesar, being appareled in his triumphing robe, was set in the tribune where they use to make their orations to the people, and from thence did behold the sport of the runners. The manner of this running was thus. On that day there are many young men of noble house, and those specially that be chief officers for that year, who running naked up and down the city, anointed with the oil of olive, for pleasure do strike them they meet in their way with white leather thongs they have in their hands. Antonius Lupercian putteth the diadem upon Caesar's head. Antonius, being one among the rest that was to run, leaving the ancient ceremonies and old customs of that solemnity, he ran to the tribune where Caesar was set, and carried a laurel crown in his hand, having a royal band or diadem wreathed about it, which in old time was the ancient mark and token of a king. When he was come to Caesar, he made his fellow-runners with him lift him up, and so he did put his laurel crown upon his head, signifying thereby that he had deserved to be king. But Caesar, making as though he refused it, turned away his head. The people were so rejoiced at it, that they all clapped their hands for joy. Antonius again did put it on his head: Caesar again refused it; and thus they were striving off and on a great while together. As oft as Antonius did put this laurel crown unto him, a few of his followers rejoiced at it: and as oft also as Caesar refused it, all the people together clapped their hands. And this was a wonderful thing, that they suffered all things subjects should do by commandment of their kings: and yet they could not abide the name of a king, detesting it as the utter destruction of their liberty. Caesar, in a rage, arose out of his seat, and plucking down the collar of his gown from his neck, he showed it naked, bidding any man strike off his head that would. This laurel crown was afterwards put upon the head of one of Caesar's statues or images, the which one of the tribunes plucked off. The people liked his doing therein so well, that they waited on him home to his house, with great clapping of hands. Howbeit Caesar did turn them out of their offices for it. Brutus and Cassius conspire Caesar's death. This was a good encouragement for Brutus and Cassius to conspire his death, who fell into a consort with their trustiest friends, to execute their enterprise, but yet stood doubtful whether they should make Antonius privy to it or not. All the rest liked of it, saving Trebonius only. He told them that, when they rode to meet Caesar at his return out of Spain, Antonius and he always keeping company, and lying together by the way, he felt his mind afar off: but Antonius, finding his meaning, would hearken no more unto it, and yet notwithstanding never made Caesar acquainted with this talk, but had faithfully kept it to himself. Consultation about the murther of Antonius with Caesar. After that, they consulted whether they should kill Antonius with Caesar. But Brutus would in no wise consent to it, saying, that venturing on such an enterprise as that, for the maintenance of law and justice, it ought to be clear from all villany. Yet they, fearing Antonius' power, and the authority of his office, appointed certain of the conspiracy, that when Caesar were gone into the senate, and while others should execute their enterprise, they should keep Antonius in a talk out of the senate-house.

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1314. Even as they had devised these matters, so were they executed: and Caesar was slain in the middest of the Senate. Antonius being put in a fear withal, cast a slave's gown upon him, and hid himself. But afterwards when it was told him that the murtherers slew no man else, and that they went only into the Capitol, he sent his son unto them for a pledge, and bade them boldly come down upon his word. The selfsame day he did bid Cassius to supper, and Lepidus also bade Brutus. The next morning the senate was assembled, and Antonius himself preferred a law, that all things past should be forgotten, and that they should appoint provinces unto Cassius and Brutus: the which the senate confirmed, and further ordained, that they should cancel none of Caesar's laws. Thus went Antonius out of the senate more praised and better esteemed than ever man was, because it seemed to every man that he had cut off all occasion of civil wars, and that he had showed himself a marvelous wise governor of the common wealth, for the appeasing of these matters of so great weight and importance. But now the opinion he conceived of himself after he had a little felt the good-will of the people towards him, hoping thereby to make himself the chiefest man if he might overcome Brutus, did easily make him alter his first mind. And therefore, when Caesar's body was brought to the place where it should be buried, he made a funeral oration in commendation of Caesar, according to the ancient custom of praising noble men at their funerals. When he saw that the people were very glad and desirous also to hear Caesar spoken of, and his praises uttered, he mingled his oration with lament able words; and by amplifying of matters did greatly move their hearts and affections unto pity and compassion. In fine, to conclude his oration, he unfolded before the whole assembly the bloody garments of the dead, thrust through in many places with their swords, and called the malefactors cruel and cursed murtherers. Antonius maketh uproar among the people, for the murther of Caesar. With these words he put the people into such a fury, that they presently took Caesar's body, and burnt it in the market-place, with such tables and forms as they could get together. Then when the fire was kindled, they took firebrands, and ran to the murtherers' houses to set them on fire, and to make them come out to fight.

1415. Calpurnia, Caesar's wife. Brutus therefore and his accomplices, for safety of their persons, were driven to fly the city. Then came all Caesar's friends unto Antonius, and specially his wife Calpurnia, putting their trust in him, she brought the most part of her money into his house, which amounted to the sum of 4000 talents; and furthermore brought him all Caesar's books and writings, in the which were his memorials of all that he had done and ordained. Antonius did daily mingle with them such as he thought good, and by that means he created new officers, made new senators, called home some that were banished, and delivered those that were prisoners: and then he said, that all those things were so appointed and ordained by Caesar. Charonites, why so-called. Therefore the Romans, mocking them that were so moved, they called them Charonites, because that, when they were overcome, they had no other help but to say, that thus they were found in Caesar's memorials, who had sailed in Charon's boat, and was departed. M. Antonius Consul. Caius Antonius Praetor. Lucius Antonius Tribune; all three brethren. Thus Antonius ruled absolutely also in all other matters, because he was Consul, and Caius, one of his brethren' Praetor, and Lucius the other Tribune.

1516. Variance betwixt Antonius and Octavius Caesar, heir unto Julius Caesar. Now things remaining in this state at Rome, Octavius Caesar the younger came to Rome, who was the son of Julius Caesar's niece, as you have heard before, and was left his lawful heir by will, remaining, at the time of the death of his great uncle that was slain, in the city of Apollonia. This young man at his first arrival went to salute Antonius, as one of his late dead father Caesar's friends, who by his last will and testament had made him his heir; and withal, he was presently in hand with him for money and other things which were left of trust in his hands; because Caesar had by will bequeathed unto the people of Rome threescore and fifteen silver drachmas to be given to every man, the which he as heir stood charged withal. Antonius at the first made no reckoning of him, because he was very young, and said he lacked wit and good friends to advise him, if he looked to take such a charge in hand, as to undertake to be Caesar's heir. But when Antonius saw that he could not shake him off with those words, and that he was still in hand with him for his father's goods, but specially for the ready money, then he spake and did what he could against him. And first of all, it was he that did keep him from being Tribune of the people: and also, when Octavius Caesar began to meddle with the dedicating of the chair of gold, which was prepared by the senate to honor Caesar with, he threatened to send him to prison, and moreover desisted not to put the people in an uproar. Octavius Caesar joined in friendship with Cicero. This young Caesar, seeing his doings, went unto Cicero and others, which were Antonius' enemies, and by them crept into favor with the senate: and he himself sought the people's good will every manner of way, gathering together the old soldiers of the late deceased Caesar, which were dispersed in divers cities and colonies. Antonious and Octavius became friends. Antonius' dream. Antonius, being afraid of it, talked with Octavius in the Capitol, and became his friend. But the very same night Antonius had a strange dream, who thought that lightning fell upon him, and burnt his right hand. Shortly after word was brought him, that Caesar lay in wait to kill him. Caesar cleared himself unto him, and told him there was no such matter: but he could not make Antonius believe to the contrary. Whereupon they became further enemies than ever they were: insomuch that both of them made friends of either side to gather together all the old soldiers through Italy, that were dispersed in divers towns: and made them large promises, and sought also to win the legions on their side, which were already in arms.

1617. Antonius judged an enemy by the Senate. Cicero on the other side, being at that time the chiefest man of authority and estimation in the city, he stirred up all men against Antonius: so that in the end he made the senate pronounce him an enemy to his country, and appointed young Caesar sergeants to carry axes before him, and such other signs as were incident to the dignity of a Consul or Praetor: and moreover, sent Hircius and Pansa, then Consuls, to drive Antonius out of Italy. Antonius overthrown in battle by the city of Modena. Antonius patient in adversity. These two Consuls, together with Caesar, who also had an army, went against Antonius that besieged the city of Modena, and there overthrew him in battle: but both the Consuls were slain there. Antonius, flying upon this overthrow, fell into great misery all at once: but the chiefest want of all other, and that pinched him most, was famine. Howbeit he was of such a strong nature, that by patience he would overcome any adversity: and the heavier fortune lay upon him, the more constant showed he himself. Every man that feeleth want or adversity, knoweth by virtue and discretion what he should do: but when indeed they are overlaid with extremity, and be sore oppressed, few have the hearts to follow that which they praise and commend, and much less to avoid that they reprove and mislike: but rather to the contrary, they yield to their accustomed easy life, and through faint heart, and lack of courage, do change their first mind and purpose. Antonius' hardness in adversity, notwithstanding his fine bringing up. And therefore it was a wonderful example to the soldiers, to see Antonius, that was brought up in all fineness and superfluity, so easily to drink puddle water, and to eat wild fruits and roots: and moreover it is reported, that even as they passed the Alps, they did eat the barks of trees, and such beasts as never man tasted of their flesh before.

1718. Now their intent was to join with the legions that were on the other side of the mountains, under Lepidus' charge: whom Antonius took to be his friend, because he had holpen him to many things at Caesar's hand, through his means. When he was come to the place where Lepidus was, he camped hard by him: and when he saw that no man came to him to put him in any hope, he determined to venter himself, and to go unto Lepidus. Since the overthrow he had at Modena, he suffered his beard to grow at length and never clipped it, that it was marvelous long, and the hair of his head also without combing: and besides all this, he went in a mourning gown, and after this sort came hard to the trenches of Lepidus' camp. Then he began to speak unto the soldiers, and many of them, their hearts yearned for pity to see him so poorly arrayed, and some also, through his words, began to pity him: insomuch that Lepidus began to be afraid, and therefore commanded all the trumpets to sound together to stop the soldiers' ears, that they should not hearken to Antonius. This notwithstanding, the soldiers took the more pity of him, and spake secretly with him by Clodius' and Laelius' means, whom they sent unto him disguised in women's apparel, and gave him counsel that he should not be afraid to enter into their camp, for there were a great number of soldiers that would receive him, and kill Lepidus, if he would say the word. Antonius won all Ledipus' army from him. Antonius would not suffer them to hurt him, but the next morning he went with his army to wade a ford, at a little river that ran between them: and himself was the foremost man that took the river to get over, seeing a number of Lepidus' camp, that gave him their hands, plucked up the stakes, and laid flat the bank of their trench to let him into their camp. When he was come into their camp, and that he had all the army at his commandment, he used Lepidus very courteously, embraced him, and called him father: and though indeed Antonius did all, and ruled the whole army, yet he alway gave Lepidus the name and honor of the captain. Munacius Plancus, lying also in camp hard by with an army, understanding the report of Antonius' courtesy, he also came and joined with him. Varius surnamed Cotylon. Thus Antonius being afoot again, and grown of great power, repassed over the Alps, leading into Italy with him seventeen legions, and ten thousand horsemen, besides six legions he left in garrison among the Gauls, under the charge of one Varius, a companion of his that would drink lustily with him, and therefore in mockery was surnamed Cotylon, to wit, a bibber.

1819. The conspiracy and meeting of Caesar, Antonius and Ledipus. So Octavius Caesar would not lean to Cicero, when he saw that his whole travell and endeavor was only to restore the commonwealth to her former liberty. Therefore he sent certain of his friends to Antonius, to make them friends again: and thereupon all three met together (to wit Caesar, Antonius, and Lepidus) in an island environed round about with a little river, and there remained three days together. Now as touching all other matters they were easily agreed, and did divide all the empire of Rome between them, as if it had been their own inheritance. The proscription of the Triumviri. But yet they could hardly agree whom they would put to death: for every one of them would kill their enemies, and save their kinsmen and friends. Yet at length, giving place to their greedy desire to be revenged of their enemies, they spurned all reverence of blood and holiness of friendship at their feet. For Caesar left Cicero to Antonius' will, Antonius also forsook Lucius Caesar, who was his uncle by his mother: and both of them together suffered Lepidus to kill his own brother Paulus. Yet some writers affirm, that Caesar and Antonius requested Paulus might be slain, and that Lepidus was contented with it. In my opinion there was never a more horrible, unnatural, and crueler change than this was. For thus changing murther for murther, they did as well kill those whom they did forsake and leave unto others, as those also which others left unto them to kill: but so much more was their wickedness and cruelty great unto their friends, for that they put them to death being innocents, and having no cause to hate them.

1920. Antonius' cruelty unto Cicero. After this plot was agreed upon between them, the soldiers that were thereabouts would have his friendship and league betwixt them confirmed by marriage, and that Caesar should marry Claudia, the daughter of Fulvia, Antonius, wife. This marriage also being agreed upon, they condemned 300 of the chiefest citizens of Rome to be put to death by proscription And Antonius also commanded them to whom he had given commission to kill Cicero, that they should strike off his head and right hand, with the which he had written the invective orations (called Philippides) against Antonius. So when the murtherers brought him Cicero's head and hand cut off, he be held them a long time with great joy, and laughed heartily, and that oftentimes, for the great joy he felt. Then when he had taken his pleasure of the sight of them, he caused them to be set up in an open place, over the pulpit for orations (where, when he was alive, he had often spoken to the people), as if he had done the dead man hurt, and not blemished his own for tune, strewing himself (to his great shame and infamy) a cruel man, and unworthy the office and authority he bore. Lucius Caesar's life saved by his sister. His uncle Lucius Caesar also, as they sought for him to kill him and followed him hard, fled unto his sister. The murderers coming thither, forcing to break into her chamber, she stood at her chamber-door with her arms abroad, crying out still: "You shall not kill Lucius Caesar, before you first kill me, that bare your captain in my womb." By this means she saved her brother's life.

2021. Antonius' riot in the Triumvirate. The praise of Pompey the Great. Now the government of these Triumviri grew odious and hateful to the Romans, for divers respects: but they most blamed Antonius, because he, being elder than Caesar, and of more power and force than Lepidus, gave himself again to his former riot and excess, when he left to deal in the affairs of the commonwealth. But setting aside the ill name he had for his insolency, he was yet much more hated in respect of the house he dwelt in, the which was the house of Pompey the great, a man as famous for his temperance, modesty, and civil life, as for his three triumphs. For it grieved them to see the gates commonly shut against the captains, magistrates of the city, and also ambassadors of strange nations, which were sometimes thrust from the gate with violence: and that the house within was full of tumblers, antic dancers, jugglers, players, jesters, and drunkards, quaffing and guzzling; and that on them he bestowed the most part of his money he got by all kind of possible extortions, bribery, and policy. For they did not only sell by the crier the goods of those whom they had outlawed and appointed to murder, slanderously deceived the poor widows and young orphans, and also raised all kinds of imposts, subsidies, and taxes, but understanding also that the holy Vestal nuns had certain goods and money put in their custody to keep both of men's in the city and also those also that were abroad, they went thither and took them away by force. Octavius Caesar perceiving that no money would serve Antonius' turn, he prayed that they might divide the money between them; and so did they also divide the army, for them both to go into Macedon to make war against Brutus and Cassius, and in the mean time they left the government of the city of Rome unto Lepidus.

2122. The valiantness of Antonius against Brutus. When they had passed over the seas, and that they began to make war, they being both camped by their enemies, to wit, Antonius against Cassius, and Caesar against Brutus, Caesar did no great matter, but Antonius had always the upper hand, and did all. For at the first battle Caesar was overthrown by Brutus, and lost his camp, and very hardly saved himself by flying from them that followed him. Howbeit, he writeth himself in his Commentaries, that he fled before the charge was given, because of a dream one of his friends had. Antonius on the other side overthrew Cassius in battle, though some write that he was not there himself at the battle, but that he came after the overthrow, whilst his men had the enemies in chase. The death of Cassius. Brutus slew himself. So Cassius, at his earnest request, was slain by a faithful servant of his own called Pindarus, whom he had enfranchised: because he knew not in time that Brutus had overcome Caesar. Shortly after they fought another battle again, in the which Brutus was overthrown, who afterwards also slew himself. Thus Antonius had the chiefest glory of this victory, specially because Caesar was sick at that time. Antonius having found Brutus' body after this battle, blaming him much for the murther of his brother Caius, whom he had put to death in Macedon for revenge of Cicero's cruel death, and yet laying the fault more in Hortensius than in him, he made Hortensius to be slain on his brother's tomb. Antonius gave honorable burial unto Brutus. Furthermore he cast his coat-armour (which was wonderful rich and sumptuous) upon Brutus' body, and gave commandment to one of his slaves enfranchised, to defray the charge of his burial. But afterwards Antonius hearing that his enfranchised bondman had not burnt his coat-armour with his body, because it was very rich and worth a great sum of money, and that he had also kept back much of the ready money appointed for his funeral and tomb, he also put him to death.