BOOK I, CHAPTER XXIV
assumed, whereas when, on a closer view, he became fainthearted, and the submissive and flattering bearing he had assumed was then exchanged even for an air of terror, his voice and his eyes filled with consternation and repentance, and he, seeking to slink away and hide, inflamed their passions and called them down upon himself.
It was proposed to hold a general muster of different bodies of troops under arms (it is the place for secret revengements, and there is no place where they can be managed with greater security). There were public and notorious symptoms that it boded no good to some persons to whom fell the principal and necessary duty of reviewing them. Many different suggestions were put forward, it being a difficult matter and one of much weight, on which much depended. My opinion was that, above all things, giving any indication of this suspicion should be avoided; and that we should be there, and mingle with the rank and file, with head erect and open countenance; and that, instead of cutting out anything (which the other opinions favoured most), we should, on the contrary, urge the officers to notify the troops to make their volleys full and gallant, in honour of those present, and not to spare their powder. This served to gratify the suspected troops, and engendered thenceforth a mutual and useful confidence between us and them.
(a) The course that Julius Cæsar took appears to me the finest that can be. First, he tried, by clemency, to make himself beloved even by his enemies, contenting himself with regard to the conspiracies that were revealed to him by simply making it known that he had been warned about them. That done, he adopted the very noble resolution of awaiting, without dread and without solicitude, whatever might happen to him, taking no thought for himself, and committing himself to the keeping of the gods and
- Il la devoit avaller toute, et n’abandonner ce personnage.
- Il luy advint … de saigner du nez.
- Montaigne refers to the review held at Bordeaux in 1585, during his mayoralty.
- Here ends the 1588 addition, which begins on page 172 supra.