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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-Caesar by Plutarch


won upon the feelings of the people, who looked upon him as a
man of great tenderness and kindness of heart. After he had buried
his wife, he went as quaestor into Spain under one of the praetors,
named Vetus, whom he honoured ever after, and made his son his
own quaestor, when he himself came to be praetor. After this
employment was ended, he married Pompeia, his third wife,
having then a daughter by Cornelia, his first wife, whom he
afterwards married to Pompey the Great. He was so profuse in his
expenses that, before he had any public employment, he was in
debt thirteen hundred talents, and many thought that by incurring
such expense to be popular he changed a solid good for what
would prove but a short and uncertain return; but in truth he was
purchasing what was of the greatest value at an inconsiderable
rate. When he was made surveyor of the Appian Way, he
disbursed, besides the public money, a great sum out of his private
purse; and when he was aedile, he provided such a number of
gladiators, that he entertained the people with three hundred and
twenty single combats, and by his great liberality and magnificence
in theatrical shows, in processions, and public feastings, he threw
into the shade all the attempts that had been made before him, and
gained so much upon the people, that every one was eager to find
out new offices and new honours for him in return for his
munificence.

There being two factions in the city, one that of Sylla, which was
very powerful, the other that of Marius, which was then broken
and in a low condition, he undertook to revive this and to make it
his own. And to this end, whilst he was in the height of his repute
with the people for the magnificent shows he gave as aedile, he
ordered images of Marius and figures of Victory, with trophies in
their hands, to be carried privately in the night and placed in the
capitol. Next morning when some saw them bright with gold and
beautifully made, with inscriptions upon them, referring them to
Mariusís exploits over the Cimbrians, they were surprised at the
boldness of him who had set them up, nor was it difficult to guess
who it was. The fame of this soon spread and brought together a
great concourse of people. Some cried out that it was an open
attempt against the established government thus to revive those
honours which had been buried by the laws and decrees of the
senate; that Caesar had done it to sound the temper of the people
whom he had prepared before, and to try whether they were tame
enough to bear his humour, and would quietly give way to his
innovations. On the other hand, Mariusís party took courage, and it
was incredible how numerous they were suddenly seen to be, and
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-Caesar by Plutarch



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