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Utica was still held by Cato. But this sturdy and honest old republican saw

that the cause was hopelessly lost. He accordingly urged his friends and

followers to escape or make peace with the conqueror. He dismissed the

Utican Senate, and discouraged all further efforts at resistance. For

himself, however, he determined to seek a peace which could never be

disturbed. He wrote a letter to Caesar, in which he denounced him with all

the devoted folly of expiring patriotism. As to himself, he declared that

he had lived an unconquered life, and had achieved superiority in those

things in which he wished to excel. He told Caesar that the vanquisher was

vanquished, and that the arbiter of others' fate ought to be a suppliant

for his own; and, moreover, that he who was convicted of ambitious designs

against his country was already falling and ready to perish.

Having prepared this message, so true and so false-for such a paradox is

the utterance of him who outlives the virtue of his age and country-Cato

bathed, supped, and retired for the night. He lay on his couch and read

twice through that part of the Phaedo of Plato in which the author reasons

of the immortality of the soul. He inquired anxiously if his friends who

had gone down to the coast had succeeded in embarking, and then felt at the

head of his couch for his sword. It was already the dappled gray of

morning, and the first sounds of the waking day gave token that the great

drama would soon begin, but for Cato nevermore. He arose from his place of

repose, thrust his sword through his body, and sank back into that other

repose from which not even the knock of Caesar could awake him.

The reduction of Africa was the end of the struggle which left Caesar

master of Rome. After five hundred years the great Republic had paid the

debt which was in large measure due to her cruelties and crimes. Oligarchy

on the surface, and slavery in the bottom, had made popular liberty

impossible. Yet popular liberty was necessary to perpetuity. Caesar was a

leader of the people. He was a reformer of the heroic type. In all the

qualities of greatness, whether of mind and purpose or actual deeds, he was

a head and shoulders above the age he lived in. He alone was able to

control and calm the turbulent elements which whirled in a vortex around

the axis of Rome. He was necessary to his times, as all men are necessary

to theirs. He rose out of chaos, and reigned because the chaos feared him.

To him the state, sinking into the sea, held up her hands for rescue. It is

needless to speak of his vanity, his egotism, his ambition, his extra-

constitutional methods. It was a time of fruitful anarchy, of transition,

of growth. Some single intelligence stronger, clearer than the rest was

necessary to the further advance of the human race. It is easy for

reactionists and croakers to point to Julius Caesar as the despoiler of

liberty. So far as Roman Liberty was concerned, she had already perished-at

least in character. She was no longer virgin, matron, or widow. She kept

the bagnio of Old Rome. She had visitors from Sulla to Spartacus. The

purblind Scipios and Catos still believed her pure. They gave their lives

in attestation of her chastity. Caesar knew her to be what she was, and

proceeded to the demolition of the establishment. It was necessary; just as

the barbarians will be necessary five hundred or a thousand years to come.

If in his battle with the Nervii, "Caesar had every thing to do at once,"

the same might be said of his present condition. The state was to be

reorganized; society, reinstituted. The provinces must be quieted; their

government, reformed. Rome must be lifted to a new level; her people,

pacified. New institutions must be formulated; old prejudices, cajoled. The

situation was such as to bring out the best qualities of the Caesarian

genius. Fortunately for himself, the associated powers of the government

were in a mood to give him ample latitude. In B. C. 46, he was made

dictator for ten years, and in 44 the office was extended for life. His

rank of censor, or Prefect of Morals, was likewise made a life tenure. He

was chosen tribune for life, and consul for ten years. He already held the

place of pontifex maximus, and to these accumulated dignities