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sallet. At the same time they heard a noise on the other side of the river: whereupon Volumnius took Dardanus, Brutus' servant, with him, to see what it was: and returning straight again, asked if there were any water left. Brutus smiling, gently told him, "All is drunk, but they shall bring you some more." Thereupon he sent him again that went for water before, who was in great danger of being taken by the enemies, and hardly escaped, being sore hurt.
Furthermore, Brutus thought that there was no great number of men slain in battle: and to know the truth of it, there was one called Statilius, that promised to go through his enemies, for otherwise it was impossible to go see their camp: and from thence, if all were well, that he would lift up a torch-light in the air, and then return again with speed to him. The torch-light was lift 2 up as he had promised, for Statilius went thither. Now Brutus seeing Statilius tarry long after that, and that he came not again, he said: "If Statilius be alive, he will come again." But his evil fortune was such that, as he came back, he lighted in his enemies' hands and was slain. Now the night being far spent, Brutus as he sat bowed towards Clitus, one of his men, and told him somewhat in his ear: the other answered him not, but fell a-weeping. Thereupon he proved Dardanus, and said somewhat also to him: at length he came to Volumnius himself, and speaking to him in Greek, prayed him for the studies' sake which brought them acquainted together, that he would help him to put his hand to his sword, to thrust it in him to kill him. Volumnius denied his request, and so did many others: and amongst the rest one of them said, there was no tarrying for them there, but that they must needs fly. Then Brutus, rising up, "We must fly indeed," said he, "but it must be with our hands, not with our feet." Then taking every inan by the hand, he said these words unto them with a cheerful countenance: "It rejoiceth my heart that not one of my friends hath failed me at my need, and I do not complain of my fortune, but only for my country's sake: for as for me, I think myself happier than they that have overcome, considering that I leave a perpetual fame of virtue and honesty, the which our enemies the conquerors shall never attain unto by force or money; neither can let their posterity to say that they, being naughty and unjust men, have slain good men, to usurp tyrannical power not pertaining to them." Having so said, he prayed every man to shift for himself, and then he went a little aside with two or three only, among the which Strato was one, with whom he came first acquainted by the study of rhetoric. He came as near to him as he could, and taking his sword by the hilt with both his hands, and falling down upon the point of it, ran himself through. Others say that not he, but Strato (at his request) held the sword in his hand, and turned his 4 hinder.
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 Cæsar, 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 with1 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.