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and reckless waste. 


There was another way, too, by which Caesar turned public opinion 

strongly against himself, by the very means which he adopted for 

creating a sentiment in his favor. The Romans, among the other barbarous 

amusements which were practiced in the city, were specially fond of 

combats. These combats were of various kinds. They were fought sometimes 

between ferocious beasts of the same or of different species, as dogs 

against each other, or against bulls, lions, or tigers. Any animals, in 

fact, were employed for this purpose, that could be teased or goaded 

into anger and ferocity in a fight. Sometimes men were employed in these 

combats,--captive soldiers, that had been taken in war, and brought to 

Rome to fight in the amphitheaters there as gladiators. These men were 

compelled to contend sometimes with wild beasts, and sometimes with one 

another. Caesar, knowing how highly the Roman assemblies enjoyed such 

scenes, determined to afford them the indulgence on a most magnificent 

scale, supposing, of course, that the greater and the more dreadful the 

fight, the higher would be the pleasure which the spectators would enjoy 

in witnessing it. Accordingly, in making preparations for the 

festivities attending his triumph, he caused a large artificial lake to 

be formed at a convenient place in the vicinity of Rome, where it could 

be surrounded by the populace of the city, and there he made 

arrangements for a naval battle. A great number of galleys were 

introduced into the lake. They were of the usual size employed in war. 

These galleys were manned with numerous soldiers. Tyrian captives were 

put upon one side, and Egyptian upon the other; and when all was ready, 

the two squadrons were ordered to approach and fight a real battle for 

the amusement of the enormous throngs of spectators that were assembled 

around. As the nations from which the combatants in this conflict were 

respectively taken were hostile to each other, and as the men fought, of 

course, for their lives, the engagement was attended with the usual 

horrors of a desperate naval encounter. Hundreds were slain. The dead 

bodies of the combatants fell from the galleys into the lake and the 

waters of it were dyed with their blood. 


There were land combats, too, on the same grand scale. In one of them 

five hundred foot soldiers, twenty elephants, and a troop of thirty 

horse were engaged on each side. This combat, therefore, was an action 

greater, in respect to the number of the combatants, than the famous 

battle of Lexington, which marked the commencement of the American war; 

and in respect to the slaughter which took place, it was very probably 

ten times greater. The horror of these scenes proved to be too much even 

for the populace, fierce and merciless as it was, which they were 

intended to amuse. Caesar, in his eagerness to outdo all former 

exhibitions and shows, went beyond the limits within which the seeing of 

men butchered in bloody combats and dying in agony and despair would 

serve for a pleasure and a pastime. The people were shocked; and 

condemnations of Caesar's cruelty were added to the other suppressed 

reproaches and criminations which every where arose. 


Cleopatra, during her visit to Rome, lived openly with Caesar at his 

residence, and this excited very general displeasure. In fact, while the 

people pitied ArsinoŽ, Cleopatra, notwithstanding her beauty and her 

thousand personal accomplishments and charms, was an object of general 

displeasure, so far as public attention, was turned toward her at all. 

The public mind was, however, much engrossed by the great political 

movements made by Caesar and the ends toward which he seemed to be 

aiming. Men accused him of designing to be made a king. Parties were 

formed for and against him; and though men did not dare openly to utter 

their sentiments, their passions became the more violent in proportion 

to the external force by which they were suppressed. Mark Antony was at 

Rome at this time. He warmly espoused Caesar's cause, and encouraged his 

design of making himself king. He once, in fact, offered to place a 

royal diadem upon Caesar's head at some public celebration; but the marks 

of public disapprobation which the act elicited caused him to desist. 


At length, however, the time arrived when Caesar determined to cause 

himself to be proclaimed king. He took advantage of a certain remarkable 

conjuncture of public affairs, which can not here be particularly 

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