Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Plutarch
Editor: John D. Cox
Not Peer Reviewed

Life of Caesar


XXIX.Hereupon Caesar took occasion also to send his men to make suit in his name for the consulship, and also to have the government of his provinces prorogued. Pompey at the first held his peace; but Marcellus and Lentulus (that otherwise hated Caesar) withstood them, and, to shame and dishonor him, had much needless speech in matters of weight. Furthermore they took away the freedom from the colonies which Caesar had lately brought unto the city of Novumcomum in Gaul towards Italy, where Caesar not long before had lodged them. And moreover, when Marcellus was Consul, he made one of the senators in that city to be whipped with rods, who came to Rome about those matters: and said, he gave him those marks, that he should know he was no Roman citizen, and bade him go his way, and tell Caesar of it.

Caesar bribeth tha magistrates at Rome.

After Marcellus' consulship, Caesar, setting open his coffers of the treasure he had gotten among the Gauls, did frankly give it out amongst the magistrates at Rome, without restraint or spare. First, he set Curio the tribune clear out of debt: and gave also unto Paul the Consul a thousand five hundred talents, with which money he built that notable palace by the market-place, called Paul's Basilick, in the place of Fulvius' Basilick. Then Pompey, being afraid of this practice., began openly to procure, both by himself and his friends, that they should send Caesar a successor: and moreover, he sent unto Caesar for his two legions of men of war, which he had lent him for the conquest of Gaul. Caesar sent him them again, and gave every private soldier two hundred and fifty silver drachmas. Now, they that brought these two legions back from Caesar, gave out ill and seditious words against him among the people, and did also

Pompey abused by flatterers.

abuse Pompey with false persuasions and vain hopes, informing him that he was marvelously desired and wished for in Caesar's camp: and though in Rome, for the malice and secret spite which the governors there did bear him, he could hardly obtain that he desired, yet in Gaul he might assure himself, that all the army was at his commandment. They added further also, that if the soldiers there did once return over the mountains again into Italy, they would all straight come to him, they did so hate Caesar, because he wearied them with too much labor and continual fight: and withal, for that they suspected he aspired to be king. These words breeding security in Pompey, and a vain conceit of himself, made him negligent in his doings, so that he made no preparation of war, as though he had no occasion to be afraid: but only studied to thwart Caesar in speech, and to cross the suits he made. Howbeit Caesar passed not of all this. For the report went, that one of Caesar's captains which was sent to Rome to prosecute his suit, being at the Senate-door, and hearing that they denied to prorogue Caesar's time of government which he sued for, clapping his hand upon his sword, he said: " Sith you will not grant it him, this shall give it him."