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Nothing was heard in the room but the hurrying pen of the stripling,
Or an occasional sigh from the laboring heart of the Captain,
Reading the marvelous words and achievements of Julius Caesar.
After a while he exclaimed, as he smote with his hand, palm downward,

Heavily on the page: “A wonderful man was this Cæsar!
You are a writer, and I am a fighter, but here is a fellow

Who could both write and fight, and in both was equally skilful!” Straightway answered and spake John Alden, the comely, the youthful: “Yes, he was equally skilled, as you say, with his pen and his weapons. Somewhere have I read, but where I forget, he could dictate Seven letters at once, at the same time writing his memoirs.” “Truly,” continued the Captain, not heeding or hearing the other, “Truly a wonderful man was Caius Julius Cæsar!

Better be first, he said, in a little Iberian village,

Than be second in Rome; and I think he was right when he said it.

Twice was he married before he was twenty, and many times after ;

Battles five hundred he fought, and a thousand cities he conquered ;

He, too, fought in Flanders, as he himself has recorded;
Finally he was stabbed by his friend, the orator Brutus !

Now, do you know what he did on a certain occasion in Flanders,

When the rear-guard of his army retreated, the front giving way, too,
And the immortal Twelfth Legion was crowded so closely together

There was no room for their swords? Why, he seized a shield from a soldier,

Put himself straight at the head of his troops, and commanded the captains,

Calling on each by his name, to order forward the ensigns ;

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