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A SKETCH

BY

JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE, M.A.

FORMERLY FELLOW OF EXETER COLLEGE, OXFORD

Pardon, gentles all
The flat unraised spirit that hath dared
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object

SHAKESPEARE, Henry V.

NEW YORK

HARPER & BROTHERS, FRANKLIN SQUARE

1883

Stereotyped and Printed by S. W. Green's Son

878 (2o F94 1883

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PREFACE.

I HAVE called this work a “ sketch” because the materials do not exist for a portrait which shall be at once authentic and complete. The original authorities which are now extant for the life of Cæsar are his own writings, the speeches and letters of Cicero, the eighth book of the “ Commentaries” on the wars in Gaul and the history of the Alexandrian war, by Aulus Hirtius, the accounts of the African war and of the war in Spain, composed by persons who were unquestionably present in those two campaigns. To these must be added the “ Leges Juliæ” which are preserved in the Corpus Juris Civilis. Sallust contributes a speech, and Catullus a poem. A few hints can be gathered from the Epitome of Livy and the fragments of Varro; and here the contemporary sources which can be entirely depended upon are brought to an end.

The secondary group of authorities from which the popular histories of the time have been chiefly taken are Appian, Plutarch, Suetonius, and Dion Cassius. Of these the first three were divided from the period which they describe by nearly a century and a half, Dion Cassius by more than two centuries. They had means of knowledge which no longer exist—the writings, for instance, of Asinius Pollio, who was one of Cæsar's officers. But Asinius Pollio's accounts of Cæsar's actions, as reported

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