Imatges de pàgina

ter, out of your fingular Goodness and Friendship, have so often defended me. I am no Stranger to what has been said of me by certain Persons, since CÆSAR's Death. They call it a Crime in me, that I am concerned for the Loss of an intimate Friend, and sorry that the Man, whom I loved, met with so unhappy a Fate. They say, that our Country oughe to be preferred to any Friendship, as if they had already made it evident, that his Death was of Service to the Republic. But I will not deal craftily; I own myself not to be arrived at that Degree of Wisdom; nor did I yet follow CÆSAR in our late Diffentions, but my Friend ; whom, though displeased with the Thing, I could not desert: for I never approved the Civil War, or the Cause of it, but took all possible Pains to ftifle it in its Birth. Upon the Victory therefore of a familiar Friend, I was not eager to advance, or to enrich myself: an Advantage which others, who had less Interest with him than 1, abused to great Excess. Nay, my Circumstances were even hurt by CÆSAR's Law; to whose Kindness the greatest Part of those, who now rejoice at his Death, owed their very Continuance in the City. I solicited the Pardon of the Vanquished with the same Zeal as if it had been for my self. Is it possible therefore for me, who laboured to procure the Safety of all, not to be concerned for the Death of him, from whom I used to procure it? especially when the very fame Men, who were the Cause of making him odious, were the Authors also of destroying him. But I shall have Cause, they say, to repent, for daring to condemn their Act. Unheard- of Infolence! that it should be allowed to some to glory in a wicked Adion, yet not to others, even to grieve at it without Punishment ! But this was always free even to Slaves, to fear, rejoice, and grieve by their own Will, not that of another ; which yet these Men, who call themselves the Authors of Liberty, are endeavouring to extort from us by the Force of Terror. But they may spare their Threats: for no Danger shall terrify me from performing my Duty and the Offices of Humanity; since it was always my Opinion that an honest Death was never to be avoided, often even to be sought. But why are they angry with me, for withing only that they may repent of their Act? I wish that all the World may regret CÆSAR's Death. But I ought, say they, as a Member of Civil Society, to wish the Good and Safety of the Republic. If my past Life and future Hopes do not already prove, that I wish it, without my saying fo, I will not pretend to evince it by Argument. I beg



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of you therefore in the strongest Terms, to attend to Facta rather than Words; and if you think it the most useful to one in my Circumstances, that what is right should take place, never imagine, that I can have any Union or Commerce with ill-designing Men. I acted the same Part in my Youth, where to miftake would have been pardonable; fhall I then undo it all again, and renounce my Principles in my declining Age? No; it is my Resolution to do nothing that can give any fence; except it be when I lament the cruel Fate of a dear Friend and illustrious Man. If I were in different Sentiments, I would never disown what I was doing ; left I should be thought, not only wicked for pursuing what was wrong, but false and cowardly for dissembling it. - But I undertook the Care of the Shews, which young CÆSAR exhibited for the Victory of his Uncle. This was an Affair of private, not of public Duty. It was what I ought to have performed to the Memory and Honour of my dead Friend; and what I could not therefore deny

to a Youth of the greatest Hopes, and so highly worthy of CÆSAR.- But I go also often to the Consul ANTONY's, to pay my Compliments; yet you will find those very Men

go oftener, to ask and receive Favours, who reflect upon me for it, as disaffected to my Country. But what Arrogance is this? When CÆSAR never hindered me from vifiting whom I would; even those whom he did not care for; that they, who have deprived me of him, should attempt by their Cavils to debarr me from placing my Efteem where 'Í think proper. But I am not afraid, that either the Modesty of my Life should not be sufficient to confute all false Reports of me for the future, or that they, who do not love me for my Constancy to CÆSAR, would not chuse to have their Friends resemble me, rather than themselves. For my own Part, if I could have my Wish, I would spend the Remainder of my Days in quiet at Rhodes : but if any Accident prevent me, will live in such a Manner at Rome, as always to defire, that what is Right may prevail. I am greatly obliged to our Friend TREBATIUS, for giving me this Assurance of your fincere and friendly Regard to me, and for making it my Duty to respect and observe a Man whom I had esteemed always before with Inclination. Take care of your Health, and preserve me in your Affection.




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UR Request that I would send you an Account of my

Uncle's Death, in order to transmit a more exact Relation of it to Pofterity, deserves my Acknowledgments; for if this Accident shall be celebrated by your Pen, the Glory of it, I am well assured, will be rendered for ever illustrious. And notwithstanding he perished by a Misfortune, which, as it involved at the same time a most beautiful Country in Ruins, and destroyed so many populous Cities, seems to promise him an everlasting Remembrance; notwithstanding he has himself composed many and lasting Works; yet, I am persuaded, the mentioning of him in your immortal Writings, will greatly contribute to eternize his Name. Happy I efteem those to be, whom Providence has distinguished with the Abilities either of doing such Actions as are worthy of being related, or of relating them in a Manner worthy of being read; but doubly happy are those who are bleffed with both these uncommon Talents : In the Number of which my Uncle, as his own Writings, and your History will evidently prove, may justly be ranked. It is with extreme Willingness, therefore, I execute your Commands; and should indeed have claimed the Task if you had not enjoined it. He was at that Time with the Fleet under his Command at Mifenum, On the 23d of August, about One in the Afternoon, my Mother desired him to observe a Cloud, which appeared of a very unusual Size and Shape. He had just returned from taking the Benefit of the Sun, and after bathing himself in cold Water, and taking a light Repast, was retired to his Study: He immediately arose, and went out upon an Eminence, from whence he might more distinctly view this very uncommon Appearance. It was not at that Distance discernable from what Mountain this Cloud issued; but it was found afterwards to afcend from Mount Vesuvius. I cannot give you a more exact Description of its Figure, than by resembling it to that of a Pine-Tree, for it hot up a great Height in the Form of a Trunk, which extended itself at the Top into a sort of Branches; occafioned, I imagine, either by a sudden Guit of Air that impelled it, the Force of which decreased as it advanced upwards, or the Cloud itself being pressed back again by its


own Weight, expanded in this Manner: It appeared sometimes bright, and sometimes dark and spotted, as it was more or less impregnated with Earth and Cinders. This extraordinary Phænomenon excited my Uncle's philosophical Curiosity to take a nearer View of it. He ordered a light Vesel to be got ready, and gave me the Liberty, if I thought proper, to attend him. I rather chose to continue my Studies ; for, as it happened, he had given me an Employment of that Kind. As he was coming out of the House he received a Note from Roetina, the Wife of Ballus, who was in the utmost Aların at the imminent Danger which threatened her ; for her Villa being situated at the Foot of Mount Vesuvius, there was no Way to escape but by Sea, she earnestly entreated him therefore to come to her Assistance. He accordingly changed his first Design, and what he began with a philosophical, he pursued with an heroical Turn of Mind. He ordered the Gallies to put to Sea, and went himself on board with an Intention of affifting, not only Retina, but several others; for the Villas stand extremely thick upon that beautiful Coast. When hastening to the Place from whence others Aled with the utmost Terror, he steered his direct Course to the point of Danger, and with so much Calmness and Presence of Mind, as to be able to make and dictate his Observations upon the Motion and Figure of that dreadful Scene. He was now so near the Mountain, that the Cinders, which grew thicker and hotter the nearer he approached, fell into the Ships, together with Pumice-Stones, and black Pieces of burning Rock: They were likewise in Danger, not only of being aground by the sudden Retreat of the Sea, but al. fo from the vast Fragments which rolled down from the Mountain, and obstructed all the Shore. Here he stopped to confider whether he should return back again; to which the Pilot advising him; Fortune, said he, befriends the Brave; carry me to Pomponianus. Pomponianus was then at Stabia, feparated by a Gulph, which the Sea, after several insensible Windings, forms upon that Shore. He had already sent his Baggage on board ; for though he was not at that Time in actual Danger, yet being within the View of it, and indeed extremely near, if it should in the least increase, he was determined to put to Sea as soon as the Wind should change. It was favourable however, for carrying my Uncle to Pomponianus, whom he found in the greatest Confternation. He embraced him with Tenderness, encouraging and ex. horting hiin to keep up his Spirits ; and the more to diffipate his Fears, he ordered, with an Air of Unconcern, the Baths



got ready; when, after having bathed, he fate down to Supper with great Chearfulness, or at least (what is equally heroic) with all the Appearance of it. In the mean while the Eruption from Mount Vesuvius Alamed out from several Places with much Violence, which the Darkness of the Night contributed to render still more visible and dreadful. But

my Uncle, in order to sooth the Apprehensions of his Friend, alsured him

it was only the burning of the Villages, which the Country People had abandoned to the Flames : After this he retired to Relt; and, it is most certain, he was so little difcomposed as to fall into a deep Sleep; for, being pretty fat, and breathing hard, those who attended without, actually heard him fnore. The Court which led to his Apartment, being now almost filled with Stones and Ashes, if he had continued there any time longer, it would have been impossible for him to have made his Way out; it was thought proper therefore to awaken him. He got up, and went to Pomponianus, and the rest of his Company, who were not unconcerned enough to think of going to Bed. They consulted together whether it would be most prudent to trust to the Houses, which now fhook from side to side with frequent and violent Concussions, or Ay to the open Fields, where the calcined Stones and Cinders, tho' light indeed, yet fell in large Showers, and threatened Destruction. In this Distress they resolved for the Fields, as the less dangerous Situation of the two: A Resolution, which while the rest of the Company were hurried into by their Fears, my Uncle embraced upon cool and deliberate Confideration. They went out then, having Pillows tied upon their Heads with Napkins ; and this was their whole Defence against the Storm of Stones that fell round them. Tho' it was now Day every where else, with them it was darker than the most obscure Night, excepting only what Light proceeded from the Fire and Flames. They thought proper to go down farther upon the Shore, to observe if they might safely put out to Sea, but they found the Waves ftill run extremely high and boisterous. There my Uncle having drunk a Draught or two of cold Water threw himself down upon a Cloth which was spread for him, when immediately the Flames, and a strong Smell of Sulphur, which was the Forerunner of them, dispersed the rest of the Company, and obliged him to arise. He raised himself up with the Arfiftance of two of his Servants, and instantly fell down dead ; fuffocated, as I conjecture, by some gross and noxious Vapour, having always had weak Lungs, and frequently subject to a Difficulty of Breathing. As soon as it was light again, VOL. 1



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