I think it needless to say any thing here, in opposition to those who pretend, that the following Commentaries, concerning the Civil War, were not penned by Caesar himself. We have not only the express testimony of Suetonius to the contrary, but the very style sufficiently declares, that Caesar alone could be the author of the work. There is room however to suspect, from the abrupt manner in which the subject is introduced, that the beginning of this first book is wanting: for history takes notice of several previous facts, of which no mention is made here. I have therefore collected out of Plutarch, Appian, and Dion, as much as was necessary to connect this and the former Commentary, and fancy it will not be disagreeable to the reader, to offer it here by way of preface. Gaul being wholly reduced, Caesar, upon his arrival in Lombardy, thought proper, for many reasons, to send deputies to Rome, to demand the consulship, and a prolongation of his command. Pompey, who, though averse to Caesar's interest, had not yet openly declared against him, neither furthered nor opposed his request. But the consuls Marcellus and Lentulus, who had already joined the party of his enemies, resolved by every method in their power to frustrate the design. Marcellus scrupled not to add other injuries to that of which we speak. For Caesar had lately planted a colony at Novocomum in Cisalpine Gaul; and Marcellus, not satisfied with stripping the inhabitants of the privilege of Roman citizens, seized one of their chief magistrates at Rome, ordered him to be scourged, and then dismissed him to carry his complaints to Caesar, an ignominy from which all free citizens were expressly exempted by the laws. While affairs were in this train, C. Curio, tribune of the people, came to Caesar in Gaul. This nobleman, after many attempts in behalf of the commonwealth, and to promote Caesar's interest; finding at length all his endeavours without effect, fled from Rome, to avoid the malice of his enemies, and informed Caesar of all that was transacted against him. Caesar received him with great marks of respect, as well on account of his rank in the commonwealth, as the many services he had done himself and the state; and thanked him for the signal zeal he had shown in his cause. But Curio advised him, since his enemies were now openly preparing for war, to draw his army together without delay, and rescue the commonwealth from the tyranny of an aspiring faction. Caesar, though fully satisfied of the truth of Curio's report, resolved to sacrifice all other considerations to the public tranquillity, that no man might justly charge him with being the author of a civil war. He therefore only petitioned by his friends, that the government of Cisalpine Gaul and Illyricum, with the command of two legions, might be continued to him, in all which his principal aim was, by the equity of his demands, to induce his enemies to grant peace to the commonwealth. These offers appeared so reasonable, that even Pompey himself knew not how to oppose them. But the consuls still continuing inflexible, Caesar wrote a letter to the senate, wherein, after briefly enumerating his exploits and services, he requested them not to deprive him of the benefit of the people's favour, who had permitted him to sue for the consulship in his absence. He protested his readiness, if such was the resolution of the senate and people of Rome, to dismiss his army, provided Pompey did the same: but could by no means resolve, so long as he continued in command and authority, to divest himself of troops, and lay himself open to the injuries of his enemies. Curio was commissoned to carry this letter, who travelling with incredible despatch, reached Rome in three days (a distance of a hundred and sixty miles,) before the beginning of January, and ere the consuls could get any thing determined relating to Caesar's command. Curio, upon his arrival, refused to part with the letter, resolving not to deliver it but in full senate, and when the tribunes of the people were present: for he was apprehensive, should he do otherwise, that the consuls would suppress it.

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