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CHARACTER OF AUGUSTUS CÆSAR.
AUGUSTUS CÆSAR was endued, if ever man was, with a greatness of mind, calm, serene, and well-ordered : witness the exceeding great actions which he conducted in his early youth. For men of impetuous and unsettled dispositions commonly pass their youth in various errors; and it is not till middle age that they show what they are. But those whose nature is composed and placid may flourish even in their first years. And whereas the gifts of the mind, like those of the body, are contained and completed in three things,- health, beauty, and strength,-he was certainly in strength of mind inferior to his uncle Julius, but in beauty and health of mind superior. For Julius being of a restless and unsettled disposition, though for the compassing of his ends he made his arrangements with consummate judgment, yet had not his ends themselves arranged in any good order; but was carried on and on with an impulse that knew no bounds, aiming at things beyond the reach of mortality. Whereas Augustus, as a man sober and mindful of his mortal condition, seems to have had his ends likewise laid out from the first in admirable order and truly weighed. For first he made it his aim to be at the head of affairs : then to become the position and be esteemed worthy of it; next he considered it fit for him, as a man, to enjoy that height of fortune: and lastly, he thought to apply himself to some real work, and so transmit to the next ages the impression of the image and the effects of the virtue of his government. In the first period of his life therefore he made Power his object; in the middle period, Dignity; in his declining years, Pleasures : and in his old age, Memory and Posterity.
ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS
INSERTED BY BACON IN A MANUSCRIPT COPY OF
CAMDEN’S ANNALS OF QUEEN ELIZABETH.
(Cott. Faust. F. VIII, IX.)