Antony had, in fact, made himself an object of universal interest
throughout the world, by his wild and eccentric manners and reckless
conduct, and by the very extraordinary vicissitudes which had marked his
career. In moral character he was as utterly abandoned and depraved as
it was possible to be. In early life, as has already been stated, he
plunged into such a course of dissipation and extravagance that he
became utterly and hopelessly ruined; or, rather, he would have been so,
had he not, by the influence of that magic power of fascination which
such characters often possess, succeeded in gaining a great ascendency
over a young man of immense fortune, named Curio, who for a time upheld
him by becoming surety for his debts. This resource, however, soon
failed, and Antony was compelled to abandon Rome, and to live for some
years as a fugitive and exile, in dissolute wretchedness and want.
During all the subsequent vicissitudes through which he passed in the
course of his career, the same habits of lavish expenditure continued,
whenever he had funds at his command. This trait of character took the
form sometimes of a noble generosity. In his campaigns, the plunder
which he acquired he usually divided among his soldiers, reserving
nothing for himself. This made his men enthusiastically devoted to him,
and led them to consider his prodigality as a virtue, even when they did
not themselves derive any direct advantage from it. A thousand stories
were always in circulation in camp of acts on his part illustrating his
reckless disregard of the value of money, some ludicrous, and all
eccentric and strange.

In his personal habits, too, he was as different as possible from other
men. He prided himself on being descended from Hercules, and he affected
a style of dress and a general air and manner in accordance with the
savage character of this his pretended ancestor. His features were
sharp, his nose was arched and prominent, and he wore his hair and beard
very long--as long, in fact, as he could make them grow. These
peculiarities imparted to his countenance a very wild and ferocious
expression. He adopted a style of dress, too, which, judged of with
reference to the prevailing fashions of the time, gave to his whole
appearance a rough, savage, and reckless air. His manner and demeanor
corresponded with his dress and appearance. He lived in habits of the
most unreserved familiarity with his soldiers. He associated freely with
them, ate and drank with them in the open air, and joined in their noisy
mirth and rude and boisterous hilarity. His commanding powers of mind,
and the desperate recklessness of his courage, enabled him to do all
this without danger. These qualities inspired in the minds of the
soldiers a feeling of profound respect for their commander; and this
good opinion he was enabled to retain, notwithstanding such habits of
familiarity with his inferiors as would have been fatal to the influence
of an ordinary man.

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