[ocr errors]


“ Surely I would accept these offers, were I as Alex“ ander;" saith Alexander, “ So would I, were I as “ Parmenio."

Lastly, weigh that quick and acute reply, which he made when he gave so large gifts to his friends and servants, and was asked what he did reserve for himself, and he answered, “ Hope:" weigh, I say, whether he had not cast up his account right, because hope must be the portion of all that resolve upon great enterprises. For this was Cæsar's pora tion when he went first into Gaul, his estate being then utterly overthrown with largesses. And this was likewise the portion of that noble prince, bow. soerer transported with ambition, Henry duke of Guise, of whom it was usually said, that he was the greatest asurer in France, because he had turned all his estate into batins.

To conciude aretira: as certain critics are used to say h ervojicail - Tiat ii ail sciences were lost, " they ni at je omni i Virgil;” so certainly this CV be jad nii her? 172 se prints ard footsteps of learning in ose 2 poches which are reporteti i t .ee: .11113: on of whom, when I consilier In 1 10.0"; se put the (s?, but as Arstutis .. usio 125 1 50 kr.

Isorinis ja si. 3.20 of us learnir.z nevteh riö P

oo 6, vion, or Eis 'ompul., pir! .. .. isition Cith ture time is : 8.1

piros, saime irp tri: Re: poco en orontos a los do in cateis pasipore. - ;. e os om vodo .

a monum

us that excellent history of his own wars, which he intitled only a commentary, wherein all succeeding times have admired the solid weight of matter, and the real passages and lively images of actions and persons, expressed in the greatest propriety of words and perspicuity of narration that ever was; which that it was not the effect of a natural gift, but of learning and precept, is well witnessed by that work of his, intitled, “ De Analogia,” being a grammatical philosophy, wherein he did labour to make this same “ vox ad placitum” to become “ vox ad licitum," and to reduce custom of speech to congruity of speech; and took, as it were, the picture of words from the life of reason.

So we receive from him, as a monument both of his power and learning, the then reformed computation of the year; well expressing, that he took it to be as great a glory to himself to observe and know the law of the heavens, as to give law to men upon the earth.

So likewise in that book of his, “ Anti-Cato,” it may easily appear that he did aspire as well to victory of wit as victory of war; undertaking therein a conflict against the greatest champion with the pen that then lived, Cicero the orator.

So again in his book of “ Apophthegms," which he collected, we see that he esteemed it more honour to make himself but a pair of tables, to take the wise and pithy words of others, than to have every word of his own to be made an apophthegm or an oracle; as vain princes, by custom of flattery, pretend to do.


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

And yet if I should enumerate divers of his speeches, as I did those of Alexander, they are truly such as Solomon noteth, when he saith, “ Verba sapientum “ tanquam aculei, et tanquam clavi in altum defixi:” whereof, I will only recite three, not so delectable for elegancy, but admirable for vigour and efficacy.

As, first, it is reason he be thought a master of words, that could with one word appease a mutiny in his army, which was thus: The Romans, when their generals did speak to their army, did use the word “ Milites,” but when the magistrates spake to the people, they did use the word “ Quirites.” The soldiers were in tumult, and seditiously prayed to be cashiered; not that they so meant, but by expostulation thereof to draw Cæsar to other conditions ; wherein he being resolute not to give way, after some silence, he began his speech, “ Ego, Quirites :" which did admit them already cashiered; wherewith they were so surprised, crossed, and confused, as they would not suffer him to go on in his speech, but relinquished their demands, and made it their suit to be again called by the name of “ Milites."

The second speech was thus: Cæsar did extremely affect the name of king; and some were set on, as he passed by, in popular acclamation to salute him king; whereupon, finding the cry weak and poor, he put it off thus, in a kind of jest, as if they had mistaken his surname; “ Non rex sum, sed Cæsar;" a speech, that if it be searched, the life and fulness of it can scarce be expressed: for, first, it was a refusal of the name, but yet not serious: again, it did signify

[ocr errors]

an infinite confidence and magnanimity, as if he presumed Cæsar was the greater title; as by his worthiness it is come to pass till this day : but chiefly it was a speech of great allurement toward his own purpose; as if the state did strive with him but for a name, whereof mean families were vested; for Rex was a surname with the Romans, as well as King is with us.

The last speech which I will mention, was used to Metellus; when Cæsar, after war declared, did possess himself of the city of Rome; at which time entering into the inner treasury to take the money there accumulated, Metellus, being tribune, forbade him: whereto Cæsar said, “ That if he did not desist, “ he would lay him dead in the place.” And presently taking himself up, he added, “ Adolescens, “ durius est mihi hoc dicere quàm facere.” Young man, it is harder for me to speak than to do it. A speech compounded of the greatest terror and greatest clemency that could proceed out of the mouth of man.

But to return, and conclude with him: it is evident, himself knew well his own perfection in learning, and took it upon him; as appeared when, upon occasion that some spake what a strange resolution it was in Lucius Sylla to resign his dictature; he scoffing at him, to his own advantage, answered, “ That Sylla could not skill of letters, and therefore “ knew not how to dictate.”

And here it were fit to leave this point, touching the concurrence of military virtue and learning, for what example would come with any grace after


those two of Alexander and Cæsar? were it not in regare of the rareness of circumstance, that I find in Ollt other particular, as that which did so suddenly pass iron: extreme scorn to extreme wonder; and it is of Venophon the philosopher, who went from Socrates school into Asia, in the expection of Cyrus the younger, against king Artaxerxes. This Sedchon at that time was very young, and Dauer had seen tbe wars before; neither had any com card il the arms, but only followed the war as a vont tart, for the love and conversation of Proxenus la fried. He was present when Falinus carne in messacre from the great king to the Grecians, after that Cyrus was slain in the field, and they a handful of men left to themselves in the midst of the king's territories, cut off from their country by many navi. gable rivers, and many hundred miles. The mensage imported, that they should deliver up their arms, and submit themselves to the king's money. 10 which message before answer was male divers of the army conferred familiarly with Farinuni au amongst the rest Xenophon happen onny, “ Why, Falinus, we have now but this two thing, " left, our arms and our virtue! and if we yield up « our arms, how shall we make use of our virtue !" Whereto Falinus, smiling on him, said, If I la “ not deceived, young gentleman, you are un Alha “ nian; and, I believe you study philor; ly, and it in “ pretty that you say: but you are much l edd, if “ you think your virtue can withstand the boy's “ power." Here was the scorn; the wonderfully want


« ElőzőTovább »