Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

History of Julius Caesar by Jacob Abbott

Part 2 out of 3

Adobe PDF icon
Download History of Julius Caesar pdf
File size: 0.3 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

horsemen, and carriages of war, and were all ready to guard the shore.
The coast, at the point where Caesar was approaching, consists of a line
of chalky cliffs, with valley-like openings here and there between them,
communicating with the shore, and sometimes narrow beaches below. When
the Roman fleet approached the land, Caesar found the cliffs every where
lined with troops of Britons, and every accessible point below carefully
guarded. It was now about ten o'clock in the morning, and Caesar,
finding the prospect so unfavorable in respect to the practicability of
effecting a landing here, brought his fleet to anchor near the shore,
but far enough from it to be safe from the missiles of the enemy.

[Sidenote: Caesar calls a council of officers.]

Here he remained for several hours, to give time for all the vessels to
join him. Some of them had been delayed in the embarkation, or had made
slower progress than the rest in crossing the Channel. He called a
council, too, of the superior officers of the army on board his own
galley, and explained to them the plan which he now adopted for the
landing. About three o'clock in the afternoon he sent these officers
back to their respective ships, and gave orders to make sail along the
shore. The anchors were raised and the fleet moved on, borne by the
united impulse of the wind and the tide. The Britons, perceiving this
movement, put themselves in motion on the land, following the motions of
the fleet so as to be ready to meet their enemy wherever they might
ultimately undertake to land. Their horsemen and carriages went on in
advance, and the foot soldiers followed, all pressing eagerly forward to
keep up with the motion of the fleet, and to prevent Caesar's army from
having time to land before they should arrive at the spot and be ready
to oppose them.


[Sidenote: The landing.]
[Sidenote: The battle.]
[Sidenote: Defeat of the Britons.]

The fleet moved on until, at length, after sailing about eight miles,
they came to a part of the coast where there was a tract of
comparatively level ground, which seemed to be easily accessible from
the shore. Here Caesar determined to attempt to land; and drawing up his
vessel, accordingly, as near as possible to the beach, he ordered the
men to leap over into the water, with their weapons in their hands. The
Britons were all here to oppose them, and a dreadful struggle ensued,
the combatants dyeing the waters with their blood as they fought, half
submerged in the surf which rolled in upon the sand. Some galleys rowed
up at the same time near to the shore, and the men on board of them
attacked the Britons from the decks, by the darts and arrows which they
shot to the land. Caesar at last prevailed; the Britons were driven
away, and the Roman army established themselves in quiet possession of
the shore.

[Sidenote: Caesar's popularity at Rome.]

Caesar had afterward a great variety of adventures, and many narrow
escapes from imminent dangers in Britain, and, though he gained
considerable glory by thus penetrating into such remote and unknown
regions, there was very little else to be acquired. The glory, however,
was itself of great value to Caesar. During the whole period of his
campaigns in Gaul, Rome and all Italy in fact, had been filled with the
fame of his exploits, and the expedition into Britain added not a little
to his renown. The populace of the city were greatly gratified to hear
of the continued success of their former favorite. They decreed to him
triumph after triumph, and were prepared to welcome him, whenever he
should return, with greater honors and more extended and higher powers
than he had ever enjoyed before.

[Sidenote: Results of his campaigns.]

Caesar's exploits in these campaigns were, in fact, in a military point
of view, of the most magnificent character. Plutarch, in summing up the
results of them, says that he took eight hundred cities, conquered three
hundred nations, fought pitched battles at separate times with three
millions of men, took one million of prisoners, and killed another
million on the field. What a vast work of destruction was this for a man
to spend eight years of his life in performing upon his
fellow-creatures, merely to gratify his insane love of dominion.



[Sidenote: Pompey.]

While Caesar had thus been rising to so high an elevation, there was
another Roman general who had been, for nearly the same period, engaged,
in various other quarters of the world, in acquiring, by very similar
means, an almost equal renown. This general was Pompey. He became, in
the end, Caesar's great and formidable rival. In order that the reader
may understand clearly the nature of the great contest which sprung up
at last between these heroes, we must now go back and relate some of the
particulars of Pompey's individual history down to the time of the
completion of Caesar's conquests in Gaul.

[Sidenote: His birth.]
[Sidenote: Pompey's personal appearance.]

Pompey was a few years older than Caesar, having been born in 106 B.C.
His father was a Roman general, and the young Pompey was brought up in
camp. He was a young man of very handsome figure and countenance, and of
very agreeable manners. His hair curled slightly over his forehead, and
he had a dark and intelligent eye, full of vivacity and meaning. There
was, besides, in the expression of his face, and in his air and address,
a certain indescribable charm, which prepossessed every one strongly in
his favor, and gave him, from his earliest years, a great personal
ascendency over all who knew him.

[Sidenote: Plans to assassinate him.]

Notwithstanding this popularity, however, Pompey did not escape, even in
very early life, incurring his share of the dangers which seemed to
environ the path of every public man in those distracted times. It will
be recollected that, in the contests between Marius and Sylla, Caesar
had joined the Marian faction. Pompey's father, on the other hand, had
connected himself with that of Sylla. At one time, in the midst of these
wars, when Pompey was very young, a conspiracy was formed to assassinate
his father by burning him in his tent, and Pompey's comrade, named
Terentius, who slept in the same tent with him, had been bribed to kill
Pompey himself at the same time, by stabbing him in his bed. Pompey
contrived to discover this plan, but, instead of being at all
discomposed by it, he made arrangements for a guard about his father's
tent and then went to supper as usual with Terentius, conversing with
him all the time in even a more free and friendly manner than usual.
That night he arranged his bed so as to make it appear as if he was in
it, and then stole away. When the appointed hour arrived, Terentius came
into the tent, and, approaching the couch where he supposed Pompey was
lying asleep, stabbed it again and again, piercing the coverlets in many
places, but doing no harm, of course, to his intended victim.

[Sidenote: Pompey's adventures and escapes.]
[Sidenote: Death of his father.]
[Sidenote: Pompey appears in his father's defense.]

In the course of the wars between Marius and Sylla, Pompey passed
through a great variety of scenes, and met with many extraordinary
adventures and narrow escapes, which, however, can not be here
particularly detailed. His father, who was as much hated by his soldiers
as the son was beloved, was at last, one day, struck by lightning in his
tent. The soldiers were inspired with such a hatred for his memory, in
consequence, probably, of the cruelties and oppressions which they had
suffered from him, that they would not allow his body to be honored with
the ordinary funeral obsequies. They pulled it off from the bier on
which it was to have been borne to the funeral pile, and dragged it
ignominiously away. Pompey's father was accused, too, after his death,
of having converted some public moneys which had been committed to his
charge to his own use, and Pompey appeared in the Roman Forum as an
advocate to defend him from the charge and to vindicate his memory. He
was very successful in this defense. All who heard it were, in the first
instance, very deeply interested in favor of the speaker, on account of
his extreme youth and his personal beauty; and, as he proceeded with his
plea, he argued with so much eloquence and power as to win universal
applause. One of the chief officers of the government in the city was so
much pleased with his appearance, and with the promise of future
greatness which the circumstances indicated, that he offered him his
daughter in marriage. Pompey accepted the offer, and married the lady.
Her name was Antistia.

[Sidenote: His success as a general.]
[Sidenote: Pompey defeats the armies.]

Pompey rose rapidly to higher and higher degrees of distinction, until
he obtained the command of an army, which he had, in fact, in a great
measure raised and organized himself, and he fought at the head of it
with great energy and success against the enemies of Sylla. At length he
was hemmed in on the eastern coast of Italy by three separate armies,
which were gradually advancing against him, with a certainty, as they
thought, of effecting his destruction. Sylla, hearing of Pompey's
danger, made great efforts to march to his rescue. Before he reached the
place, however, Pompey had met and defeated one after another of the
armies of his enemies, so that, when Sylla approached, Pompey marched
out to meet him with his army drawn up in magnificent array, trumpets
sounding and banners flying, and with large bodies of disarmed troops,
the prisoners that he had taken, in the rear. Sylla was struck with
surprise and admiration; and when Pompey saluted him with the title of
_Imperator_, which was the highest title known to the Roman
constitution, and the one which Sylla's lofty rank and unbounded power
might properly claim, Sylla returned the compliment by conferring this
great mark of distinction on him.

[Sidenote: His rising fame.]
[Sidenote: Pompey's modesty.]

Pompey proceeded to Rome, and the fame of his exploits, the singular
fascination of his person and manners, and the great favor with Sylla
that he enjoyed, raised him to a high degree of distinction. He was not,
however, elated with the pride and vanity which so young a man would be
naturally expected to exhibit under such circumstances. He was, on the
contrary, modest and unassuming, and he acted in all respects in such a
manner as to gain the approbation and the kind regard of all who knew
him, as well as to excite their applause. There was an old general at
this time in Gaul--for all these events took place long before the time
of Caesar's campaigns in that country, and, in fact, before the
commencement of his successful career in Rome--whose name was Metellus,
and who, either on account of his advancing age, or for some other
reason, was very inefficient and unsuccessful in his government. Sylla
proposed to supersede him by sending Pompey to take his place. Pompey
replied that it was not right to take the command from a man who was so
much his superior in age and character, but that, if Metellus wished for
his _assistance_ in the management of his command, he would proceed to
Gaul and render him every service in his power. When this answer was
reported to Metellus, he wrote to Pompey to come. Pompey accordingly
went to Gaul, where he obtained new victories, and gained new and higher
honors than before.

[Sidenote: An example.]
[Sidenote: Pompey divorces his wife.]
[Sidenote: He marries Sylla's daughter-in-law.]

These, and various anecdotes which the ancient historians relate, would
lead us to form very favorable ideas of Pompey's character. Some other
circumstances, however, which occurred, seem to furnish different
indications. For example, on his return to Rome, some time after the
events above related, Sylla, whose estimation of Pompey's character and
of the importance of his services seemed continually to increase, wished
to connect him with his own family by marriage. He accordingly proposed
that Pompey should divorce his wife Antistia, and marry Aemilia, the
daughter-in-law of Sylla. Aemilia was already the wife of another man,
from whom she would have to be taken away to make her the wife of
Pompey. This, however, does not seem to have been thought a very serious
difficulty in the way of the arrangement. Pompey's wife was put away,
and the wife of another man taken in her place. Such a deed was a gross
violation not merely of revealed and written law, but of those universal
instincts of right and wrong which are implanted indelibly in all human
hearts. It ended, as might have been expected, most disastrously.
Antistia was plunged, of course, into the deepest distress. Her father
had recently lost his life on account of his supposed attachment to
Pompey. Her mother killed herself in the anguish and despair produced by
the misfortunes of her family; and Aemilia the new wife, died suddenly,
on the occasion of the birth of a child, a very short time after her
marriage with Pompey.

[Sidenote: Pompey's success in Africa.]
[Sidenote: Attachment of his soldiers.]
[Sidenote: Pompey's title as "Great."]

These domestic troubles did not, however, interpose any serious obstacle
to Pompey's progress in his career of greatness and glory. Sylla sent
him on one great enterprise after another, in all of which Pompey
acquitted himself in an admirable manner. Among his other campaigns, he
served for some time in Africa with great success. He returned in due
time from this expedition, loaded with military honors. His soldiers had
become so much attached to him that there was almost a mutiny in the
army when he was ordered home. They were determined to submit to no
authority but that of Pompey. Pompey at length succeeded, by great
efforts, in subduing this spirit, and bringing back the army to their
duty. A false account of the affair, however, went to Rome. It was
reported to Sylla that there was a revolt in the army of Africa, headed
by Pompey himself, who was determined not to resign his command. Sylla
was at first very indignant that his authority should be despised and
his power braved, as he expressed it, by "such a boy;" for Pompey was
still, at this time, very young. When, however, he learned the truth, he
conceived a higher admiration for the young general than ever. He went
out to meet him as he approached the city, and, in accosting him, he
called him Pompey the Great. Pompey has continued to bear the title thus
given him to the present day.

[Sidenote: He demands a triumph.]

Pompey began, it seems, now to experience, in some degree, the usual
effects produced upon the human heart by celebrity and praise. He
demanded a triumph. A triumph was a great and splendid ceremony, by
which victorious generals, who were of advanced age and high civil or
military rank, were received into the city when returning from any
specially glorious campaign. There was a grand procession formed on
these occasions, in which various emblems and insignia, and trophies of
victory, and captives taken by the conqueror, were displayed. This great
procession entered the city with bands of music accompanying it, and
flags and banners flying, passing under triumphal arches erected along
the way. Triumphs were usually decreed by a vote of the Senate, in cases
where they were deserved; but, in this case, Sylla's power as dictator
was supreme, and Pompey's demand for a triumph seems to have been
addressed accordingly to him.

[Sidenote: Sylla refuses Pompey a triumph.]

Sylla refused it. Pompey's performances in the African campaign had
been, he admitted, very creditable to him, but he had neither the Age
nor the rank to justify the granting him a triumph. To bestow such an
honor upon one so young and in such a station, would only bring the
honor itself, he said, into disrepute, and degrade, also, his
dictatorship for suffering it.

[Sidenote: But at last consents.]

To this Pompey replied, speaking, however, in an under tone to those
around him in the assembly, that Sylla need not fear that the triumph
would be unpopular, for people were much more disposed to worship a
rising than a setting sun. Sylla did not hear this remark, but,
perceiving by the countenances of the by-standers that Pompey had said
something which seemed to please them, he asked what it was. When the
remark was repeated to him, he seemed pleased himself with its justness
or with its wit, and said, "Let him have his triumph."

[Sidenote: Pompey's triumph.]

The arrangements were accordingly made Pompey ordering every thing
necessary to be prepared for a most magnificent procession. He learned
that some persons in the city, envious at his early renown, were
displeased with his triumph; this only awakened in him a determination
to make it still more splendid and imposing. He had brought some
elephants with him from Africa, and he formed a plan for having the car
in which he was to ride in the procession drawn by four of these huge
beasts as it entered the city; but, on measuring the gate, it was found
not wide enough to admit such a team, and the plan was accordingly
abandoned. The conqueror's car was drawn by horses in the usual manner,
and the elephants followed singly, with the other trophies, to grace
the train.

[Sidenote: His course of conduct at Rome.]

Pompey remained some time after this in Rome, sustaining from time to
time various offices of dignity and honor. His services were often
called for to plead causes in the Forum, and he performed this duty,
whenever he undertook it, with great success. He, however, seemed
generally inclined to retire somewhat from intimate intercourse with the
mass of the community, knowing very well that if he was engaged often in
the discussion of common questions with ordinary men, he should soon
descend in public estimation from the high position to which his
military renown had raised him. He accordingly accustomed himself to
appear but little in public, and, when he did so appear, he was
generally accompanied by a large retinue of armed attendants, at the
head of which he moved about the city in great state, more like a
victorious general in a conquered province than like a peaceful citizen
exercising ordinary official functions in a community governed by law.
This was a very sagacious course, so far as concerned the attainment of
the great objects of future ambition. Pompey knew very well that
occasions would probably arise in which he could act far more
effectually for the promotion of his own greatness and fame than by
mingling in the ordinary municipal contests of the city.

[Sidenote: The Cilician pirates.]
[Sidenote: Their increasing depredations.]
[Sidenote: Ships and fortresses of the Cilicians.]
[Sidenote: Their conquests.]

At length, in fact, an occasion came. In the year B.C. 67, which was
about the time that Caesar commenced his successful career in rising to
public office in Rome, as is described in the third chapter of this
volume, the Cilician pirates, of whose desperate character and bold
exploits something has already been said, had become so powerful, and
were increasing so rapidly in the extent of their depredations, that the
Roman people felt compelled to adopt some very vigorous measures for
suppressing them. The pirates had increased in numbers during the wars
between Marius and Sylla in a very alarming degree. They had built,
equipped, and organized whole fleets. They had various fortresses,
arsenals, ports, and watch-towers all along the coasts of the
Mediterranean. They had also extensive warehouses, built in secure and
secluded places, where they stored their plunder. Their fleets were well
manned, and provided with skillful pilots, and with ample supplies of
every kind; and they were so well constructed, both for speed and
safety, that no other ships could be made to surpass them. Many of them,
too, were adorned and decorated in the most sumptuous manner, with
gilded sterns, purple awnings, and silver-mounted oars. The number of
their galleys was said to be a thousand. With this force they made
themselves almost complete masters of the sea. They attacked not only
separate ships, but whole fleets of merchantmen sailing under convoy;
and they increased the difficulty and expense of bringing grain to Rome
so much, by intercepting the supplies, as very materially to enhance the
price and to threaten a scarcity. They made themselves masters of many
islands and of various maritime towns along the coast, until they had
four hundred ports and cities in their possession. In fact, they had
gone so far toward forming themselves into a regular maritime power,
under a systematic and legitimate government, that very respectable
young men from other countries began to enter their service, as one
opening honorable avenues to wealth and fame.

[Sidenote: Plan for destroying the pirates.]
[Sidenote: Its magnitude.]

Under these circumstances, it was obvious that something decisive must
be done. A friend of Pompey's brought forward a plan for commissioning
some one, he did not say whom, but every one understood that Pompey was
intended, to be sent forth against the pirates, with extraordinary
powers, such as should be amply sufficient to enable him to bring their
dominion to an end. He was to have supreme command upon the sea, and
also upon the land for fifty miles from the shore. He was, moreover, to
be empowered to raise as large a force, both of ships and men, as he
should think required, and to draw from the treasury whatever funds were
necessary to defray the enormous expenses which so vast an undertaking
would involve. If the law should pass creating this office, and a person
be designated to fill it, it is plain that such a commander would be
clothed with enormous powers; but then he would incur, on the other
hand, a vast and commensurate responsibility, as the Roman people would
hold him rigidly accountable for the full and perfect accomplishment of
the work he under took, after they had thus surrendered every possible
power necessary to accomplish it so unconditionally into his hands.

[Sidenote: Pompey appointed to the command.]
[Sidenote: Fall in the price of grain.]

There was a great deal of maneuvering, management, and debate on the one
hand to effect the passage of this law, and, on the other, to defeat it.
Caesar, who, though not so prominent yet as Pompey, was now rising
rapidly to influence and power, was in favor of the measure, because, as
is said, he perceived that the people were pleased with it. It was at
length adopted. Pompey was then designated to fill the office which the
law created. He accepted the trust, and began to prepare for the vast
undertaking. The price of grain fell immediately in Rome, as soon as the
appointment of Pompey was made known, as the merchants, who had large
supplies in the granaries there, were now eager to sell, even at a
reduction, feeling confident that Pompey's measures would result in
bringing in abundant supplies. The people, surprised at this sudden
relaxation of the pressure of their burdens, said that the very name of
Pompey had put an end to the war.

[Sidenote: Pompey's complete success.]

They were not mistaken in their anticipations of Pompey's success. He
freed the Mediterranean from pirates in three months, by one systematic
and simple operation, which affords one of the most striking examples of
the power of united and organized effort, planned and conducted by one
single master mind, which the history of ancient or modern times has
recorded. The manner in which this work was effected was this:

[Sidenote: His mode of operation.]

Pompey raised and equipped a vast number of galleys, and divided them
into separate fleets, putting each one under the command of a
lieutenant. He then divided the Mediterranean Sea into thirteen
districts, and appointed a lieutenant and his fleet for each one of them
as a guard. After sending these detachments forth to their respective
stations, he set out from the city himself to take charge of the
operations which he was to conduct in person. The people followed him,
as he went to the place where he was to embark, in great crowds, and
with long and loud acclamations.

[Sidenote: Pompey drives the pirates before him.]
[Sidenote: Exultation at Rome.]

Beginning at the Straits of Gibraltar, Pompey cruised with a powerful
fleet toward the east, driving the pirates before him, the lieutenants,
who were stationed along the coast being on the alert to prevent them
from finding any places of retreat or refuge. Some of the pirates' ships
were surrounded and taken. Others fled, and were followed by Pompey's
ships until they had passed beyond the coasts of Sicily, and the seas
between the Italian and African shores. The communication was now open
again to the grain-growing countries south of Rome, and large supplies
of food were immediately poured into the city. The whole population was,
of course, filled with exultation and joy at receiving such welcome
proofs that Pompey was successfully accomplishing the work they had
assigned him.

[Sidenote: The pirates concentrate themselves.]

The Italian peninsula and the island of Sicily, which are, in fact, a
projection from the northern shores of the Mediterranean, with a salient
angle of the coast nearly opposite to them on the African side, form a
sort of strait which divides this great sea into two separate bodies of
water, and the pirates were now driven entirely out of the western
division. Pompey sent his principal fleet after them, with orders to
pass around the island of Sicily and the south era part of Italy to
Brundusium, which was the great port on the western side of Italy. He
himself was to cross the peninsula by land, taking Rome in his way, and
afterward to join the fleet at Brundusium. The pirates, in the mean
time, so far as they had escaped Pompey's cruisers, had retreated to the
seas in the neighborhood of Cilicia, and were concentrating their forces
there in preparation for the final struggle.

Pompey was received at Rome with the utmost enthusiasm. The people came
out in throngs to meet him as he approached the city, and welcomed him
with loud acclamations. He did not, however, remain in the city to enjoy
these honors. He procured, as soon as possible, what was necessary for
the further prosecution of his work, and went on. He found his fleet at
Brundusium, and, immediately embarking, he put to sea.

[Sidenote: Some of them surrender.]

Pompey went on to the completion of his work with the same vigor and
decision which he had displayed in the commencement of it. Some of the
pirates, finding themselves hemmed in within narrower and narrower
limits, gave up the contest, and came and surrendered. Pompey, instead
of punishing them severely for their crimes, treated them, and their
wives and children, who fell likewise into his power, with great
humanity. This induced many others to follow their example, so that the
number that remained resisting to the end was greatly reduced. There
were, however, after all these submissions, a body of stern and
indomitable desperadoes left, who were incapable of yielding. These
retreated, with all the forces which they could retain, to their
strong-holds on the Silician shores, sending their wives and children
back to still securer retreats among the fastnesses of the mountains.

[Sidenote: A great battle.]
[Sidenote: Disposal of the pirates.]

Pompey followed them, hemming them in with the squadrons of armed
galleys which he brought up around them, thus cutting off from them all
possibility of escape. Here, at length, a great final battle was fought,
and the dominion of the pirates was ended forever. Pompey destroyed
their ships, dismantled their fortifications, restored the harbors and
towns which they had seized to their rightful owners, and sent the
pirates themselves, with their wives and children, far into the interior
of the country, and established them as agriculturists and herdsmen
there, in a territory which he set apart for the purpose, where they
might live in peace on the fruits of their own industry, without the
possibility of again disturbing the commerce of the seas.

[Sidenote: Pompey's conquests in Asia Minor.]
[Sidenote: His magnificent triumph.]

Instead of returning to Rome after these exploits, Pompey obtained new
powers from the government of the city, and pushed his way into Asia
Minor, where he remained several years, pursuing a similar career of
conquest to that of Caesar in Gaul. At length he returned to Rome, his
entrance into the city being signalized by a most magnificent triumph.
The procession for displaying the trophies, the captives, and the other
emblems of victory, and for conveying the vast accumulation of treasures
and spoils, was two days in passing into the city; and enough was left
after all for another triumph. Pompey was, in a word, on the very summit
of human grandeur and renown.

[Sidenote: The first triumvirate.]
[Sidenote: Pompey's wife Julia.]
[Sidenote: Pompey and Caesar open enemies.]
[Sidenote: Their ambition.]

He found, however, an old enemy and rival at Rome. This was Crassus, who
had been Pompey's opponent in earlier times, and who now renewed his
hostility. In the contest that ensued, Pompey relied on his renown,
Crassus on his wealth. Pompey attempted to please the people by combats
of lions and of elephants which he had brought home from his foreign
campaigns; Crassus courted their favor by distributing corn among them,
and inviting them to public feasts on great occasions. He spread for
them, at one time, it was said, ten thousand tables. All Rome was filled
with the feuds of these great political foes. It was at this time that
Caesar returned from Spain, and had the adroitness, as has already been
explained, to extinguish these feuds, and reconcile these apparently
implacable foes. He united them together, and joined them with himself
in a triple league, which is celebrated in Roman history as the first
_triumvirate_. The rivalry, however, of these great aspirants for power
was only suppressed and concealed, without being at all weakened or
changed. The death of Crassus soon removed him from the stage. Caesar
and Pompey continued afterward, for some time, an ostensible alliance.
Caesar attempted to strengthen this bond by giving Pompey his daughter
Julia for his wife. Julia, though so young--even her father was six
years younger than Pompey--was devotedly attached to her husband, and he
was equally fond of her. She formed, in fact, a strong bond of union
between the two great conquerors as long as she lived. One day, however,
there was a riot at an election, and men were killed so near to Pompey
that his robe was covered with blood. He changed it; the servants
carried home the bloody garment which he had taken off, and Julia was so
terrified at the sight, thinking that her husband had been killed, that
she fainted, and her constitution suffered very severely by the shock.
She lived some time afterward, but finally died under circumstances
which indicate that this occurrence was the cause. Pompey and Caesar now
soon became open enemies. The ambitious aspirations which each of them
cherished were so vast, that the world was not wide enough for them both
to be satisfied. They had assisted each other up the ascent which they
had been so many years in climbing, but now they had reached very near
to the summit, and the question was to be decided which of the two
should have his station there.



[Sidenote: The Rubicon.]

There was a little stream in ancient times, in the north of Italy, which
flowed westward into the Adriatic Sea, called the Rubicon. This stream
has been immortalized by the transactions which we are now about
to describe.

[Sidenote: Its insignificance as a stream.]

The Rubicon was a very important boundary, and yet it was in itself so
small and insignificant that it is now impossible to determine which of
two or three little brooks here running into the sea is entitled to its
name and renown. In history the Rubicon is a grand, permanent, and
conspicuous stream, gazed upon with continued interest by all mankind
for nearly twenty centuries; in nature it is an uncertain rivulet, for a
long time doubtful and undetermined, and finally lost.

[Sidenote: Importance of the Rubicon as a boundary.]

The Rubicon originally derived its importance from the fact that it was
the boundary between all that part of the north of Italy which is formed
by the valley of the Po, one of the richest and most magnificent
countries of the world, and the more southern Roman territories. This
country of the Po constituted what was in those days called the _hither_
Gaul, and was a Roman province. It belonged now to Caesar's
jurisdiction, as the commander in Gaul. All south of the Rubicon was
territory reserved for the immediate jurisdiction of the city. The
Romans, in order to protect themselves from any danger which might
threaten their own liberties from the immense armies which they raised
for the conquest of foreign nations, had imposed on every side very
strict limitations and restrictions in respect to the approach of these
armies to the Capitol. The Rubicon was the limit on this northern side.
Generals commanding in Gaul were never to pass it. To cross the Rubicon
with an army on the way to Rome was rebellion and treason. Hence the
Rubicon became, as it were, the visible sign and symbol of civil
restriction to military power.

[Sidenote: Caesar's expenditure of money at Rome.]
[Sidenote: His influence.]

As Caesar found the time of his service in Gaul drawing toward a
conclusion, he turned his thoughts more and more toward Rome,
endeavoring to strengthen his interest there by every means in his
power, and to circumvent and thwart the designs of Pompey. He had and
partisans in Rome who acted for him and in his name. He sent immense
sums of money to these men, to be employed in such ways as would most
tend to secure the favor of the people. He ordered the Forum to be
rebuilt with great magnificence. He arranged great celebrations, in
which the people were entertained with an endless succession of games,
spectacles, and public feasts. When his daughter Julia, Pompey's wife,
died, he celebrated her funeral with indescribable splendor. He
distributed corn in immense quantities among the people, and he sent a
great many captives home, to be trained as gladiators, to fight in the
theaters for their amusement. In many cases, too, where he found men of
talents and influence among the populace, who had become involved in
debt by their dissipations and extravagance, he paid their debts, and
thus secured their influence on his side. Men were astounded at the
magnitude of these expenditures, and, while the multitude rejoiced
thoughtlessly in the pleasures thus provided for them, the more
reflecting and considerate trembled at the greatness of the power which
was so rapidly rising to overshadow the land.

[Sidenote: Pompey's personal popularity.]
[Sidenote: Public thanksgiving in his behalf.]

It increased their anxiety to observe that Pompey was gaining the same
kind of influence and ascendency too. He had not the advantage which
Caesar enjoyed in the prodigious wealth obtained from the rich countries
over which Caesar ruled, but he possessed, instead of it, the advantage
of being all the time at Rome, and of securing, by his character and
action there, a very wide personal popularity and influence. Pompey was,
in fact, the idol of the people. At one time, when he was absent from
Rome, at Naples, he was taken sick. After being for some days in
considerable danger, the crisis passed favorably, and he recovered. Some
of the people of Naples proposed a public thanksgiving to the gods, to
celebrate his restoration to health. The plan was adopted by
acclamation, and the example, thus set, extended from city to city,
until it had spread throughout Italy, and the whole country was filled
with the processions, games, shows, and celebrations, which were
instituted every where in honor of the event. And when Pompey returned
from Naples to Rome, the towns on the way could not afford room for the
crowds that came forth to meet him. The high roads, the villages, the
ports, says Plutarch, were filled with sacrifices and entertainments.
Many received him with garlands on their heads and torches in their
hands, and, as they conducted him along, strewed the way with flowers.

[Sidenote: Pompey's estimate of Caesar's power.]

In fact, Pompey considered himself as standing far above Caesar in fame
and power, and this general burst of enthusiasm and applause, educed by
his recovery from sickness, confirmed him in this idea. He felt no
solicitude, he said, in respect to Caesar. He should take no special
precautions against any hostile designs which he might entertain on his
return from Gaul. It was he himself, he said, that had raised Caesar up
to whatever of elevation he had attained, and he could put him down even
more easily than he had exalted him.

[Sidenote: Plans of the latter.]

In the mean time, the period was drawing near in which Caesar's command
in the provinces was to expire; and, anticipating the struggle with
Pompey which was about to ensue, he conducted several of his legions
through the passes of the Alps, and advanced gradually, as he had a
right to do, across the country of the Po toward the Rubicon, revolving
in his capacious mind, as he came, the various plans by which he might
hope to gain the ascendency over the power of his mighty rival, and make
himself supreme.

[Sidenote: Caesar arrives at Ravenna.]
[Sidenote: Pompey's demands.]

He concluded that it would be his wisest policy not to a'tempt to
intimidate Pompey by great and open preparations for war, which might
tend to arouse him to vigorous measures of resistance, but rather to
cover and conceal his designs, and thus throw his enemy off his guard.
He advanced, therefore, toward the Rubicon with a small force. He
established his headquarters at Ravenna, a city not far from the river,
and employed himself in objects of local interest there, in order to
avert as much as possible the minds of the people from imagining that he
was contemplating any great design. Pompey sent to him to demand the
return of a certain legion which he had lent him from his own army at a
time when they were friends. Caesar complied with this demand without
any hesitation, and sent the legion home. He sent with this legion,
also, some other troops which were properly his own, thus evincing a
degree of indifference in respect to the amount of the force retained
under his command which seemed wholly inconsistent with the idea that he
contemplated any resistance to the authority of the government at Rome.

[Sidenote: Caesar demands to be made consul.]
[Sidenote: Excitement in consequence.]

In the mean time, the struggle at Rome between the partisans of Caesar
and Pompey grew more and more violent and alarming. Caesar through his
friends in the city, demanded to be elected consul. The other side
insisted that he must first, if that was his wish, resign the command of
his army, come to Rome, and present himself as a candidate in the
character of a private citizen. This the constitution of the state very
properly required. In answer to this requisition, Caesar rejoined, that,
if Pompey would lay down his military commands, he would do so too; if
not, it was unjust to require it of him. The services, he added, which
he had performed for his country, demanded some recompense, which,
moreover, they ought to be willing to award, even if, in order to do it,
it were necessary to relax somewhat in his favor the strictness of
ordinary rules. To a large part of the people of the city these demands
of Caesar appeared reasonable. They were clamorous to have them allowed.
The partisans of Pompey, with the stern and inflexible Cato at their
head, deemed them wholly inadmissible, and contended with the most
determined violence against them. The whole city was filled with the
excitement of this struggle, into which all the active and turbulent
spirits of the capital plunged with the most furious zeal, while the
more considerate and thoughtful of the population, remembering the days
of Marius and Sylla, trembled at the impending danger. Pompey himself
had no fear. He urged the Senate to resist to the utmost all of Caesar's
claims, saying, if Caesar should be so presumptuous as to attempt to
march to Rome, he could raise troops enough by stamping with his foot to
put him down.

[Sidenote: Debates in the Senate.]
[Sidenote: Tumult and confusion.]
[Sidenote: Panic at Rome.]

It would require a volume to contain a full account of the disputes and
tumults, the maneuvers and debates, the votes and decrees which marked
the successive stages of this quarrel. Pompey himself was all the time
without the city. He was in command of an army there, and no general,
while in command, was allowed to come within the gates. At last an
exciting debate was broken up in the Senate by one of the consuls rising
to depart, saying that he would hear the subject discussed no longer.
The time had arrived for action, and he should send a commander, with an
armed force, to defend the country from Caesar's threatened invasion.
Caesar's leading friends, two tribunes of the people, disguised
themselves as slaves, and fled to the north to join their master. The
country was filled with commotion and panic. The Commonwealth had
obviously more fear of Caesar than confidence in Pompey. The country
was full of rumors in respect to Caesar's power, and the threatening
attitude which he was assuming, while they who had insisted on
resistance seemed, after all, to have provided very inadequate means
with which to resist. A thousand plans were formed, and clamorously
insisted upon by their respective advocates, for averting the danger.
This only added to the confusion, and the city became at length pervaded
with a universal terror.

[Sidenote: Caesar at Ravenna.]

While this was the state of things at Rome, Caesar was quietly
established at Ravenna; thirty or forty miles from the frontier. He was
erecting a building for a fencing school there and his mind seemed to be
occupied very busily with the plans and models of the edifice which the
architects had formed. Of course, in his intended march to Rome, his
reliance was not to be so much on the force which he should take with
him, as on the co-operation and support which he expected to find there.
It was his policy, therefore, to move as quietly and privately as
possible, and with as little display of violence, and to avoid every
thing which might indicate his intended march to any spies which might
be around him, or to any other person! who might be disposed to report
what they observed at Rome. Accordingly, on the very eve of his
departure, he busied himself with his fencing school, and assumed with
his officers and soldiers a careless and unconcerned air, which
prevented any one from suspecting his design.

[Sidenote: Caesar's midnight march.]
[Sidenote: He loses his way.]

In the course of the day he privately sent forward some cohorts to the
southward, with orders for them to encamp on the banks of the Rubicon.
When night came he sat down to supper as usual, and conversed with his
friends in his ordinary manner, and went with them afterward to a public
entertainment. As soon as it was dark and the streets were still, he set
off secretly from the city, accompanied by a very few attendants.
Instead of making use of his ordinary equipage, the parading of which
would have attracted attention to his movements, he had some mules taken
from a neighboring bake-house, and harnessed into his chaise. There were
torch-bearers provided to light the way. The cavalcade drove on during
the night, finding, however, the hasty preparations which had been made
inadequate for the occasion. The torches went out, the guides lost their
way, and the future conqueror of the world wandered about bewildered and
lost, until, just after break of day, the party met with a peasant
who undertook to guide them. Under his direction they made their way to
the main road again, and advanced then without further difficulty to the
banks of the river, where they found that portion of the army which had
been sent forward encamped, and awaiting their arrival.


[Sidenote: Caesar at the Rubicon.]
[Sidenote: His hesitation at the river.]

Caesar stood for some time upon the banks of the stream, musing upon the
greatness of the undertaking in which simply passing across it would
involve him. His officers stood by his side. "We can retreat _now_" said
he, "but once across that river and we must go on." He paused for some
time, conscious of the vast importance of the decision, though he
thought only, doubtless, of its consequences to himself. Taking the step
which was now before him would necessarily end either in his realizing
the loftiest aspirations of his ambition, or in his utter and
irreparable ruin. There were vast public interests, too, at stake, of
which, however he probably thought but little. It proved, in the end,
that the history of the whole Roman world, for several centuries, was
depending upon the manner in which the question new in Caesar's mind
should turn.

[Sidenote: Story of the shepherd trumpeter.]

There was a little bridge across the Rubicon at the point where Caesar
was surveying it. While he was standing there, the story is, a peasant
or shepherd came from the neighboring fields with a shepherd's pipe--a
simple musical instrument, made of a reed, and used much by the rustic
musicians of those days. The soldiers and some of the officers gathered
around him to hear him play. Among the rest came some of Caesar's
trumpeters, with their trumpets in their hands. The shepherd took one of
these martial instruments from the hands of its possessor, laying aside
his own, and began to sound a charge--which is a signal for a rapid
advance--and to march at the same time over the bridge "An omen! a
prodigy!" said Caesar. "Let us march where we are called by such a
divine intimation. _The die is cast_."

[Sidenote: Caesar crosses the Rubicon.]

So saying, he pressed forward over the bridge, while the officers,
breaking up the encampment, put the columns in motion to follow him.

It was shown abundantly, on many occasions in the course of Caesar's
life, that he had no faith in omens. There are equally numerous
instances to show that he was always ready to avail himself of the
popular belief in them; to awaken his soldiers' ardor or to allay their
fears. Whether, therefore, in respect to this story of the shepherd
trumpeter, it was an incident that really and accidentally occurred, or
whether Caesar planned and arranged it himself, with reference to its
effect, or whether, which is, perhaps, after all, the most probable
supposition, the tale was only an embellishment invented out of
something or nothing by the story-tellers of those days, to give
additional dramatic interest to the narrative of the crossing of the
Rubicon, it must be left for each reader to decide.

[Sidenote: Caesar assembles his troops.]
[Sidenote: His address to them.]

As soon as the bridge was crossed, Caesar called an assembly of his
troops, and, with signs of great excitement and agitation, made an
address to them on the magnitude of the crisis through which they were
passing. He showed them how entirely he was in their power; he urged
them, by the most eloquent appeals, to stand by him, faithful and true,
promising them the most ample rewards when he should have attained the
object at which he aimed. The soldiers responded to this appeal with
promises of the most unwavering fidelity.

[Sidenote: Surrender of various towns.]

The first town on the Roman side of the Rubicon was Ariminum. Caesar
advanced to this town. The authorities opened its gates to him--very
willing, as it appeared, to receive him as their commander. Caesar's
force was yet quite small, as he had been accompanied by only a single
legion in crossing the river. He had, however, sent orders for the other
legions, which had been left in Gaul, to join him without any delay,
though any re-enforcement of his troops seemed hardly necessary, as he
found no indications of opposition to his progress. He gave his soldiers
the strictest injunctions to do no injury to any property, public or
private, as they advanced, and not to assume, in any respect, a hostile
attitude toward the people of the country. The inhabitants, therefore,
welcomed him wherever he came, and all the cities and towns followed the
example of Ariminum, surrendering, in fact, faster than he could take
possession of them.

[Sidenote: Domitius appointed to supersede Caesar.]

In the confusion of the debates and votes in the Senate at Rome before
Caesar crossed the Rubicon, one decree had been passed deposing him from
his command of the army, and appointing a successor. The name of the
general thus appointed was Domitius. The only real opposition which
Caesar encountered in his progress toward Rome was from him. Domitius
had crossed the Apennines at the head of an army on his way northward to
supersede Caesar in his command, and had reached the town of Corfinium,
which was perhaps one third of the way between Rome and the Rubicon.
Caesar advanced upon him here and shut him in.

[Sidenote: Caesar's treatment of Domitius.]

After a brief siege the city was taken, and Domitius and his army were
made prisoners. Every body gave them up for lost, expecting that Caesar
would wreak terrible vengeance upon them. Instead of this, he received
the troops at once into his own service, and let Domitius go free.

[Sidenote: Dismay at Rome.]
[Sidenote: Pompey's distress.]

In the mean time, the tidings of Caesar's having passed the Rubicon, and
of the triumphant success which he was meeting with at the commencement
of his march toward Rome, reached the Capitol, and added greatly to the
prevailing consternation. The reports of the magnitude of his force and
of the rapidity of his progress were greatly exaggerated. The party of
Pompey and the Senate had done every thing to spread among the people
the terror of Caesar's name, in order to arouse them to efforts for
opposing his designs; and now, when he had broken through the barriers
which had been intended to restrain him, and was advancing toward the
city in an unchecked and triumphant career, they were overwhelmed with
dismay. Pompey began to be terrified at the danger which was impending.
The Senate held meetings without the city--councils of war, as it were,
in which they looked to Pompey in vain for protection from the danger
which he had brought upon them. He had said that he could raise an army
sufficient to cope with Caesar at any time by stamping with his foot.
They told him they thought now that it was high time for him to stamp.

[Sidenote: He leaves Rome.]

In fact, Pompey found the current setting every where strongly against
him. Some recommended that commissioners should be sent to Caesar to
make proposals for peace. The leading men, however, knowing that any
peace made with him under such circumstances would be their own ruin,
resisted and defeated the proposal. Cato abruptly left the city and
proceeded to Sicily, which had been assigned him as his province. Others
fled in other directions. Pompey himself, uncertain what to do, and not
daring to remain, called upon all his partisans to join him, and set off
at night, suddenly, and with very little preparation and small supplies,
to retreat across the country toward the shores of the Adriatic Sea, His
destination was Brundusium, the usual port of embarkation for Macedon
and Greece.

[Sidenote: Enthusiasm of Caesar's soldiers.]

Caesar was all this time gradually advancing toward Rome. His soldiers
were full of enthusiasm in his cause. As his connection with the
government at home was sundered the moment he crossed the Rubicon, all
supplies of money and of provisions were cut off in that quarter until
he should arrive at the Capitol and take possession of it. The soldiers
voted, however, that they would serve him without pay. The officers,
too, assembled together, and tendered him the aid of their
contributions. He had always observed a very generous policy in his
dealings with them, and he was now greatly gratified at receiving their
requital of it.

[Sidenote: His policy in releasing Domitius.]

The further he advanced, too, the more he found the people of the
country through which he passed disposed to espouse his cause. They were
struck with his generosity in releasing Domitius. It is true that it was
a very sagacious policy that prompted him to release him. But then it
was generosity too. In fact, there must be something of a generous
spirit in the soul to enable a man even to see the policy of
generous actions.

[Sidenote: Letter of Caesar.]

Among the letters of Caesar that remain to the present day, there is one
written about this time to one of his friends, in which he speaks of
this subject. "I am glad," says he, "that you approve of my conduct at
Corfinium. I am satisfied that such a course is the best one for us to
pursue, as by so doing we shall gain the good will of all parties, and
thus secure a permanent victory. Most conquerors have incurred the
hatred of mankind by their cruelties, and have all, in consequence of
the enmity they have thus awakened, been prevented from long enjoying
their power. Sylla was an exception; but his example of successful
cruelty I have no disposition to imitate. I will conquer after a new
fashion, and fortify myself in the possession of the power I acquire by
generosity and mercy."

[Sidenote: Ingratitude of Domitius.]

Domitius had the ingratitude, after this release, to take up arms again,
and wage a new war against Caesar. When Caesar heard of it, he said it
was all right. "I will act out the principles of my nature," said he,
"and he may act out his."

[Sidenote: Caesar's generosity.]

Another instance of Caesar's generosity occurred, which is even more
remarkable than this. It seems that among the officers of his army there
were some whom he had appointed at the recommendation of Pompey, at the
time when he and Pompey were friends. These men would, of course, feel
under obligations of gratitude to Pompey, as they owed their military
rank to his friendly interposition in their behalf. As soon as the war
broke out, Caesar gave them all his free permission to go over to
Pompey's side, if they chose to do so.

[Sidenote: Modern politicians.]

Caesar acted thus very liberally in all respects. He surpassed Pompey
very much in the spirit of generosity and mercy with which he entered
upon the great contest before them. Pompey ordered every citizen to join
his standard, declaring that he should consider all neutrals as his
enemies. Caesar, on the other hand, gave free permission to every one to
decline, if he chose, taking any part in the contest, saying that he
should consider all who did not act against him as his friends. In the
political contests of our day, it is to be observed that the combatants
are much more prone to imitate the bigotry of Pompey than the generosity
of Caesar, condemning, as they often do, those who choose to stand aloof
from electioneering struggles, more than they do their most determined
opponents and enemies.

[Sidenote: Caesar arrives at Brundusium.]

When, at length, Caesar arrived at Brundusium, he found that Pompey had
sent a part of his army across the Adriatic into Greece, and was
waiting for the transports to return that he might go over himself with
the remainder. In the mean time, he had fortified himself strongly in
the city. Caesar immediately laid siege to the place, and he commenced
some works to block up the mouth of the harbor. He built piers on each
side, extending out as far into the sea as the depth of the water would
allow them to be built. He then constructed a series of rafts, which he
anchored on the deep water, in a line extending from one pier to the
other. He built towers upon these rafts, and garrisoned them with
soldiers, in hopes by this means to prevent all egress from the fort. He
thought that, when this work was completed, Pompey would be entirely
shut in, beyond all possibility of escape.

[Sidenote: He besieges Pompey.]
[Sidenote: Pompey's plan of escape.]

The transports, however, returned before the work was completed. Its
progress was, of course, slow, as the constructions were the scene of a
continued conflict; for Pompey sent out rafts and galleys against them
every day, and the workmen had thus to build in the midst of continual
interruptions, sometimes from showers of darts, arrows, and javelins,
sometimes from the conflagrations of fireships, and sometimes from the
terrible concussions of great vessels of war, impelled with prodigious
force against them. The transports returned, therefore, before the
defenses were complete, and contrived to get into the harbor. Pompey
immediately formed his plan for embarking the remainder of his army.

[Sidenote: It is made known to Caesar.]
[Sidenote: Success of Pompey's plan.]

He filled the streets of the city with barricades and pitfalls,
excepting two streets which led to the place of embarkation. The object
of these obstructions was to embarrass Caesar's progress through the
city in case he should force an entrance while his men were getting on
board the ships. He then, in order to divert Caesar's attention from his
design, doubled the guards stationed upon the walls on the evening of
his intended embarkation, and ordered them to make vigorous attacks upon
all Caesar's forces outside. He then, when the darkness came on, marched
his troops through the two streets which had been left open, to the
landing place, and got them as fast as possible on board the transports.
Some of the people of the town contrived to make known to Caesar's army
what was going on, by means of signals from the walls; the army
immediately brought scaling ladders in great numbers, and, mounting the
walls with great ardor and impetuosity, they drove all before them, and
soon broke open the gates and got possession of the city. But the
barricades and pitfalls, together with the darkness, so embarrassed
their movements, that Pompey succeeded in completing his embarkation and
sailing away.

[Sidenote: Caesar's conduct at Rome.]

Caesar had no ships in which to follow. He returned to Rome. He met, of
course, with no opposition. He re-established the government there,
organized the Senate anew, and obtained supplies of corn from the public
granaries, and of money from the city treasury in the Capitol. In going
to the Capitoline Hill after this treasure, he found the officer who had
charge of the money stationed there to defend it. He told Caesar that it
was contrary to law for him to enter. Caesar said that, for men with
swords in their hands, there was no law. The officer still refused to
admit him. Caesar then told him to open the doors, or he would kill him
on the spot. "And you must understand," he added, "that it will be
easier for me to do it than it has been to say it." The officer resisted
no longer, and Caesar went in.

[Sidenote: Caesar subdues various countries.]
[Sidenote: He turns his thoughts to Pompey.]

After this, Caesar spent some time in rigorous campaigns in Italy,
Spain, Sicily, and Gaul, wherever there was manifested any opposition
to his sway. When this work was accomplished, and all these countries
were completely subjected to his dominion, he began to turn his thoughts
to the plan of pursuing Pompey across the Adriatic Sea.



[Sidenote: The gathering armies.]
[Sidenote: Pompey's preparations.]
[Sidenote: Caesar at Brundusium.]

The gathering of the armies of Caesar and Pompey on the opposite shores
of the Adriatic Sea was one of the grandest preparations for conflict
that history has recorded, and the whole world gazed upon the spectacle
at the time with an intense and eager interest, which was heightened by
the awe and terror which the danger inspired. During the year while
Caesar had been completing his work of subduing and arranging all the
western part of the empire, Pompey had been gathering from the eastern
division every possible contribution to swell the military force under
his command, and had been concentrating all these elements of power on
the coasts of Macedon and Greece, opposite to Brundusium, where he knew
that Caesar would attempt to cross the Adriatic Sea, His camps, his
detachments, his troops of archers and slingers, and his squadrons of
horse, filled the land, while every port was guarded, and the line of
the coast was environed by batteries and castles on the rocks, and
fleets of galleys on the water. Caesar advanced with his immense army to
Brundusium, on the opposite shore, in December, so that, in addition to
the formidable resistance prepared for him by his enemy on the coast, he
had to encounter the wild surges of the Adriatic, rolling perpetually in
the dark and gloomy commotion always raised in such wide seas by
wintery storms.

[Sidenote: His address to his army.]

Caesar had no ships, for Pompey had cleared the seas of every thing
which could aid him in his intended passage. By great efforts, however,
he succeeded at length in getting together a sufficient number of
galleys to convey over a part of his army, provided he took the men
alone, and left all his military stores and baggage behind. He gathered
his army together, therefore, and made them an address, representing
that they were now drawing toward the end of all their dangers and
toils. They were about to meet their great enemy for a final conflict.
It was not necessary to take their servants, their baggage, and their
stores across the sea, for they were sure of victory, and victory would
furnish them with ample supplies from those whom they were about
to conquer.

[Sidenote: Caesar crosses the Adriatic.]

The soldiers eagerly imbibed the spirit of confidence and courage which
Caesar himself expressed. A large detachment embarked and put to sea,
and, after being tossed all night upon the cold and stormy waters, they
approached the shore at some distance to the northward of the place
where Pompey's fleets had expected them. It was at a point where the
mountains came down near to the sea, rendering the coast rugged and
dangerous with shelving rocks and frowning promontories. Here Caesar
succeeded in effecting a landing of the first division of his troops,
and then sent back the fleet for the remainder.

[Sidenote: He subdues several towns.]
[Sidenote: Caesar's advance.]
[Sidenote: Distress of the armies.]

The news of his passage spread rapidly to all Pompey's stations along
the coast, and the ships began to gather, and the armies to march toward
the point where Caesar had effected his landing. The conflict and
struggle commenced. One of Pompey's admirals intercepted the fleet of
galleys on their return, and seized and burned a large number of them,
with all who were on board. This, of course, only renewed the determined
desperation of the remainder. Caesar advanced along the coast with the
troops which he had landed, driving Pompey's troops before him, and
subduing town after town as he advanced. The country was filled with
terror and dismay. The portion of the army which Caesar had left behind
could not now cross, partly on account of the stormy condition of the
seas, the diminished number of the ships, and the redoubled vigilance
with which Pompey's forces now guarded the shores, but mainly because
Caesar was now no longer with them to inspire them with his reckless,
though calm and quiet daring. They remained, therefore, in anxiety and
distress, on the Italian shore. As Caesar, on the other hand, advanced
along the Macedonian shore, and drove Pompey back into the interior, he
cut off the communication between Pompey's ships and the land, so that
the fleet was soon reduced to great distress for want of provisions and
water. The men kept themselves from perishing with thirst by collecting
the dew which fell upon the decks of their galleys. Caesar's army was
also in distress, for Pompey's fleets cut off all supplies by water, and
his troops hemmed them in on the side of the land; and, lastly, Pompey
himself, with the immense army that was under his command, began to be
struck with alarm at the impending danger with which they were
threatened. Pompey little realized, however, how dreadful a fate was
soon to overwhelm him.

[Sidenote: Caesar's impatience.]
[Sidenote: He attempts to cross the Adriatic.]

The winter months rolled away, and nothing effectual was done. The
forces, alternating and intermingled, as above described, kept each
other in a continued state of anxiety and suffering. Caesar became
impatient at the delay of that portion of his army that he had left on
the Italian shore. The messages of encouragement and of urgency which he
sent across to them did not bring them over, and at length, one dark and
stormy night, when he thought that the inclemency of the skies and the
heavy surging of the swell in the offing would drive his vigilant
enemies into places of shelter, and put them off their guard, he
determined to cross the sea himself and bring his hesitating army over.
He ordered a galley to be prepared, and went on board of it disguised,
and with his head muffled in his mantle, intending that not even the
officers or crew of the ship which was to convey him should know of his
design. The galley, in obedience to orders, put off from the shore. The
mariners endeavored in vain for some time to make head against the
violence of the wind and the heavy concussions of the waves, and at
length, terrified at the imminence of the danger to which so wild and
tumultuous a sea on such a night exposed them, refused to proceed, and
the commander gave them orders to return. Caesar then came forward,
threw off his mantle, and said to them, "Friends! you have nothing to
fear. You are carrying Caesar."

The men were, of course, inspirited anew by this disclosure, but all was
in vain. The obstacles to the passage proved insurmountable, and the
galley, to avoid certain destruction, was compelled to return.

[Sidenote: Caesar lands the remainder of his army.]

The army, however, on the Italian side, hearing of Caesar's attempt to
return to them, fruitless though it was, and stimulated by the renewed
urgency of the orders which he now sent to them, made arrangements at
last for an embarkation, and, after encountering great dangers on the
way, succeeded in landing in safety. Caesar, thus strengthened, began to
plan more decided operations for the coming spring.

[Sidenote: Attempts at negotiation.]
[Sidenote: Conferences.]
[Sidenote: End in violence and disorder.]

There were some attempts at negotiation. The armies were so exasperated
against each other on account of the privations and hardships which each
compelled the other to suffer, that they felt too strong a mutual
distrust to attempt any regular communication by commissioners or
ambassadors appointed for the purpose. They came to a parley, however,
in one or two instances, though the interviews led to no result. As the
missiles used in those days were such as could only be thrown to a very
short distance, hostile bodies of men could approach much nearer to each
other then than is possible now, when projectiles of the most terribly
destructive character can be thrown for miles. In one instance, some of
the ships of Pompey's fleet approached so near to the shore as to open a
conference with one or two of Caesar's lieutenants who were encamped
there. In another case, two bodies of troops from the respective armies
were separated only by a river, and the officers and soldiers came down
to the banks on either side, and held frequent conversations, calling to
each other in loud voices across the water. In this way they succeeded
in so far coming to an agreement as to fix upon a time and place for a
more formal conference, to be held by commissioners chosen on each side.
This conference was thus held, but each party came to it accompanied by
a considerable body of attendants, and these, as might have been
anticipated, came into open collision while the discussion was pending;
thus the meeting consequently ended in violence and disorder, each party
accusing the other of violating the faith which both had plighted.

[Sidenote: Undecided warfare.]
[Sidenote: Bread made of roots.]

This slow and undecided mode of warfare between the two vast armies
continued for many months without any decisive results. There were
skirmishes, struggles, sieges, blockades, and many brief and partial
conflicts, but no general and decided battle. Now the advantage seemed
on one side, and now on the other. Pompey so hemmed in Caesar's troops
at one period, and so cut off his supplies, that the men were reduced to
extreme distress for food. At length they found a kind of root which
they dug from the ground, and, after drying and pulverizing it, they
made a sort of bread of the powder, which the soldiers were willing to
eat rather than either starve or give up the contest. They told Caesar,
in fact, that they would live on the bark of trees rather than abandon
his cause. Pompey's soldiers, at one time, coming near to the walls of a
town which they occupied, taunted and jeered them on account of their
wretched destitution of food. Caesar's soldiers threw loaves of this
bread at them in return, by way of symbol that they were
abundantly supplied.

[Sidenote: Caesar hems Pompey in.]
[Sidenote: Anxiety of the rivals.]

After some time the tide of fortune turned Caesar contrived, by a
succession of adroit maneuvers and movements, to escape from his toils,
and to circumvent and surround Pompey's forces so as soon to make them
suffer destitution and distress in their turn. He cut off all
communication between them and the country at large, and turned away the
brooks and streams from flowing through the ground they occupied. An
army of forty or fifty thousand men, with the immense number of horses
and beasts of burden which accompany them, require very large supplies
of water, and any destitution or even scarcity of water leads
immediately to the most dreadful consequences. Pompey's troops dug
wells, but they obtained only very insufficient supplies. Great numbers
of beasts of burden died, and their decaying bodies so tainted the air
as to produce epidemic diseases, which destroyed many of the troops, and
depressed and disheartened those whom they did not destroy.

[Sidenote: Nature of the contest between Caesar and Pompey.]
[Sidenote: Both hesitate.]

During all these operations there was no decisive general battle. Each
one of the great rivals knew very well that his defeat in one general
battle would be his utter and irretrievable ruin. In a war between two
independent nations, a single victory, however complete, seldom
terminates the struggle, for the defeated party has the resources of a
whole realm to fall back upon, which are sometimes called forth with
renewed vigor after experiencing such reverses; and then defeat in such
cases, even if it be final, does not necessarily involve the ruin of the
unsuccessful commander. He may negotiate an honorable peace, and return
to his own land in safety; and, if his misfortunes are considered by his
countrymen as owing not to any dereliction from his duty as a soldier,
but to the influence of adverse circumstances which no human skill or
resolution could have controlled, he may spend the remainder of his days
in prosperity and honor. The contest, however, between Caesar and Pompey
was not of this character. One or the other of them was a traitor and a
usurper--an enemy to his country. The result of a battle would decide
which of the two was to stand in this attitude. Victory would legitimize
and confirm the authority of one, and make it supreme over the whole
civilized world. Defeat was to annihilate the power of the other, and
make him a fugitive and a vagabond, without friends, without home,
without country. It was a desperate stake; and it is not at all
surprising that both parties lingered and hesitated, and postponed the
throwing of the die.

[Sidenote: The armies enter Thessaly.]

At length Pompey, rendered desperate by the urgency of the destitution
and distress into which Caesar had shut him, made a series of rigorous
and successful attacks upon Caesar's lines, by which he broke away in
his turn from his enemy's grasp, and the two armies moved slowly back
into the interior of the country, hovering in the vicinity of each
other, like birds of prey contending in the air, each continually
striking at the other, and moving onward at the same time to gain some
position of advantage, or to circumvent the other in such a design. They
passed on in this manner over plains, and across rivers, and through
mountain passes, until at length they reached the heart of Thessaly.
Here at last the armies came to a stand and fought the final battle.


[Sidenote: The plain of Pharsalia.]
[Sidenote: Roman standard bearers.]
[Sidenote: Pompey draws up his army.]
[Sidenote: Forces on both sides.]

The place was known then as the plain of Pharsalia, and the greatness of
the contest which was decided there has immortalized its name. Pompey's
forces were far more numerous than those of Caesar, and the advantage in
all the partial contests which had taken place for some time had been on
his side; he felt, consequently, sure of victory. He drew up his men in
a line, one flank resting upon the bank of a river, which protected them
from attack on that side. From this point, the long line of legions,
drawn up in battle array, extended out upon the plain, and was
terminated at the other extremity by strong squadrons of horse, and
bodies of slingers and archers, so as to give the force of weapons and
the activity of men as great a range as possible there, in order to
prevent Caesar's being able to outflank and surround them There was,
however, apparently very little danger of this, for Caesar, according to
his own story, had but about half as strong a force as Pompey. The army
of the latter, he says, consisted of nearly fifty thousand men, while
his own number was between twenty and thirty thousand. Generals,
however, are prone to magnify the military grandeur of their exploits by
overrating the strength with which they had to contend, and
under-estimating their own. We are therefore to receive with some
distrust the statements made by Caesar and his partisans; and as for
Pompey's story, the total and irreparable ruin in which he himself and
all who adhered to him were entirely overwhelmed immediately after the
battle, prevented its being ever told.

[Sidenote: Appearance of Pompey's camp.]
[Sidenote: Pompey's tent.]

In the rear of the plain where Pompey's lines were extended was the camp
from which the army had been drawn out to prepare for the battle. The
camp fires of the preceding night were moldering away, for it was a warm
summer morning; the intrenchments were guarded, and the tents, now
nearly empty, stood extended in long rows within the inclosure. In the
midst of them was the magnificent pavilion of the general, furnished
with every imaginable article of luxury and splendor. Attendants were
busy here and there, some rearranging what had been left in disorder by
the call to arms by which the troops had been summoned from their places
of rest, and others providing refreshments-and food for their victorious
comrades when they should return from the battle. In Pompey's tent a
magnificent entertainment was preparing. The tables were spread with
every luxury, the sideboards were loaded with plate, and the whole scene
was resplendent with utensils and decorations of silver and gold.

[Sidenote: His confidence of victory.]

Pompey and all his generals were perfectly certain of victory. In fact,
the peace and harmony of their councils in camp had been destroyed for
many days by their contentions and disputes about the disposal of the
high offices, and the places of profit and power at Rome, which were to
come into their hands when Caesar should have been subdued. The subduing
of Caesar they considered only a question of time; and, as a question of
time, it was now reduced to very narrow limits. A few days more, and
they were to be masters of the whole Roman empire, and, impatient and
greedy, they disputed in anticipation about the division of the spoils.

To make assurance doubly sure, Pompey gave orders that his troops
should not advance to meet the onset of Caesar's troops on the middle
ground between the two armies, but that they should wait calmly for the
attack, and receive the enemy at the posts where they had themselves
been arrayed.

[Sidenote: The battle of Pharsalia.]
[Sidenote: Defeat of Pompey.]
[Sidenote: Scene of horror.]

The hour at length arrived, the charge was sounded by the trumpets, and
Caesar's troops began to advance with loud shouts and great impetuosity
toward Pompey's lines. There was a long and terrible struggle, but the
forces of Pompey began finally to give way. Notwithstanding the
precautions which Pompey had taken to guard and protect the wing of his
army which was extended toward the land, Caesar succeeded in turning his
flank upon that side by driving off the cavalry and destroying the
archers and slingers, and he was thus enabled to throw a strong force
upon Pompey's rear. The flight then soon became general, and a scene of
dreadful confusion and slaughter ensued. The soldiers of Caesar's army,
maddened with the insane rage which the progress of a battle never fails
to awaken, and now excited to phrensy by the exultation of success,
pressed on after the affrighted fugitives, who trampled one upon
another, or fell pierced with the weapons of their assailants, filling
the air with their cries of agony and their shrieks of terror. The
horrors of the scene, far from allaying, only excited still more the
ferocity of their bloodthirsty foes, and they pressed steadily and
fiercely on, hour after hour, in their dreadful work of destruction. It
was one of those scenes of horror and woe such as those who have not
witnessed them can not conceive of, and those who have witnessed can
never forget.

[Sidenote: Pompey's flight to the camp.]
[Sidenote: Pompey in his tent.]
[Sidenote: His consternation and despair.]

When Pompey perceived that all was lost, he fled from the field in a
state of the wildest excitement and consternation. His troops were
flying in all directions, some toward the camp, vainly hoping to find
refuge there, and others in various other quarters, wherever they saw
the readiest hope of escape from their merciless pursuers. Pompey
himself fled instinctively toward the camp. As he passed the guards at
the gate where he entered, he commanded them, in his agitation and
terror, to defend the gate against the coming enemy, saying that he was
going to the other gates to attend to the defenses there. He then
hurried on, but a full sense of the helplessness and hopelessness of his
condition soon overwhelmed him; he gave up all thought of defense, and,
passing with a sinking heart through the scene of consternation and
confusion which reigned every where within the encampment, he sought
his own tent, and, rushing into it, sank down, amid the luxury and
splendor which had been arranged to do honor to his anticipated victory,
in a state of utter stupefaction and despair.



[Sidenote: Pursuit of the vanquished.]
[Sidenote: Pompey recovers himself.]

Caesar pursued the discomfited and flying bodies of Pompey's army to the
camp. They made a brief stand upon the ramparts and at the gates in a
vain and fruitless struggle against the tide of victory which they soon
perceived must fully overwhelm them. They gave way continually here and
there along the lines of intrenchment, and column after column of
Caesar's followers broke through into the camp. Pompey, hearing from his
tent the increasing noise and uproar, was at length aroused from his
stupor, and began to summon his faculties to the question what he was to
do. At length a party of fugitives, hotly pursued by some of Caesar's
soldiers, broke into his tent. "What!" said Pompey, "into my tent too!"
He had been for more than thirty years a victorious general, accustomed
to all the deference and respect which boundless wealth, extended and
absolute power, and the highest military rank could afford. In the
encampments which he had made, and in the cities which he had occupied
from time to time, he had been the supreme and unquestioned master, and
his tent, arranged and furnished, as it had always been, in a style of
the utmost magnificence and splendor, had been sacred from all
intrusion, and invested with such a dignity that potentates and princes
were impressed when they entered, with a feeling of deference and awe.
Now, rude soldiers burst wildly into it, and the air without was filled
with an uproar and confusion, drawing every moment nearer and nearer,
and warning the fallen hero that there was no longer any protection
there against the approaching torrent which was coming on to
overwhelm him.

[Sidenote: Pompey disguises himself.]
[Sidenote: He escapes from the camp.]

Pompey aroused himself from his stupor, threw off the military dress
which belonged to his rank and station, and assumed a hasty disguise, in
which he hoped he might make his escape from the immediate scene of his
calamities. He mounted a horse and rode out of the camp at the easiest
place of egress in the rear, in company with bodies of troops and guards
who were also flying in confusion, while Caesar and his forces on the
other side were carrying the intrenchments and forcing their way in. As
soon is he had thus made his escape from the immediate scene of danger,
he dismounted and left his horse, that he might assume more completely
the appearance of a common soldier, and, with a few attendants who were
willing to follow his fallen fortunes, he went on to the eastward,
directing his weary steps toward the shores of the Aegean Sea.

[Sidenote: The Vale of Tempe.]
[Sidenote: Its picturesqueness.]
[Sidenote: Pompey's sufferings.]
[Sidenote: A drink of water.]

The country through which he was traveling was Thessaly. Thessaly is a
vast amphitheater, surrounded by mountains, from whose sides streams
descend, which, after watering many fertile valleys and plains, combine
to form one great central river that flows to the eastward, and after
various meanderings, finds its way into the Aegean Sea through a
romantic gap between two mountains, called the Vale of Tempe--a vale
which has been famed in all ages for the extreme picturesqueness of its
scenery, and in which, in those days, all the charms both of the most
alluring beauty and of the sublimest grandeur seemed to be combined.
Pompey followed the roads leading along the banks of this stream, weary
in body, and harassed and disconsolate in mind. The news which came to
him from time to time, by the flying parties which were moving through
the country in all directions, of the entire and overwhelming
completeness of Caesar's victory, extinguished all remains of hope, and
narrowed down at last the grounds of his solicitude to the single point
of his own personal safety. He was well aware that he should be pursued,
and, to baffle the efforts which he knew that his enemies would make to
follow his track, he avoided large towns, and pressed forward in by-ways
and solitudes, bearing as patiently as he was able his increasing
destitution and distress. He reached, at length, the Vale of Tempe, and
there, exhausted with hunger, thirst, and fatigue, he sat down upon the
bank of the stream to recover by a little rest strength enough for the
remainder of his weary way. He wished for a drink, but he had nothing to
drink from. And so the mighty potentate, whose tent was full of
delicious beverages, and cups and goblets of silver and gold, extended
himself down upon the sand at the margin of the river, and drank the
warm water directly from the stream.

[Sidenote: Caesar in Pompey's camp.]

While Pompey was thus anxiously and toilsomely endeavoring to gain the
sea-shore, Caesar was completing his victory over the army which he had
left behind him. When Caesar had carried the intrenchments of the camp,
and the army found that there was no longer any safety for them there,
they continued their retreat under the guidance of such generals as
remained. Caesar thus gained undisputed possession of the camp. He found
every where the marks of wealth and luxury, and indications of the
confident expectation of victory which the discomfited army had
entertained. The tents of the generals were crowned with myrtle, the
beds were strewed with flowers, and tables every where were spread for
feasts, with cups and bowls of wine all ready for the expected revelers.
Caesar took possession of the whole, stationed a proper guard to protect
the property, and then pressed forward with his army in pursuit of
the enemy.

[Sidenote: Retreat of Pompey's army.]
[Sidenote: Surrender of Pompey's army.]

Pompey's army made their way to a neighboring rising ground, where they
threw up hasty intrenchments to protect themselves for the night. A
rivulet ran near the hill, the access to which they endeavored to
secure, in order to obtain supplies of water. Caesar and his forces
followed them to this spot. The day was gone, and it was too late to
attack them. Caesar's soldiers, too, were exhausted with the intense and
protracted excitement and exertions which had now been kept up for many
hours in the battle and in the pursuit, and they needed repose. They
made, however, one effort more. They seized the avenue of approach to
the rivulet, and threw up a temporary intrenchment to secure it which
intrenchment they protected with a guard; and then the army retired to
rest, leaving their helpless victims to while away the hours of the
night, tormented with thirst, and overwhelmed with anxiety and despair.
This could not long be endured. They surrendered in the morning, and
Caesar found himself in possession of over twenty thousand prisoners.

[Sidenote: Pompey in the Vale of Tempe.]

In the mean time, Pompey passed on through the Vale of Tempe toward the
sea, regardless of the beauty and splendor that surrounded him, and
thinking only of his fallen fortunes, and revolving despairingly in his
mind the various forms in which the final consummation of his ruin might
ultimately come. At length he reached the sea-shore, and found refuge
for the night in a fisherman's cabin. A small number of attendants
remained with him, some of whom were slaves. These he now dismissed,
directing them to return and surrender themselves to Caesar, saying that
he was a generous foe, and that they had nothing to fear from him. His
other attendants he retained, and he made arrangements for a boat to
take him the next day along the coast. It was a river boat, and
unsuited to the open sea, but it was all that he could obtain.

[Sidenote: Pompey embarks on board a vessel.]
[Sidenote: The shipmaster's dream.]

He arose the next morning at break of day, and embarked in the little
vessel, with two or three attendants, and the oarsmen began to row away
along the shore. They soon came in sight of a merchant ship just ready
to sail. The master of this vessel, it happened, had seen Pompey, and
knew his countenance, and he had dreamed, as a famous historian of the
times relates, on the night before, that Pompey had come to him hi the
guise of a simple soldier and in great distress, and that he had
received and rescued him. There was nothing extraordinary in such a
dream at such a time, as the contest between Caesar and Pompey, and the
approach of the final collision which was to destroy one or the other of
them, filled the minds and occupied the conversation of the world. The
shipmaster, therefore, having seen and known one of the great rivals in
the approaching conflict, would naturally find both his waking and
sleeping thoughts dwelling on the subject; and his fancy, in his dreams,
might easily picture the scene of his rescuing and saving the fallen
hero in the hour of his distress.

[Sidenote: Pompey goes on board a merchant ship.]

However this may be, the shipmaster is said to have been relating his
dream to the seamen on the deck of his vessel when the boat which was
conveying Pompey came into view. Pompey himself, having escaped from the
land, supposed all immediate danger over, not imagining that seafaring
men would recognize him in such a situation and in such a disguise. The
shipmaster did, however, recognize him. He was overwhelmed with grief at
seeing him in such a condition. With a countenance and with gestures
expressive of earnest surprise and sorrow, he beckoned to Pompey to come
on board. He ordered his own ship's boat to be immediately let down to
meet and receive him. Pompey came on board. The ship was given up to his
possession, and every possible arrangement was made to supply his wants,
to contribute to his comfort, and to do him honor.

[Sidenote: His arrival at Amphipolis.]

The vessel conveyed him to Amphipolis, a city of Macedonia near the sea,
and to the northward and eastward of the place where he had embarked.
When Pompey arrived at the port he sent proclamations to the shore,
calling upon the inhabitants to take arms and join his standard. He did
not, however, land, or take any other measures for carrying these
arrangements into effect. He only waited in the river upon which
Amphipolis stands long enough to receive a supply of money from some of
his friends on the shore, and stores for his voyage, and then get sail
again. Whether he learned that Caesar was advancing in that direction
with a force too strong for him to encounter, or found that the people
were disinclined to espouse his cause, or whether the whole movement was
a feint to direct Caesar's attention to Macedon as the field of his
operations, in order that he might escape more secretly and safely
beyond the sea, can not now be ascertained.

[Sidenote: Pompey's wife Cornelia.]
[Sidenote: Her beauty and accomplishments.]

Pompey's wife Cornelia was on the island of Lesbos, at Mitylene, near
the western coast of Asia Minor. She was a lady of distinguished beauty,
and of great intellectual superiority and moral worth. She was extremely
well versed in all the learning of the times, and yet was entirely free
from those peculiarities and airs which, as her historian says, were
often observed in learned ladies in those days. Pompey had married her
after the death of Julia, Caesar's daughter. They were strongly devoted
to each other. Pompey had provided for her a beautiful retreat on the
island of Lesbos, where she was living in elegance and splendor,
beloved for her own intrinsic charms, and highly honored on account of
the greatness and fame of her husband. Here she had received from time
to time glowing accounts of his success all exaggerated as they came to
her, through the eager desire of the narrators to give her pleasure.

[Sidenote: Pompey's arrival at Mitylene.]
[Sidenote: His meeting with Cornelia.]

From this high elevation of honor and happiness the ill-fated Cornelia
suddenly fell, on the arrival of Pompey's solitary vessel at Mitylene,
bringing as it did, at the same time, both the first intelligence of her
husband's fall, and himself in person, a ruined and homeless fugitive
and wanderer. The meeting was sad and sorrowful. Cornelia was
overwhelmed at the suddenness and violence of the shock which it brought
her, and Pompey lamented anew the dreadful disaster that he had
sustained, at finding how inevitably it must involve his beloved wife as
well as himself in its irreparable ruin.

[Sidenote: Pompey gathers a little fleet.]

The pain, however, was not wholly without some mingling of pleasure. A
husband finds a strange sense of protection and safety in the presence
and sympathy of an affectionate wife in the hour of his calamity. She
can, perhaps do nothing, but her mute and sorrowful concern and pity
comfort and reassure him. Cornelia, however, was able to render her
husband some essential aid. She resolved immediately to accompany him
wherever he should go; and, by their joint endeavors, a little fleet was
gathered, and such supplies as could be hastily obtained, and such
attendants and followers as were willing to share his fate, were taken
on board. During all this time Pompey would not go on shore himself, but
remained on board, his ship in the harbor. Perhaps he was afraid of some
treachery or surprise, or perhaps, in his fallen and hopeless condition,
he was unwilling to expose himself to the gaze of those who had so often
seen him in all the splendor of his former power.

[Sidenote: He sails along the Mediterranean.]
[Sidenote: Pompey receives additional supplies.]

At length, when all was ready, he sailed away. He passed eastward along
the Mediterranean, touching at such ports as he supposed most likely to
favor his cause. Vague and uncertain, but still alarming rumors that
Caesar was advancing in pursuit of him met him every where, and the
people of the various provinces were taking sides, some in his favor and
some against him, the excitement being every where so great that the
utmost caution and circumspection were required in all his movements.
Sometimes he was refused permission to land; at others, his friends
were too few to afford him protection; and at others still, though the
authorities professed friendship, he did not dare to trust them. He
obtained, however, some supplies of money and some accessions to the
number of ships and men under his command, until at length he had quite
a little fleet in his train. Several men of rank and influence, who had
served under him in the days of his prosperity, nobly adhered to him
now, and formed a sort of court or council on board his galley, where
they held with their great though fallen commander frequent
conversations on the plan which it was best to pursue.

[Sidenote: He seeks refuge in Egypt.]
[Sidenote: Ptolemy and Cleopatra.]

It was finally decided that it was best to seek refuge in Egypt. There
seemed to be, in fact, no alternative. All the rest of the world was
evidently going over to Caesar. Pompey had been the means, some years
before, of restoring a certain king of Egypt to his throne, and many of
his soldiers had been left in the country, and remained there still. It
is true that the king himself had died. He had left a daughter named
Cleopatra, and also a son, who was at this time very young. The name of
this youthful prince was Ptolemy. Ptolemy and Cleopatra bad been made by
their father joint heirs to the throne. But Ptolemy, or, rather, the
ministers and counselors who acted for him and in his name, had expelled
Cleopatra, that they might govern alone. Cleopatra had raised an army in
Syria, and was on her way to the frontiers of Egypt to regain possession
of what she deemed her rights. Ptolemy's ministers had gone forth to
meet her at the head of their own troops, 'Ptolemy himself being also
with them. They had reached Pelusium, which is the frontier town between
Egypt and Syria on the coast of the Mediterranean. Here their armies had
assembled in vast encampments upon the land, and their galleys and
transports were riding at anchor along the shore of the sea. Pompey and
his-counselors thought that the government of Ptolemy would receive him
as a friend, on account of the services he had rendered to the young
prince's father, forgetting that gratitude has never a place on the list
of political virtues.

[Sidenote: Pompey arrives at Pelusium.]

Pompey's little squadron made its way slowly over the waters of the
Mediterranean toward Pelusium and the camp of Ptolemy. As they
approached the shore, both Pompey himself and Cornelia felt many anxious
forebodings. A messenger was sent to the land to inform the young king
of Pompey's approach, and to solicit his protection. The government of
Ptolemy held a council, and took the subject into consideration.

[Sidenote: Ptolemy's council resolve to murder Pompey.]

Various opinions were expressed, and various plans were proposed. The
counsel which was finally followed was this. It would be dangerous to
receive Pompey, since that would make Caesar their enemy. It would be
dangerous to refuse to receive him, as that would make Pompey their
enemy, and, though powerless now, he might one day be in a condition to
seek vengeance. It was wisest, therefore, to destroy him. They would
invite him to the shore, and kill him when he landed. This would please
Caesar; and Pompey himself, being dead, could never revenge it. "Dead
dogs," as the orator said who made this atrocious proposal, "do
not bite."

[Sidenote: The assassin Achillas.]

An Egyptian, named Achillas, was appointed to execute the assassination
thus decreed. An invitation was sent to Pompey to land, accompanied with
a promise of protection; and, when his fleet had approached near enough
to the shore, Achillas took a small party in a boat, and went out to
meet his galley. The men in this boat, of course, were armed.

[Sidenote: Suspicions of Pompey's friends.]
[Sidenote: Entreaties of Cornelia.]
[Sidenote: Pompey's forlorn condition.]
[Sidenote: He determines to land.]

The officers and attendants of Pompey watched all these movements from
the deck of his galley. They scrutinized every thing that occurred with
the closest attention and the greatest anxiety, to see whether the
indications denoted an honest friendship or intentions of treachery. The
appearances were not favorable. Pompey's friends observed that no
preparations were making along the shore for receiving him with the
honors due, as they thought, to his rank and station. The manner, too,
in which the Egyptians seemed to expect him to land was ominous of evil.
Only a single insignificant boat for a potentate who recently had
commanded half the world! Then, besides, the friends of Pompey observed
that several of the principal galleys of Ptolemy's fleet were getting up
their anchors, and preparing apparently to be ready to move at a sudden
call These and other indications appeared much more like preparations
for seizing an enemy than welcoming a friend. Cornelia, who, with her
little son, stood upon the deck of Pompey's galley, watching the scene
with a peculiar intensity of solicitude which the hardy soldiers around
her could not have felt, became soon exceedingly alarm ad. She begged
her husband Dot to go on shore. But Pompey decided that it was now too
late to retreat. He could not escape from the Egyptian galleys if they
had received orders to intercept him, nor could he resist violence if
violence were intended. To do any thing like that would evince distrust,
and to appear like putting himself upon his guard would be to take at
once, himself, the position of an enemy, and invite and justify the
hostility of the Egyptians in return. As to flight, he could not hope to
escape from the Egyptian galleys if they had received orders to prevent
it; and, besides, if he were determined on attempting an escape, whither
should he fly? The world was against him. His triumphant enemy was on
his track in full pursuit, with all the vast powers and resources of the
whole Roman empire at his command. There remained for Pompey only the
last forlorn hope of a refuge in Egypt, or else, as the sole
alternative, a complete and unconditional submission to Caesar. His
pride would not consent to this, and he determined, therefore, dark as
the indications were, to place himself, without any appearance of
distrust, in Ptolemy's hands, and abide the issue.

The boat of Achillas approached the galley. When it touched the side,
Achillas and the other officers on board of it hailed Pompey in the most
respectful manner, giving him the title of Imperator, the highest title
known in the Roman state. Achillas addressed Pompey in Greek. The Greek
was the language of educated men in all the Eastern countries in those
days. He told him that the water was too shallow for his galley to
approach nearer to the shore, and invited him to come on board of his
boat, and he would take him to the beach, where, as he said, the king
was waiting to receive him.

[Sidenote: Preparations for landing.]
[Sidenote: Pompey takes leave of his wife.]

With many anxious forebodings, that were but ill concealed, Pompey made
preparations to accept the invitation. He bade his wife farewell, who
clung to him as they were about to part with a gloomy presentiment that
they should never meet again. Two centurions who were to accompany
Pompey, and two servants, descended into the boat. Pompey himself
followed, and then the boatmen pushed off from the galley and made
toward the shore. The decks of all the vessels in Pompey's little
squadron, as well as those of the Egyptian fleet, were crowded with
spectators, and lines of soldiery and groups of men, all intently
watching the operations of the landing, were scattered along the shore.

[Sidenote: The assassins.]
[Sidenote: Gloomy silence.]

Among the men whom Achillas had provided to aid him in the assassination
was an offieer of the Roman army who had formerly served under Pompey.
As soon as Pompey was seated in the boat, he recognized the countenance
of this man, and addressed him, saying, "I think I remember you as
having been in former days my fellow-soldier." The man replied merely by
a nod of assent. Feeling somewhat guilty and self-condemned at the
thoughts of the treachery which he was about to perpetrate, he was
little inclined to renew the recollection of the days when he was
Pompey's friend. In fact, the whole company in the boat, filled on the
one part with awe in anticipation of the terrible deed which they were
soon to commit, and on the other with a dread suspense and alarm, were
little disposed for conversation, and Pompey took out a manuscript of an
address in Greek which he had prepared to make to the young king at his
approaching interview with him, and occupied himself in reading it over.
Thus they advanced in a gloomy and solemn silence, hearing no sound but
the dip of the oars in the water, and the gentle dash of the waves along
the line of the shore.

[Sidenote: Assassination of Pompey.]

At length the boat touched the sand, while Cornelia still stood on the
deck of the galley, watching every movement with great solicitude and
concern. One of the two servants whom Pompey had taken with him, named
Philip, his favorite personal attendant, rose to assist his master in
landing. He gave Pompey his hand to aid him in rising from his seat, and
at that moment the Roman officer whom Pompey had recognized as his
fellow-soldier, advanced behind him and stabbed him in the back. At the
same instant Achillas and the others drew their swords. Pompey saw that
all was lost. He did not speak, and he uttered no cry of alarm, though
Cornelia's dreadful shriek was so loud and piercing that it was heard
upon the shore. From the suffering victim himself nothing was heard but
an inarticulate groan extorted by his agony. He gathered his mantle over
his face, and sank down and died.

[Sidenote: Cornelia.]
[Sidenote: The funeral pile.]
[Sidenote: Pompey's ashes sent to Cornelia.]

Of course, all was now excitement and confusion. As soon as the deed was
done, the perpetrators of it retired from the scene, taking the head of
their unhappy victim with them, to offer to Caesar as proof that his
enemy was really no more. The officers who remained in the fleet which
had brought Pompey to the coast made all haste to sail away, bearing the
wretched Cornelia with them, utterly distracted with grief and despair,
while Philip and his fellow-servant remained upon the beach, standing
bewildered and stupefied over the headless body of their beloved master.
Crowds of spectators came in succession to look upon the hideous
spectacle a moment in silence, and then to turn, shocked and repelled,
away. At length, when the first impulse of excitement had in some
measure spent its force, Philip and his comrades so far recovered their
composure as to begin to turn their thoughts to the only consolation
that was now left to them, that of performing the solemn duties of
sepulture. They found the wreck of a fishing boat upon the strand, from
which they obtained wood enough for a rude funeral pile. They burned
what remained of the mutilated body, and, gathering up the ashes, they
put them in an urn and sent them to Cornelia, who afterward buried them
at Alba with many bitter tears.

[Illustration: Death of Pompey]



[Sidenote: Caesar after the battle of Pharsalia.]

Caesar surveyed the field of battle after the victory of Pharsalia, not
with the feelings of exultation which might have been expected in a
victorious general, but with compassion and sorrow for the fallen
soldiers whose dead bodies covered the ground. After gazing upon the
scene sadly and in silence for a time, he said, "They would have it so,"
and thus dismissed from his mind all sense of his own responsibility for
the consequences which had ensued.

[Sidenote: His clemency.]
[Sidenote: Caesar pursues Pompey.]

He treated the immense body of prisoners which had fallen into his hands
with great clemency, partly from the natural impulses of his
disposition, which were always generous and noble, and partly from
policy, that he might conciliate them all, officers and soldiers, to
acquiescence in his future rule. He then sent back a large portion of
his force to Italy, and, taking a body of cavalry from the rest, in
order that he might advance with the utmost possible rapidity, he set
off through Thessaly and Macedon in pursuit of his fugitive foe.

[Sidenote: Treasures of the Temple of Diana.]

He had no naval force at his command, and he accordingly kept upon the
land. Besides, he wished, by moving through the country at the head of
an armed force, to make a demonstration which should put down any
attempt that might be made in arty quarter to rally or concentrate a
force in Pompey's favor. He crossed the Hellespont, and moved down the
coast of Asia Minor. There was a great temple consecrated to Diana at
Ephesus, which, for its wealth and magnificence, was then the wonder of
the world. The authorities who had it in their charge, not aware of
Caesar's approach, had concluded to withdraw the treasures from the
temple and loan them to Pompey, to be repaid when he should have
regained his Dower. An assembly was accordingly convened to witness the
delivery of the treasures, and take note of their value, which ceremony
was to be performed with great formality and parade, when they learned
that Caesar had crossed the Hellespont and was drawing near. The whole
proceeding was thus arrested, and the treasures were retained.

[Sidenote: Caesar in Asia Minor.]
[Sidenote: He sails for Egypt.]

Caesar passed rapidly on through Asia Minor, examining and comparing,
as he advanced, the vague rumors which were continually coming in in
respect to Pompey's movements. He learned at length that he had gone to
Cyprus; he presumed that his destination was Egypt, and he immediately
resolved to provide himself with a fleet, and follow him thither by sea.
As time passed on, and the news of Pompey's defeat and flight, and of
Caesar's triumphant pursuit of him, became generally extended and
confirmed, the various powers ruling in all that region of the world
abandoned one after another the hopeless cause, and began to adhere to
Caesar. They offered him such resources and aid as he might desire. He
did not, however, stop to organize a large fleet or to collect an army.
He depended, like Napoleon, in all the great movements of his life, not
on grandeur of preparation, but on celerity of action. He organized at
Rhodes a small but very efficient fleet of ten galleys, and, embarking
his best troops in them, he made sail for the coasts of Egypt. Pompey
had landed at Pelusium, on the eastern frontier, having heard that the
young king and his court were there to meet and resist Cleopatra's
invasion. Caesar, however, with the characteristic boldness and energy
of his character, proceeded directly to Alexandria, the capital.

[Sidenote: Caesar at Alexandria.]

Egypt was, in those days, an _ally_ of the Romans, as the phrase was;
that is, the country, though it preserved its independent organization
and its forms of royalty, was still united to the Roman people by an
intimate league, so as to form an integral part of the great empire.
Caesar, consequently, in appearing there with an armed force, would
naturally be received as a friend. He found only the garrison which
Ptolemy's government had left in charge of the city. At first the
officers of this garrison gave him an outwardly friendly reception, but
they soon began to take offense at the air of authority and command
which he assumed, and which seemed to them to indicate a spirit of
encroachment on the sovereignty of their own king.

[Sidenote: The Roman fasces.]
[Sidenote: The lictors.]

Feelings of deeply-seated alienation and animosity sometimes find their
outward expression in contests about things intrinsically of very little
importance. It was so in this case. The Roman consuls were accustomed to
use a certain badge of authority called the _fasces_. It consisted of a
bundle of rods, bound around the handle of an ax. Whenever a consul
appeared in public, he was preceded by two officers called _lictors_,
each of whom carried the fasces as a symbol of the power which was
vested in the distinguished personage who followed them.

The Egyptian officers and the people of the city quarreled with Caesar
on account of his moving about among them in his imperial state,
accompanied by a life guard, and preceded by the lictors. Contests
occurred between his troops and those of the garrison, and many
disturbances were created in the streets of the city. Although no
serious collision took place, Caesar thought it prudent to strengthen
his force, and he sent back to Europe for additional legions to come to
Egypt and join him.

[Sidenote: Pompey's head sent to Caesar.]
[Sidenote: Caesar mourns Pompey.]

The tidings of Pompey's death came to Caesar at Alexandria, and with
them the head of the murdered man, which was sent by the government of
Ptolemy, they supposing that it would be an acceptable gift to Caesar.
Instead of being pleased with it, Caesar turned from the shocking
spectacle in horror. Pompey had been, for many years now gone by,
Caesar's colleague and friend. He had been his son-in-law, and thus had
sustained to him a very near and endearing relation. In the contest
which had at last unfortunately arisen, Pompey had done no wrong either
to Caesar or to the government at Rome. He was the injured party, so far
as there was a right and a wrong to such a quarrel. And now, after being
hunted through half the world by his triumphant enemy, he had been
treacherously murdered by men pretending to receive him as a friend. The
natural sense of justice, which formed originally so strong a trait in
Caesar's character, was not yet wholly extinguished. He could not but
feel some remorse at the thoughts of the long course of violence and
wrong which he had pursued against his old champion and friend, and
which had led at last to so dreadful an end. Instead of being pleased
with the horrid trophy which the Egyptians sent him, he mourned the
death of his great rival with sincere and unaffected grief, and was
filled with indignation against his murderers.

[Sidenote: Pompey's signet ring.]
[Sidenote: Caesar's respect for Pompey's memory.]
[Sidenote: Pompey's Pillar.]
[Sidenote: Origin of Pompey's Pillar.]

[Illustration: Pompey's Pillar.]

Pompey had a signet ring upon his finger at the time of his
assassination, which was taken off by the Egyptian officers and carried
away to Ptolemy, together with the other articles of value which had
been found upon his person. Ptolemy sent this seal to Caesar to complete
the proof that its possessor was no more. Caesar received _this_
memorial with eager though mournful pleasure, and he preserved it with
great care. And in many ways, during all the remainder of his life, he
manifested every outward indication of cherishing the highest respect
for Pompey's memory. There stands to the present day, among the ruins of
Alexandria, a beautiful column, about one hundred feet high, which has
been known in all modern times as POMPEY'S PILLAR. It is formed of
stone, and is in three parts. One stone forms the pedestal, another the
shaft, and a third the capital. The beauty of this column, the
perfection of its workmanship, which still continues in excellent
preservation, and its antiquity, so great that all distinct record of
its origin is lost, have combined to make it for many ages the wonder
and admiration of mankind. Although no history of its origin has come

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit Twitter Pinterest