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PREFACE

IF Caesar is to be read with profit in schools, one thing at least is certain—the school edition should be as simple and elementary as it can be made. In the introduction, notes, and vocabulary of this volume I have tried to avoid all matter that is not strictly relevant at the stage of development which we may expect to find in the schoolboy at about fourteen years of age. I have not greatly emphasized the matter of indirect discourse, for if the boy is to regard that as anything else than an inscrutable mystery, the result will depend chiefly upon the intelligence of his teacher. On the other hand, I have in the notes to the earlier books laid great stress upon the ordinary noun and verb constructions, emphasizing them by frequent repetition of explanation and grammar reference, for I am oldfashioned enough to believe a good deal in the method of “ line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little,” inculcated in a certain ancient book. In general I have tried to keep before the reader's mind the fact that the text is not merely an exercise in Latin, but an historical narrative of great events. This explains the large number of cross-references backward and forward in the story. The introduction aims to present Caesar as the 291788

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greatest political person of antiquity, and to show his immense significance as the principal founder of modern civilization; and also to furnish enough information about the Roman military organization and operations to make the narrative intelligible. The text is that of Meusel, without changes, except some orthographic ones in conformity with ideas now prevalent in regard to the proper spelling of Latin in elementary text-books.

J. H. W PRINCETON, N. J.

AFTER CONSTRUING

LORD CÆSAR, when you sternly wrote

The story of your grim campaigns,
And watched the ragged smoke-wreath float

Above the burning plains,

Amid the impenetrable wood,

Amid the camp's incessant hum,
At eve, beside the tumbling flood

In high Avaricum,
You little recked, imperious head,

When shrilled your shattering trumpet's noise Your frigid sections would be read

By bright-eyed English boys.

Ah me! who penetrates to-day

The secret of your deep designs ?
Your sovereign visions as you lay

Amid the sleeping lines ?
The Mantuan singer pleading stands;

From century to century
He leans and reaches wistful hands,

And can not bear to die.

But you are silent, secret, proud,

No smile upon your haggard face,
As when you eyed the murderous crowd

Beside the statue's base.

I marvel : that Titanic heart

Beats strongly through the arid page,
And we self-conscious sons of art

In this bewildering age,
Like dizzy revelers stumbling out

Upon the pure and peaceful night,
Are sobered into troubled doubt,

As swims across our sight

The ray of that sequestered sun,

Far in the illimitable blue-
The dream of all you left undone,
Of all you dared to do.

A. C. BENSON.

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INTRODUCTION

A BOY was once asked who Cæsar was. He answered that he was a man who wrote a school-book for boys in Latin. I should like to make some American boys realize that writing the Commentaries was one of the least things done by one of the greatest men that ever worked in this world-a man who had a great share in making history. Yet this little book that he wrote, telling about one of his wars, is one of the world's great books—a book which has deeply interested most of the able and active men of the last two thousand years.

CHAPTER I

CÆSAR

i. ROME IN THE TIME OF. CÆSAR IN Cæsar's time the Roman republic had in fact been dead for years. The real governing power had long before

passed out of the hands of the body of the citiCondition

zens. Periods of anarchy alternated with peof Rome

riods of despotism, when all actual authority 100 B. C.

was exercised either by a demagogue who had gained influence over the minds of the rabble in the capital, or by a military hero returning from foreign wars at the head of victorious legions.

Rome's prime had been in the early days when she was straining every nerve in the ceaseless struggle for suprem

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