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Plutarch's Lives

Part 32 out of 35

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servants they thought fit.

Dion was very rich, and had his house furnished with little less
than royal splendor and magnificence. These valuables his
friends packed up and conveyed to him, besides many rich
presents which were sent him by the women and his adherents. So
that, so far as wealth and riches went, he made a noble
appearance among the Greeks, and they might judge, by the
affluence of the exile, what was the power of the tyrant.

Dionysius immediately removed Plato into the castle, designing,
under color of an honorable and kind reception, to set a guard
upon him, lest he should follow Dion, and declare to the world
in his behalf, how injuriously he had been dealt with. And,
moreover, time and conversation (as wild beasts by use grow tame
and tractable) had brought Dionysius to endure Plato's company
and discourse, so that he began to love the philosopher, but
with such an affection as had something of the tyrant in it,
requiring of Plato that he should, in return of his kindness,
love him only, and attend to him above all other men; being
ready to permit to his care the chief management of affairs, and
even the government, too, upon condition that he would not
prefer Dion's friendship before his. This extravagant
affection was a great trouble to Plato, for it was accompanied
with petulant and jealous humors, like the fond passions of
those that are desperately in love; frequently he was angry and
fell out with him, and presently begged and entreated to be
friends again. He was beyond measure desirous to be Plato's
scholar, and to proceed in the study of philosophy, and yet he
was ashamed of it with those who spoke against it and professed
to think it would ruin him.

But a war about this time breaking out, he sent Plato away,
promising him in the summer to recall Dion, though in this he
broke his word at once; nevertheless, he remitted to him his
revenues, desiring Plato to excuse him as to the time appointed,
because of the war, but, as soon as he had settled a peace, he
would immediately send for Dion, requiring him in the interim to
be quiet, and not raise any disturbance, nor speak ill of him
among the Grecians. This Plato endeavored to effect, by keeping
Dion with him in the Academy, and busying him in philosophical

Dion sojourned in the Upper Town of Athens, with Callippus, one
of his acquaintance; but for his pleasure he bought a seat in
the country, which afterwards, when he went into Sicily, he gave
to Speusippus, who had been his most frequent companion while
he was at Athens, Plato so arranging it, with the hope that
Dion's austere temper might be softened by agreeable company,
with an occasional mixture of seasonable mirth. For Speusippus
was of the character to afford him this; we find him spoken of
in Timon's Silli, as "good at a jest." And Plato himself, as
it happened, being called upon to furnish a chorus of boys, Dion
took upon him the ordering and management of it, and defrayed
the whole expense, Plato giving him this opportunity to oblige
the Athenians, which was likely to procure his friend more
kindness than himself credit. Dion went also to see several
other cities, visiting the noblest and most statemanlike persons
in Greece, and joining in their recreations and entertainments
in their times of festival. In all which, no sort of vulgar
ignorance, or tyrannic assumption, or luxuriousness was remarked
in him; but, on the contrary, a great deal of temperance,
generosity, and courage, and a well-becoming taste for reasoning
and philosophic discourses. By which means he gained the love
and admiration of all men, and in many cities had public honors
decreed him; the Lacedaemonians making him a citizen of Sparta,
without regard to the displeasure of Dionysius, though at that
time he was aiding them in their wars against the Thebans.

It is related that once, upon invitation, he went to pay a visit
to Ptoeodorus the Megarian, a man, it would seem, of wealth and
importance; and when, on account of the concourse of people
about his doors, and the press of business, it was very
troublesome and difficult to get access to him, turning about to
his friends who seemed concerned and angry at it, "What reason,"
said he, "have we to blame Ptoeodorus, when we ourselves used to
do no better when we were at Syracuse?"

After some little time, Dionysius, envying Dion, and jealous of
the favor and interest he had among the Grecians, put a stop
upon his incomes, and no longer sent him his revenues, making
his own commissioners trustees of the estate. But, endeavoring
to obviate the ill-will and discredit which, upon Plato's
account, might accrue to him among the philosophers, he
collected in his court many reputed learned men; and,
ambitiously desiring to surpass them in their debates he was
forced to make use, often incorrectly, of arguments he had
picked up from Plato. And now he wished for his company again,
repenting he had not made better use of it when he had it, and
had given no greater heed to his admirable lessons. Like a
tyrant, therefore, inconsiderate in his desires, headstrong and
violent in whatever he took a will to, on a sudden he was
eagerly set on the design of recalling him, and left no stone
unturned, but addressed himself to Archytas the Pythagorean (his
acquaintance and friendly relations with whom owed their origin
to Plato), and persuaded him to stand as surety for his
engagements, and to request Plato to revisit Sicily.

Archytas therefore sent Archedemus, and Dionysius some galleys,
with divers friends, to entreat his return; moreover, he wrote
to him himself expressly and in plain terms, that Dion must
never look for any favor or kindness, if Plato would not be
prevailed with to come into Sicily; but if Plato did come, Dion
should be assured of whatever he desired. Dion also received
letters full of solicitations from his sister and his wife,
urging him to beg Plato to gratify Dionysius in this request,
and not give him an excuse for further ill-doing. So that, as
Plato says of himself, the third time he set sail for the Strait
of Scylla,

"Venturing again Charybdis's dangerous gulf."

This arrival brought great joy to Dionysius, and no less hopes
to the Sicilians, who were earnest in their prayers and good
wishes that Plato might get the better of Philistus, and
philosophy triumph over tyranny. Neither was he unbefriended by
the women, who studied to oblige him; and he had with Dionysius
that peculiar credit which no man else ever obtained, namely,
liberty to come into his presence without being examined or
searched. When he would have given him a considerable sum of
money, and, on several repeated occasions, made fresh offers,
which Plato as often declined, Aristippus the Cyrenaean, then
present, said that Dionysius was very safe in his munificence,
he gave little to those who were ready to take all they could
get, and a great deal to Plato, who would accept of nothing.

After the first compliments of kindness were over, when Plato
began to discourse of Dion, he was at first diverted by excuses
for delay, followed soon after by complaints and disgusts,
though not as yet observable to others, Dionysius endeavoring to
conceal them, and, by other civilities and honorable usage, to
draw him off from his affection to Dion. And for some time
Plato himself was careful not to let anything of this dishonesty
and breach of promise appear, but bore with it, and dissembled
his annoyance. While matters stood thus between them, and, as
they thought, they were unobserved and undiscovered, Helicon the
Cyzicenian, one of Plato's followers, foretold an eclipse of the
sun, which happened according to his prediction; for which he
was much admired by the tyrant, and rewarded with a talent of
silver; whereupon Aristippus, jesting with some others of the
philosophers, told them, he also could predict something
extraordinary; and on their entreating him to declare it, "I
foretell," said he, "that before long there will be a quarrel
between Dionysius and Plato."

At length, Dionysius made sale of Dion's estate, and converted
the money to his own use, and removed Plato from an apartment he
had in the gardens of the palace to lodgings among the guards he
kept in pay, who from the first had hated Plato, and sought
opportunity to make away with him, supposing he advised
Dionysius to lay down the government and disband his soldiers.

When Archytas understood the danger he was in, he immediately
sent a galley with messengers to demand him of Dionysius;
alleging that he stood engaged for his safety, upon the
confidence of which Plato had come to Sicily. Dionysius, to
palliate his secret hatred, before Plato came away, treated him
with great entertainments and all seeming demonstrations of
kindness, but could not forbear breaking out one day into the
expression, "No doubt, Plato, when you are at home among the
philosophers, your companions, you will complain of me, and
reckon up a great many of my faults." To which Plato answered
with a smile, "The Academy will never, I trust, be at such a
loss for subjects to discuss as to seek one in you." Thus, they
say, Plato was dismissed; but his own writings do not altogether
agree with this account.

Dion was angry at all this, and not long after declared open
enmity to Dionysius, on hearing what had been done with his
wife; on which matter Plato, also, had had some confidential
correspondence with Dionysius. Thus it was. After Dion's
banishment, Dionysius, when he sent Plato back, had desired him
to ask Dion privately, if he would be averse to his wife's
marrying another man, For there went a report, whether true, or
raised by Dion's enemies, that his marriage was not pleasing to
him, and that he lived with his wife on uneasy terms. When
Plato therefore came to Athens, and had mentioned the subject to
Dion, he wrote a letter to Dionysius, speaking of other matters
openly, but on this in language expressly designed to be
understood by him alone, to the effect that he had talked with
Dion about the business, and that it was evident he would highly
resent the affront, if it should be put into execution. At that
time, therefore, while there were yet great hopes of an
accommodation, he took no new steps with his sister, suffering
her to live with Dion's child. But when things were come to
that pass, that no reconciliation could be expected, and Plato,
after his second visit, was again sent away in displeasure, he
then forced Arete, against her will, to marry Timocrates, one of
his favorites; in this action coming short even of his father's
justice and lenity; for he, when Polyxenus, the husband of his
sister, Theste, became his enemy, and fled in alarm out of
Sicily, sent for his sister, and taxed her, that, being privy to
her husband's flight, she had not declared it to him. But the
lady, confident and fearless, made him this reply: "Do you
believe me, brother, so bad a wife, or so timorous a woman,
that, having known my husband's flight, I would not have borne
him company, and shared his fortunes? I knew nothing of it;
since otherwise it had been my better lot to be called the wife
of the exile Polyxenus, than the sister of the tyrant
Dionysius." It is said, he admired her free and ready answer,
as did the Syracusans, also, her courage and virtue, insomuch
that she retained her dignity and princely retinue after the
dissolution of the tyranny, and, when she died, the citizens, by
public decree, attended the solemnity of her funeral. And the
story, though a digression from the present purpose, was well
worth the telling.

From this time, Dion set his mind upon warlike measures; with
which Plato, out of respect for past hospitalities, and because
of his age, would have nothing to do. But Speusippus and the
rest of his friends assisted and encouraged him, bidding him
deliver Sicily, which with lift-up hands implored his help, and
with open arms was ready to receive him. For when Plato was
staying at Syracuse, Speusippus, being oftener than he in
company with the citizens, had more thoroughly made out how
they were inclined; and though at first they had been on their
guard, suspecting his bold language, as though he had been set
on by the tyrant to trepan them, yet at length they trusted him.
There was but one mind and one wish or prayer among them all,
that Dion would undertake the design, and come, though without
either navy, men, horse, or arms; that he would simply put
himself aboard any ship, and lend the Sicilians his person and
name against Dionysius. This information from Speusippus
encouraged Dion, who, concealing his real purpose, employed his
friends privately to raise what men they could; and many
statesmen and philosophers were assisting to him, as, for
instance, Eudemus the Cyprian, on whose death Aristotle wrote
his Dialogue of the Soul, and Timonides the Leucadian. They
also engaged on his side Miltas the Thessalian, who was a
prophet, and had studied in the Academy. But of all that were
banished by Dionysius, who were not fewer than a thousand, five
and twenty only joined in the enterprise; the rest were afraid,
and abandoned it. The rendezvous was in the island Zacynthus,
where a small force of not quite eight hundred men came
together, all of them, however, persons already distinguished in
plenty of previous hard service, their bodies well trained and
practiced, and their experience and courage amply sufficient to
animate and embolden to action the numbers whom Dion expected to
join him in Sicily.

Yet these men, when they first understood the expedition was
against Dionysius, were troubled and disheartened, blaming Dion,
that, hurried on like a madman by mere passion and despair, he
rashly threw both himself and them into certain ruin. Nor were
they less angry with their commanders and muster-masters, that
they had not in the beginning let them know the design. But
when Dion in his address to them had set forth the unsafe and
weak condition of arbitrary government, and declared that he
carried them rather for commanders than soldiers, the citizens
of Syracuse and the rest of the Sicilians having been long ready
for a revolt, and when, after him, Alcimenes, an Achaean of the
highest birth and reputation, who accompanied the expedition,
harangued them to the same effect, they were contented.

It was now the middle of summer, and the Etesian winds blowing
steadily on the seas, the moon was at the full, when Dion
prepared a magnificent sacrifice to Apollo; and with great
solemnity marched his soldiers to the temple in all their arms
and accouterments. And after the sacrifice, he feasted them all
in the race-course of the Zacynthians, where he had made
provision for their entertainment. And when here they beheld
with wonder the quantity and the richness of the gold and silver
plate, and the tables laid to entertain them, all far exceeding
the fortunes of a private man, they concluded with themselves,
that a man now past the prime of life, who was master of so much
treasure, would not engage himself in so hazardous an enterprise
without good reason of hope, and certain and sufficient
assurances of aid from friends over there. Just after the
libations were made, and the accompanying prayers offered, the
moon was eclipsed; which was no wonder to Dion, who understood
the revolutions of eclipses, and the way in which the moon is
overshadowed and the earth interposed between her and the sun.
But because it was necessary that the soldiers, who were
surprised and troubled at it, should be satisfied and
encouraged, Miltas the diviner, standing up in the midst of the
assembly, bade them be of good cheer, and expect all happy
success, for that the divine powers foreshowed that something at
present glorious and resplendent should be eclipsed and
obscured; nothing at this time being more splendid than the
sovereignty of Dionysius, their arrival in Sicily should dim
this glory, and extinguish this brightness. Thus Miltas, in
public, descanted upon the incident. But concerning a swarm of
bees which settled on the poop of Dion's ship, he privately told
him and his friends, that he feared the great actions they were
like to perform, though for a time they should thrive and
flourish, would be of short continuance, and soon suffer a
decay. It is reported, also, that many prodigies happened to
Dionysius at that time. An eagle, snatching a javelin from one
of the guard, carried it aloft, and from thence let it fall into
the sea. The water of the sea that washed the castle walls was
for a whole day sweet and potable, as many that tasted it
experienced. Pigs were farrowed perfect in all their other
parts, but without ears. This the diviners declared to portend
revolt and rebellion, for that the subjects would no longer give
ear to the commands of their superiors. They expounded the
sweetness of the water to signify to the Syracusans a change
from hard and grievous times into easier and more happy
circumstances. The eagle being the bird of Jupiter, and the
spear an emblem of power and command, this prodigy was to denote
that the chief of the gods designed the end and dissolution of
the present government. These things Theopompus relates in his

Two ships of burden carried all Dion's men; a third vessel, of
no great size, and two galleys of thirty oars attended them. In
addition to his soldiers' own arms, he carried two thousand
shields, a very great number of darts and lances, and abundant
stores of all manner of provisions, that there might be no want
of anything in their voyage; their purpose being to keep out at
sea during the whole voyage, and use the winds, since all the
land was hostile to them, and Philistus, they had been told, was
in Iapygia with a fleet, looking out for them. Twelve days they
sailed with a fresh and gentle breeze; on the thirteenth, they
made Pachynus, the Sicilian cape. There Protus, the chief
pilot, advised them to land at once and without delay, for if
they were forced again from the shore, and did not take
advantage of the headland, they might ride out at sea many
nights and days, waiting for a southerly wind in the summer
season. But Dion, fearing a descent too near his enemies, and
desirous to begin at a greater distance, and further on in the
country, sailed on past Pachynus. They had not gone far, before
stress of weather, the wind blowing hard at north, drove the
fleet from the coast; and it being now about the time that
Arcturus rises, a violent storm of wind and rain came on, with
thunder and lightning, the mariners were at their wits' end, and
ignorant what course they ran, until on a sudden they found they
were driving with the sea on Cercina, the island on the coast of
Africa, just where it is most craggy and dangerous to run upon.
Upon the cliffs there they escaped narrowly of being forced and
staved to pieces; but, laboring hard at their oars, with much
difficulty they kept clear until the storm ceased. Then,
lighting by chance upon a vessel, they understood they were upon
the Heads, as it is called, of the Great Syrtis; and when they
were now again disheartened by a sudden calm, and beating to and
fro without making any way, a soft air began to blow from the
land, when they expected anything rather than wind from the
south and scarce believed the happy change of their fortune.
The gale gradually increasing, and beginning to blow fresh, they
clapped on all their sails, and, praying to the gods, put out
again into the open sea, steering right from Africa for Sicily.
And, running steady before the wind, the fifth day they arrived
at Minoa, a little town of Sicily, in the dominion of the
Carthaginians, of which Synalus, an acquaintance and friend of
Dion's, happened at that time to be governor; who, not knowing
it was Dion and his fleet, endeavored to hinder his men from
landing; but they rushed on shore with their swords in their
hands, not slaying any of their opponents (for this Dion had
forbidden, because of his friendship with the Carthaginians),
but forced them to retreat, and, following close, pressed in a
body with them into the place, and took it. As soon as the two
commanders met, they mutually saluted each other; Dion delivered
up the place again to Synalus, without the least damage done to
anyone therein, and Synalus quartered and entertained the
soldiers, and supplied Dion with what he wanted.

They were most of all encouraged by the happy accident of
Dionysius's absence at this nick of time; for it appeared that
he was lately gone with eighty sail of ships to Italy.
Therefore, when Dion was desirous that the soldiers should
refresh themselves there, after their tedious and troublesome
voyage, they would not be prevailed with, but, earnest to make
the best use of that opportunity, they urged Dion to lead them
straight on to Syracuse. Leaving therefore their baggage, and
the arms they did not use, Dion desired Synalus to convey them
to him as he had occasion, and marched directly to Syracuse.

The first that came in to him upon his march were two hundred
horse of the Agrigentines who were settled near Ecnomum, and,
after them, the Geloans. But the news soon flying to Syracuse,
Timocrates, who had married Dion's wife, the sister of
Dionysius, and was the principal man among his friends now
remaining in the city, immediately dispatched a courier to
Dionysius with letters announcing Dion's arrival; while he
himself took all possible care to prevent any stir or tumult in
the city, where all were in great excitement, but as yet
continued quiet, fearing to give too much credit to what was
reported. A very strange accident happened to the messenger who
was sent with the letters; for being arrived in Italy, as he
traveled through the land of Rhegium, hastening to Dionysius at
Caulonia, he met one of his acquaintance, who was carrying home
part of a sacrifice. He accepted a piece of the flesh, which
his friend offered him, and proceeded on his journey with all
speed; having traveled a good part of the night, and being
weariness forced to take a little rest, he laid himself down in
the next convenient place he came to, which was in a wood near
the road. A wolf, scenting the flesh, came and seized it as it
lay fastened to the letter-bag, and with the flesh carried away
the bag also, in which were the letters to Dionysius. The man,
awaking and missing his bag, sought for it up and down a great
while, and, not finding it, resolved not to go to the king
without his letters, but to conceal himself, and keep out of the

Dionysius, therefore, came to hear of the war in Sicily from
other hands, and that a good while after. In the meantime, as
Dion proceeded in his march, the Camarineans joined his forces,
and the country people in the territory of Syracuse rose and
joined him in a large body. The Leontines and Campanians, who,
with Timocrates, guarded the Epipolae, receiving a false alarm
which was spread on purpose by Dion, as if he intended to attack
their cities first, left Timocrates, and hastened off to carry
succor to their own homes. News of which being brought to Dion,
where he lay near Macrae, he raised his camp by night, and came
to the river Anapus, which is distant from the city about ten
furlongs; there he made a halt, and sacrificed by the river,
offering vows to the rising sun. The soothsayers declared that
the gods promised him victory; and they that were present,
seeing him assisting at the sacrifice with a garland on his
head, one and all crowned themselves with garlands. There were
about five thousand that had joined his forces in their march;
who, though but ill-provided, with such weapons as came next to
hand, made up by zeal and courage for the want of better arms;
and when once they were told to advance, as if Dion were already
conqueror, they ran forward with shouts and acclamations,
encouraging each other with the hopes of liberty.

The most considerable men and better sort of the citizens of
Syracuse, clad all in white, met him at the gates. The populace
set upon all that were of Dionysius's party, and principally
searched for those they called setters or informers, a number
of wicked and hateful wretches, who made it their business to go
up and down the city, thrusting themselves into all companies,
that they might inform Dionysius what men said, and how they
stood affected. These were the first that suffered, being
beaten to death by the crowd. Timocrates, not being able to
force his way to the garrison that kept the castle, took horse,
and fled out of the city, filling all the places where he came
with fear and confusion, magnifying the amount of Dion's forces,
that he might not be supposed to have deserted his charge
without good reason for it. By this time, Dion was come up, and
appeared in the sight of the people; he marched first in a rich
suit of arms, and by him on one hand his brother, Megacles, on
the other, Callippus the Athenian, crowned with garlands. Of
the foreign soldiers, a hundred followed as his guard, and their
several officers led the rest in good order; the Syracusans
looking on and welcoming them, as if they believed the whole to
be a sacred and religious procession, to celebrate the solemn
entrance, after an absence of forty-eight years, of liberty and
popular government.

Dion entered by the Menitid gate, and, having by sound of
trumpet quieted the noise of the people, he caused proclamation
to be made, that Dion and Megacles, who were come to overthrow
the tyrannical government, did declare the Syracusans and all
other Sicilians to be free from the tyrant. But, being desirous
to harangue the people himself, he went up through the
Achradina. The citizens on each side the way brought victims
for sacrifice, set out their tables and goblets, and as he
passed by each door threw flowers and ornaments upon him, with
vows and acclamations, honoring him as a god. There was under
the castle and the Pentapyla a lofty and conspicuous sundial,
which Dionysius had set up. Getting up upon the top of that, he
made an oration to the people, calling upon them to maintain and
defend their liberty; who, with great expressions of joy and
acknowledgment, created Dion and Megacles generals, with plenary
powers, joining in commission with them, at their desire and
entreaty, twenty colleagues, of whom half were of those that had
returned with them out of banishment. It seemed also to the
diviners a most happy omen, that Dion, when he made his address
to the people, had under his feet the stately monument which
Dionysius had been at such pains to erect; but because it was a
sundial on which he stood when he was made general, they
expressed some fears that the great actions he had performed
might be subject to change, and admit some rapid turn and
declination of fortune.

After this, Dion, taking the Epipolae, released the citizens who
were imprisoned there, and then raised a wall to invest the
castle. Seven days after, Dionysus arrived by sea, and got into
the citadel, and about the same time came carriages bringing the
arms and ammunition which Dion had left with Synalus. These he
distributed among the citizens; and the rest that wanted
furnished themselves as well as they could, and put themselves
in the condition of zealous and serviceable men-at-arms.

Dionysius sent agents, at first privately, to Dion, to try what
terms they could make with him. But he declaring that any
overtures they had to make must be made in public to the
Syracusans as a free people, envoys now went and came between
the tyrant and the people, with fair proposals, and assurances
that they should have abatements of their tributes and taxes,
and freedom from the burdens of military expeditions, all which
should be made according to their own approbation and consent
with him. The Syracusans laughed at these offers, and Dion
returned answer to the envoys that Dionysius must not think to
treat with them upon any other terms but resigning the
government; which if he would actually do, he would not forget
how nearly he was related to him, or be wanting to assist him in
procuring oblivion for the past, and whatever else was
reasonable and just. Dionysius seemed to consent to this, and
sent his agents again, desiring some of the Syracusans to come
into the citadel and discuss with him in person the terms to
which on each side they might be willing, after fair debate, to
consent. There were therefore some deputed, such as Dion
approved of; and the general rumor from the castle was, that
Dionysius would voluntarily resign his authority, and rather do
it himself as his own good deed, than let it be the act of Dion.
But this profession was a mere trick to amuse the Syracusans.
For he put the deputies that were sent to him in custody, and by
break of day, having first, to encourage his men, made them
drink plentifully of raw wine, he sent the garrison of
mercenaries out to make a sudden sally against Dion's works.
The attack was quite unexpected, and the barbarians set to work
boldly with loud cries to pull down the cross-wall, and assailed
the Syracusans so furiously that they were not able to maintain
their post. Only a party of Dion's hired soldiers, on first
taking the alarm, advanced to the rescue; neither did they at
first know what to do, or how to employ the aid they brought,
not being able to hear the commands of their officers, amidst
the noise and confusion of the Syracusans, who fled from the
enemy and ran in among them, breaking through their ranks, until
Dion, seeing none of his orders could be heard, resolved to let
them see by example what they ought to do, and charged into the
thickest of the enemy. The fight about him was fierce and
bloody, he being as well known by the enemy as by his own party,
and all running with loud cries to the quarter where he fought.
Though his time of life was no longer that of the bodily
strength and agility for such a combat, still his determination
and courage were sufficient to maintain him against all that
attacked him; but, while bravely driving them back, he was
wounded in the hand with a lance, his body armor also had been
much battered, and was scarcely any longer serviceable to
protect him, either against missiles or blows hand to hand.
Many spears and javelins had passed into it through the shield,
and, on these being broken back, he fell to the ground, but was
immediately rescued, and carried off by his soldiers. The
command-in-chief he left to Timonides, and, mounting a horse,
rode about the city, rallying the Syracusans that fled; and,
ordering up a detachment of the foreign soldiers out of
Achradina, where they were posted on guard, he brought them as a
fresh reserve, eager for battle, upon the tired and failing
enemy, who were already well inclined to give up their design.
For having hopes at their first sally to retake the whole city,
when beyond their expectation they found themselves engaged with
bold and practiced fighters, they fell back towards the castle.
As soon as they gave ground, the Greek soldiers pressed the
harder upon them, till they turned and fled within the walls.
There were lost in this action seventy-four of Dion's men, and a
very great number of the enemy. This being a signal victory,
and principally obtained by the valor of the foreign soldiers,
the Syracusans rewarded them in honor of it with a hundred
minae, and the soldiers on their part presented Dion with a
crown of gold.

Soon after, there came heralds from Dionysius, bringing Dion
letters from the women of his family, and one addressed outside,
"To his father, from Hipparinus;" this was the name of Dion's
son, though Timaeus says, he was, from his mother Arete's name,
called Aretaeus; but I think credit is rather to be given to
Timonides's report, who was his father's fellow-soldier and
confidant. The rest of the letters were read publicly,
containing many solicitations and humble requests of the women;
that professing to be from his son, the heralds would not have
them open publicly, but Dion, putting force upon them, broke the
seal. It was from Dionysius, written in the terms of it to
Dion, but in effect to the Syracusans, and so worded that, under
a plausible justification of himself and entreaty to him, means
were taken for rendering him suspected by the people. It
reminded him of the good service he had formerly done the
usurping government, it added threats to his dearest relations,
his sister, son, and wife, if he did not comply with the
contents, also passionate demands mingled with lamentations,
and, most to the purpose of all, urgent recommendations to him
not to destroy the government, and put the power into the hands
of men who always hated him, and would never forget their old
piques and quarrels; let him take the sovereignty himself, and
so secure the safety of his family and his friends.

When this letter was read, the Syracusans were not, as they
should have been, transported with admiration at the unmovable
constancy and magnanimity of Dion, who withstood all his dearest
interests to be true to virtue and justice, but, on the
contrary, they saw in this their reason for fearing and
suspecting that he lay under an invincible necessity to be
favorable to Dionysius; and they began therefore to look out for
other leaders, and the rather, because to their great joy they
received the news that Heraclides was on his way. This
Heraclides was one of those whom Dionysius had banished, very
good soldier, and well known for the commands he had formerly
had under the tyrant; yet a man of no constant purpose, of a
fickle temper, and least of all to be relied upon when he had to
act with a colleague in any honorable command. He had had a
difference formerly with Dion in Peloponnesus, and had resolved,
upon his own means, with what ships and soldiers he had, to make
an attack upon Dionysius. When he arrived at Syracuse, with
seven galleys and three small vessels, he found Dionysius
already close besieged, and the Syracusans high and proud of
their victories. Forthwith, therefore, he endeavored by all
ways to make himself popular; and, indeed, he had in him
naturally something that was very insinuating and taking with a
populace that loves to be courted. He gained his end, also, the
easier, and drew the people over to his side, because of the
dislike they had taken to Dion's grave and stately manner, which
they thought overbearing and assuming; their successes having
made them so careless and confident, that they expected popular
arts and flatteries from their leaders, before they had in
reality secured a popular government.

Getting therefore together in an irregular assembly, they chose
Heraclides their admiral; but when Dion came forward, and told
them, that conferring this trust upon Heraclides was in effect
to withdraw that which they had granted him, for he was no
longer their generalissimo if another had the command of the
navy, they repealed their order, and, though much against their
wills, canceled the new appointment. When this business was
over, Dion invited Heraclides to his house, and pointed out to
him, in gentle terms, that he had not acted wisely or well to
quarrel with him upon a punctilio of honor, at a time when the
least false step might be the ruin of all; and then, calling a
fresh assembly of the people, he there named Heraclides admiral,
and prevailed with the citizens to allow him a life-guard, as he
himself had.

Heraclides openly professed the highest respect for Dion, and
made him great acknowledgments for this favor, attending him
with all deference, as ready to receive his commands; but
underhand he kept up his dealings with the populace and the
unrulier citizens, unsettling their minds and disturbing them
with his complaints, and putting Dion into the utmost perplexity
and disquiet. For if he advised to give Dionysius leave to quit
the castle, he would be exposed to the imputation of sparing and
protecting him; if, to avoid giving offense or suspicion, he
simply continued the siege, they would say he protracted the
war, to keep his office of general the longer, and overawe the

There was one Sosis, notorious in the city for his bad conduct
and his impudence, yet a favorite with the people, for the very
reason that they liked to see it made a part of popular
privileges to carry free speech to this excess of license. This
man, out of a design against Dion, stood up one day in an
assembly, and, having sufficiently railed at the citizens as a
set of fools, that could not see how they had made an exchange
of a dissolute and drunken for a sober and watchful despotism,
and thus having publicly declared himself Dion's enemy, took his
leave. The next day, he was seen running through the streets,
as if he fled from some that pursued him, almost naked, wounded
in the head, and bloody all over. In this condition, getting
people about him in the marketplace, he told them that he had
been assaulted by Dion's men; and, to confirm what he said,
showed them the wounds he had received in his head. And a good
many took his part, exclaiming loudly against Dion for his cruel
and tyrannical conduct, stopping the mouths of the people by
bloodshed and peril of life. Just as an assembly was gathering
in this unsettled and tumultuous state of mind, Dion came before
them, and made it appear how this Sosis was brother to one of
Dionysius's guard, and that he was set on by him to embroil the
city in tumult and confusion; Dionysius having now no way left
for his security but to make his advantage of their dissensions
and distractions. The surgeons, also, having searched the
wound, found it was rather razed, than cut with a downright
blow; for the wounds made with a sword are, from their mere
weight, most commonly deepest in the middle, but this was very
slight, and all along of an equal depth; and it was not one
continued wound, as if cut at once, but several incisions, in
all probability made at several times, as he was able to endure
the pain. There were credible persons, also, who brought a
razor, and showed it in the assembly, stating that they met
Sosis running in the street, all bloody, who told them that he
was flying from Dion's soldiers, who had just attacked and
wounded him; they ran at once to look after them, and met no
one, but spied this razor lying under a hollow stone near the
place from which they observed he came.

Sosis was now likely to come by the worst of it. But when, to
back all this, his own servants came in, and gave evidence that
he had left his house alone before break of day, with the razor
in his hand, Dion's accusers withdrew themselves, and the people
by a general vote condemned Sosis to die, being once again well
satisfied with Dion and his proceedings.

Yet they were still as jealous as before of his soldiers, and
the rather, because the war was now carried on principally by
sea; Philistus being come from Iapygia with a great fleet to
Dionysius's assistance. They supposed, therefore, that there
would be no longer need of the soldiers, who were all landsmen
and armed accordingly: these were rather, indeed, they thought,
in a condition to be protected by themselves, who were seamen,
and had their power in their shipping. Their good opinion of
themselves was also much enhanced by an advantage they got in an
engagement by sea, in which they took Philistus prisoner, and
used him in a barbarous and cruel manner. Ephorus relates that
when he saw his ship was taken he slew himself. But Timonides,
who was with Dion from the very first, and was present at all
the events as they occurred, writing to Speusippus the
philosopher, relates the story thus: that Philistus's galley
running aground, he was taken prisoner alive, and first
disarmed, then stripped of his corslet, and exposed naked, being
now an old man, to every kind of contumely; after which they cut
off his head, and gave his body to the boys of the town, bidding
them drag it through the Achradina, and then throw it into the
Quarries. Timaeus, to increase the mockery, adds further, that
the boys tied him by his lame leg, and so drew him through the
streets, while the Syracusans stood by laughing and jesting at
the sight of that very man thus tied and dragged about by the
leg, who had told Dionysius, that, so far from flying on
horseback from Syracuse, he ought to wait till he should be
dragged out by the heels. Philistus, however, has stated, that
this was said to Dionysius by another, and not by himself.

Timaeus avails himself of this advantage, which Philistus truly
enough affords against himself in his zealous and constant
adherence to the tyranny, to vent his own spleen and malice
against him. They, indeed, who were injured by him at the time
are perhaps excusable, if they carried their resentment to the
length of indignities to his dead body; but they who write
history afterwards, and were noway wronged by him in his
lifetime, and have received assistance from his writings, in
honor should not with opprobrious and scurrilous language
upbraid him for those misfortunes, which may well enough befall
even the best of men. On the other side, Ephorus is as much out
of the way in his encomiums. For, however ingenious he is in
supplying unjust acts and wicked conduct with fair and worthy
motives, and in selecting decorous and honorable terms, yet when
he does his best, he does not himself stand clear of the charge
of being the greatest lover of tyrants, and the fondest admirer
of luxury and power and rich estates and alliances of marriage
with absolute princes. He that neither praises Philistus for
his conduct, nor insults over his misfortunes, seems to me to
take the fittest course.

After Philistus's death, Dionysius sent to Dion, offering to
surrender the castle, all the arms, provisions, and
garrison-soldiers, with full pay for them for five months,
demanding in return that he might have safe conduct to go
unmolested into Italy, and there to continue, and also to enjoy
the revenues of Gyarta, a large and fruitful territory belonging
to Syracuse, reaching from the sea-side to the middle of the
country. Dion rejected these proposals, and referred him to the
Syracusans. They, hoping in a short time to take Dionysius
alive, dismissed his ambassadors summarily. But he, leaving his
eldest son, Apollocrates, to defend the castle, and putting on
board his ships the persons and the property that he set most
value upon, took the opportunity of a fair wind, and made his
escape, undiscovered by the admiral Heraclides and his fleet.

The citizens loudly exclaimed against Heraclides for this
neglect; but he got one of their public speakers, Hippo by name,
to go among them, and make proposals to the assembly for a
redivision of lands, alleging that the first beginning of
liberty was equality, and that poverty and slavery were
inseparable companions. In support of this, Heraclides spoke,
and used the faction in favor of it to overpower Dion, who
opposed it; and, in fine, he persuaded the people to ratify it
by their vote, and further to decree, that the foreign soldiers
should receive no pay, and that they would elect new commanders,
and so be rid of Dion's oppression. The people, attempting, as
it were, after their long sickness of despotism, all at once to
stand on their legs, and to do the part, for which they were yet
unfit, of freemen, stumbled in all their actions; and yet hated
Dion, who, like a good physician, endeavored to keep the city to
a strict and temperate regimen.

When they met in the assembly to choose their commanders, about
the middle of summer, unusual and terrible thunders, with other
inauspicious appearances, for fifteen days together, dispersed
the people, deterring them, on grounds of religious fear, from
creating new generals. But, at last, the popular leaders,
having found a fair and clear day, and having got their party
together, were proceeding to an election, when a draught-ox, who
was used to the crowd and noise of the streets, but for some
reason or other grew unruly to his driver, breaking from his
yoke, ran furiously into the theater where they were assembled,
and set the people flying and running in all directions before
him in the greatest disorder and confusion; and from thence went
on, leaping and rushing about, over all that part of the city
which the enemies afterwards made themselves masters of.
However, the Syracusans, not regarding all this, elected five
and twenty captains, and, among the rest, Heraclides; and
underhand tampered with Dion's men, promising, if they would
desert him, and enlist themselves in their service, to make them
citizens of Syracuse, with all the privileges of natives. But
they would not hear the proposals, but, to show their fidelity
and courage, with their swords in their hands, placing Dion for
his security in the midst of their battalion, conveyed him out
of the city, not offering violence to anyone, but upbraiding
those they met with their baseness and ingratitude. The
citizens, seeing they were but few, and did not offer any
violence, despised them; and, supposing that with their large
numbers they might with ease overpower and cut them off before
they got out of the city, fell upon them in the rear.

Here Dion was in a great strait, being necessitated either to
fight against his own countrymen, or tamely suffer himself and
his faithful soldiers to be cut in pieces. He used many
entreaties to the Syracusans, stretching out his hands towards
the castle, that was full of their enemies, and showing them the
soldiers, who in great numbers appeared on the walls and watched
what was doing. But when no persuasions could divert the
impulse of the multitude, and the whole mass, like the sea in a
storm, seemed to be driven before the breath of the demagogues,
he commanded his men, not to charge them, but to advance with
shouts and clashing of their arms; which being done, not a man
of them stood his ground; all fled at once through the streets,
though none pursued them. For Dion immediately commanded his
men to face about, and led them towards the city of the

The very women laughed at the new captains for this retreat; so
to redeem their credit, they bid the citizens arm themselves
again, and followed after Dion, and came up with him as he was
passing a river. Some of the light-horse rode up and began to
skirmish. But when they saw Dion no more tame and calm, and no
signs in his face of any fatherly tenderness towards his
countrymen, but with an angry countenance, as resolved not to
suffer their indignities any longer, bidding his men face round
and form in their ranks for the onset, they presently turned
their backs more basely than before, and fled to the city, with
the loss of some few of their men.

The Leontines received Dion very honorably, gave money to his
men, and made them free of their city; sending envoys to the
Syracusans, to require them to do the soldiers justice, who, in
return, sent back other agents to accuse Dion. But when a
general meeting of the confederates met in the town of the
Leontines, and the matter was heard and debated, the Syracusans
were held to be in fault. They, however, refused to stand to
the award of their allies, following their own conceit, and
making it their pride to listen to no one, and not to have any
commanders but those who would fear and obey the people.

About this time, Dionysius sent in a fleet, under the command of
Nypsius the Neapolitan, with provisions and pay for the
garrison. The Syracusans fought him, had the better, and took
four of his ships; but they made very ill use of their good
success, and, for want of good discipline, fell in their joy to
drinking and feasting in an extravagant manner, with so little
regard to their main interest, that, when they thought
themselves sure of taking the castle, they actually lost their
city. Nypsius, seeing the citizens in this general disorder,
spending day and night in their drunken singing and reveling,
and their commanders well pleased with the frolic, or at least
not daring to try and give any orders to men in their drink,
took advantage of this opportunity, made a sally, and stormed
their works; and, having made his way through these, let his
barbarians loose upon the city, giving up it and all that were
in it to their pleasure.

The Syracusans quickly saw their folly and misfortune, but could
not, in the distraction they were in, so soon redress it. The
city was in actual process of being sacked, the enemy putting
the men to the sword, demolishing the fortifications, and
dragging the women and children with lamentable shrieks and
cries prisoners into the castle. The commanders, giving all for
lost, were not able to put the citizens in any tolerable posture
of defense, finding them confusedly mixed up and scattered among
the enemy. While they were in this condition, and the Achradina
in danger to be taken, everyone was sensible who he was in whom
all their remaining hopes rested, but no man for shame durst
name Dion, whom they had so ungratefully and foolishly dealt
with. Necessity at last forcing them, some of the auxiliary
troops and horsemen cried out, "Send for Dion and his
Peloponnesians from the Leontines." No sooner was the venture
made and the name heard among the people, but they gave a shout
for joy, and, with tears in their eyes, wished him there, that
they might once again see that leader at the head of them, whose
courage and bravery in the worst of dangers they well
remembered, calling to mind not only with what an undaunted
spirit he always behaved himself, but also with what courage and
confidence he inspired them when he led them against the enemy.
They immediately, therefore, dispatched Archonides and Telesides
of the confederate troops, and of the horsemen Hellanicus and
four others. These, traversing the road between at their
horses' full speed, reached the town of the Leontines in the
evening. The first thing they did was to leap from their horses
and fall at Dion's feet, relating with tears the sad condition
the Syracusans were in. Many of the Leontines and
Peloponnesians began to throng about them, guessing by their
speed and the manner of their address that something
extraordinary had occurred.

Dion at once led the way to the assembly, and, the people being
gathered together in a very little time, Archonides and
Hellanicus and the others came in among them, and in short
declared the misery and distress of the Syracusans, begging the
foreign soldiers to forget the injuries they had received, and
assist the afflicted, who had suffered more for the wrong they
had done, than they themselves who received it would (had it
been in their power) have inflicted upon them. When they had
made an end, there was a profound silence in the theater; Dion
then stood up, and began to speak, but tears stopped his words;
his soldiers were troubled at his grief, but bade him take good
courage and proceed. When he had recovered himself a little,
therefore, "Men of Peloponnesus," he said, "and of the
confederacy, I asked for your presence here, that you might
consider your own interests. For myself, I have no interests to
consult while Syracuse is perishing, and, though I may not save
it from destruction, I will nevertheless hasten thither, and be
buried in the ruins of my country. Yet if you can find in your
hearts to assist us, the most inconsiderate and unfortunate of
men, you may to your eternal honor again retrieve this unhappy
city. But if the Syracusans can obtain no more pity nor relief
from you, may the gods reward you for what you have formerly
valiantly done for them, and for your kindness to Dion, of whom
speak hereafter as one who deserted you not when you were
injured and abused, nor afterwards forsook his fellow-citizens
in their afflictions and misfortunes."

Before he had yet ended his speech, the soldiers leapt up, and
with a great shout testified their readiness for the service,
crying out, to march immediately to the relief of the city. The
Syracusan messengers hugged and embraced them, praying the Gods
to send down blessings upon Dion and the Peloponnesians. When
the noise was pretty well over, Dion gave orders that all should
go to their quarters to prepare for their march, and, having
refreshed themselves, come ready armed to their rendezvous in
the place where they now were, resolving that very night to
attempt the rescue.

Now at Syracuse, Dionysius's soldiers, as long as day continued,
ransacked the city, and did all the mischief they could; but
when night came on, they retired into the castle, having lost
some few of their number. At which the factious ringleaders
taking heart, and hoping the enemy would rest content with what
they had done and make no further attempt upon them, persuaded
the people again to reject Dion, and, if he came with the
foreign soldiers, not to admit him; advising them not to yield,
as inferior to them in point of honor and courage, but to save
their city and defend their liberties and properties themselves.
The populace, therefore, and their leaders sent messengers to
Dion to forbid him to advance, while the noble citizens and the
horse sent others to him to desire him to hasten his march; for
which reason he slacked his pace, yet did not remit his advance.
And in the course of the night, the faction that was against him
set a guard upon the gates of the city to hinder him from coming
in. But Nypsius made another sally out of the castle with a far
greater number of men, and those far more bold and eager than
before, who quite ruined what of the rampart was left standing,
and fell in, pell-mell, to sack and ravage the city. The
slaughter was now very great, not only of the men, but of the
women also and children; for they regarded not so much the
plunder, as to destroy and kill all they met. For Dionysius,
despairing to regain the kingdom, and mortally hating the
Syracusans, resolved to bury his lost sovereignty in the ruin
and desolation of Syracuse. The soldiers, therefore, to
anticipate Dion's succors, resolved upon the most complete and
ready way of destruction, to lay the city in ashes, firing all
at hand with torches and lamps, and at distance with flaming
arrows, shot from their bows. The citizens fled every way
before them; they who, to avoid the fire, forsook their houses
were taken in the streets and put to the sword; they who betook
themselves for refuge into the houses were forced out again by
the flames, many buildings being now in a blaze, and many
falling in ruins upon them as they fled past.

This fresh misfortune by general consent opened the gates for
Dion. He had given up his rapid advance, when he received
advice that the enemies were retreated into the castle; but, in
the morning, some horse brought him the news of another assault,
and, soon after, some of those who before opposed his coming
fled now to him, to entreat him he would hasten his relief. The
pressure increasing, Heraclides sent his brother, and after him
his uncle, Theodotes, to beg him to help them: for that now they
were not able to resist any longer; he himself was wounded, and
the greatest part of the city either in ruins or in flames.
When Dion met this sad news, he was about sixty furlongs distant
from the city. When he had acquainted the soldiers with the
exigency, and exhorted them to behave themselves like men, the
army no longer marched but ran forwards, and by the way were met
by messengers upon messengers entreating them to make haste. By
the wonderful eagerness of the soldiers and their extraordinary
speed, Dion quickly came to the city and entered what is called
the Hecatompedon, sending his light-armed men at once to charge
the enemy, that, seeing them, the Syracusans might take courage.
In the meantime, he drew up in good order his full-armed men
and all the citizens that came in and joined him; forming his
battalions deep, and distributing his officers in many separate
commands, that he might, be able to attack from many quarters at
once, and so he more alarming to the enemy.

So, having made his arrangements and offered vows to the gods,
when he was seen in the streets advancing at the head of his men
to engage the enemy, a confused noise of shouts,
congratulations, vows, and prayers was raised by the Syracusans,
who now called Dion their deliverer and tutelar deity, and his
soldiers their friends, brethren, and fellow-citizens. And,
indeed, at that moment, none seemed to regard themselves, or
value their safeties, but to be concerned more for Dion's life
than for all their own together, as he marched at the head of
them to meet the danger, through blood and fire and over heaps
of dead bodies that lay in his way.

And indeed the posture of the enemy was in appearance terrible;
for they were flushed and ferocious with victory, and had posted
themselves very advantageously along the demolished works, which
made the access to them very hazardous and difficult. Yet that
which disturbed Dion's soldiers most was the apprehension they
were in of the fire, which made their march very trouble some
and difficult; for the houses being in flames on al] sides, they
were met everywhere with the blaze, and, treading upon burning
ruins and every minute in danger of being overwhelmed with
falling houses, through clouds of ashes and smoke they labored
hard to keep their order and maintain their ranks. When they
came near to the enemy, the approach was so narrow and uneven
that but few of them could engage at a time; but at length, with
loud cheers and much zeal on the part of the Syracusans,
encouraging them and joining with them, they beat off Nypsius's
men, and put them to flight. Most of them escaped into the
castle, which was near at hand; all that could not get in were
pursued and picked up here and there by the soldiers, and put to
the sword. The present exigency, however, did not suffer the
citizens to take immediate benefit of their victory in such
mutual congratulations and embraces as became so great a
success; for now all were busily employed to save what houses
were left standing, laboring hard all night, and scarcely so
could master the fire.

The next day, not one of the popular haranguers durst stay in
the city, but all of them, knowing their own guilt, by their
flight confessed it, and secured their lives. Only Heraclides
and Theodotes went voluntarily and surrendered themselves to
Dion, acknowledging that they had wronged him, and begging he
would be kinder to them than they had been just to him; adding,
how much it would become him who was master of so many excellent
accomplishments, to moderate his anger and be generously
compassionate to ungrateful men, who were here before him,
making their confession, that, in all the matter of their former
enmity and rivalry against him, they were now absolutely
overcome by his virtue. Though they thus humbly addressed him,
his friends advised him not to pardon these turbulent and
ill-conditioned men, but to yield them to the desires of his
soldiers, and utterly root out of the commonwealth the ambitious
affectation of popularity, a disease as pestilent and pernicious
as the passion for tyranny itself. Dion endeavored to satisfy
them, telling them that other generals exercised and trained
themselves for the most part in the practices of war and arms;
but that he had long studied in the Academy how to conquer
anger, and not let emulation and envy conquer him; that to do
this it is not sufficient that a man be obliging and kind to his
friends, and those that have deserved well of him, but rather,
gentle and ready to forgive in the case of those who do wrong;
that he wished to let the world see that he valued not himself
so much upon excelling Heraclides in ability and conduct, as he
did in outdoing him in justice and clemency; herein to have the
advantage is to excel indeed; whereas the honor of success in
war is never entire; fortune will be sure to dispute it, though
no man should pretend to have a claim. What if Heraclides be
perfidious, malicious, and base, must Dion therefore sully or
injure his virtue by passionate concern for it? For, though the
laws determine it juster to revenge an injury than to do an
injury, yet it is evident that both, in the nature of things,
originally proceed from the same deficiency and weakness. The
malicious humor of men, though perverse and refractory, is not
so savage and invincible but it may be wrought upon by kindness,
and altered by repeated obligations. Dion, making use of these
arguments, pardoned and dismissed Heraclides and Theodotes.

And now, resolving to repair the blockade about the castle, he
commanded all the Syracusans to cut each man a stake and bring
it to the works; and then, dismissing them to refresh
themselves, and take their rest, he employed his own men all
night, and by morning had finished his line of palisade; so that
both the enemy and the citizens wondered, when day returned, to
see the work so far advanced in so short a time. Burying
therefore the dead, and redeeming the prisoners, who were near
two thousand, he called a public assembly, where Heraclides made
a motion that Dion should be declared general with full powers
at land and sea. The better citizens approved well of it, and
called on the people to vote it so. But the mob of sailors and
handicraftsmen would not yield that Heraclides should lose his
command of the navy; believing him, if otherwise an ill man, at
any rate to be more citizenlike than Dion, and readier to comply
with the people. Dion therefore submitted to them in this, and
consented Heraclides should continue admiral. But when they
began to press the project of the redistribution of lands and
houses, he not only opposed it, but repealed all the votes they
had formerly made upon that account, which sensibly vexed them.
Heraclides, therefore, took a new advantage of him, and, being
at Messene, harangued the soldiers and ships' crews that sailed
with him, accusing Dion that he had a design to make himself
absolute. And yet at the same time he held private
correspondence for a treaty with Dionysius by means of Pharax
the Spartan. Which when the noble citizens of Syracuse had
intimation of, there arose a sedition in the army, and the city
was in great distress and want of provisions; and Dion now knew
not what course to take, being also blamed by all his friends
for having thus fortified against himself such a perverse and
jealous and utterly corrupted man as Heraclides was.

Pharax at this time lay encamped at Neapolis, in the territory
of Agrigentum. Dion, therefore, led out the Syracusans, but
with an intent not to engage him till he saw a fit opportunity.
But Heraclides and his seamen exclaimed against him, that he
delayed fighting on purpose that he might the longer continue
his command; so that, much against his will, he was forced to an
engagement and was beaten, his loss however being
inconsiderable, and that occasioned chiefly by the dissension
that was in the army. He rallied his men, and, having put them
in good order and encouraged them to redeem their credit,
resolved upon a second battle. But, in the evening, he received
advice that Heraclides with his fleet was on his way to
Syracuse, with the purpose to possess himself of the city and
keep him and his army out. Instantly, therefore, taking with
him some of the strongest and most active of his men, he rode
off in the dark, and about nine the next morning was at the
gates, having ridden seven hundred furlongs that night.
Heraclides, though he strove to make all the speed he could,
yet, coming too late, tacked and stood out again to sea; and,
being unresolved what course to steer, accidentally he met
Gaesylus the Spartan, who told him he was come from Lacedaemon
to head the Sicilians, as Gylippus had formerly done.
Heraclides was only too glad to get hold of him, and fastening
him as it might be a sort of amulet to himself, he showed him to
the confederates, and sent a herald to Syracuse to summon them
to accept the Spartan general. Dion returned answer that they
had generals enough, and, if they wanted a Spartan to command
them, he could supply that office, being himself a citizen of
Sparta. When Gaesylus saw this, he gave up all pretensions, and
sailed in to Dion, and reconciled Heraclides to him, making
Heraclides swear the most solemn oaths to perform what he
engaged, Gaesylus himself also undertaking to maintain Dion's
right, and inflict chastisement on Heraclides if he broke his

The Syracusans then laid up their navy, which was at present a
great charge and of little use to them, but an occasion of
differences and dissensions among the generals, and pressed on
the siege, finishing the wall of blockade with which they
invested the castle. The besieged, seeing no hopes of succors
and their provisions failing, began to mutiny; so that the son
of Dionysius, in despair of holding out longer for his father,
capitulated, and articled with Dion to deliver up the castle
with all the garrison soldiers and ammunition; and so, taking
his mother and sisters and manning five galleys, he set out to
go to his father, Dion seeing him safely out, and scarce a man
in all the city not being there to behold the sight, as indeed
they called even on those that were not present, out of pity
that they could not be there, to see this happy day and the sun
shining on a free Syracuse. And as this expulsion of Dionysius
is even now always cited as one of the greatest and most
remarkable examples of fortune's vicissitudes, how extraordinary
may we imagine their joy to have been, and how entire their
satisfaction, who had totally subverted the most potent tyranny
that ever was by very slight and inconsiderable means!

When Apollocrates was gone, and Dion coming to take possession
of the castle, the women could not stay while he made his entry,
but ran to meet him at the gate. Aristomache led Dion's son,
and Arete followed after weeping, fearful and dubious how to
salute or address her husband, after living with another man.
Dion first embraced his sister, then his son; when Aristomache
bringing Arete to him, "O Dion," said she, "your banishment made
us all equally miserable; your return and victory has canceled
all sorrows, excepting this poor sufferer's, whom I, unhappy,
saw compelled to be another's, while you were yet alive.
Fortune has now given you the sole disposal of us; how will you
determine concerning her hard fate? In what relation must she
salute you as her uncle, or as her husband?" This speech of
Aristomache's brought tears from Dion, who with great affection
embraced his wife, gave her his son, and desired her to retire
to his own house, where he continued to reside when he had
delivered up the castle to the Syracusans.

For though all things had now succeeded to his wish, yet he
desired not to enjoy any present advantage of his good fortune,
except to gratify his friends, reward his allies, and bestow
upon his companions of former time in Athens and the soldiers
that had served him some special mark of kindness and honor,
striving herein to outdo his very means in his generosity. As
for himself, he was content with a very frugal and moderate
competency, and was indeed the wonder of all men, that when not
only Sicily and Carthage, but all Greece looked to him as in the
height of prosperity, and no man living greater than he, no
general more renowned for valor and success, yet in his garb,
his attendance, his table, he seemed as if he rather commoned
with Plato in the Academy than lived among hired captains and
paid soldiers, whose solace of their toils and dangers it is to
eat and drink their fill, and enjoy themselves plentifully every
day. Plato indeed wrote to him that the eyes of all the world
were now upon him; but it is evident that he himself had fixed
his eye upon one place in one city, the Academy, and considered
that the spectators and judges there regarded not great actions,
courage, or fortune, but watched to see how temperately and
wisely he could use his prosperity, how evenly he could behave
himself in the high condition he now was in. Neither did he
remit anything of his wonted stateliness in conversation or
serious carriage to the people; he made it rather a point to
maintain it, notwithstanding that a little condescension and
obliging civility were very necessary for his present affairs;
and Plato, as we said before, rebuked him, and wrote to tell him
that self-will keeps house with solitude. But certainly his
natural temperament was one that could not bend to complaisance;
and, besides, he wished to work the Syracusans back the other
way, out of their present excess of license and caprice.

Heraclides began again to set up against him, and, being invited
by Dion to make one of the Council, refused to come, saying he
would give his opinion as a private citizen in the public
assembly. Next he complained of Dion because he had not
demolished the citadel, and because he had hindered the people
from throwing down Dionysius's tomb and doing despite to the
dead; moreover he accused him for sending to Corinth for
counselors and assistants in the government, thereby neglecting
and slighting his fellow-citizens. And indeed he had sent
messages for some Corinthians to come to him, hoping by their
means and presence the better to settle that constitution he
intended; for he designed to suppress the unlimited democratic
government, which indeed is not a government, but, as Plato
calls it, a marketplace of governments, and to introduce and
establish a mixed polity, on the Spartan and Cretan model,
between a commonwealth and a monarchy, wherein an aristocratic
body should preside, and determine all matters of greatest
consequence; for he saw also that the Corinthians were chiefly
governed by something like an oligarchy, and the people but
little concerned in public business.

Now knowing that Heraclides would be his most considerable
adversary, and that in all ways he was a turbulent, fickle, and
factious man, he gave way to some whom formerly he hindered when
they designed to kill him, who, breaking in, murdered Heraclides
in his own house. His death was much resented by the citizens.
Nevertheless, when Dion made him a splendid funeral, followed
the dead body with all his soldiers, and then addressed them,
they understood that it would have been impossible to have kept
the city quiet, as long as Dion and Heraclides were competitors
in the government.

Dion had a friend called Callippus, an Athenian, who, Plato
says, first made acquaintance and afterwards obtained
familiarity with him, not from any connection with his
philosophic studies, but on occasion afforded by the celebration
of the mysteries, and in the way of ordinary society. This man
went with him in all his military service, and was in great
honor and esteem; being the first of his friends who marched by
his side into Syracuse, wearing a garland upon his head, having
behaved himself very well in all the battles, and made himself
remarkable for his gallantry. He, finding that Dion's principal
and most considerable friends were cut off in the war,
Heraclides now dead, and the people without a leader, and that
the soldiers had a great kindness for him, like a perfidious and
wicked villain, in hopes to get the chief command of Sicily as
his reward for the ruin of his friend and benefactor, and, as
some say, being also bribed by the enemy with twenty talents to
destroy Dion, inveigled and engaged several of the soldiers in a
conspiracy against him, taking this cunning and wicked occasion
for his plot. He daily informed Dion of what he heard or what
he feigned the soldiers said against him; whereby he gained that
credit and confidence, that he was allowed by Dion to consort
privately with whom he would, and talk freely against him in any
company, that he might discover who were his secret and factious
maligners. By this means, Callippus in a short time got
together a cabal of all the seditious malcontents in the city;
and if anyone who would not be drawn in advised Dion that he
was tampered with, he was not troubled or concerned at it,
believing Callippus did it in compliance with his directions.

While this conspiracy was afoot, a strange and dreadful
apparition was seen by Dion. As he sat one evening in a gallery
in his house alone and thoughtful, hearing a sudden noise he
turned about, and saw at the end of the colonnade, by clear
daylight, a tall woman, in her countenance and garb like one of
the tragical Furies, with a broom in her hand, sweeping the
floor. Being amazed and extremely affrighted, he sent for some
of his friends, and told them what he had seen, entreating them
to stay with him and keep him company all night; for he was
excessively discomposed and alarmed, fearing that if he were
left alone the specter would again appear to him. He saw it no
more. But a few days after, his only son, being almost grown up
to man's estate, upon some displeasure and pet he had taken upon
a childish and frivolous occasion, threw himself headlong from
the top of the house and broke his neck.

While Dion was under this affliction, Callippus drove on his
conspiracy, and spread a rumor among the Syracusans, that Dion,
being now childless, was resolved to send for Dionysius's son,
Apollocrates, who was his wife's nephew and sister's grandson,
and make him his heir and successor. By this time, Dion and his
wife and sister began to suspect what was doing, and from all
hands information came to them of the plot. Dion, being
troubled, it is probable, for Heraclides's murder, which was
like to be a blot and stain upon his life and actions, in
continual weariness and vexation, declared he had rather die a
thousand times, and open his breast himself to the assassin,
than live not only in fear of his enemies but suspicion of his
friends. But Callippus, seeing the women very inquisitive to
search to the bottom of the business, took alarm, and came to
them, utterly denying it with tears in his eyes, and offering to
give them whatever assurances of his fidelity they desired.
They required that he should take the Great Oath, which was
after this manner. The juror went into the sanctuary of Ceres
and Proserpine, where, after the performance of some ceremonies,
he was clad in the purple vestment of the goddess, and, holding
a lighted torch in his hand, took his oath. Callippus did as
they required, and forswore the fact. And indeed he so little
valued the goddesses, that he stayed but till the very festival
of Proserpine, by whom he had sworn, and on that very day
committed his intended murder; as truly he might well enough
disregard the day, since he must at any other time as impiously
offend her, when he who had acted as her initiating priest
should shed the blood of her worshiper.

There were a great many in the conspiracy; and as Dion was at
home with several of his friends in a room with tables for
entertainment in it, some of the conspirators beset the house
around, others secured the doors and windows. The actual
intended murderers were some Zacynthians, who went inside in
their under-dresses without swords. Those outside shut the
doors upon them and kept them fast. The murderers fell on Dion,
endeavoring to stifle and crush him; then, finding they were
doing nothing, they called for a sword, but none durst open the
door. There were a great many within with Dion, but everyone
was for securing himself, supposing that by letting him lose his
life he should save his own, and therefore no man ventured to
assist him. When they had waited a good while, at length Lycon
the Syracusan reached a short sword in at the window to one of
the Zacynthians, and thus, like a victim at a sacrifice, this
long time in their power, and trembling for the blow, they
killed him. His sister, and wife big with child, they hurried
to prison, who poor lady, in her unfortunate condition was there
brought to bed of a son, which, by the consent of the keepers,
they intended to bring up, the rather because Callippus began
already to be embroiled in troubles.

After the murder of Dion, he was in great glory, and had the
sole government of Syracuse in his hands; and to that effect
wrote to Athens, a place which, next the immortal gods, being
guilty of such an abominable crime, he ought to have regarded
with shame and fear. But true it is, what is said of that city,
that the good men she breeds are the most excellent, and the bad
the most notorious; as their country also produces the most
delicious honey and the most deadly hemlock. Callippus,
however, did not long continue to scandalize fortune and upbraid
the gods with his prosperity, as though they connived at and
bore with the wretched man, while he purchased riches and power
by heinous impieties, but he quickly received the punishment he
deserved. For, going to take Catana, he lost Syracuse;
whereupon they report he said, he had lost a city and got a
bauble. Then, attempting Messena, he had most of his men cut
off, and, among the rest, Dion's murderers. When no city in
Sicily would admit him, but all hated and abhorred him, he went
into Italy and took Rhegium; and there, being in distress and
not able to maintain his soldiers, he was killed by Leptines and
Polysperchon, and, as fortune would have it with the same sword
by which Dion was murdered, which was known by the size, being
but short, as the Spartan swords, and the workmanship of it very
curious and artificial. Thus Callippus received the reward of
his villanies.

When Aristomache and Arete were released out of prison, Hicetes,
one of Dion's friends, took them to his house, and seemed to
intend to entertain them well and like a faithful friend.
Afterwards, being persuaded by Dion's enemies, he provided a
ship and pretended to send them into Peloponnesus, but commanded
the sailors, when they came out to sea, to kill them and throw
them overboard. Others say that they and the little boy were
thrown alive into the sea. This man also escaped not the due
recompense of his wickedness, for he was taken by Timoleon and
put to death, and the Syracusans, to revenge Dion, slew his two
daughters; of all which I have given a more particular account
in the life of Timoleon.


Marcus Brutus was descended from that Junius Brutus to whom the
ancient Romans erected a statue of brass in the capitol among
the images of their kings with a drawn sword in his hand, in
remembrance of his courage and resolution in expelling the
Tarquins and destroying the monarchy. But that ancient Brutus
was of a severe and inflexible nature, like steel of too hard a
temper, and having never had his character softened by study and
thought, he let himself be so far transported with his rage and
hatred against tyrants, that, for conspiring with them, he
proceeded to the execution even of his own sons. But this
Brutus, whose life we now write, having to the goodness of his
disposition added the improvements of learning and the study of
philosophy, and having stirred up his natural parts, of
themselves grave and gentle, by applying himself to business and
public affairs, seems to have been of a temper exactly framed
for virtue; insomuch that they who were most his enemies upon
account of his conspiracy against Caesar, if in that whole
affair there was any honorable or generous part, referred it
wholly to Brutus, and laid whatever was barbarous and cruel to
the charge of Cassius, Brutus's connection and familiar friend,
but not his equal in honesty and pureness of purpose. His
mother, Servilia, was of the family of Servilius Ahala, who,
when Spurius Maelius worked the people into a rebellion and
designed to make himself king, taking a dagger under his arm,
went forth into the marketplace, and, upon presence of having
some private business with him, came up close to him, and, as he
bent his head to hear what he had to say, struck him with his
dagger and slew him. And thus much, as concerns his descent by
the mother's side, is confessed by all; but as for his father's
family, they who for Caesar's murder bore any hatred or ill-will
to Brutus say that he came not from that Brutus who expelled the
Tarquins, there being none of his race left after the execution
of his two sons; but that his ancestor was a plebeian, son of
one Brutus, a steward, and only rose in the latest times to
office or dignity in the commonwealth. But Posidonius the
philosopher writes that it is true indeed what the history
relates, that two of the sons of Brutus who were of men's estate
were put to death, but that a third, yet an infant, was left
alive, from whom the family was propagated down to Marcus
Brutus; and further, that there were several famous persons of
this house in his time whose looks very much resembled the
statue of Junius Brutus. But of this subject enough.

Cato the philosopher was brother to Servilia, the mother of
Brutus, and he it was whom of all the Romans his nephew most
admired and studied to imitate, and he afterwards married his
daughter Porcia. Of all the sects of the Greek philosophers,
though there was none of which he had not been a hearer and in
which he had not made some proficiency, yet he chiefly esteemed
the Platonists; and, not much approving of the modern and middle
Academy, as it is called, he applied himself to the study of the
ancient. He was all his lifetime a great admirer of Antiochus
of the city of Ascalon, and took his brother Aristus into his
own house for his friend and companion, a man for his learning
inferior indeed to many of the philosophers, but for the
evenness of his temper and steadiness of his conduct equal to
the best. As for Empylus, of whom he himself and his friends
often make mention in their epistles, as one that lived with
Brutus, he was a rhetorician, and has left behind him a short
but well-written history of the death of Caesar, entitled Brutus.

In Latin, he had by exercise attained a sufficient skill to be
able to make public addresses and to plead a cause; but in
Greek, he must be noted for affecting the sententious and short
Laconic way of speaking in sundry passages of his epistles; as
when, in the beginning of the war, he wrote thus to the
Pergamenians: "I hear you have given Dolabella money; if
willingly, you must own you have injured me; if unwillingly,
show it by giving willingly to me." And another time to the
Samians: "Your counsels are remiss and your performances slow:
what think ye will be the end?" And of the Patareans thus: "The
Xanthians, suspecting my kindness, have made their country the
grave of their despair; the Patareans, trusting themselves to
me, enjoy in all points their former liberty; it is in your
power to choose the judgment of the Patareans or the fortune of
the Xanthians." And this is the style for which some of his
letters are to be noted.

When he was but a very young man, he accompanied his uncle Cato,
to Cyprus, when he was sent there against Ptolemy. But when
Ptolemy killed himself, Cato, being by some necessary business
detained in the isle of Rhodes, had already sent one of his
friends, named Canidius, to take into his care and keeping the
treasure of the king; but presently, not feeling sure of his
honesty, he wrote to Brutus to sail immediately for Cyprus out
of Pamphylia, where he then was staying to refresh himself,
being but just recovered of a fit of sickness. He obeyed his
orders, but with a great deal of unwillingness, as well out of
respect to Canidius, who was thrown out of this employment by
Cato with so much disgrace, as also because he esteemed such a
commission mean, and unsuitable to him, who was in the prime of
his youth, and given to books and study. Nevertheless, applying
himself to the business, he behaved himself so well in it that
he was highly commended by Cato, and, having turned all the
goods of Ptolemy into ready money, he sailed with the greatest
part of it in his own ship to Rome.

But upon the general separation into two factions, when, Pompey
and Caesar taking up arms against one another, the whole empire
was turned into confusion, it was commonly believed that he
would take Caesar's side; for his father in past time had been
put to death by Pompey. But he, thinking it his duty to prefer
the interest of the public to his own private feelings, and
judging Pompey's to be the better cause, took part with him;
though formerly he used not so much as to salute or take any
notice of Pompey, if he happened to meet him, esteeming it a
pollution to have the least conversation with the murderer of
his father. But now, looking upon him as the general of his
country, he placed himself under his command, and set sail for
Cilicia in quality of lieutenant to Sestius, who had the
government of that province. But finding no opportunity there
of doing any great service, and hearing that Pompey and Caesar
were now near one another and preparing for the battle upon
which all depended, he came of his own accord to Macedonia to
partake in the danger. At his coming it is said that Pompey was
so surprised and so pleased, that, rising from his chair in the
sight of all who were about him, he saluted and embraced him, as
one of the chiefest of his party. All the time that he was in
the camp, excepting that which he spent in Pompey's company, he
employed in reading and in study, which he did not neglect even
the day before the great battle. It was the middle of summer,
and the heat was very great, the camp having been pitched near
some marshy ground, and the people that carried Brutus's tent
were a long while before they came. Yet though upon these
accounts he was extremely harassed and out of order, having
scarcely by the middle of the day anointed himself and eaten a
sparing meal, whilst most others were either laid to sleep or
taken up with the thoughts and apprehensions of what would be
the issue of the fight, he spent his time until the evening in
writing an epitome of Polybius.

It is said that Caesar had so great a regard for him that he
ordered his commanders by no means to kill Brutus in the battle,
but to spare him, if possible, and bring him safe to him, if he
would willingly surrender himself; but if he made any
resistance, to suffer him to escape rather than do him any
violence. And this he is believed to have done out of a
tenderness to Servilia, the mother of Brutus; for Caesar had, it
seems, in his youth been very intimate with her, and she
passionately in love with him; and, considering that Brutus was
born about that time in which their loves were at the highest,
Caesar had a belief that he was his own child. The story is
told, that when the great question of the conspiracy of
Catiline, which had like to have been the destruction of the
commonwealth, was debated in the senate, Cato and Caesar were
both standing up, contending together on the decision to be come
to; at which time a little note was delivered to Caesar from
without, which he took and read silently to himself. Upon this,
Cato cried out aloud, and accused Caesar of holding
correspondence with and receiving letters from the enemies of
the commonwealth; and when many other senators exclaimed against
it, Caesar delivered the note as he had received it to Cato, who
reading it found it to be a love-letter from his own sister
Servilia, and threw it back again to Caesar with the words,
"Keep it, you drunkard," and returned to the subject of the
debate. So public and notorious was Servilia's love to Caesar.

After the great overthrow at Pharsalia, Pompey himself having
made his escape to the sea, and Caesar's army storming the camp,
Brutus stole privately out by one of the gates leading to marshy
ground full of water and covered with reeds, and, traveling
through the night, got safe to Larissa. From Larissa he wrote
to Caesar, who expressed a great deal of joy to hear that he was
safe, and, bidding him come, not only forgave him freely, but
honored and esteemed him among his chiefest friends. Now when
nobody could give any certain account which way Pompey had fled,
Caesar took a little journey alone with Brutus, and tried what
was his opinion herein, and after some discussion which passed
between them, believing that Brutus's conjecture was the right
one, laying aside all other thoughts, he set out directly to
pursue him towards Egypt. But Pompey, having reached Egypt, as
Brutus guessed his design was to do, there met his fate.

Brutus in the meantime gained Caesar's forgiveness for his
friend Cassius; and pleading also in defense of the king of the
Lybians, though he was overwhelmed with the greatness of the
crimes alleged against him, yet by his entreaties and
deprecations to Caesar in his behalf, he preserved to him a
great part of his kingdom. It is reported that Caesar, when he
first heard Brutus speak in public, said to his friends, "I know
not what this young man intends, but, whatever he intends, he
intends vehemently." For his natural firmness of mind, not
easily yielding, or complying in favor of everyone that
entreated his kindness, once set into action upon motives of
right reason and deliberate moral choice, whatever direction it
thus took, it was pretty sure to take effectively, and to work
in such a way as not to fail in its object. No flattery could
ever prevail with him to listen to unjust petitions; and he held
that to be overcome by the importunities of shameless and
fawning entreaties, though some compliment it with the name of
modesty and bashfulness, was the worst disgrace a great man
could suffer. And he used to say, that he always felt as if
they who could deny nothing could not have behaved well in the
flower of their youth.

Caesar, being about to make his expedition into Africa against
Cato and Scipio, committed to Brutus the government of Cisalpine
Gaul, to the great happiness and advantage of that province.
For while people in other provinces were in distress with the
violence and avarice of their governors, and suffered as much
oppression as if they had been slaves and captives of war,
Brutus, by his easy government, actually made them amends for
their calamities under former rulers, directing moreover all
their gratitude for his good deeds to Caesar himself; insomuch
that it was a most welcome and pleasant spectacle to Caesar,
when in his return he passed through Italy, to see the cities
that were under Brutus's command and Brutus himself increasing
his honor and joining agreeably in his progress.

Now several praetorships being vacant, it was all men's opinion,
that that of the chiefest dignity, which is called the
praetorship of the city, would be conferred either upon Brutus
or Cassius; and some say that, there having been some little
difference upon former accounts between them, this competition
set them much more at variance, though they were connected in
their families, Cassius having married Junia, the sister of
Brutus. Others say that the contention was raised between them
by Caesar's doing, who had privately given each of them such
hopes of his favor as led them on, and provoked them at last
into this open competition and trial of their interest. Brutus
had only the reputation of his honor and virtue to oppose to the
many and gallant actions performed by Cassius against the
Parthians. But Caesar, having heard each side, and deliberating
about the matter among his friends, said, "Cassius has the
stronger plea, but we must let Brutus be first praetor." So
another praetorship was given to Cassius; the gaining of which
could not so much oblige him, as he was incensed for the loss of
the other. And in all other things Brutus was partaker of
Caesar's power as much as he desired; for he might, if he had
pleased, have been the chief of all his friends, and had
authority and command beyond them all, but Cassius and the
company he met with him drew him off from Caesar. Indeed, he
was not yet wholly reconciled to Cassius, since that competition
which was between them; but yet he gave ear to Cassius's
friends, who were perpetually advising him not to be so blind as
to suffer himself to be softened and won upon by Caesar, but to
shun the kindness and favors of a tyrant, which they intimated
that Caesar showed him, not to express any honor to his merit or
virtue, but to unbend his strength, and undermine his vigor of

Neither was Caesar wholly without suspicion of him nor wanted
informers that accused Brutus to him; but he feared, indeed, the
high spirit and the great character and the friends that he had,
but thought himself secure in his moral disposition. When it
was told him that Antony and Dolabella designed some
disturbance, "It is not," said he, "the fat and the long-haired
men that I fear, but the pale and the lean," meaning Brutus and
Cassius. And when some maligned Brutus to him, and advised him
to beware of him, taking hold of his flesh with his hand,
"What," he said, "do you think that Brutus will not wait out the
time of this little body?" as if he thought none so fit to
succeed him in his power as Brutus. And indeed it seems to be
without doubt that Brutus might have been the first man in the
commonwealth, if he had had patience but a little time to be
second to Caesar, and would have suffered his power to decline
after it was come to its highest pitch, and the fame of his
great actions to die away by degrees. But Cassius, a man of a
fierce disposition, and one that out of private malice, rather
than love of the public, hated Caesar, not the tyrant,
continually fired and stirred him up. Brutus felt the rule an
oppression, but Cassius hated the ruler; and, among other
reasons on which he grounded his quarrel against Caesar, the
loss of his lions which he had procured when he was aedile elect
was one: for Caesar, finding these in Megara, when that city was
taken by Calenus, seized them to himself. These beasts, they
say, were a great calamity to the Megarians; for, when their
city was just taken, they broke open the lions' dens, and pulled
off their chains and let them loose, that they might run upon
the enemy that was entering the city; but the lions turned upon
them themselves, and tore to pieces a great many unarmed persons
running about, so that it was a miserable spectacle even to
their enemies to behold.

And this, some say, was the chief provocation that stirred up
Cassius to conspire against Caesar; but they are much in the
wrong. For Cassius had from his youth a natural hatred and
rancor against the whole race of tyrants, which he showed when
he was but a boy, and went to the same school with Faustus, the
son of Sylla; for, on his boasting himself amongst the boys, and
extolling the sovereign power of his father, Cassius rose up and
struck him two or three boxes on the ear; which when the
guardians and relations of Faustus designed to inquire into and
to prosecute, Pompey forbade them, and, sending for both the
boys together, examined the matter himself. And Cassius then is
reported to have said thus, "Come, then, Faustus, dare to speak
here those words that provoked me, that I may strike you again
as I did before." Such was the disposition of Cassius.

But Brutus was roused up and pushed on to the undertaking by
many persuasions of his familiar friends, and letters and
invitations from unknown citizens. For under the statue of his
ancestor Brutus, that overthrew the kingly government, they
wrote the words, "O that we had a Brutus now!" and, "O that
Brutus were alive!" And Brutus's own tribunal, on which he sat
as praetor, was filled each morning with writings such as these:
"You are asleep, Brutus," and, "You are not a true Brutus." Now
the flatterers of Caesar were the occasion of all this, who,
among other invidious honors which they strove to fasten upon
Caesar, crowned his statues by night with diadems, wishing to
incite the people to salute him king instead of dictator. But
quite the contrary came to pass, as I have more particularly
related in the life of Caesar.

When Cassius went about soliciting friends to engage in this
design against Caesar, all whom he tried readily consented, if
Brutus would be head of it; for their opinion was that the
enterprise wanted not hands or resolution, but the reputation
and authority of a man such as he was, to give as it were the
first religious sanction, and by his presence, if by nothing
else, to justify the undertaking; that without him they should
go about this action with less heart, and should lie under
greater suspicions when they had done it, for, if their cause
had been just and honorable, people would be sure that Brutus
would not have refused it. Cassius, having considered these
things with himself, went to Brutus, and made him the first
visit after their falling out; and after the compliments of
reconciliation had passed, and former kindnesses were renewed
between them, he asked him if he designed to be present in the
senate on the Calends of March, for it was discoursed, he said,
that Caesar's friends intended then to move that he might be
made king. When Brutus answered, that he would not be there,
"But what," says Cassius, "if they should send for us?" "It
will be my business then," replied Brutus, "not to hold my
peace, but to stand up boldly, and die for the liberty of my
country." To which Cassius with some emotion answered, "But
what Roman will suffer you to die? What, do you not know
yourself, Brutus? Or do you think that those writings that you
find upon your praetor's seat were put there by weavers and
shopkeepers, and not by the first and most powerful men of Rome?
From other praetors, indeed, they expect largesses and shows and
gladiators, but from you they claim, as an hereditary debt, the
extirpation of tyranny; they are all ready to suffer anything
on your account, if you will but show yourself such as they
think you are and expect you should be." Which said, he fell
upon Brutus, and embraced him; and after this, they parted each
to try their several friends.

Among the friends of Pompey there was one Caius Ligarius, whom
Caesar had pardoned, though accused for having been in arms
against him. This man, not feeling so thankful for having been
forgiven as he felt oppressed by that power which made him need
a pardon, hated Caesar, and was one of Brutus's most intimate
friends. Him Brutus visited, and, finding him sick, "O
Ligarius," says he, "what a time have you found out to be sick
in!" At which words Ligarius, raising himself and leaning on
his elbow, took Brutus by the hand, and said, "But, O Brutus, if
you are on any design worthy of yourself, I am well."

From this time, they tried the inclinations of all their
acquaintance that they durst trust, and communicated the secret
to them, and took into the design not only their familiar
friends, but as many as they believed bold and brave and
despisers of death. For which reason they concealed the plot
from Cicero, though he was very much trusted and as well beloved
by them all, lest, to his own disposition, which was naturally
timorous, adding now the wariness and caution of old age, by his
weighing, as he would do, every particular, that he might not
make one step without the greatest security, he should blunt the
edge of their forwardness and resolution in a business which
required all the dispatch imaginable. As indeed there were also
two others that were companions of Brutus, Statilius the
Epicurean, and Favonius the admirer of Cato, whom he left out
for this reason: as he was conversing one day with them, trying
them at a distance, and proposing some such question to be
disputed of as among philosophers, to see what opinion they were
of, Favonius declared his judgment to be that a civil war was
worse than the most illegal monarchy; and Statilius held, that,
to bring himself into troubles and danger upon the account of
evil or foolish men, did not become a man that had any wisdom or
discretion. But Labeo, who was present, contradicted them both;
and Brutus, as if it had been an intricate dispute, and
difficult to be decided, held his peace for that time, but
afterwards discovered the whole design to Labeo, who readily
undertook it. The next thing that was thought convenient, was to
gain the other Brutus, surnamed Albinus, a man of himself of no
great bravery or courage, but considerable for the number of
gladiators that he was maintaining for a public show, and the
great confidence that Caesar put in him. When Cassius and Labeo
spoke with him concerning the matter, he gave them no answer;
but, seeking an interview with Brutus himself alone, and finding
that he was their captain, he readily consented to partake in
the action. And among the others, also, the most and best were
gained by the name of Brutus. And, though they neither gave nor
took any oath of secrecy, nor used any other sacred rite to
assure their fidelity to each other, yet all kept their design
so close, were so wary, and held it so silently among
themselves, that, though by prophecies and apparitions and signs
in the sacrifices the gods gave warning of it, yet could it not
be believed.

Now Brutus, feeling that the noblest spirits of Rome for virtue,
birth, or courage were depending upon him, and surveying with
himself all the circumstances of the dangers they were to
encounter, strove indeed as much as possible, when abroad, to
keep his uneasiness of mind to himself, and to compose his
thoughts; but at home, and especially at night, he was not the
same man, but sometimes against his will his working care would
make him start out of his sleep, and other times he was taken up
with further reflection and consideration of his difficulties,
so that his wife that lay with him could not choose but take
notice that he was full of unusual trouble, and had in agitation
some dangerous and perplexing question. Porcia, as was said
before, was the daughter of Cato, and Brutus, her cousin-german,
had married her very young, though not a maid, but after the
death of her former husband, by whom she had one son, that was
named Bibulus; and there is a little book, called Memoirs of
Brutus, written by him, yet extant. This Porcia, being addicted
to philosophy, a great lover of her husband, and full of an
understanding courage, resolved not to inquire into Brutus's
secrets before she had made this trial of herself. She turned
all her attendants out of her chamber, and, taking a little
knife, such as they use to cut nails with, she gave herself a
deep gash in the thigh; upon which followed a great flow of
blood, and, soon after, violent pains and a shivering fever,
occasioned by the wound. Now when Brutus was extremely anxious
and afflicted for her, she, in the height of all her pain, spoke
thus to him: "I, Brutus, being the daughter of Cato, was given
to you in marriage, not like a concubine, to partake only in the
common intercourse of bed and board, but to bear a part in all
your good and all your evil fortunes; and for your part, as
regards your care for me, I find no reason to complain; but from
me, what evidence of my love, what satisfaction can you receive,
if I may not share with you in bearing your hidden griefs, nor
be admitted to any of your counsels that require secrecy and
trust? I know very well that women seem to be of too weak a
nature to be trusted with secrets; but certainly, Brutus, a
virtuous birth and education, and the company of the good and
honorable, are of some force to the forming our manners; and I
can boast that I am the daughter of Cato and the wife of Brutus,
in which two titles though before I put less confidence, yet now
I have tried myself, and find that I can bid defiance to pain."
Which words having spoken, she showed him her wound, and related
to him the trial that she had made of her constancy; at which he
being astonished, lifted up his hands to heaven, and begged the
assistance of the gods in his enterprise, that he might show
himself a husband worthy of such a wife as Porcia. So then he
comforted his wife.

But a meeting of the senate being appointed, at which it was
believed that Caesar would be present, they agreed to make use
of that opportunity: for then they might appear all together
without suspicion; and, besides, they hoped that all the noblest
and leading men of the commonwealth, being then assembled, as
soon as the great deed was done, would immediately stand
forward, and assert the common liberty. The very place, too,
where the senate was to meet, seemed to be by divine appointment
favorable to their purpose. It was a portico, one of those
joining the theater, with a large recess, in which there stood
a statue of Pompey, erected to him by the commonwealth, when he
adorned that part of the city with the porticos and the theater.
To this place it was that the senate was summoned for the middle
of March (the Ides of March is the Roman name for the day); as
if some more than human power were leading the man thither,
there to meet his punishment for the death of Pompey.

As soon as it was day, Brutus, taking with him a dagger, which
none but his wife knew of, went out. The rest met together at
Cassius's house, and brought forth his son, that was that day to
put on the manly gown, as it is called, into the forum; and from
thence, going all to Pompey's porch, stayed there, expecting
Caesar to come without delay to the senate. Here it was chiefly
that anyone who had known what they had purposed, would have
admired the unconcerned temper and the steady resolution of
these men in their most dangerous undertaking; for many of them,
being praetors, and called upon by their office to judge and
determine causes, did not only hear calmly all that made
application to them and pleaded against each other before them,
as if they were free from all other thoughts, but decided causes
with as much accuracy and judgment as they had heard them with
attention and patience. And when one person refused to stand to
the award of Brutus, and with great clamor and many attestations
appealed to Caesar, Brutus, looking round about him upon those
that were present, said, "Caesar does not hinder me, nor will he
hinder me, from doing according to the laws."

Yet there were many unusual accidents that disturbed them and by
mere chance were thrown in their way. The first and chiefest
was the long stay of Caesar, though the day was far spent, and
his being detained at home by his wife, and forbidden by the
soothsayers to go forth, upon some defect that appeared in his
sacrifice. Another was this: There came a man up to Casca, one
of the company, and, taking him by the hand, "You concealed,"
said he, "the secret from us, but Brutus has told me all." At
which words when Casca was surprised, the other said laughing,
"How come you to be so rich of a sudden, that you should stand
to be chosen aedile?" So near was Casca to let out the secret,
upon the mere ambiguity of the other's expression. Then
Popilius Laenas, a senator, having saluted Brutus and Cassius
more earnestly than usual, whispered them softly in the ear and
said, "My wishes are with you, that you may accomplish what you
design, and I advise you to make no delay, for the thing is now
no secret." This said, he departed, and left them in great
suspicion that the design had taken wind. In the meanwhile,
there came one in all haste from Brutus's house, and brought him
news that his wife was dying. For Porcia, being extremely
disturbed with expectation of the event, and not able to bear
the greatness of her anxiety, could scarce keep herself within
doors; and at every little noise or voice she heard, starting up
suddenly, like those possessed with the bacchic frenzy, she
asked everyone that came in from the forum what Brutus was
doing, and sent one messenger after another to inquire. At
last, after long expectation, the strength of her body could
hold out no longer; her mind was overcome with her doubts and
fears, and she lost the control of herself, and began to faint
away. She had not time to betake herself to her chamber, but,
sitting as she was amongst her women, a sudden swoon and a great
stupor seized her, and her color changed, and her speech was
quite lost. At this sight, her women made a loud cry, and many
of the neighbors running to Brutus's door to know what was the
matter, the report was soon spread abroad that Porcia was dead;
though with her women's help she recovered in a little while,
and came to herself again. When Brutus received this news, he
was extremely troubled, nor without reason, yet was not so
carried away by his private grief as to quit his public purpose.

For now news was brought that Caesar was coming, carried in a
litter. For, being discouraged by the ill omens that attended
his sacrifice, he had determined to undertake no affairs of any
great importance that day, but to defer them till another time,
excusing himself that he was sick. As soon as he came out of
his litter, Popilius Laenas, he who but a little before had
wished Brutus good success in his undertaking, coming up to him,
conversed a great while with him, Caesar standing still all the
while, and seeming to be very attentive. The conspirators, (to
give them this name,) not being able to hear what he said, but
guessing by what themselves were conscious of that this
conference was the discovery of their treason, were again
disheartened, and, looking upon one another, agreed from each
other's countenances that they should not stay to be taken, but
should all kill themselves. And now when Cassius and some
others were laying hands upon their daggers under their robes,
and were drawing them out, Brutus, viewing narrowly the looks
and gesture of Laenas, and finding that he was earnestly
petitioning and not accusing, said nothing, because there were
many strangers to the conspiracy mingled amongst them, but by a
cheerful countenance encouraged Cassius. And after a little
while, Laenas, having kissed Caesar's hand, went away, showing
plainly that all his discourse was about some particular
business relating to himself.

Now when the senate was gone in before to the chamber where they
were to sit, the rest of the company placed themselves close
about Caesar's chair, as if they had some suit to make to him,
and Cassius, turning his face to Pompey's statue, is said to
have invoked it, as if it had been sensible of his prayers.
Trebonius, in the meanwhile, engaged Antony's attention at the
door, and kept him in talk outside. When Caesar entered, the
whole senate rose up to him. As soon as he was set down, the
men all crowded round about him, and set Tillius Cimber, one of
their own number, to intercede in behalf of his brother, that
was banished; they all joined their prayers with his, and took
Caesar by the hand, and kissed his head and his breast. But he
putting aside at first their supplications, and afterwards, when
he saw they would not desist, violently rising up, Tillius with
both hands caught hold of his robe and pulled it off from his
shoulders, and Casca, that stood behind him, drawing his dagger,
gave him the first, but a slight wound, about the shoulder.
Caesar snatching hold of the handle of the dagger, and crying
out aloud in Latin, "Villain Casca, what do you?" he, calling
in Greek to his brother, bade him come and help. And by this
time, finding himself struck by a great many hands, and looking
round about him to see if he could force his way out, when he
saw Brutus with his dagger drawn against him, he let go Casca's
hand, that he had hold of, and, covering his head with his robe,
gave up his body to their blows. And they so eagerly pressed
towards the body, and so many daggers were hacking together,
that they cut one another; Brutus, particularly, received a
wound in his hand, and all of them were besmeared with the

Caesar being thus slain, Brutus, stepping forth into the midst,
intended to have made a speech, and called back and encouraged
the senators to stay; but they all affrighted ran away in great
disorder, and there was a great confusion and press at the door,
though none pursued or followed. For they had come to an
express resolution to kill nobody besides Caesar, but to call
and invite all the rest to liberty. It was indeed the opinion
of all the others, when they consulted about the execution of
their design, that it was necessary to cut off Antony with
Caesar, looking upon him as an insolent man, an affecter of
monarchy, and one that, by his familiar intercourse, had gained
a powerful interest with the soldiers. And this they urged the
rather, because at that time to the natural loftiness and
ambition of his temper there was added the dignity of being
consul and colleague to Caesar. But Brutus opposed this
counsel, insisting first upon the injustice of it, and
afterwards giving them hopes that a change might be worked in
Antony. For he did not despair but that so highly gifted and
honorable a man, and such a lover of glory as Antony, stirred up
with emulation of their great attempt, might, if Caesar were
once removed, lay hold of the occasion to be joint restorer with
them of the liberty of his country. Thus did Brutus save
Antony's life. But he, in the general consternation, put
himself into a plebeian habit, and fled. But Brutus and his
party marched up to the capitol, in their way showing their
hands all bloody, and their naked swords, and proclaiming
liberty to the people. At first all places were filled with
cries and shouts; and the wild running to and fro, occasioned by
the sudden surprise and passion that everyone was in, increased
the tumult in the city. But no other bloodshed following, and
no plundering of the goods in the streets, the senators and many
of the people took courage and went up to the men in the
capitol; and, a multitude being gathered together, Brutus made
an oration to them, very popular, and proper for the state that
affairs were then in. Therefore, when they applauded his
speech, and cried out to him to come down, they all took
confidence and descended into the forum; the rest promiscuously
mingled with one another, but many of the most eminent persons,
attending Brutus, conducted him in the midst of them with great
honor from the capitol, and placed him in the rostra. At the
sight of Brutus, the crowd, though consisting of a confused
mixture and all disposed to make a tumult, were struck with
reverence, and expected what he would say with order and with
silence, and, when he began to speak, heard him with quiet and
attention. But that all were not pleased with this action they
plainly showed when, Cinna beginning to speak and accuse Caesar,
they broke out into a sudden rage, and railed at him in such
language, that the whole party thought fit again to withdraw to
the capitol. And there Brutus, expecting to be besieged,
dismissed the most eminent of those that had accompanied them
thither, not thinking it just that they who were not partakers
of the fact should share in the danger.

But the next day, the senate being assembled in the temple of
the Earth, and Antony and Plancus and Cicero having made
orations recommending concord in general and an act of oblivion,
it was decreed, that the men should not only be put out of all
fear or danger, but that the consuls should see what honors and
dignities were proper to be conferred upon them. After which
done, the senate broke up; and, Antony having sent his son as an
hostage to the capitol, Brutus and his company came down, and
mutual salutes and invitations passed amongst them, the whole of
them being gathered together. Antony invited and entertained
Cassius, Lepidus did the same to Brutus, and the rest were
invited and entertained by others, as each of them had
acquaintance or friends. And as soon as it was day, the senate
met again and voted thanks to Antony for having stifled the
beginning of a civil war; afterwards Brutus and his associates
that were present received encomiums, and had provinces assigned
and distributed among them. Crete was allotted to Brutus,
Africa to Cassius, Asia to Trebonius, Bithynia to Cimber, and to
the other Brutus Gaul about the Po.

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