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and appetite were restless, and ever launched out beyond his acquisitions; yet the transitions of his actions were not rash, but well concerted : for he always brought his undertakings to complete and perfect periods. Thus, after having obtained numerous victories, and procured a great degree of security in Spain, he did not slight the remains of the civil war in that country ; but having, in person, seen all things fully composed and settled there, he immediately went upon his expedition against the Parthians.

He was, without dispute, a man of a great and noble soul; though rather bent upon procuring his own private advantage, than good to the public: for he referred all things to himself, and was the truest centre of his own actions. Whence flowed his great and almost perpetual felicity and success : for neither his country nor religion, neither good offices, relations, nor friends, could check or moderate his designs. Again, he was not greatly bent upon preserving his memory; for he neither established a state of things, built lasting monuments, nor enacted laws of perpetuity, but worked entirely for his own present and private ends; thus confining his thoughts within the limits of his own times. It is true, he endeavoured after fame and reputation, as he judged they might be of, service to his designs; but certainly, in his heart, he rather aimed at power than dignity, and courted reputation and honours only as they were instruments of power and grandeur. So that he was led, not by any laudable course of discipline, but by a kind of natural impulse, to the sovereignty; which he rather affected to seize, than appear to deserve.

This procedure ingratiated him with the people, who had no dignity to lose ; but, among the nobility and gentry, who desired to retain their honours, it gained him the character of a bold, aspiring man. And certainly they judged right; for he was naturally very audacious, and never put on the appearance of modesty but to serve a turn. Yet this daring spirit of his was so tempered, that it neither subjected him to the censure of rashness, or intolerable haughtiness, nor rendered his nature suspected ; but was taken to proceed from a certain simplicity and freedom of behaviour, joined with the nobility of his birth. And in all other respects he had the reputation, not of a cunning and designing, but of an upen and sincere man. And though he was a perfect master of dissimulation, and wholly made up of art, without leaving anything to nature but what art had proved, yet nothing of design or affectation appeared in his carriage : so that he was thought to follow his own natural disposition. He did not, however, stoop to any mean artifices, which men unpractised in the world, who depend not upon their own strength, but the abilities of others, employ to support their authority : for he was perfectly skilled in all the ways of men, and transacted everything of consequence in his own person, without the interposition of others.

He had the perfect secret of extinguishing envy, and thought it proper in his proceedings to secure this effect, though with some diminution of his dignity. For being wholly bent upon real power, he almost constantly declined, and contentedly postponed all the empty show, and gaudy appearance of greatness : till at length, whether satiated with enjoyment, or corrupted by flattery, he affected even the ensigps of royalty, the style and diadem of a king, which proved his ruin. He entertained the thought of dominion from his very youth; and this was easily suggested to him by the example of Sylla, the affinity of Marius, the emulation of Pompey, and the corruption and troubles of the times. But he paved his way to it in a wonderful manner : first, by a popular and seditious, and afterwards by a military and imperial force. For at the entrance he was to break through the power and authority of the senate; which remaining entire, there was no passage to an immoderate and extraordinary sovereignty. Next, the power of Crassus and Pompey was to be subdued, which could not be but by arms. And, therefore, like a skilful architect of his own fortune, he began and carried on his first structure by largesses ; by corrupting the courts of justice; by renewing the memory of Caius Marius and his party, whilst most of the senators and nobility were of Sylla's faction; by the Agrarian laws; by seditious tribunes, whom he instigated; by the fury of Catiline, and his conspirators, whom he secretly favoured ; by the banishment of Cicero, upon whom the authority of the senate turned ; and other the like artifices : but what finished the affair, was the alliance of Crassus and Pompey, joined with himself.

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Having thus secured all matters on this side, he directly turned to the other; he was now made proconsul of Gaul for five years, and afterwards continued for five more ; he was furnished with arms, legions, and commanded a warlike province, adjacent to Italy. For he knew that, after he had strengthened himself with arms and a military power, neither Crassus nor Pompey could make head against him ; the one trusting to his riches, the other to his fame and reputation; the one decaying in age, the other in authority; and neither of them resting upon true and solid foundations. And all this succeeded to his wish ; especially as he had bound and obliged all the senators, magistrates, and those who had any power, so firmly to himself, by private benefits, that he feared no conspiracy or combination against his designs ; till he had openly invaded the state. And though this was ever his scheme, and at last put in execution, yet he did not unmask; but what by the reasonableness of his demands, his pretences of peace, and moderating his successes, he turned the whole load of envy upon the opposite party; and appeared to take arms of necessity, for his own preservation and safety. The emptiness of this pretence manifestly appeared, when the civil wars were ended; all his rivals, that might give him any disturbance, slain ; and he possessed of the regal power; for now he never once thought of restoring the republic, nor so much as pretended it. Which plainly showed, as the event confirmed, that his designs were all along upon the sovereignty; and, accordingly he never seized occasions as they happened, but raised and worked them out himself.

His principal talent lay in military matters; wherein he so excelled, that he could not only lead, but mould an army to his mind. For he was as skilful in governing men's passions, as in conducting affairs ; and this he did not by any ordinary discipline, that taught his soldiers obedience, stung them with shame, or awed them by severity ; but in such a manner, as raised a surprising ardour and alacrity in them, and made them confident of victory and success ; thus endearing the soldiery to him, more than was convenient for a free state. And as he was well versed in war of all kinds, and as he joined civil and military arts together, nothing could come so suddenly upon him, but he had an expedient

ready for it; nothing so adverse, but he drew some advantage from it.

He had a due regard to his person; for in great battles he would sit in his pavilion, and manage all by adjutants. Whence he received a double advantage ; as thus coming the seldomer in danger; and in case of an unfortunate turn, could animate and renew the fight, by his own presence, as by a fresh supply. In all his military preparations he did not square himself to precedents only, but ever with exquisite judgment, took new measures, according to the present exigence.

He was constant, singularly beneficent, and indulgent in his friendships; but made such choice of friends, as easily showed that he sought for those who might forward, and not obstruct his designs. And as he was both by nature and habit led, not to be eminent among great men, but to command among inferiors, he made friends of mean and industrious persons, to whom he alone gave law. As for the nobility, and his equals, he contracted friendship with them just as they might serve his turn; and admitted none to his intimacies, but such whose whole expectations centered upon him.

He was tolerably learned; but chiefly in what related to civil policy. For he was well versed in history; and perfectly understood both the edge and weight of words : and because he attributed much to his good stars, he affected to be thought skilful in astronomy. His eloquence was natural to him, and pure.

He was given to pleasures, and profuse in them, which served at his first setting out as a cloak to his ambition ; for no danger was apprehended from one of this cast. Yet he so governed his pleasures, that they were no prejudice to himself, nor business; but rather whetted than blunted the vigour of his mind. He was temperate in diet, not delicate in his amours, and pleasant and magnificent at public shows.

This being his character, the same thing at last was the means of his fall which at first was a step to his rise, viz., his affectation of popularity : for nothing is more popular than to forgive our enemies. Through which virtue, or cun. ning, he lost his life.


If ever mortal had a great, serene, well-regulated mind, it was Augustus Cæsar ; as appears by the heroical actions of his early youth. For men of a turbulent nature commonly pass their youth in various errors, and in their middle age first begin to show themselves; but those of a sedate and calm disposition may shine even in the bud. And as the perfection of the mind, like that of the body, consists in health, gracefulness, and strength; in the latter he was inferior to his uncle Julius ; but in beauty and health of mind superior. For Julius Cæsar, being of a restiess, discomposed spirit, as those generally prove who are troubled with the falling-sicknesses, yet cleared the way to his own ends with the utmost address and prudence. His error was the not rightly fixing his ends; but with an insatiable and unnatural appetite still pursuing further views. Whereas Augustus, sober and mindful of his mortality, seemed to have thoroughly weighed his ends, and laid them down in admirable order. For first he desired to have the sovereign rule, next he endeavoured to appear worthy of it, then thought it but reasonable, as a man, to enjoy his exalted fortune, and lastly, he turned his thoughts to such actions as might perpetuate his name, and transmit some image and effect of his government to futurity. Hence in his youth he affected

power; in his middle age, dignity; in his decline of life, pleasure; and in his old age, fame, and the good of posterity.




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