[Sidenote: His birth.] [Sidenote: Pompey’s personal appearance.]
Pompey was a few years older than Caesar, having been born in 106 B.C. His father was a Roman general, and the young Pompey was brought up in camp. He was a young man of very handsome figure and countenance, and of very agreeable manners. His hair curled slightly over his forehead, and he had a dark and intelligent eye, full of vivacity and meaning. There was, besides, in the expression of his face, and in his air and address, a certain indescribable charm, which prepossessed every one strongly in his favor, and gave him, from his earliest years, a great personal ascendency over all who knew him.
[Sidenote: Plans to assassinate him.]
Notwithstanding this popularity, however, Pompey did not escape, even in very early life, incurring his share of the dangers which seemed to environ the path of every public man in those distracted times. It will be recollected that, in the contests between Marius and Sylla, Caesar had joined the Marian faction. Pompey’s father, on the other hand, had connected himself with that of Sylla. At one time, in the midst of these wars, when Pompey was very young, a conspiracy was formed to assassinate his father by burning him in his tent, and Pompey’s comrade, named Terentius, who slept in the same tent with him, had been bribed to kill Pompey himself at the same time, by stabbing him in his bed. Pompey contrived to discover this plan, but, instead of being at all discomposed by it, he made arrangements for a guard about his father’s tent and then went to supper as usual with Terentius, conversing with him all the time in even a more free and friendly manner than usual. That night he arranged his bed so as to make it appear as if he was in it, and then stole away. When the appointed hour arrived, Terentius came into the tent, and, approaching the couch where he supposed Pompey was lying asleep, stabbed it again and again, piercing the coverlets in many places, but doing no harm, of course, to his intended victim.
[Sidenote: Pompey’s adventures and escapes.] [Sidenote: Death of his father.] [Sidenote: Pompey appears in his father’s defense.]
In the course of the wars between Marius and Sylla, Pompey passed through a great variety of scenes, and met with many extraordinary adventures and narrow escapes, which, however, can not be here particularly detailed. His father, who was as much hated by his soldiers as the son was beloved, was at last, one day, struck by lightning in his tent. The soldiers were inspired with such a hatred for his memory, in consequence, probably, of the cruelties and oppressions which they had suffered from him, that they would not allow his body to be honored with the ordinary funeral obsequies. They pulled it off from the bier on which it was to have been borne to the funeral pile, and dragged it ignominiously away. Pompey’s father was accused, too, after his death, of having