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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    Not Peer Reviewed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

    54

    LIV. but he being specially desirous of all men else to have Cato alive in his hands, he went with all possible speed unto the city of Utica, whereof Cato was governor, by means whereof he was not at the battle. Notwithstanding being certified by the way that Cato had slain himself with his own hands, he then made open show that he was very sorry for it, but why or wherefore, no man could tell. But this is true, that Caesar said at that present time:

    Caesar was sorry for the death of Cato.

    "O Cato, I envy thy death, because thou didst envy my glory to save thy life." This notwithstanding,

    Caesar wrote against Cato being dead.

    the book that he wrote afterwards against Cato, being dead, did show no very great affection nor pitiful heart towards him. For how could he have pardoned him, if living he had had him in his hands, that being dead did speak so vehemently against him? Notwithstanding, men suppose he would have pardoned him, if he had taken him alive, by the clemency he showed unto Cicero, Brutus, and divers others that had borne arms against him. Some report that he wrote that book, not so much for any private malice he had to his death, as for civil ambition, upon this occasion.

    Cicero wrote a book in praise of Cato being dead.

    Cicero had written a book in praise of Cato, which he entitled 'Cato.' This book in likelihood was very well liked of, by reason of the eloquence of the orator that made it, and of the excellent subject thereof Caesar therewith was marvelously offended, thinking that to praise him of whose death he was author was even so much as to accuse himself: and therefore he wrote a letter against him, and heaped up a number of accusations against Cato, and entitled the book "Anticaton." Both these books have favorers unto this day, some defending the one for the love they bear to Caesar, and others allowing the other for Cato's sake.