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Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Life of Caesar
  • Editor: John D. Cox

  • Copyright John D. Cox. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Plutarch
    Editor: John D. Cox
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Life of Caesar

    4

    IV.When he was returned again unto Rome, he accused Dolabella for his ill behavior in the government of his provinces, and he had divers cities of Greece that gave in evidence against him. Notwithstanding, Dolabella at the length was dismissed. Caesar, to requite the good will of the Grecians which they had showed him in his accusation of Dolabella, took their cause in hand, when they did accuse Publius Antonius before Marcus Lucullus, Praetor of Macedon: and followed it so hard against him in their behalf, that Antonius was driven to appeal before the tribunes at Rome, alleging, to color his appeal withal, that he could have no justice in Greece against the Grecians. Now Caesar immediately wan many men's good wills at Rome, through his eloquence in pleading of their causes, and the people loved him marvelously also, because of the courteous manner he had to speak to every man, and to use them gently, being more ceremonious therein than was looked for in one of his years. Furthermore,

    Caesar loved hospitality.

    he ever kept a good board, and fared well at his table, and was very liberal besides: the which indeed did advance him forward, and brought him in estimation with the people. His enemies, judging that this

    Caesar a follower of the common people.

    favor of the common people would soon quail, when he could no longer hold out that charge and expense, suffered him to run on, till by little and little he was grown to be of great strength and power. But in fine, when they had thus given him the bridle to grow to this greatness, and that they could not then pull him back, though indeed in sight it would turn one day to the destruction of the whole state and commonwealth of Rome: too late they found, that there is not so little a beginning of any thing, but continuance of time will soon make it strong, when through contempt there is no impediment to hinder the greatness. Thereupon Cicero, like a wise shipmaster that feareth the calmness of the sea, was the first man that, mistrusting his manner of dealing in the commonwealth, found out his craft and malice, which he cunningly cloaked under the habit of outward courtesy and familiarity.

    Cicero's judgement of Caesar.

    "And yet," said he, "when I consider how finely he combeth his fair bush of hair, and how smooth it lieth, and that I see him scratch his head with one finger only, my mind gives me then, that such a kind of man should not have so wicked a thought in his head, as to overthrow the state of the commonwealth." But this was long time after that.

    The love of the people in Rome unto Caesar. Caesar chosen Tribunus milium.