Internet Shakespeare Editions

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


VI.At that time there were two factions in Rome, to wit, the faction of Sylla, which was very strong and of great power; and the other of Marius, which then was under foot, and durst not show itself. But Caesar, because he would renew it again, even at that time when, he being Aedilis, all the feasts and common sports were in their greatest ruff, he secretly caused images of Marius to be made, and of victories that carried triumphs; and those he set up one night within the capitol The next morning, when every man saw the glistering of these golden images excellently well wrought, showing by the inscriptions that they were the victories which Marius had won upon the Cimbres, every one marvelled much at the boldness of him that durst set them up there, knowing well enough who it was. Hereupon it ran straight through all the city, and every man came thither to see them.

Caesar accused to make a rebellion in the state.

Then some cried out upon Caesar, and said, it was a tyranny which he meant to set up, by renewing of such honors as before had been trodden under foot and forgotten by common decree and open proclamation: and that it was no more but a bait to gauge the people's good wills, which he had set out in the stately shows of his common plays, to see if he had brought them to his lure, that they would abide such parts to be played, and a new alteration of things to be made. They of Marius' faction on the other side, encouraging one another, showed themselves straight a great number gathered together, and made the mount of the Capitol ring again with their cries and clapping of hands: insomuch as the tears ran down many of their cheeks, for very joy, when they saw the images of Marius, and they extolled Caesar to the skies, judging him the worthiest man of all the kinred of Marius. The Senate being assembled thereupon, Catulus Luctatius, one of the greatest authority at that time in Rome, rose, and vehemently inveighed against Caesar, and spake that then which ever since hath been noted much: that Caesar did not now covertly go to work, but by plain force sought to alter the state of the commonwealth. Nevertheless, Caesar at that time answered him so, that the Senate was satisfied. Thereupon they that had him in estimation did grow in better hope than before, and persuaded him, that hardily he should give place to no man, and that through the goodwill of the people he should be better than all they, and come to be the chiefest man of the city.