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The most remarkable instance, I think, of vigour of mind in any man ever born, was that of Cæsar, the Dictator. I am not at present alluding to his valour and courage, nor yet his exalted genius, which was capable of embracing everything under the face of heaven, but I am speaking of that innate vigour of mind, which was so peculiar to him, and that promptness which seemed to act like a flash of lightning. We find it stated that he was able to write or read, and, at the same time, to dictate and listen. He could dictate to his secretaries four letters at once, and those on the most important business; and, indeed, if he was busy about nothing else, as many as seven. He fought as many as fifty pitched battles, being the only commander who exceeded M. Marcellus,1 in this respect, he having fought only thirty-nine.2 In addition, too, to the victories gained by him in the civil wars, one million one hundred and ninety-two thousand men were slain by him in his battles. For my own part, however, I am not going to set it down as a subject for high renown, what was really an outrage committed upon mankind, even though he may have been acting under the strong influence of necessity; and, indeed, he himself confesses as much, in his omission to state the number of persons who perished by the sword in the civil wars.

1 The conqueror of Syracuse, and five times consul at Rome. He was born B.C. 268, and was slain in an engagement with Hannibal, B.C. 208, in the vicinity of Venusia.

2 Ajasson remarks concerning the number of battles in which Cæsar is said to have been engaged, that it has probably been much exceeded by some of the great warriors of later times. He says that an individual, "who was raised over our heads and over all Europe, and so reigned much too long," was personally engaged in nearly 300 battles.—B.

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