Internet Shakespeare Editions

Become a FriendSign in

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    Not Peer Reviewed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

    8

    VIII.This opinion was thought more gentle, and withal was uttered with such a passing good grace and eloquence, that not only they which were to speak after him did approve it: but such also as had spoken to the contrary before, revoked their opinion, and stuck to his, until it came to Cato and Catulus to speak. They both did sharply inveigh against him, but Cato chiefly: who in

    Cato's oration against Caesar.

    his oration made Caesar suspected to be of the conspiracy, and stoutly spake against him, insomuch that the offenders were put into the hands of the officers to be put to death. Caesar coming out of the Senate, a company of young men which guarded Cicero for the safety of his person, did set upon him with their swords drawn. But some say, that Curio covered Caesar with his gown, and took him out of their hands. And Cicero self, when the young men looked upon him, beckoned with his head that they should not kill him, either fearing the fury of the people, or else that he thought it too shameful and wicked a part. But if that were true, I marvel why Cicero did not put it into his book he wrote of his consulship. But certainly they blamed him afterwards, for that he took not the opportunity offered him against Caesar, only for overmuch fear of the people, that loved him very dearly. For shortly after, when Caesar went into the Senate, to clear himself of certain presumptions and false accusations objected against him, and being bitterly taunted among them, the Senate keeping him longer than they were wont: the people came about the council-house, and called out aloud for him, bidding them let him out. Cato then, fearing the insurrection of the poor needy persons, which were they that put all their hope in Caesar, and did also move the people to stir, did persuade the Senate to make a frank distribution of corn unto them, for a month. This distribution did put the commonwealth to a new charge of five hundred and fifty myriads. This counsel quenched a present great fear, and did in happy time scatter and disperse abroad the best part of Caesar's force and power, at such time as he was made Praetor, and that for respect of his office he was most to be feared.