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Death and Character of Pompey. Cæsar seeing the field and camp strewed with his fallen countrymen, was much affected at fo melancholy a prospect, and could not help crying out to one that stood near him, They would have it fo.
Upon entering the enemy's camp, every object presented fresh instances of the blind presumption and madness of his adverfaries. On all sides were to be seen tents adorned with ivy and branches of myrtle, couches covered with purple, and fide-boards loaded with plate. Every thing gave proofs of the highest luxury, and seemed rather preparatives for a banquet, or the rejoicing for a victory, than the dispositions for battle.
Cæsar had now gained the most complete victory that had ever been obtained; and, by his great clemency after the battle, he seemed to ave deserved it. His loss amounted to about two hundred men; that of Pompey to fifteen thoufand, as well Romans as auxiliaries. Twenty-four thousand men surrendered themselves prisoners of war, and the greatest part of these entered into Cæfar's army, and were incorporated with the rest of his forces. As to the senators and Roman knights, who fell into his hands, he generously gave them liberty to retire wherever they thought proper.
Pompey set out for Egypt, in hopes of finding a protector in king Ptolemy, whose father he had settled in that kingdom. The king himself being then very young, Photinus, Achillas, and Theodotus, who were his counsellors, gave it as their opinion, that to admit him was making Pompey their master, and drawing on them Cæsar's resentment; and by not receiving him, they offended the one, without obliging the other; that, therefore, the only expedient left, was to give him leave to land, and then to kill him : this would at once oblige Cæsar, and rid thein of all apprehension from Pompey's resentment; for, concluded he, with a vulgar and malicious joke, dead dogs can never bite*.
This advice prevailing in a council composed of the flaves of an effeminate and luxurious court, Achillas, commander of the forces, and Septimius, who had formerly been a centurion in Pompey's army, were appointed to carry it into execution. Accordingly, attended by three or four more, they went into a little bark, and rowed towards Pompey's ship, which lay about a mile from the shore. When Pompey and his friends saw the boat moving towards them, they began to wonder at the meanness of the preparations to receive them; and some even ventured to suspect the intentions of the Egyptian court. But before any thing could be determined, Achil* Hooke.
las was come to the ship's side, and in the Greek language welcomed him to Egypt. He then invited him into the boat, alledging, that the thallows prevented larger vessels from coming to receive him. Pompey, imprudently did as they defired him; and as he was stepping out of the boat, they treacherously murdered him. Having cut off his head they caused it to be embalmed, the better to preserve its features, defigning it for a present to Cæfar. The body was thrown naked on the strand, and exposed to the view of all whose curiosity led them to examine it. However, his faithful freed man, Philip, still kept near it, and when the crowd was difperfed he walhed it in the sea, and looking round for materials to burn it, he perceived the wreck of a fishing-boat, of which he composed a pile. While thus employed, he was accosted by an old Roman soldier, who had served under Pompey in his youth. “ Who art thou,” said he, “ that art making " these humble preparations for Pompey's funeral ?" Philip having answered, that he was one of his freedmen : “ Alas!, replied the foldier, « Permit me to share in this honour. « Among all the miseries of my exile it will be my last fad u comfort, that I have been able to assist at the funeral of my « old commander, and touch the body of the braveft gene“ ral that ever Rome produced.” After this, they joined in giving the corpse the last rights, and collecting his alhes, they buried them under a little rising earth, feraped together with their hands, over which was afterwards placed the following inscription : He, whose merits deserve a temple, can now scarce find a tomb.
Such was the end, and such was the funeral, of Pompey the Great; a man who had many opportunities of enslaving his country, but rejected them all. He was fonder of glory than of power, of praise than command, and was more vain than ambitious. His talents in war were every way superior to those of his cotemporaries, except Cæsar's ; it was, therefore, his pecular misfortune to contend with a man, in whose presence all other military merit lost its lustre. Whether his aims during the last war were more just than Cæsar's muft for ever remain doubtful; certain it is, that he frequently rejected all offers of accommodation, and began to talk of punishment, before he had any pretensions to power. But whatever might have been his intentions, in case of victory, they could not have been executed with more moderation than those of Cæfar. The corruptions of the state were too great to admit of any other remedy but that of an absolute government, and it was hardly possible that power could have
200 Cæfar spends nine Months with Cleopatra in Egyp: fallen into better hands than those of the conqueror. From Pompey's death, therefore, we may date the total extinction of the republic. From this period the senate was dispoflessed of all its power; and Rome, from henceforward, was never without a master.
CHA P. XXXVII.
Cæfar spends nine Months with Cleopatra in Egypt. -Death
and Charaéter of Cato. -- Afassination of Casar.- His Character.
HE success of Cæsar only seemed to increase his activity,
and inspired him with fresh resolution, to face new dangers. He resolved therefore to pursue his last advantage, and follow Pompey to whatever country he should retire. Upon his landing in Egypt, the first accounts he received were of Pompey's miserable end; and soon after, one of the murderers came with his head and ring, as a most grateful present to the conqueror. Cæfar had too much humanity to be pleased with such an horrid spectacle. He turned away from it with disgust; and, after a short pause, gave vent to his pity in a flood of tears.
He shortly after ordered a magnificent tomb to be built to his memory, on the spot were he was murdered.
Cæfar spent nine months at Alexandria, with the celebrated Cleopatra. There were at that time two pretenders to the crown of Egypt; Ptolemy, the acknowledged king; and the famous Cleopatra, his sister; to whom, by the custom of the country, he also was married; and who by his father's will, shared jointly in the succession. However, not being contented with a bare participation of power, Cleopatra aimed at governing alone, and, for this purpose wished to have an interview with Cæfar.
She was now in the bloom of youth, and every feature borrowed grace from the lively turn of her temper.' To the most engaging addrefs she joined the most harmonious voice, which the historians of her time compare to the best tuned instrument. With all these accomplishments the possessed a great share of the learning of the times, and could give audince to the ambassadors of seven different nations without an nterpreter. The difficulty was how to gain admittance to
Cæsar, as her enemies were in posleNion of all the avenues that led to the palace. For this purpose the went on board a small vessel, and, in the cvening, landed near the palace, where, being wrapt up in a coverlet, the was carricd by one Aspolodorus into his very chamber. Her address, at first, pleared him ; her wit and understanding still fanned the flame; but her careffes, which were carried beyond the bounds of innocence, entirely brought him over to second her claims.
The Egyptian army being defeated, Ptolemy himself, attempting to escape on board a vessel that was failing down the river, was drowned by the ships finking, and Cæfar thus bccame master of all Egypt without further opposition. He then appointed Cleopatra, with her younger brother, an infant, joint governors ; according to the intent of their father's will.
On Cæsar's return to Rome, the fenate decrced him an unlimited authority. He was appointed consul for ten years, and perpetual dictator, when he made Mark Antony his master of horse. During the preceding year, Pompey's party had gathered freíh strength in Africa under Scipio, Cato, and Juba, king of Numidia. Cæsar marched an army into that country, and entirely defeated the enemy at Thaplus, a town on the sea coast. Úpon this victory, Żama and other cities surrendered to Cæfar. Scipio was drowned in his paslage to Spain, king Juba obliged a slave to dispatch him, and Cato retired to Utica, a city in Africa, with about three hundred Romans. Here he belought his friends to rely on the conqueror's mercy, resolving no longer to force men to be free who seemed naturally prone to slavery. “ As to mylalt," said he, “ I am at last victorious."
After this, fupping chearfully ainong his friends, he retired to his apartment, where he behaved with unusual tonderness to his son, and to all his friends. When he caine into his bed-chainber, he laid himself down, and took up Plato's Dialogue on the Immortality of the Soul; and, having read for some time, happening to cast his eyes to the head of his bed, he was much furprised not to find his sword there, which had been taken away by his son's order, while they were at fupper. Upon this, calling one of his domenics to know what was become of it, and receiving no answer, he resumed his ftudies; but some time after called for his sword again. When he had done reading, and perceiving nobody ob.:yed him, ho called all his doincitics one after the other, and, with a paremptory air, demanded his sword once morc.
His son caine in loon after, and with tears bcfought him, in the most humble manner, to change his resolution; bur, receiving a ftern
Death and Character of Cato. reprimand, he desisted from his persuasions. His sword being at length brought him, he seemed satisfied, and cried out, « Now again am I master of myself.” He then took up the book again, which he read twice over, and fell into a sound sleep. Upon waking, he called to one of his freedmen, to know if his friends were embarked, or if any thing yet remained that could be done to serve them. The freedman afturing him, that all was quiet, he was then ordered again to leave the room ; and Cato was no sooner alone than he ftabbed himself through the breast, but not with that force he intended, for the wound not dispatching him, he fell upon his bed, and at the same time overturned a table on which he had been drawing some geometrical figures. At the noise he made in his fall
, his servants gave a thriek, and his son and friends immediately entered the room. They found him weltering in his blood, and his bowels passed through his wound. The physician, who attended his family, perceiving that his intestines were yet untouched was for replacing them; but when Cato had recovered his fenfes, and understood their intention to preserve his life, he pushed the physician from him, and with a fierce resolution tore his bowels and expired.
In this manner died Cato, who was one of the most faultless characters we find in the Roman history. He was fevere, but not cruel; and ready to pardon much greater faults in others than he could forgive himself. His haughtiness and austerity seemed rather the effect of principle than natural constitution, for no man was more humane to his dependants, or better loved by those about him. The constancy of his opposition to Cæfar proceeded from a thorough conviction of the injustice of his pursuits.
Whether the manner in which this great republican put a period to his life was justifiable or not, has ever since been a matter of much dispute. "It must be owned that he did not, on this occasion, act conformably to his own system of philofophy; and if we try him by the laws of Christianity, he will still appear more culpable. Life is but a short fummer's campaign, in which we have many battles to fight, many breaches to mount, many strong fortreffes to storm. The prudent general, however unfortunate he may have been for a long time, experience teaches us, often proves at last successful, and gives us a convincing proof, that it is cowardice to despair, though, in all human appearance, every thing seems loft. We ought, however, to allow Cato some favourable circumstances. We must consider the age in which he lived, and the barbarity of those times, in which