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head aside, and that Brutus fell down upon it, and so ran himself through, and died presently.1 Messala, that had been Brutus' great friend, became afterwards Octavius Cæsar's friend: so, shortly after, Cæsar being at good leisure, he brought Strato, Brutus' friend, unto him, and weeping said: "Cæsar, behold, here is he that did the last service to my Brutus." Cæsar welcomed him at that time, and afterwards he did him as faithful service in all his affairs as any Grecian else he had about him, until the battle of Actium.
2. Life of Cæsar, p. 104. The second battle [of Philippi] being at hand, this spirit [of Cæsar] appeared again unto him, but spake never a word. Thereupon Brutus, knowing that he should die, did put himself to all hazard in battle, but yet fighting could not be slain. So seeing his men put to flight and overthrown, he ran unto a little rock not far off, and there setting his sword's point to his breast, fell upon it and slew himself; but yet, as it is reported, with the help of his friend that despatched him.
3. Life of Brutus, p. 130. For it was said that Antonius spake it openly divers times, that he thought, that of all them that had slain Cæsar, there was none but Brutus only that was moved to do it, as thinking the act commendable of itself: but that all the other conspirators did conspire his death for some private malice or envy, that they otherwise did bear unto him.
Passages not already cited, which throw light upon the characters of BRUTUS AND CASSIUS.
1. Life of Brutus, pp. 107-108. Concerning Brutus. Afterwards, when the empire of Rome was divided into factions, and that Cæsar and Pompey both were in arms, one against the other, and that all the empire of Rome was in garboil 2 and uproar it was thought then that Brutus would take part with Caesar, because Pompey not long before had put his father to death. But Brutus, preferring the respect of his country and commonwealth before private affection, and persuading himself that Pompey had juster cause to enter into arms than Cæsar, he then took part with Pompey.... Brutus, being in Pompey's camp, did nothing but study all day long, except he were with Pompey; and not only the days before, but the self-same day also before the great battle was fought in the fields of Pharsalia, where Pompey was overcome. ... Furthermore, when others slept, or thought what would happen the morrow after, he fell to his book, and wrote all day long till night, writing a breviary of Polybius.
2. Life of Brutus, p. 109. Concerning Brutus. As Brutus' gravity and constant mind would not grant all men their requests that sued unto him, but, being moved with reason and discretion,
did always incline to that which was good and honest: even so, when it was moved to follow any matter, he used a kind of forcible and vehement persuasion, that calmed not till he had obtained his desire. For by flattering of him a man could never obtain anything at his hands, nor make him to do that which was unjust.
3. Life of Brutus, pp. 111-112. Concerning Brutus and Cassius. Cassius, being a choleric man, and hating Cæsar privately more than he did the tyranny openly, he incensed Brutus against him. It is also reported, that Brutus could evil away with the tyranny, and that Cassius hated the tyrant: making many complaints for the injuries he had done him; and amongst others, for that he had taken away his lions from him. Cassius had provided them for his sports when he should be Edilis; and they were found in the city of Megara, when it was won by Calenus: and Cæsar kept them. . . . And this was the cause (as some do report) that made Cassius conspire against Cæsar. But this holdeth no water: for Cassius, even from his cradle, could not abide any manner of tyrants; as it appeared when he was but a boy, and went unto the same school that Faustus, the son of Sylla, did. And Faustus, bragging among other boys, highly boasted of his father's kingdom: Cassius rose up on his feet, and gave him two good wirts 2 on the ear. Faustus' governors would have put this matter in suit against Cassius: but Pompey would not suffer them, but caused the two boys to be brought before him, and asked them how the matter came to pass. Then Cassius (as it is written of him) said unto the other: "Go to, Faustus, speak again, and 3 thou darest, before this nobleman here, the same words that made me angry with thee, that my fists may walk once again about thine ears." Such was Cassius' hot stirring nature.
4. Life of Brutus, pp. 129-130. Concerning Brutus and Cassius. Brutus, for his virtue and valiantness, was well beloved of the people and his own, esteemed of noblemen, and hated of no man, not so much as of his enemies; because he was a marvellous lowly and gentle person, noble-minded, and would never be in any rage, nor carried away with pleasure and covetousness, but had ever an upright mind with him, and would never yield to any wrong or injustice; the which was the chiefest cause of his fame, of his rising, and of the goodwill that every man bare him; for they were all persuaded that his intent was good. And as for
Cassius, a hot, choleric, and cruel man, that would oftentimes be carried away from justice for gain, it was certainly thought that he made war and put himself into sundry dangers, more to have absolute power and authority than to defend the liberty of his country.
1 ill put up with.