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of the Romans, and whom Brutus had given charge unto: for that he was accused and convicted of robbery and pilfery in his office. This judgement much misliked 1 Cassius, because he himself had secretly (not many days before) warned two of his friends, attainted and convicted of the like offences, and openly had cleared them but yet he did not therefore leave 2 to employ them in any manner of service as he did before. And therefore he greatly reproved Brutus, for that he would shew himself so straight and severe, in such a time as was meeter to bear a little than to take things at the worst. Brutus in contrary manner answered, that he should remember the Ides of March, at which time they slew Julius Cæsar, who neither pilled nor polled 5 the country, but only was a favourer and suborner of all them that did rob and spoil, by his countenance and authority. And if there were any occasion whereby they might honestly set aside justice and equity, they should have had more reason to have suffered Cæsar's friends to have robbed and done what wrong and injury they had would ® than to bear with their own men. "For then," said he, "they could but have said we had been cowards, but now they may accuse us of injustice, beside the pains we take, and the danger we put ourselves into." And thus may we see what Brutus' intent and purpose was.

2. Life of Brutus, pp. 130, 131. Now whilst Brutus and Cassius were together in the city of Smyrna, Brutus prayed Cassius to let him have some part of his money whereof he had great store; because all that he could rap and rend of his side he had bestowed it in making so great a number of ships, that by means of them they should keep all the sea at their commandment. Cassius' friends hindered this request and earnestly dissuaded him from it, persuading him, that it was no reason that Brutus should have the money which Cassius had gotten together by sparing and levied with great evil will of the people their subjects, for him to bestow liberally upon his soldiers, and by this means to win their good wills, by Cassius' charge. This notwithstanding, Cassius gave him

the third part of this total sum.


3. Life of Brutus, p. 129. Now Cassius would have done Brutus much honor, as Brutus did unto him, but Brutus most commonly prevented him, and went first unto him, both because he was the elder man as also for that he was sickly of body. And men reputed him commonly to be very skilful in wars, but otherwise marvellous choleric and cruel, who sought to rule men by fear rather than with lenity and on the other side, he was too familiar with his friends, and would jest too broadly with them.

4. Life of Brutus, pp. 151, 152. And for Porcia, Brutus' wife,

1 displeased.

2 cease.

8 strait, strict.

4 robbed.

5 taxed.

6 wished (to do).

7 obtain by any means.

8 at Cassius' expense.

9 anticipated.

Nicolaus the Philosopher, and Valerius Maximus do write, that she, determining to kill herself (her parents and friends carefully looking to her to keep her from it), took hot burning coals, and cast them into her mouth, and kept her mouth so close that she choked herself. There was a letter of Brutus found written to his friends, complaining of their negligence, that, his wife being sick, they would not help her, but suffered her to kill herself ; choosing to die, rather than to languish in pain. Thus it appeareth that Nicolaus knew not well that time sith 2 the letter (at the least if it were Brutus' letter) doth plainly declare the disease and love of this lady, and also the manner of her death.

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5. Life of Brutus, p. 128. After that, these three, Octavius Cæsar, Antonius, and Lepidus, made an agreement between themselves, and by those articles divided the provinces belonging to the empire of Rome among themselves, and did set up bills of proscription and outlawry, condemning two hundred of the noblest men of Rome to suffer death, and among that number Cicero was


6. Life of Brutus, p. 138. Thereupon Cassius was of opinion not to try this war at one battle, but rather to delay time, and to draw it out in length, considering that they were the stronger in money, and the weaker in men and armour. But Brutus, in contrary manner, did alway before, and at that time also, desire nothing more than to put all to the hazard of battle, as soon as might be possible: to the end he might either quickly restore his country to her former liberty, or rid him forthwith of this miserable world, being still troubled in following and maintaining of such great armies together.

7. Life of Cæsar, pp. 103, 104. But above all, the ghost that appeared unto Brutus shewed plainly, that the gods were offended with the murther of Cæsar. The vision was thus: Brutus being ready to pass over his army from the city of Abydos to the other coast lying directly against it, slept every night (as his manner was) in his tent; and being yet awake, thinking of his affairs (for by report he was as careful a captain and lived with as little sleep as ever man did), he thought he heard a noise at his tent-door, and looking towards the light of the lamp that waxed very dim, he saw a horrible vision of a man, of a wonderful greatness and dreadful look, which at the first made him marvellously afraid. But when he saw that it did him no hurt, but stood by his bed-side and said nothing; at length he asked him what he was. image answered him: “I am thy ill angel, Brutus, and thou shalt see me by the city of Philippes."5 Then Brutus replied again, and said, "Well, I shall see thee then." Therewithal the spirit presently vanished from him. After that time Brutus, being in battle

1 heal.

2 since.

8 publish lists.



5 Philippi.

6 at once.


near unto the city of Philippes, against Antonius and Octavius Cæsar, at the first battle he won the victory, and overthrowing all them that withstood him, he drave them into young Cæsar's camp, which he took.

8. Life of Brutus, pp. 135, 136. But as they both prepared to pass over again out of Asia into Europe, there went a rumour that there appeared a wonderful sign unto him. Brutus was a careful man, and slept very little, both for that his diet was moderate, as also because he was continually occupied. He never slept in the day-time, and in the night no longer than the time he was driven to be alone, and when every body else took their rest. But now whilst he was in war, and his head ever busily occupied to think of his affairs and what would happen, after he had slumbered a little after supper, he spent all the rest of the night in dispatching of his weightiest causes; and after he had taken order for them, if he had any leisure left him, he would read some book till the third watch of the night, at what time the captains, petty captains, and colonels, did use to come to him. So, being ready to go into Europe, one night very late (when all the camp took quiet rest), as he was in his tent with a little light, thinking of weighty matters, he thought he heard one come in to him, and casting his eye towards the door of his tent, that he saw a wonderful strange and monstrous shape of a body coming towards him, and said never a word. So Brutus boldly asked what he was, a god or a man, and what cause brought him thither? The spirit answered him, "I am thy evil spirit, Brutus: and thou shalt see me by the city of Philippes." Brutus being no otherwise afraid, replied again unto it: "Well, then I shall see thee again." The spirit presently 1 vanished away: and Brutus called his men unto him, who told him that they heard no noise, nor saw anything at all. Thereupon Brutus returned again to think on his matters as he did before: and when the day brake, he went unto Cassius, to tell him what vision had appeared unto him in the night.


1. Life of Brutus, p. 137. In truth, Brutus' army was inferior to Octavius Cæsar's in number of men; but for bravery and rich furniture,2 Brutus' army far excelled Cæsar's.

2. Life of Brutus, p. 139. The next morning, by break of day, the signal of battle was set out in Brutus' and Cassius' camp, which was an arming scarlet coat.

3. Life of Brutus, p. 137. The Romans called the valley between both camps, the Philippian fields. [This sentence may have influenced the form of 1. 17.]

4. Compare the brief, incidental

1 thereupon.

description of the manner of

2 equipment.

Cæsar's death here given, with the accounts of that occurrence cited from Plutarch under Act III, Scene i.

5. Life of Brutus, pp. 127, 128. Then coming on with his army near to Rome, he made himself to be chosen Consul, whether the Senate would or not, when he was yet but a stripling, or springall,1 of twenty years old, as himself reporteth in his own Commentaries. [Compare 11. 60-61.]

6. Life of Brutus, p. 139. But touching Cassius, Messala reporteth that he supped by himself in his tent with a few of his friends, and that all supper-time he looked very sadly, and was full of thoughts, although it was against his nature: and that after supper he took him by the hand, and holding him fast (in token of kindness, as his manner was) told him in Greek: "Messala, I protest unto thee, and make thee my witness, that I am compelled against my mind and will (as Pompey the Great was) to jeopard 2 the liberty of our country to the hazard of a battle. And yet we must be lively, and of good courage, considering our good fortune, whom we should wrong too much to mistrust her, although we follow evil counsel." Messala writeth that Cassius having spoken these last words unto him, he bade him farewell, and willed him to come to supper to him the next night following, because it was his birthday.

7. See also No. 6, under IV, ii, iii.

8. Life of Cæsar, p. 100. It is also reported that Cassius (though otherwise he did favour the doctrine of Epicurus) beholding the image of Pompey, before they entered into the action of their traitorous enterprise, he did softly call upon it to aid him.

9. Life of Brutus, p. 136. Cassius, being in opinion an Epicurean, and reasoning thereon with Brutus, spake to him touching the vision [of Cæsar's ghost] thus: "In our sect, Brutus, we have an opinion, that we do not always feel or see that which we suppose we do both see and feel, but that our senses being credulous and therefore easily abused (when they are idle and unoccupied in their own objects), are induced to imagine they see and conjecture that which in truth they do not.

10. Life of Brutus, p. 137. When they raised their camp, there came two eagles that, flying with a marvellous force, lighted upon two of the foremost ensigns, and always followed the soldiers, which gave them meat and fed them, until they came near to the city of Philippes: and there, one day only before the battle, they both flew away.

11. Life of Brutus, p. 138. And yet further, there was seen a marvellous number of fowls of prey, that feed upon dead carcases: and bee-hives also were found, where bees were gathered together in a certain place within the trenches of the camp: the which place the soothsayers thought good to shut out of the precinct of the

1 youngster.

2 risk.

8 deceived.

camp, for to take away the superstitious fear and mistrust men would have of it. The which began somewhat to alter Cassius' mind from Epicurus' opinions, and had put the soldiers also in a marvellous fear.

12. Life of Brutus, pp. 139, 140. The next morning, by break of day, the signal of battle was set out in Brutus' and Cassius' camp, which was an arming scarlet coat: and both the chieftains spake together in the midst of their armies. There Cassius began to speak first, and said: "The gods grant us, O Brutus, that this day we may win the field, and ever after to live all the rest of our life quietly one with another. But sith the gods have so ordained it, that the greatest and chiefest things amongst men are most uncertain, and that if the battle fall out otherwise to-day than we wish or look for, we shall hardly meet again, what art thou then determined to do, to fly, or die?" Brutus answered him, being yet but a young man, and not over greatly experienced in the world: "I trust (I know not how) a certain rule of philosophy, by the which I did greatly blame and reprove Cato for killing himself, as being no lawful nor godly act, touching the gods: nor concerning men, valiant; not to give place and yield to divine providence, and not constantly and patiently to take whatsoever it pleaseth him to send us, but to draw back and fly: but being now in the midst of the danger, I am of a contrary mind. For if it be not the will of God that this battle fall out fortunate for us, I will look no more for hope, neither seek to make any new supply for war again, but will rid me of this miserable world, and content me with my fortune. For I gave up my life for my country in the Ides of March, for the which I shall live in another more glorious world." Cassius fell a-laughing to hear what he said, and embracing him, "Come on then," said he, "let us go and charge our enemies with this mind. For either we shall conquer, or we shall not need to fear the conquerors." After this talk, they fell to consultation among their friends for the ordering of the battle.


1. Life of Brutus, p. 140. Then Brutus prayed Cassius he might have the leading of the right wing, the which men thought was far meeter for Cassius, both because he was the elder man, and also for that he had the better experience. But yet Cassius gave it him, and willed that Messala (who had charge of one of the warlikest legions they had) should be also in that wing with Brutus.

1 Wright points out that Shakespeare misunderstood North by taking trust as a present when it is really a past, equivalent to the modern trusted. Shakespeare manages the incident very skilfully, however, and we seem to see Brutus change his mind for a sufficient reason (V, i, 95–118).

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