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  • Title: Life of Brutus
  • Editor: John D. Cox

  • Copyright John D. Cox. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Plutarch
    Editor: John D. Cox
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    Life of Brutus

    Plutarch, Life of Brutus

    See also these resources:

    • Shakespeare and Plutarch in Julius Caesar (John D. Cox)
    • Plutarch's Life of Caesar
    • Plutarch's Life of Antony (selections)
    • The Comparison of Dion with Brutus


    The parentage of Brutus.

    Marcus Brutus came of that Junius Brutus, for whom the ancient Romans made his statue of brass to be set up in the Capitol, with the images of the kings, holding a naked sword in his hand: because he had valiantly put down the Tarquins from the kingdom of Rome.

    Brutus' manners.

    But that Junius Brutus, being of a sour stern nature not softened by reason, being like unto swordblades of too hard a temper, was so subject to his choler and malice he bare unto the tyrants, that for their sakes he caused his own sons to be executed. But this Marcus Brutus in contrary manner, whose life we presently write, having framed his manners of life by the rules of virtue and study of philosophy, and having employed his wit, which was gentle and constant, in attempting of great things, me thinks he was rightly made and framed unto virtue. So that his very enemies which wish him most hurt, because of his conspiracy against Julius Caesar, if there were any noble attempt done in all this conspiracy, they refer it wholly unto Brutus; and all the cruel and violent acts unto Cassius, who was Brutus' familiar friend, but not so well given and conditioned as he.

    Servilia M. Brutus' mother.

    His mother Servilia, it is thought, came of the blood of Servilius Hala; who, when Spurius Melius went about to make himself king, and, to bring it to pass, had enticed the common people to rebel, took a dagger and hid it close under his arm, and went into the market-place. When he was come thither, he made as though he had somewhat to say unto him, and pressed as near him as he could: wherefore Melius stooping down with his head to hear what he would say, Servilius stabbed him in with his dagger and slew him. Thus much all writers agree for his mother. Now touching his father, some, for the evil will and malice they bare unto Brutus, because of the death of Julius Caesar, do maintain, that he came not of Junius Brutus that drave out the Tarquins: for there were none left of his race, considering that his two sons were executed for conspiracy with the Tarquins; and that Marcus Brutus came of a mean house, the which was raised to honor and office in the common-wealth but of late time. Posidonius the Philosopher writeth the contrary, that Junius Brutus indeed slew two of his sons which were men grown, as the histories do declare; howbeit that there was a third son, being but a little child at that time, from whom the house and family afterwards was derived: and furthermore, that there were in his time certain famous men of that family, whose stature and countenance resembled much the image of Junius Brutus.

    Servilia, Cato's sister.

    And thus much for this matter.

    II. Marcus Cato the philosopher was brother unto Servilia, Marcus Brutus' mother: whom Brutus studied most to follow of all the other Romans, because he was his uncle, and afterwards he married his daughter.

    Brutus' studies.

    Now touching the Grecian philosophers, there was no sect nor philosopher of them, but he heard and liked it: but above all the rest he loved Plato's sect best, and did not much give himself to the new or mean Academy (as they call it), but altogether to the old Academy.

    Brutus followed the old Academics.

    Therefore he did ever greatly esteem the philosopher Antiochus, of the city of Ascalon: but he was more familiar with his brother Ariston, who for learning and knowledge was inferior to many other philosophers, but for wisdom and courtesy equal with the best and chiefest.

    Empylus, an orator, wrote a book of Caesar's death, and entitled it Brutus.

    Touching Empylus, whom M. Brutus himself doth mention in his Epistles, and his friends also in many places, he was an orator, and left an excellent book he wrote of the death of Julius Caesar, and entitled it "Brutus". He was properly learned in the Latin tongue, and was able to make long discourse in it: beside that he could also plead very well in Latin.

    Brutus' manner of writing his epistles in Greek.

    But for the Greek tongue, they do note in some of his epistles, that he counterfeited that brief compendious manner of speech of the Lacedaemonians. As, when the war was begun, he wrote unto the Pergamenians in this sort: "I understand you have given Dolabella money: if you have done it willingly, you confess you have offended me; if against your wills, shew it then by giving me willingly." Another time again unto the Samians: "Your councils be long, your doings be slow, consider the end."

    A brief letter to the Samians.

    And in another Epistle he wrote unto the Patareians : "The Xanthians, despising my goodwill, have made their country a grave of despair; and the Patareians, that put themselves into my protection, have lost no jot of their liberty: and therefore, whilst you have liberty, either choose the judgment of the Patareians, or the fortune of the Xanthians." These were Brutus' manner of letters, which were honored for their briefness.


    Brutus followed Cato into Cyprus.

    So Brutus, being but a young stripling, went into Cyprus with his uncle Cato, who was sent against Ptolemy, king of Egypt; who having slain himself, Cato, staying for certain necessary business he had in the ile of Rhodes, had already sent Caninius, one of his friends, before, to keep his treasure and goods. But Cato, fearing he would be light-fingered, wrote unto Brutus forthwith to come out of Pamphilia (where he was but newly recovered of a sickness) into Cyprus; the which he did. The which journey he was sorry to take upon him both for respect of Caninius' shame, whom Cato (as he thought) wrongfully slandered: as also because he thought this office too mean and unmeet for him, being a young man, and given to his book. This notwithstanding, he behaved himself so honestly and carefully, that Cato did greatly commend him: and after all the goods were sold and converted into ready money, he took the most part of it, and returned withal to Rome.

    IV. Afterwards, when the empire of Rome was divided into factions, and that Caesar and Pompey both were in arms one against the other; and that all the empire of Rome was in garboil and uproar: it was thought then that Brutus would take part with Caesar, because Pompey not long before had put his father to death.

    Brutus taketh part with Pompey.

    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 Caesar, he then took part with Pompey; though oftentimes meeting him before, he thought scorn to speak to him, thinking it a great sin and offence in him, to speak to the murtherer of his father. But then, submitting himself unto Pompey as unto the head of the commonwealth, he sailed into Sicily, lieutenant under Sestius that was governor of that province. But when he saw that there was no way to rise, nor to do any noble exploits, and that Caesar and Pompey were both camped together, and fought for victory: he went of himself, unsent for, into Macedon, to be partaker of the danger. It is reported that Pompey, being glad, and wondering at his coming, when he saw him come to him, he rose out of his chair, and went and embraced him before them all, and used him as honorably as he could have done the noblest man that took his part.

    Brutus studied in Pompey's camp.

    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. It was in the midst of summer, and the sun was very hot, besides that the camp was lodged near unto marishes, and they that carried his tent tarried long before they came: whereupon, being very weary with travel, scant any meat came into his mouth at dinner-time. 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.


    Julius Caesar loved Servilia, Brutus' mother.

    It is reported that Caesar did not forget him, and that he gave his captains charge before the battle, that they should beware they killed not Brutus in fight; and if he yielded willingly unto them, that then they should bring him unto him: but if he resisted and would not be taken, then that they should let him go, and do him no hurt. Some say he did this for Servilia's sake, Brutus' mother. For when he was a young man, he had been acquainted with Servilia, who was extremely in love with him. And because Brutus was born in that time when their love was hottest, he persuaded himself that he begat him. For proof hereof the report goeth, that when the weightiest matters were in hand in the Senate, about the conspiracy of Catiline, which was likely to have undone the city of Rome, Caesar and Cato sat near together, and were both of contrary minds to each other: and then, that in the mean time one delivered Caesar a letter. Caesar took it, and read it softly to himself: but Cato cried out upon Caesar, and said he did not well to receive advertisements from enemies: whereupon the whole Senate began to murmur at it. Then Caesar gave Cato the letter as it was sent him, who read it, and found that it was a love-letter sent from his sister Servilia: thereupon he cast it again to Caesar, and said unto him; "Hold, drunken sop." When he had done so, he went on with his tale, and maintained his opinion as he did before: so commonly was the love of Servilia known, which she bare unto Caesar.


    Brutus saved by Julius Caesar after the battle of Pharsalia.

    So, after Pompey's overthrow at the battle of Pharsalia, and that he fled to the sea, when Caesar came to besiege his camp, Brutus went out of the camp-gates unseen of any man, and leapt into a marish. full of water and reeds. Then when night was come, he crept out, and went unto the city of Larissa: from whence he wrote unto Caesar, who was very glad that he had scaped, and sent for him to come unto him. When Brutus was come, he did not only pardon him, but also kept him always about him, and did as much honor and esteem him as any man he had in his company. Now no man could tell whither Pompey was fled, and all were marvelous desirous to know it: wherefore Caesar walking a good way alone with Brutus, he did ask him which way he thought Pompey took. Caesar perceiving by his talk that Brutus guessed certainly whither Pompey should be fled, he left all other ways, and took his journey directly towards Egypt. Pompey (as Brutus had conjectured) was indeed fled into Egypt, but there he was villanously slain. Furthermore, Brutus obtained pardon of Caesar for Cassius; and defending also the king. of Lybia's cause, he was overlaid with a world of accusations against him; howbeit, intreating for him, he saved him the best part of his realm and kingdom. They say also that Caesar said, when he heard Brutus plead: "I know not," said he, "what this young man would; but what he would, he willeth it vehemently." For 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 any thing at his hands, nor make him to do that which was unjust. Further, he thought it not meet for a man of calling and estimation, to yield unto the requests and entreaties of a shameless and importunate suitor, requesting things unmeet: the which notwithstanding some men do for shame, because they dare deny nothing: and therefore he was wont to say, "That he thought them evil brought up in their youth, that could deny nothing."

    Caesar made Brutus governor of Gaul on this side of the mountains.

    Now when Caesar took sea to go into Africa against Cato and Scipio, he left Brutus governor of Gaul in Italy on this side of the Alps, which was a great good hap for that province. For where others were spoiled and polled by the insolency and covetousness of the governors, as if it had been a country conquered, Brutus was a comfort and rest unto their former troubles and miseries they sustained. But he referred it wholly unto Caesar's grace and goodness.

    Brutus and Cassius contend for the Praetorship of the city.

    For when Caesar returned out of Africa, and progressed up and down Italy, the things that pleased him best to see were the cities under Brutus' charge and government, and Brutus himself; who honored Caesar in person, and whose company also Caesar greatly esteemed.

    VII. Now there were divers sorts of Praetorships in Rome, and it was looked for, that Brutus or Cassius would make suit for the chiefest Praetorship, which they called the Praetorship of the city: because he that had that office was as a judge, to minister justice unto the citizens.

    Cassius married Junia, Brutus' sister.

    Therefore they strove one against another: though some say, that there was some little grudge betwixt them for other matters before, and that this contention did set them further out, though they were allied together: for Cassius had married Junia, Brutus' sister. Others say that this contention betwixt them came by Caesar himself, who secretly gave either of them both hope of his favor. So their suit for the Praetorship was so followed and labored of either party, that one of them put another into suit of law. Brutus with his virtue and good name contended against many noble exploits in arms, which Cassius had done against the Parthians. So Caesar after he had heard both their objections, told his friends, with whom he consulted about this matter: "Cassius' cause is the juster," said he, "but Brutus must be first preferred." Thus Brutus had the first Praetorship, and Cassius the second: who thanked not Caesar so much for the Praetorship he had, as he was angry with him for that he had lost. But Brutus in many other things tasted of the benefit of Cesar's favor in any thing he requested. For if he had listed, he might have been one of Caesar's chiefest friends, and of greatest authority and credit about him.

    The first cause of Cassius' malice against Caesar.

    Howbeit, Cassius' friends did dissuade him from it (for Cassius and he were not yet reconciled together sithence their first contention and strife for the Praetorship), and prayed him to beware of Caesar's sweet enticements, and to fly his tyrannical favors: the which they said Caesar gave him, not to honor his virtue, but to weaken his constant mind, framing it to the bent of his bow.


    Caesar suspected Brutus.

    Now Caesar, on the other side, did not trust him overmuch, nor was without tales brought unto him against him: howbeit he feared his great mind, authority, and friends. Yet, on the other side also, he trusted his good nature and fair conditions. For, intelligence being brought him one day, that Antonius and Dolabella did conspire against him: he answered "That these fat long-haired men made him not afraid, but the lean and whitely-faced fellows," meaning that by Brutus and Cassius.

    Caesar's saying of Brutus.

    At another time also when one accused Brutus unto him, and bad him beware of him: "What," said he again, clapping his hands on his breast, "think ye that Brutus will not tarry till this body die?" meaning that none but Brutus after him was meet to have such power as he had. And surely, (in my opinion) I am persuaded that Brutus might indeed have come to have been the chiefest man of Rome, if he could have contented himself for a time to have been next unto Caesar, and to have suffered his glory and authority, which he had gotten by his great victories, to consume with time.

    Cassius incenseth Brutus against Caesar.

    But Cassius, being a choleric man, and hating Caesar 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' lions in Megara.

    Cassius had provided them for his sports when he should be Aedilis; and they were found in the city of Megara, when it was won by Calenus: and Caesar kept them. The rumor went, that these lions did marvelous great hurt to the Megarians: for when the city was taken, they brake their cages where they were tied up and turned them loose, thinking they would have done great mischief to the enemies, and have kept them from setting upon them: but the lions (contrary to expectation) turned upon themselves that fled unarmed, and did so cruelly tear some in pieces, that it pitied their enemies to see them.

    IX. And this was the cause (as some do report) that made Cassius conspire against Caesar.

    Cassius enemy of tyrants.

    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 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 thou darest, before this nobleman here, the same words that made me angry with thee, that my fists may walk once again about shine ears." Such was Cassius' hot stirring nature.

    How Brutus was incensed against Caesar.

    But for Brutus, his friends and countrymen, both by divers procurements and sundry rumors of the city, and by many bills also, did openly call and procure him to do that he did. For under the image of his ancestor Junius Brutus, (that crave the kings out of Rome) they wrote: "O, that it pleased the gods thou wert now alive, Brutus!" and again, "that thou wert here among us now!" His tribunal or chair, where he gave audience during the time he was Praetor, was full of such bills4: "Brutus, thou art asleep, and art not Brutus indeed." And of all this Caesar's flatterers were the cause: who, beside many other exceeding and unspeakable honors they daily devised for him, in the night-time they put diadems upon the heads of his images, supposing thereby to allure the common people to call him King, instead of Dictator. Howbeit it turned to the contrary, as we have written more at large in Julius Caesar's life.

    10X. Now when Cassius felt his friends, and did stir them up against Caesar: they all agreed, and promised to take part with him, so. Brutus were the chief of their conspiracy. For they told him that so high an enterprise and attempt as that, did not so much require men of manhood and courage to draw their swords, as it stood them upon.. to have a man of such estimation as Brutus, to make every man boldly think, that by his only presence. the fact. were holy and just. If he took not this course, then that they should go to it with fainter hearts; and when they had done it, they should be more fearful: because every man would think that Brutus would not have refused to have made one with them, if the cause had been good and honest.

    Cassius prayeth.

    Therefore Cassius, considering this matter with himself, did first of all speak to Brutus, since they grew strange. together for. the suit they had for the praetorship.

    Brutus first to help him to put down the tyrant.

    So when he was reconciled to him again, and that they had embraced one another, Cassius asked him if he were determined to be in the Senate-house the first day of the month of March, because he heard say that Caesar's friends should move the council that day, that Caesar should be called king by the Senate. Brutus answered him, he would not be there. "But if we be sent for," said Cassius, "how then?" "For myself then," said Brutus, "I mean not to hold my peace, but to withstand it, and rather die than lose my liberty." Cassius being bold, and taking hold of this word: "Why," quoth he, "what Roman is he alive that will suffer thee to die for thy liberty? What? knowest thou not that thou art Brutus? Thinkest thou that they be cobblers, tapsters, or suchlike base mechanical people, that write these bills and scrolls which are found daily in thy praetor's chair, and not the noblest men and best citizens that do it? No; be thou well assured that of other praetors they look for gifts, common distributions amongst the people, and for common plays, and to see fencers fight at the sharp, to shew the people pastime: but at thy hands they specially require (as a due debt unto them) the taking away of the tyranny, being fully bent to suffer any extremity for thy sake, so that thou wilt shew thyself to be the man thou art taken for, and that they hope thou art." There- upon he kissed Brutus and embraced him: and so each taking leave of other, they went both to speak with their friends about it.

    XI. Now amongst Pompey's friends, there was one called Caius Ligarius, who had been accused unto Caesar for taking part with Pompey, and Caesar discharged him.

    Brutus maketh Ligarius one of the conspiracy.

    But Ligarius thanked not Caesar so much for his discharge, as he was offended with him for that he was brought in danger by his tyrannical power; and therefore in his heart he was always his mortal enemy, and was besides very familiar with Bratus, who went to see him being sick in his bed, and said unto him: "Ligarius, in what a time art thou sick?" Ligarius rising up in his bed, and taking him by the right hand, said unto him: "Brutus," said he, "if thou hast any great enterprise in hand worthy of thyself, I am whole."

    XII. After that time they began to feel all their acquaintance whom they trusted, and laid their heads together, consulting upon it, and did not only pick out their friends, but all those also whom they thought stout enough to attempt any desperate matter, and that were not afraid to lose their lives.

    They do hide the conspiracy against Caesar from Cicero.

    For this cause they durst not acquaint Cicero with their conspiracy, although he was a man whom they loved dearly, and trusted best: for they were afraid tbat he being a coward by nature, and age also having increased his fear, he would quite turn and alter all their purpose, and quench the heat of their enterprise, (the which specially required hot and earnest execution), seeking by persuasion to bring all things to such safety, as there should be no peril.

    Civil war worse than tyrannical government.

    Brutus also did let other of his friends alone, as Statilius Epicurian, and Faonius, that made profession to follow Marcus Cato: because that, having cast out words afar off, disputing together in philosophy to feel their minds, Faonius answered, 'that civil war was worse than tyrannical government usurped against the law.' And Statilius told him also, 'that it were an unwise part for him to put his life in danger, for a sort of ignorant fools and asses.' Labeo was present at this talk and maintained the contrary against them both. But Brutus held his peace, as though it had been a doubtful matter, and a hard thing to have been decided. But afterwards, being out of their company, he made Labeo privy to his intent; who very readily offered himself to make one. And they thought good also to bring in another Brutus to join with him, surnamed Albinus: who was no man of his hands himself, but because he was able to bring good force of a great number of slaves, and fencers at the sharp, whom he kept to shew the people pastime with their fighting, besides also that Caesar had some trust in him. Cassius and Labeo told Brutus Albinus of it at the first, but he made them no answer. But when he had spoken with Brutus himself alone, and that Brutus had told him he was the chief ringleader of all this conspiracy, then he willingly promised him the best aid he could.

    The wonderful faith and secrecy of the conspirators of Caesar's death.

    Furthermore, the only name and great calling of Brutus did bring on the most of them to give consent to this conspiracy: who having never taken oaths together, nor taken or given any caution or assurance, nor binding themselves one to another by any religious oaths, they all kept the matter so secret to themselves, and could so cunningly handle it, that notwithstanding the gods did reveal it by manifest signs and tokens from above, and by predictions of sacrifices, yet all this would not be believed.

    XIII. Now Brutus, who knew very well that for his sake all the noblest, valiantest, and most courageous men of Rome did venture their lives, weighing with himself the greatness of the danger: when he was out of his house, he did so frame and fashion his countenance and looks that no man could discern he had anything to trouble his mind. But when night came that he was in his own house, then he was clean changed: for either care did wake him against his will when he would have slept, or else oftentimes of himself he fell into such deep thoughts of this enterprise, casting in his mind all the dangers that might happen: that his wife, Iying by him, found that there was some marvelous great matter that troubled his mind, not being wont to be in that taking, and that he could not well determine with himself.

    Porcia, Cato's daughter, wife unto Brutus. Bibulus' book of Brutus' acts. Porcia studied in philosophy.

    His wife Porcia (as we have told you before) was the daughter of Cato, whom Brutus married being his cousin, not a maiden, but a young widow after the death of her first husband Bibulus, by whom she had also a young son called Bibulus, who afterwards wrote a book of the acts and gests of Brutus, extant at this present day.

    The courage of Porcia.

    This young lady, being excellently well seen in philosophy, loving her husband well, and being of a noble courage, as she was also wise: because she would not ask her husband what he ailed before she had made some proof by her self: she took a little razor, such as barbers occupy to pare men's nails, and, causing her maids and women to go out of her chamber, gave herself a great gash withal in her thigh, that she was straight all of a gore blood : and incontinently after a vehement fever took her, by reason of the pain of her wound

    Great difference between a wife and a harlot. Porcia's words unto her husband Brutus.

    Then perceiving her husband was marvelously out of quiet, and that he could take no rest, even in her greatest pain of all she spake in this sort unto him: "I being, O Brutus," said she "the daughter of Cato, was married unto thee; not to be thy bed-fellow and companion in bed and at board only, like a harlot, but to be partaker also with thee of thy good and evil fortune. Now for thyself, I can find no cause of fault in thee touching our match: but for my part, how may I shew my duty towards thee and how much I would do for thy sake, if I cannot constantly bear a secret mischance or grief with thee, which requireth secrecy and fidelity? I confess that a woman's wit commonly is too weak to keep a secret safely: but yet, Brutus, good education and the company of virtuous men have some power to reform the defect of nature. And for myself, I have this benefit moreover, that I am the daughter of Cato, and wife of Brutus. This notwithstanding, I did not trust to any of these things before, until that now I have found by experience that no pain or grief whatsoever can overcome me."With those words she shewed him her wound on her thigh, and told him what she had done to prove herself. Brutus was amazed to hear what she said unto him, and lifting up his hands to heaven, he besought the gods to give him the grace he might bring his enterprise to so good pass, that he might be found a husband worthy of so noble a wife as Porcia: so he then did comfort her the best he could.

    XIV. Now a day being appointed for the meeting of the Senate, at what time they hoped Caesar would not fail to come, the conspirators determined then to put their enterprise in execution, because they might meet safely at that time without suspicion; and the rather, for that all the noblest and chiefest men of the city would be there: who, when they should see such a great matter executed, would every man set to their hands, for the defence of their liberty. Furthermore they thought also, that the appointment of the place where the council should be kept was chosen of purpose by divine providence, and made all for them. For it was one of the porches about the theatre, in the which there was a certain place full of seats for men to sit in; where also was set up the image of Pompey, which the city had made and consecrated in honor of him, when he did beautify that part of the city with the theatre he built, with divers porches about it. In this place was the assembly of the Senate appointed to be, just on the fifteenth day of the month IvIarch, which the Romans call Idus Martias: so that it seemed some god of purpose had brought Caesar thither to be slain, for revenge of Pompey's death. So when the day was come, Brutus went out of his house with a dagger by his side under his long gown, that nobody saw nor knew but his wife only. The other conspirators were all assembled at Cassius' house, to bring his son into the market-place, who on that day did put on the man's gown, called toga virilis; and from thence they came all in a troop together unto Pompey's porch, looking that Caesar would straight come thither.

    The wonderful constancy of the conspirators in the killing of Caesar.

    But here is to be noted the wonderful assured constancy of these conspirators, in so dangerous and weighty an enterprise as they had undertaken. For many of them being praetors, by reason of their office (whose duty is to minister justice to everybody) did not only with great quietness and courtesy hear them that spake unto them, or that pleaded matters before them, and gave them attentive ear as if they had no other matter in their heads: but moreover they gave just sentence, and carefully despatched the causes before them. So there was one among them, who, being condemned in a certain sum of money, refused to pay it, and cried out that he did appeal unto Caesar. Then Brutus, casting his eyes upon the conspirators, said: "Caesar shall not let me to see the law executed."

    Sundry misfortunes to have broken off the enterprise.

    15XV. Notwithstanding this, by chance there fell out many misfortunes unto them, which was enough to have marred the enterprise. The first and chiefest was Caesar's long tarrying, who came very late to the Senate: for, because the signs of the sacrifices appeared unlucky, his wife Calphurnia kept him at home, and the soothsayers bade him beware he went not abroad. The second cause was, when one came unto Casca being a conspirator, and taking him by the hand, said unto him: "O Casca? thou keptest it close from me, but Brutus hath told me all." Casca being amazed at it, the other went on with his tale, and said: "Why, how now, how cometh it to pass thou art thus rich, that thou dost sue to be Aedilis?" Thus Casca being deceived by the other's doubtful words, he told them it was a thousand to one, he blabbed not out all the conspiracy. Another Senator, called Popilius Laena, after he had saluted Brutus and Cassius more friendly than he was wont to do, he rounded softly in their ears, and told them: "I pray the gods you may go through with that you have taken in hand; but withal, despatch, I read you, for your enterprise is bewrayed." When he had said, he presently departed from them, and left them both afraid that their conspiracy would out.

    The weakness of Porcia, notwithstanding her former courage.

    Now in the meantime, there came one of Brutus' men post-haste unto him, and told him his wife was a-dying. For Porcia, being very careful and pensive for that which was to come, and being too weak to away with so great and inward grief of mind, she could hardly keep within, but was frighted with every little noise and cry she heard, as those that are taken and possessed with the fury of the Bacchantes; asking every man that came from the market-place what Brutus did, and still sent messenger after messenger, to know what news. At length Caesar's coming being prolonged (as you have heard), Porcia's weakness was not able to hold out any longer, and thereupon she suddenly swounded, that she had no leisure to go to her chamber, but was taken in the midst of her house, where her speech and senses failed her. Howbeit she soon came to herself again, and so was laid in her bed, and attended by her women. When Brutus heard these news, it grieved him, as it is to be presupposed: yet he left not off the care of his country and commonwealth, neither went home to his house for any news he heard.

    XVI. Now it was reported that Caesar was coming in his litter: for he determined not to stay in the Senate all that day (because he was afraid of the unlucky signs of the sacrifices) but to adjourn matters of importance unto the next session and council holden, feigning himself not to be well at ease. When Caesar came out of his litter, Popilius Laena (that had talked before with Brutus and Cassius, and had prayed the gods they might bring this enterprise to pass) went unto Caesar, and kept him a long time with a talk. Caesar gave good ear unto him: wherefore the conspirators (if so they should be called) not hearing what he said to Caesar, but conjecturing by that he had told them a little before that his talk was none other but the very discovery of their conspiracy, they were afraid every man of them; and, one looking in another's face, it was easy to see that they all were of a mind, that it was no tarrying for them till they were apprehended, but rather that they should kill themselves with their own hands.

    Brutus with his countenance encouraged his fearful consorts.

    And when Cassius and certain other clapped their hands on their swords under their gowns to draw them, Brutus, marking the countenance and gesture of Laena, and considering that he did use himself rather like an humble and earnest suitor than like an accuser, he said nothing to his companion (because there were many amongst them that were not of the conspiracy), but with a pleasant countenance encouraged Cassius. And immediately afier Laena vent from Caesar, and kissed his hand; which shewed plainly that it was for some matter concerning himself that he had held him so long in talk.

    XVII. Now all the Senators being entered first into this place or chapter-house where the council should be kept, all the other conspirators straight stood about Caesar's chair, as if they had had something to say unto him. And some say that Cassius, casting his eyes upon Pompey's image, made his prayer unto it, as if it had been alive. Trebonius on the other side drew Antonius aside, as he came into the house where the Senate sat, and held him with a long talk without. When Caesar was come into the house, all the Senate rose to honor him at his coming in. So when he was set, the conspirators flocked about him, and amongst them they presented one Tullius Cimber who made humble suit for the calling home again of his brother that was banished. They all made as though they were intercessors for him, and took Caesar by the hands, and kissed his head and breast. Caesar at the first simply refused their kindness and entreaties; but afterwards, perceiving they still pressed on him, he violently thrust them from him.

    The murder of Caesar. Casca the first that wounded him.

    Then Cimber with both his hands plucked Caesar's gown over his shoulders, and Casca, that stood behind him, drew his dagger first and strake Caesar upon the shoulder, but gave him no great wound. Caesar, feeling himself hurt, took him straight by the hand he held his dagger in, and cried out in Latin: "O traitor Casca, what dost thou?" Casca on the other side cried in Greek, and called his brother to help him. So divers running on a heap together to fly upon Caesar, he, looking about him to have fled, saw Brutus with a sword drawn in his hand ready to strike at him: then he let Casca's hand go, and casting his gown over his face, suffered every man to strike at him that would. Then the conspirators thronging one upon another, because every man was desirous to have a cut at him, so many swords and daggers lighting upon one body, one of them hurt another, and among them Brutus caught a blow on his hand, because he would make one in murthering of him, and all the rest also were every man of them bloodied.

    XVIII. Caesar being slain in this manner, Brutus, standing in the middest. of the house, would have spoken, and stayed the other Senators that were not of the conspiracy, to have told them the reason why they had done this fact. But they, as men both afraid and amazed, fled one upon another's neck in haste to get out at the door, and no man followed them. For it was set down and agreed between them, that they should kill no man but Caesar only, and should intreat. all the rest to look to defend their liberty. All the conspirators, but Brutus, determining upon this matter, thought it good also to kill Antonius, because he was a wicked man, and that in nature favored tyranny: besides also, for that he was in great estimation with soldiers, having been conversant of long time amongst them: and especially having a mind bent to great enterprises, he was also of great authority at that time, being Consul with Caesar. But Brutus would not agree to it.

    Why Antonius was not slain with Caesar.

    First, for that he said it was not honest. : secondly, because he told them there was hope of change in him. For he did not mistrust but that Antonius, being a noble-minded and courageous man, (when he should know that Caesar was dead), would willingly help his country to recover her liberty, having them an example unto him to follow their courage and virtue.

    Brutus with his consorts went into the Capitol.

    So Brutus by this means saved Antonius' life, who at that present time disguised himself and stole away: but Brutus and his consorts, having their swords bloody in their hands, went straight to the Capitol, persuading the Romans as they went to take their liberty again. Now at the first time, when the murther. was newly done, there were sudden outcries of people that ran up and down the city, the which indeed did the more increase the fear and tumult. But when they saw they slew no man, neither did spoil or make havoc of anything, then certain of the Senators and many of the people, emboldening themselves, went to the Capitol unto them. There, a great number of men being assembled together one after another, Brutus made an oration unto them, to win the favor of the people, and to justify that they had done. All those that were by said they had done well, and cried unto them that they should boldly come down from the Capitol: whereupon Brutus and his companions came boldly down into the market-place. The rest followed in troupe, but Brutus went foremost, very honorably compassed in round about with the noblest men of the city, which brought him from the Capitol, through the market-place, to the pulpit for orations. When the people saw him in the pulpit, although they were a multitude of rakehells of all sorts, and had a good will to make some stir; yet, being ashamed to do it, for the reverence they bare unto Brutus, they kept silence to hear what he would say. When Brutus began to speak, they gave him quiet audience: howbeit. immediately after, they shewed that they were not all contented with the murtherl. For when another, called Cinna, would have spoken, and began to accuse Caesar, they fell into a great uproar among them, and marvelously reviled him; insomuch that the conspirators returned again into the Capitol. There Brutus, being afraid to be besieged, sent back again the noblemen that came thither with him, thinking it no reason that they, which were no partakers of the murther, should be partakers of the danger.

    XIX. Then the next morning, the Senate being assembled, and holden within the temple of the goddess Tellus, to wit, the Earth: and Antonius, Plancus, and Cicero, having made a motion to the Senate in that assembly that they should take an order to pardon and forget all that was past, and to establish friendship and peace again: it was decreed, that they should not only be pardoned, but also that the Consuls should refer it to the Senate, what honors should be appointed unto them.

    honors decreed for the murderers of Caesar.

    This being agreed upon, the Senate brake up; and Antonius the Consul, to put them in heart that were in the Capitol, sent them his son for a pledge. Upon this assurance, Brutus and his companions came down from the Capitol, where every man saluted and embraced each other; among the which Antonius himself did bid Cassius to supper to him, and Lepidus also bade Brutus; and so one bade another, as they had friendship and acquaintance together. The next day following, the Senate, being called again to council, did first of all commend Antonius, for that he had wisely stayed and quenched the beginning of a civil war: then they also gave Brutus and his consorts great praises; and lastly they appointed them several governments of Provinces. For unto Brutus they appointed Creta; Africa unto Cassius; Asia unto Trebonius; Bithynia unto Cimber; and unto the other, Decius Brutus Albinus, Gaul on this side of the Alps.

    20XX. When this was done, they came to talk of Caesar's will and testament and of his funerals and tomb.

    Caesar's will and funerals.

    Then Antonius, thinking good his testament should be read openly, and also that his body should be honorably buried, and not in hugger-mugger, lest the people might thereby take occasion to be worse offended if they did otherwise: Cassius stoutly spake against it.

    Brutus committed two great faults after Caesar's death.

    But Brutus went with the motion, and agreed unto it, wherein it seemeth he committed a second fault. For the first fault he did, was when he would not consent to his fellow-conspirators, that Antonius should be slain; and therefore he was justly accused, that thereby he had saved and strengthened a strong and grievous enemy of their conspiracy. The second fault was, when he agreed that Caesar's funerals should be as Antonius would have them, the which indeed marred all. For first of all, when Caesar's testament was openly read among them, whereby it appeared that he bequeathed unto every citizen of Rome 75 drachmas a man; and that he left his gardens and arbours unto the people, which he had on this side of the river Tiber, in the place where now the temple of Fortune is built: the people then loved him, and were marvelous sorry for him.

    Antonius' funeral oration for Caesar.

    Afterwards, when Caesar's body was brought into the market-place, Antonius making his funeral oration in praise of the dead, according to the ancient custom of Rome, and perceiving that his words moved the common people to compassion, he framed his eloquence to make their hearts yearn the more; and taking Caesar's gown all bloody in his hand, he laid it opento the sight of them all shewing what a number of cuts and holes it had upon it. Therewithal the people fell presently into such a rage and mutiny, that there was no more order kept amongst the common people. For some of them cried out, "Kill the murtherers :" others plucked up forms, tables, and stalls about the market-place, as they had done before at the funerals of Clodius, and having laid them all on a heap together, they set them on fire, and thereupon did put the body of Caesar, and burnt it in the mids of the most holy places. And furthermore, when the fire was throughly kindled, some here, some there, took burning firebrands, and ran with them to the murtherers' houses that killed him, to set them on fire. Howbeit the conspirators, foreseeing the danger before, had wisely provided for themselves and fled.

    The strange dream of Cinna the poet.

    But there was a poet called Cinna, who had been no partaker of the conspiracy, but was always one of Caesar's chiefest friends: he dreamed, the night before, that Caesar bad him to supper with him, and that, he refusing to go, Caesar was very importunate with him, and compelled him; so that at length he led him by the hand into a great dark place, where, being marvelously afraid, he was driven to follow him in spite of his heart. This dream put him all night into a fever; and yet notwithstanding, the next morning, when he heard that they carried Caesar's body to burial, being ashamed not to accompany his funerals, he went out of his house, and thrust himself into the prease of the common people that were in a great uproar.

    The murder of Cinna the poet, being mistaken for another of that name.

    And because some one called him by his name Cinna, the people, thinking he had been that Cinna who in an oration he made had spoken very evil of Caesar, they, falling upon him in their rage, slew him outright in the market-place.

    XXI. This made Brutus and his companions more afraid than any other thing, next unto the change of Antonius.

    Brutus and his consorts do fly from Rome.

    Wherefore they got them out of Rome, and kept at the first in the city of Antium, hoping to return again to home, when the fury of the people was a little assuaged. The which they hoped would be quickly, considering that they had to deal with a fickle and unconstant multitude, easy to be carried, and that the Senate stood for them: who notwithstanding made no enquiry for them that had torn poor Cinna the poet in pieces, but caused them to be sought for and apprehended that went with firebrands to set fire on the conspirators' houses. The people growing weary now of Antonius' pride and insolency, who ruled all things in a manner wtth absolute power, they desired that Brutus might return again; and it was also looked for that Brutus would come himself in person to play the plays which were due to the people, by reason of his office of praetorship.

    Brutus' plays and sports at Rome in his absence.

    But Brutus, understanding that many of Caesar's soldiers which served under him in the wars, and that also had lands and houses given them in the cities where they lay, did lie in wait for him to kill him, and that they daily by small companies came by one and by one into Rome, he durst no more return thither: but yet the people had the pleasure and pastime in his absence, to see the games and sports he made them, which were sumptuously set forth and furnished with all things necessary, sparing for no cost. For he had brought a great number of strange beasts, of the which he would not give one of them to any friend he had, but that they should all be employed in his games: and went himself as far as Byzantium, to speak to some players of comedies and musicians that were there. And further he wrote unto his friends for one Canutius, an excellent player, that, whatsoever they did, they should entreat him to play in these plays. "For," said he, "it is no reason to compel any Grecian, unless he will come of his own good will." Moreover he wrote also unto Cicero, and earnestly prayed him in any case to be at these plays.


    Octavius Caesar's coming to Rome.

    Now the state of Rome standing in these terms, there fell out another change and alteration, when the young man Octavius Caesar came to Rome. He was the son of Julius Caesar's niece, whom he had adopted for his son, and made his heir, by his last will and testament. But when Julius Caesar, his adopted father, was slain, he was in the city of Apollonia (where he studied) tarrying for him, because he was detennined to make war with the Parthians: but when he heard the news of his death, he returned again to Rome. Where, to begin to curry favor with the common people, he first of all took upon him his adopted father's name, and made distribution among them of the moneywhich his father had bequeathed unto them. By this means he troubled Antonius sorely, and by force of money got a great number of his father's soldiers together, that had served in the wars with him.

    Brutus reproved Cicero for taking part with Octavius Caesar.

    And Cicero himself, for the great malice he bare Antonius, did favor his proceedings: but Brutus marvelously reproved him for it, and wrote unto him, that he seemed by his doings not to be sorry to have a master, but only to be afraid to have one that should hate him: and that all his doings in the commonwealth did witness, that he chose to be subject to a mild and courteous bondage, sith by his words and writings he did commend this young man Octavius Caesar to be a good and gentle lord. "For our predecessors," said he, "would never abide to be subject to any masters, how gentle or mild soever they were:" and, 'for his own part, that he had never resolutely determined with himself to make war, or peace; but otherwise, that he was certainly minded never to be slave nor subject. And therefore he wondered much at him, how Cicero could be afraid of the danger of civil wars, and would not be afraid of a shameful peace: and that, to thrust Antonius out of the usurped tyranny, in recompense he went about to establish young Octavius Caesar tyrant.'

    XXIII. These were the contents of Brutus first letters he wrote unto Cicero. Now the city of Rome being divided in two factions, some taking part with Antonius, others also leaning unto Octavius Caesar, and the soldiers making portsale of their service to him that would give most: Brutus, seeing the state of Rome would be utterly overthrown, he determined to go out of Italy, and went on foot through the country of Luke, unto the city of Elea, standing by the sea.

    Porcia's sorrowful return to Rome, for the absence of her husband Brutus.

    There Porcia, being ready to depart from her husband Brutus, and to return to Rome, did what she could to dissemble the grief and sorrow she felt at her heart: but a certain painted table bewrayed her in the end, although until that time she shewed always a constant and patient mind.

    the story of Hector and Andromache set forth in painted tablets.

    The device of the table was taken out of the Greek stories, how Andromache accompanied her husband Hector when he went out of the city of Troy to go to the wars, and how Hector delivered her his little son, and how her eyes were never off him. Porcia seeing this picture, and likening herself to be in the same case, she fell a-weeping: and coming thither oftentimes in a day to see it, she wept still. Acilius, one of Brutus' friends, perceiving that, rehearsed the verses Andromache speaketh to this purpose in Homer:

    "Thou Hector art my father, and my mother, and my brother, And husband eke, and all in all: I mind not any other."

    Then Brutus smiling, answered again: "But yet," said he, "I cannot for my part say unto Porcia, as Hector answered Andromache in the same place of the poet:

    Tush, meddle thou with duly weighing out Thy maids their task, anld pricking on a clout.

    For indeed the weak constitution of her body doth not suffer her to perform in shew the valiant acts that we are able to do: but for courage and constant mind, she shewed herself as stout in the defence of her country, as any of us." Bibulus, the son of Porcia, reporteth this story thus.


    How Brutus bestowed his time at Athens.

    Now Brutus embarking at Elea in Luke, he sailed directly towards Athens. When he arrived there, the people of Athens received him with common joys of rejoicing and honorable decrees made for him.

    Brutus prepareth himself to war.

    He lay. with a friend of his, with whom he went daily to hear the lectures of Theomnestus the Academic philosopher, and of Cratippus the Peripatetic, and so should talk with them in philosophy, that he seemed he left all other matters, and gave himself only to study: howbeit secretly, notwithstanding, he made preparation for war.

    Brutus commendeth Cicero's son.

    For he sent Herostratus into Macedon, to win the captains and soldiers that were upon those marches, and he did also entertain all the young gentlemen of the Romans, whom he found in Athens studying philosophy: amongst them he found Cicero's son, whom he highly praised and commended, saying: "That, whether he waked or slept, he found him of a noble mind and disposition, he did in nature so much hate tyrants." Shortly after, he began to enter openly into arms: and being advertised. that there came out of Asia a certain fleet of Roman ships that had got good store of money in them, and that the captain of those ships (who was an honest man and his familiar friend) came towards Athens: he went to meet him as far as the ile. of Carystos, and having spoken with him there, he handled him so that he was contented to leave his ships in his hands: whereupon he made him a notable banquet at his house, because it was on his birthday. When the feast-day came, and that they began to drink lustily one to another, the guests drank to the victory of Brutus and the liberty of the Romans. Brutus therefore, to encourage them farther, called for a bigger cup; and, holding it in his hand, before he drank spake this aloud:

    "My destiny and Phoebus are agreed To bring me to my final end with speed."

    And for proof hereof it is reported, that, the same day he fought his last battle by the city of Philippes, as he came out of his tent, he gave them for the word and signal of battle, 'Phoebus': so that it was thought ever since, that this his sudden crying out at the feast was a prognostication of his misfortune that should happen.

    25XXV. After this, Antistius gave him, of the money he carried into Italy, fifty myriads. Furthermore, all Pompey's soldiers, that straggled up and down Thessaly, came with very good will unto him. He took from Cinna also five hundred horsemen, which he carried into Asia unto Dolabella. After that, he went by sea unto the city of Demetriade, and there took a great deal of armor and munition which was going to Antonius: and the which had been made and forged there by Julius Caesar's commandment, for the wars against the Parthians. Furthermore Hortensius, governor of Macedon, did resign the government thereof unto him. Besides, all the princes, kings, and noblemen thereabouts, came and joined with him, when it was told him, that Caius (Antonius' brother) coming out of Italy, had passed the sea, and came with great speed towards the city of Dyrrachium, and Apollonia, to get the soldiers into his hands which Gabinius had there. Brutus therefore, to prevent him, went presently with a few of his men in the midst of winter when it did snow hard, and took his way through hard and foul countries, and made such speed indeed, that he was there long before Antonius' sumpters that carried the victuals.

    A strange disease took Brutus at Dyrrachium. Why by snow this hungry disease taketh men that are wearied with travel.

    So that when he came near to Dyrrachium, a disease took him, which the physicians call boulimia, to say, a cormorant. and unsatiable appetite to eat; by reason of the cold and pains he had taken. This sickness chanceth often both to men and beasts, that travel when it hath snowen : either because the natural heat, being retired into the inward parts of the body, by the coldness of the air hardening the skin, doth straight digest and consume the meat: or else because a sharp subtle wind, coming by reason of the snow when it is molten, doth pierce into the body, and driveth out the natural heat which was cast outward. For it seemeth that the heat, being quenched with the cold which it meeteth withal coming out of the skin of the body, causeth the sweats that follow the disease. But hereof we have spoken at large in other places.

    XXVI. Brutus being very faint, and having nothing in his camp to eat, his soldiers were compelled to go to their enemies; and coming to the gates of the city, they prayed the warders to help them to bread.

    Brutus' thankfulness and clemency.

    When they heard in what case Brutus was, they brought him both meat and drink: in requital whereof, afterwards, when he wan the city, he did not only intreat and use the citizens thereof courteously, but all the inhabitants of the city also for their sakes. Now when Caius Antonius was arrived in the city of Apollonia, he sent unto the soldiers thereabouts to come unto him. But when he understood that they went all to Brutus, and furthermore. that the citizens of Apollonia did favor him much, he then forsook that city and went unto the city of Buthrotus; but yet he lost three of his ensigns by the way, that were slain every man of them. Then he sought by force to win certain places of strength about Byllis, and to drive Brutus' men from thence, that had taken it before: and therefore, to obtain his purpose, he sought a battle with Cicero, the son of Marcus Tullius Cicero, by whom he was overcome. For Brutus made the younger Cicero a captain, and did many notable exploits by his service. Shortly after, having stolen upon Caius Antonius in certain marrishes far from the place from whence he fled, he would not set on him with fury but only rode round about him, commanding his soldiers to spare him and his men, as reckoning them all his own without stroke striking.

    C. Antonius yielded unto Brutus.

    And so indeed it happened: for they yielded themselves and their captain Antomus unto Brutus; so that Brutus had now a great army about him. Now Brutus kept this Caius Antonius long time in his office, and never took from him the marks and signs of his Consulship, although many of his friends, and Cicero among others, wrote unto him to put him to death. But when he saw Antonius secretly practised with his captains to make some alteration, then he sent him into a ship, and made him to be kept there. When the soldiers whom Caius Antonius had corrupted were gotten into the city of Apollonia, and sent from thence unto Brutus to come unto them, he made them answer, "That it was not the manner of Roman captains to come to the soldiers, but the soldiers to come to the captain, and to crave pardon for their offences committed." Thereupon they came to him, and he pardoned them.

    XXVII. So Brutus preparing to go into Asia, news came unto him of the great change at Rome: for Octavius Caesar was in arms, by commandment and authority from the Senate, against Marcus Antonius. But after that he had driven Antonius out of Italy, the Senate began then to be afraid of him, because he sued to be Consul, which was contrary to the law; and kept a great army about him when the empire of Rome had no need of them. On the other side Octavius Caesar, perceiving the Senate stayed not there, but turned unto Brutus that was out of Italy, and that they appointed him the government of certain provinces: then he began to be afraid for his part, and sent unto Antonius to offer him his friendship.

    Octavius Caesar joineth with Antonius.

    Then coming on unto 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 springal of twenty years old, as himself reporteth in his own Commentaries.

    Brutus accused and condemned by Octavius Caesar's means, for the death of Julius Caesar.

    So when he was Consul, he pre sently appointed judges, to accuse Brutus and his companions for killing of the noblest person in Rome and chiefest magistrate without law or judgment: and made L. Cornificius accuse Brutus, and M. Agrippa, Cassius. So the parties accused were condemned, because the Judges were compelled to give such sentence. The voice went, that when the herald (according to the custom after sentence given) went up to the chair or pulpit for orations, and proclaimed 'Brutus' with a loud voice, summorning him to appear in person before the judges, the people that stood by sighed openly, and the noblemen that were present hung down their heads, and durst not speak a word. Among them the tears fell from Publius Silicius' eyes: who, shortly after, was one of the proscripts or outlaws appointed to be slain.

    The Triumvirate.

    After that, these three, Octavius Caesar, 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 one.

    C. Antonius murdered.

    XXVIII. News being brought thereof into Macedon, Brutus, being then enforced to do it, wrote unto Hortensius that he should put Caius Antonius to death, to be revenged of the death of Cicero and of the other Brutus, of the which the one was his friend, and the other a kinsman. For this cause therefore Antonius afterwards, taking Hortensius at the battle of Philippes, he made him to be slain upon his brother's tomb. But when Brutus said that, he was more ashamed of the cause for the which Cicero was slain than he was otherwise sorry for his death; and that he could not but greatly reprove his friends he had at Rome, who were slaves more through their own fault than through their valiantness or manhood which usurped the tyranny: considering that they were so cowardly and faint-hearted, as to suffer the sight of those things before their eyes, the report whereof should only have grieved them to the heart. Now when Brutus had passed over his army (that was very great) into Asia, he gave order for the gathering of a great number of ships together, as well in the coast of Bithynia, as also in the city of Cyzicum, because he would have an army by sea; and himself in the meantime went unto the cities, taking order for all things, and giving audience to princes and noblemen of the country that had to do with him. Afterwards he sent unto Cassius in Syria, to turn him from his journey into Egypt, telling him that it was not for the conquest of any kingdom for themselves that they wandered up and down in that sort, but contrarily, that it was to restore their country again to her liberty: and that the multitude of soldiers they gathered together was to subdue the tyrants that would keep them in slavery and subjection. Wherefore, regarding their chief purpose and intent, they should not be far from Italy, as near as they could possible, but should rather make all the haste they could, to keep their countrymen.

    Brutus and Cassius do join armies together.

    Cassius believed him, and returned. Brutus went to meet him, and they both met at the city of Smyrna, which was the first time that they saw together since they took leave each of other at the haven of Piraea in Athens, the one going into Syria, and the other into Macedon. So they were marvelous joyful, and no less courageous, when they saw the great armies together which they had both levied: considering that they departed out of Italy like naked and poor banished men, without armor and money, nor having any ship ready nor soldier about them, nor any one town at their commandment; yet notwithstanding, in a short time after, they were now met together, having ships, money, and soldiers enough, both footmen and horsemen, to fight for the empire of Rome.

    XXIX. 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.

    The sharp and cruel conditions of Cassius.

    And men reputed him commonly to be very skilful in wars, but otherwise marvelous 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.

    Brutus' gentle and fair conditions.

    But Brutus, in contrary manner, 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 marvelous 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.

    Brutus' intent good, if he had overcome.

    For they did not certainly believe that, if Pompey himself had overcome Caesar, he would have resigned his authority to the law, but rather they were of opinion that he would still keep the sovereignty and absolute government in his hands, taking only, to please the people, the title of Consul, or Dictator, or of some other more civil office. 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. For they that will also consider others that were elder men than they, as Cinna, Marinus, and Carbo, it is out of doubt that the end and hope of their victory was to be the lords of their country, and in manner they did all confess that they fought for the tyranny, and to be lords of the empire of Rome. And in contrary manner, his enemies themselves did never reprove Brutus for any such change or desire.

    Antonius' testimony of Brutus.

    For it was said that Antonius spake it openly divers times, that he thought, that of all them that had slain Caesar, 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. Hereby it appeareth, that Brutus did not trust so much to the power of his army as he did to his own virtue, as it is to be seen by his writings. For approaching near to the instant danger, he wrote unto Pomponius Atticus that his affairs had the best hap that could be. "For," said he, "either I will set my country at liberty by battle, or by honorable death rid me of this bondage."

    Brutus' noble mind to his country

    And furthermore, that they being certain and assured of all things else, this one thing only was doubtful to them: whether they should live or die with liberty. He wrote also that Antonius had his due payment for his folly: "for where, he might have been a partner equally of the glory of Brutus, Cassius, and Cato, and have made one with them, he liked better to choose to be joined with Octavius Caesar alone: with whom, though now he be not overcome by us, yet shall he shortly after also have war with him."

    Brutus a true prophet of Antonius.

    . And truly he proved a true prophet, for so came it indeed to pass.

    30XX. 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.

    Cassius won the city of Rhodes.

    So Cassius and Brutus then departing from each other, Cassius took the city of Rhodes, where he too dishonestly and cruelly used himself: although, when he came into the city, he answered some of the inhabitants who called him lord and king, that he was neither lord nor king, but he only that had slain him that would have been lord and king. Brutus, departing from thence, sent unto the Lycians to require money and men of war. But there was a certain orator called Naucrates, that made the cities to rebel against him, insomuch that the countrymen of that country kept the straits and little mountains, thinking by that means to stop Brutus' passage.

    Brutus' gests in Lycia.

    Wherefore Brutus sent his horsemen against them, who stole upon them as they were at dinner, and slew six hundred of them: and taking all the small towns and villages, he did get all the prisoners he took go without payment of ransom, hoping by this his great courtesy to win them, to draw all the rest of the country unto him. But they were so fierce and obstinate, that they would mutine for every small hurt they received as he passed by their country, and did despise his courtesy and good nature: until that at length he went to besiege the city of the Xanthians, within the which were shut up the cruellest and most warlike men of Lycia. There was a river that ran by the walls of the city, in the which many men saved themselves, swimming between two waters, and fled: howbeit they laid nets overthwart the river, and tied little bells on the top of them, to sound when any man was taken in the nets.

    The city of Xanthus set on fire.

    The Xanthians made a sally out by night, and came to fire certain engines of the battery that beat down their walls: but they were presently driven in again by the Romans, so soon as they were discovered. The wind by chance was marvelous big, and increased the flame so sore, that it violently carried it into the cranews of the wall of the city, that the next houses unto them were straight set on fire thereby. Wherefore Brutus being afraid that all the city would take on fire, he presently commanded his men to quench the fire, and to save the town if it might be.

    XXXI. But the Lycians at that instant fell into such a frenzy and strange and horrible despair, that no man can well express it: and a man cannot more rightly compare or liken it than to a frantic and most desperate desire to die.

    The desperate end of the Xanthians.

    For all of them together, with their wives and children, masters and servants, and of all sorts of age whatsoever, fought upon the rampiers of their walls and did cast down stones and fire-works on the Romans, which were very busy in quenching the flame of the fire, to save the city. And in contrary manner also, they brought faggots, dry wood, and reeds, to bring the fire further into the city as much as might be, increasing it by such things as they brought. Now when the fire had gotten into all parts of the city, and that the flame burnt bright in every place, Brutus, being sorry to see it, got upon his horse, and rode round about the walls of the city, to see if it were possible for to save it, and held up his hands to the inhabitants, praying them to pardon their city, and to save themselves. Howbeit they would not be persuaded, but did all that they could possible to cast themselves away, not only men and women, but also little children. For some of them, weeping and crying out, did cast themselves into the fire: others, headlong throwing themselves down from the walls, brake their necks: others also made their backs bare to the naked swords of their fathers, and undid their clothes, praying them to kill them with their own hands. After the city was burnt, they found a woman hanged up by the neck, holding one of her children in her hand dead by her, hanged up also, and in the other hand a burning torch setting fire on her house. Some would have had Brutus to have seen her, but he would not see so horrible and tragical a sight: but when he heard it, he fell a-weeping, and caused an herald to make proclamation by sound of trumpet, that he would give a certain sum of money to every soldier that could save a Xanthian. So there were not (as it is reported) above fifty of them saved, and yet they were saved against their wills. Thus the Xanthians having ended the revolution of their fatal destiny after a long continuance of time, they did through their desperation renew the memory of the lamentable calamities of their ancestors, who in like manner, in the wars of the Persians, did burn their city, and destroyed themselves.

    XXXII. Therefore Brutus, likewise besieging the city of the Patareians, perceiving that they stoutly resisted him, he was also afraid of that, and could not well tell whether he should give assault to it or not, lest they would fall into the despair and desperation of the Xanthians. Howbeit, having taken certain of their women prisoners, he sent them back again without payment of ransom.

    the Patareians do yield themselves unto Brutus.

    Now they that were the wives and daughters of the noblest men of the city, reporting unto their parents that they had found Brutus a merciful, just, and courteous man, they persuaded them to yield themselves and their city unto him, the which they did. So after they had thus yielded themselves, divers other cities also followed them, and did the like: and found Brutus more merciful and courteous than they thought they should have done, but specially far above Cassius.

    The extreme covetousness and cruelty of Cassius to the Rhodians.

    For Cassius, about the self-same time, after he had compelled the Rhodians every man to deliver all the ready money they had in gold and silver in their houses, the which, being brought together, amounted to the sum of eight thousand talents: yet he condemned the city besides, to pay the sum of five hundred talents more. Where

    Brutus' clemency unto the Lycians.

    Brutus in contrary manner, after be had levied of all the country of Lycia but an hundred and fifty talents only, he departed thence into the country of Ionia, and did them no more hurt.

    XXXIII. Now Brutus, in all this journey, did many notable acts and worthy of memory, both for rewarding, as also in punishing those that had deserved it: wherefore, among the rest, I will tell you of one thing, of the which he himself and all the noblemen of the Romans were marvelous glad. When Pompey the Great (having lost the battle against Julius Caesar, in the fields of Pharsalia) came and fell upon the coast of Egypt, hard by the city of Pelusium, those that were protectors to the young king Ptolemy, being then but a child, sat in counsel with his servants and friends, what they should determine in that case. They were not all of one mind in this consultation: for some thought it good to receive Pompey: others also, that they should drive him out of Egypt.

    Theodotus, born in Chio, a rhetorician, schoolmaster to Ptolemy the young king of Egypt.

    But there was a certain rhetorician called Theodotus, that was born in the isle of Chio, who was the king's schoolmaster to teach him rhetoric. He, being called to the council for lack of sufficient men, said, "That both the one and the other side went awry, as well those that were of opinion to receive Pompey as the other that would have had him driven away: and that the best way was (considering the present time) that they should lay hold on him, and kill him;" adding withal this sentence, "that a dead man biteth not." The whole council stuck to this opinion. So, for a notable example of incredible misfortune, and unlooked-for unto Pompey, Pompey the Great was slain by the motion and counsel of this wicked rhetorician Theodotus, as Theodotus afterwards did himself boast of it. But when Julius Caesar came afterwards into Egypt, the wicked men that consented to this counsel had their payment according to their deserts: for they died every man of them a wicked death, saving this Theodotus, whom fortune respited a little while longer; and yet in that thne he lived a poor and miserable life, never tarrying long in any one place.

    Theodotus Chian, the rhetorician that gave counsel to kill Pompey, was put to death by Brutus.

    So Brutus going up and down Asia, Theodotus could hide himself no longer, but was brought unto Brutus, where he suffered pains of death: so that he wan more fame by his death, than ever he did in his life.


    Brutus and Cassius do meet at the city of Sardis.

    About that time Brutus sent to pray Cassius to come to the city of Sardis, and so he did. Brutus, understanding of his coming, went to meet him with all his friends. There both their armies being armed, they called them both Emperors. Now as it commonly happened in great affairs between two persons, both of them having many friends and so many captains under them, there ran tales and complaints betwixt them.

    Brutus' and Cassius' complaints one unto the other.

    Therefore, before they fell in hand with any other matter, they went into a little chamber together, and bade every man avoid, and did shut the doors to them. Then they began to pour out their complaints one to the other, and grew hot and loud, earnestly accusing one another, and at length fell both a-weeping. Their friends that were without the chamber, hearing them loud within, and angry between themselves, they were both amazed and afraid also, lest it would grow to further matter: but yet they were commanded that no man should come to them.

    M. Phaonius a follower of Cato.

    Notwithstanding, one Marcus Phaonius, that had been a friend and a follower of Cato while he lived, and took upon him to counterfeit a philosopher, not with wisdom and discretion, but with a certain bedlam and frantic motion: he would needs come into the chamber, though the men offered to keep him out. But it was no boot to let Phaonius, when a mad mood or toy took him in the head: for he was a hot hasty man, and sudden in all his doings, and cared for never a senator of them all.

    Cynic philosophers counted dogs.

    Now, though he used this bold manner of speech after the profession of the Cynic philosophers (as who would say, Dogs), yet his boldness did no hurt many times, because they did but laugh at him to see him so mad. This Phaonius at that time, in despite of the door-keepers, came into the chamber, and with a certain scoffing and mocking gesture, which he counterfeited of purpose, he rehearsed the verses which old Nestor said in Homer:

    All lords, I pray you hearken both to me, For I have seen mo years than suchie three.

    Cassius fell a-laughing at him: but Brutus thrust him out of the chamber, and called him dog, and counterfeit Cynic. Howbeit his coming in brake their strife at that thee, and so they left each other. The self-same night Cassius prepared his supper in his chamber, and Brutus brought his friends with him. So when they were set at supper, Phaonius came to sit down after he had washed. Brutus told him aloud, 'no man sent for him,' and bad them set him at the upper end: meaning indeed, at the lower end of the bed. Phaonius made no ceremony, but thrust in amongst the middest of them, and made all the company laugh at him. So they were merry all supper-time, and full of their philosophy.

    35XXXV. The next day after, Brutus, upon complaint of the Sardians, did condemn and note Lucius Pella for a defamed person, that had been a Praetor of the Romans, and whom Brutus had given charge unto: for that he was accused and convicted of robbery end pilfery in his office. This judgment much misliked 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 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.

    Julius Caesar slain at the Ides of March.

    Brutus in contrary manner answered, that he should remember the Ides of March, at which time they slew Julius Caesar, who neither pilled nor polled the country but only was a favorer 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 Caesar'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


    The wonderful constancy of Brutus in matters of justice and equity. Brutus' care and watching.

    But as they both prepared to pass over again out of Asia into Europe, there went a rumor 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 everybody 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.

    A spirit appeared unto Brutus in the city of Sardis.

    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."

    XXXVII. The spirit presently 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.

    Cassius' opinion of spirits after the Epicurean sect.

    Cassius being in opinion an Epicurean, and reasoning thereon with Brutus, spake to him touching the vision 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. For our mind is quick and cunning to work (without either cause or matter) anything in the imagination whatsoever. And therefore the imagination is resembled to clay, and the mind to the potter: who, without any other cause than his fancy and pleasure, changeth it into what fashion and form he will.

    The cause of dreams.

    And this doth the diversity of our dreams shew unto us. For our imagination doth upon a small fancy grow from conceit to conceipt, altering both in passions and forms of things imagined. For the mind of man is ever occupied, and that continual moving is nothing but an imagination. But yet there is a further cause of this in you. For you being by nature given to melancholic discoursing, and of late continually occupied, your wits and senses, having been over-labored, do easilier yield to such imaginations. For, to say that there are spirits or angels; and if there were, that they had the shape of men, or such voices or any power at all to come unto us, it is a mockery. And for mine own part, I would there were such, because that we should not only have soldiers, horses, and ships, but also the aid of the gods, to guide and further our honest and honorable attempts." With these words Cassius did somewhat comfort and quiet Brutus.

    A wonderful sign by two eagles.

    When they raised their camp, there came two eagles that, flying with a marvelous 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.

    XXXVIII. Now Brutus had conquered the most part of all the people and nations of that country; but if there were any other city or captain to overcome, then they made all clear before them, and so drew towards the coasts of Thassos. There Norbanus, Iying in camp in a certain place called the straights, by another place called Symbolon (which is a port in the sea), Cassius and Brutus compassed him in in such sort, that he was driven to forsake the place, which was of great strength for him, and he was also in danger beside to have lost all his army. For Octavius Caesar could not follow him because of his sickness, and therefore stayed behind: whereupon they had taken his army, had not Antonius' aid been, which made such wonderful speed, that Brutus could scant. believe it.

    Brutus' and Cassius' camps before the city of Philippi, against Octavius Caesar and Antonius. Brutus' soldiers bravely armed.

    So Caesar came not thither of ten days after: and Antonius camped against Cassius, and Brutus on the other side, against Caesar. The Romans called the valley between both camps, the Philippian fields: and there were never seen two so great armies of the Romans, one before the other, ready to fight. In truth, Brutus' army was inferior to Octavius Caesar's in number of men; but for bravery and rich furniture, Brutus' army far excelled Caesar's. For the most part of their armors were silver and gilt, which Brutus had bountifully given them: although, in all other things, he taught his captains to live in order without excess.

    Brutus' opinion for the bravery of soldiers in their armor and weapons.

    But for the bravery of armor and weapon, which soldiers should carry in their hands, or otherwise wear upon their backs, he thought that it was an encouragement unto them that by nature are greedy of honor, and that it maketh them also fight like devils that love to get, and to be afraid to lose: because they fight to keep their armor and weapon, as also their goods and lands.

    XXXIX. Now when they came to muster their armies, Octavius Caesar took the muster of his army within the trenches of his camp, and gave his men only a little corn, and five silver drachmas to every man to sacrifice to the gods, and to pray for victory. But Brutus, scorning this misery and niggardliness, first of all mustered his army, and did purify it in the fields, according to the manner of the Romans: and then he gave unto every band a number of wethers to sacrifice, and fifty silver drachmas to every soldier. So that Brutus' and Cassius' soldiers were better pleased, and more courageously bent to fight at the day of battle, than their enemies' soldiers were.

    Unlucky signs unto Cassius.

    Notwithstanding, being busily occupied about the ceremonies of this purification, it is reported that there chanced certain unlucky signs unto Cassius. For one of his sergeants that carried the rods before him, brought him the garland of flowers turned backward, the which he should have worn on his head in the time of sacrificing. Moreover it is reported also, that another time before, in certain sports and triumph where they carried an image of Cassius' victory, of clean gold, it fell by chance, the man stumbling that carried it. And yet further, there was seen a marvelous 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 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 marvelous fear.

    Cassius' and Brutus' opinions about the battle.

    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 armor. 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. But perceiving that, in the daily skirmishes and bickerings they made, his men were always the stronger and ever had the better, that yet quickened his spirits again, and did put him in better heart. And furthermore, because that some of their own men had already yielded themselves to their enemies, and that it was suspected moreover divers others would do the like, that made many of Cassius' friends which were of his mind before (when it came to be debated in council, whether the battle should be fought or not) that they were then of Brutus' mind.

    Atellius' opinion for the battle.

    But yet was there one of Brutus' friends called Atellius, that was against it, and was of opinion that they should tarry to the next winter. Brutus asked him what he should get by tarrying a year longer? "If I get nothing else," quoth Atellius again, "yet have I lived so much longer." Cassius was very angry with this answer: and Atellius was maliced and esteemed the worse for it of all men. Thereupon it was presently determined they should fight battle the next day.

    40XL. So Brutus, all supper-time, looked with a cheerful countenance, like a man that had good hope, and talked very wisely of philosophy, and after supper went to bed.

    Cassius' words unto Messala the night before the battle.

    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 jeopardy 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.

    Brutus and Cassius talk before the battle.

    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' answer to Cassius.

    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.

    The battle at Philippi against Octavius Caesar and Antonius.

    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. 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. So Brutus presently sent out his horsemen, who were excellently well appointed, and his footmen also were as willing and ready to give charge.

    XLI. Now Antonius' men did cast a trench from the marrish by the which they lay, to cut off Cassius' way to come to the sea: and Caesar, at the least his army stirred not. As for Octavius Caesar himself, he was not in his camp because he was sick. And for his people, they little thought the enemies would have given them battle, but only have made some light skirmishes to hinder them that wrought in the trench, and with their darts and slings to have kept them from finishing of their work: but they, taking no heed to them that came full upon them to give them battle, marvelled much at the great noise they heard, that came from the place where they were casting their trench. In the meantime Brutus, that led the right wing, sent little bills to the colonels and captains of private bands, in the which he wrote the word of the battle; and he himself, riding a-horseback by all the troupes, did speak to them, and encouraged them to stick to it like men. So by this means very few of them understood what was the word of the battle, and besides, the most part of them never tarried to have it told them, but ran with great fury to assail the enemies; whereby, through this disorder, the legions were marvelously scattered and dispersed one from the other. For first of all Messala's legion, and then the next unto them, went beyond the left wing of the enemies, and did nothing, but glancing by them overthrew some as they went; and so going on further, fell right upon Caesar's camp, out of the which (as himself writeth in his commentaries) he had been conveyed away a little before, through the counsel and advice of one of his friends called Marcus Artorius: who, dreaming in the night, had a vision appeared unto him, that commanded Octavius Caesar should be carried out of his camp. Insomuch as it was thought he was slain, because his litter (which had nothing in it) was thrust through and through with pikes and darts. There was great slaughter in this camp. For amongst others, there were slain two thousand Lacedaemonians, who were arrived but even a little before, coming to aid Caesar.

    XLII. The other also that had not glanced by, but had given a charge full upon Caesar's battle, they easily made them fly, because they were greatly troubled for the loss of their camp; and of them there were slain by hand three legions. Then, being very earnest to follow the chase of them that fled, they ran in amongst them hand over head into their camp, and Brutus among them. But that which the conquerors thought not of, occasion shewed it unto them that they were overcome; and that was, the left wing of their enemies left naked and unguarded of them of the right wing, who were strayed too far off, in following of them that were overthrown. So they gave a hot charge upon them. But, notwithstanding all the force they made, they could not break into the midst of their battle, where they found them that received them and valiantly made head against them. How-beit they brake and overthrew the left wing where Cassius was, by reason of the great disorder among them, and also because they had no intelligence how the right wing had sped. So they chased them, beating them into their camp, the which they spoiled, none of both the chieftains being present there. For Antonius, as it is reported, to fly the fury cf the first charge, was gotten into the next marish : and no man could tell what became of Octavius Caesar, after he was carried out of his camp.

    Octavius Caesar falsely reported to be slain at the battle of Philippi. Cassius' misfortune.

    Insomuch that there were certain soldiers that shewed their swords bloodied, and said that they had slain him, and did describe his face, and shewed what age he was of. Furthermore, the forward end the middest of Brutus' battle had already put all their enemies to flight that withstood them, with great slaughter: so that Brutus had conquered all on his side, and Cassius had lost all on the other side. For nothing undid them but that Brutus went not to help Cassius, thinking he had overcome them as himself had done; and Cassius on the other side tarried not for Brutus, thinking he had been overthrown as himself was. And to prove that the victory fell on Brutus' side, Messala confirmeth, that they wan three eagles, and divers other ensigns of the enemies, and their enemies wan never a one of theirs. Now Brutus returning from the chase, after he had slain and sacked Caesar's men, he wondered much that he could not see Cassius' tent standing up high as it was wont, neither the other tents of his camp standing as they were before, because all the whole camp had been spoiled, and the tents thrown down, at the first coming of their enemies. But they that were about Brutus, whose sight served them better, told them that they saw a great glistering of harness, and a number of silvered targets, that went and came into Cassius' camp, and were not (as they took it) the armors nor the number of men that they had left there to guard the camp; and yet that they saw not such a number of dead bodies and great overthrow as there should have been, if so many legions had been slain. This made Brutus at the first mistrust that which had happened. So he appointed a number of men to keep the camp of his enemy which he had taken, and caused his men to be sent for that yet followed the chase, and gathered them together, thinking to lead them to aid Cassius, who was in this state as you shall hear.


    Cassius offended with the sundry errors Brutus and his men committed in battle.

    First of all, he was marvelous angry to see how Brutus' men ran to give charge upon their enemies, and tarried not for the word of the battle, nor commandment to give charge: and it grieved him beside, that after he had overcome them, his men fell straight to spoil, and were not careful to compass in the rest of the enemies behind: but with tarrying too long also, more than through the valiantness or foresight of the captains his enemies, Cassius found himself compassed in with the right wing of his enemy's army. Whereupon his horsemen brake immediately, and fled for life towards the sea.

    Cassius' valiantness in wars.

    Furthermore perceiving his footmen to give ground, he did what he could to keep them from flying, and took an ensign from one of the ensign-bearers that fled, and stuck it fast at his feet: although with much ado he could scant keep his own guard together. So Cassius himself was at length compelled to fly, with a few about him, unto a little hill, from whence they might easily see what was done in all thc plain: howbeit Cassius himself saw nothing, for his sight was very bad, saving that he saw (and yet with much ado) how the enemies spoiled his camp before his eyes. He saw also a great troupe of horsemen, whom Brutus sent to aid him, and thought that they were his enemies that followed him: but yet he sent Titinnius, one of them that was with him, to go and know what they were. Brutus' horsemen saw him coming afar off, whom when they knew that he was one of Cassius' chiefest friends, they shouted out for joy; and they that were familiarly acquainted with him lighted from their horses, and went and embraced him. The rest compassed him in round about on horseback, with songs of victory and great rushing of their harness, so that they made all the field ring again for joy. But this marred all.

    The importance of error and mistaking in wars.

    For Cassius, thinking indeed that Titinnius was taken of the enemies, he then spake these words: "Desiring too much to live, I have lived to see one of my best friends taken, for my sake, before my face."

    Cassius slain by his man Pindarus.

    After that, he got into a tent where nobody was, and took Pindarus with him, one of his bondsmen whom he reserved ever for such a pinch, since the cursed battle of the Parthians, where Crassus was slain, though he notwithstanding scaped from that overthrow: but then, casting his cloak over his head, and holding out his bare neck unto Pindarus, he gave him his head to be stricken off. So the head was found severed from the body: but after that time Pindarus was never seen more. Whereupon some took occasion to say that he had slain his master without his commandment. By and by they knew the horsemen that came towards them, and might see Titinnius crowned with a garland of triumph, who came before with great speed unto Cassius. But when he perceived, by the cries and tears of his friends which tormented themselves, the misfortune that had chanced to his captain Cassius by mistaking, he drew out his sword, cursing himself a thousand thnes that he had tarried so long, and so slew himself presently in the field.


    The death of Titinnius.

    Brutus in the mean time came forward still, and understood also that Cassius had been overthrown: but he knew nothing of his death till he came very near to his camp. So when he was come thither, after he had lamented the death of Cassius, calling him the last of all the Romans, being unpossible that Rome should ever breed again so noble and valiant a man as he, he caused his body to be buried, and sent it to the city of Thassos, fearing lest his funerals within his camp should cause great disorder. Then he called his soldiers together, and did encourage them again. And when he saw that they had lost all their carriage, which they could not brook well, he promised every man of them two thousand drachmas in recompense. After his soldiers had heard his oration, they were all of them prettily cheered again, wondering much at his great liberality, and waited upon him with great cries when he went his way, praising him, for that he only of the four chieftains was not overcome in battle. And to speak the truth, his deeds shewed that he hoped not in vain to be conqueror. For with few legions he had slain and driven all them away that made head against him: and if all his people had fought, and that the most of them had not outgone their enemies to run to spoil their goods, surely it was like enough he had slain them all, and had left never a man of them alive.


    The number of men slain at the battle of Philippi.

    There were slain of Brutus' side about eight thousand men, counting the soldiers' slaves, whom Brutus called Briges: and of the enemy's side, as Messala writeth, there were slain, as he supposeth, more than twice as many moe. Wherefore they were more discouraged than Brutus, until that, very late at night, there was one of Cassius' men called Demetrius, who went unto Antonius, and carried his master's clothes, whereof he was stripped not long before, and his sword also. This encouraged Brutus' enemies, and made them so brave, that the next morning betimes they stood in battle ray again before Brutus. But on Brutus' side, both his camps stood wavering, and that in great danger. For his own camp, being full of prisoners, required a good guard to look unto them: and Cassius' camp on the other side took the death of their captain very heavily; and beside, there was some vile grudge between them that were overcome and those that did overcome. For this cause therefore Brutus did set them in battle ray6, but yet kept himself from giving battle. Now for the slaves that were prisoners, which were a great number, and went and came to and fro amongst these armed men, not without suspicion, he commanded they should kill them. But for the free men, he sent them freely home, and said that they were better prisoners with his enemies than with him. For with them, they were slaves and servants: and with him, they were free men and citizens.

    Brutus' clemency and courtesy.

    So when he saw that divers captains and his friends did so cruelly hate some, that they would by no means save their lives, Brutus himself hid them, and secretly sent them away. Among these prisoners, there was one Volumnius, a jester, and Sacculio, a common player, of whom Brutus made no account at all. Howbeit his friends brought them unto him, and did accuse them, that though they were prisoners, they did not let to laugh them to scorn, and to jest broadly with them. Brutus made no answer to it, because his head was occupied otherwise. Whereupon Messala Corvinus said that it were good to whip them on a scaffold, and then to send them naked, well whipped, unto the captains of their enemies, to shew them their shame, to keep such mates as those in their camp, to play the fools to make them sport. Some that stood by laughed at his device. But Publius Casca, that gave Julius Caesar the first wound when he was slain, said then: "It doth not become us to be thus merry at Cassius' funerals : and for thee, Brutus, thou shalt shew what estimation thou madest of such a captain thy compeer, by putting to death, or saving the lives of these bloods, who hereafter will mock him and defame his memory." Brutus answered again in choler: "Why then do you come to tell me of it, Casca, and do not yourselves what you think good?" When they heard him say so, they took his answer for a consent against these poor unfortunate men, to suffer them to do what they thought good: and therefore they carried them away, and slew them.

    XLVI. Afterwards Brutus performed the promise he had made to the soldiers, and gave them the two thousand drachmas apiece; but yet he first reproved them, because they went and gave charge upon the enemies at the first battle, before they had the word of battle given them: and made them a new promise also, that if in the second battle they fought like men, he would give them the sack and spoil of two cities, to wit, Thessalonica and Lacedaemon.

    Brutus' fault wisely excused by Plutarch.

    In all Brutus' life there is but this only fault to be found, and that is not to be gainsaid: though Antonius and Octavius Caesar did reward their soldiers far worse for their victory. For when they had driven all the natural Italians out of Italy, they gave their soldiers their lands and towns, to the which they had no right: and moreover the only mark they shot at in all this war they made, was but to overcome and reign: where in contrary manner they had so great an opinion of Brutus' virtue, that the common voice and opinion of the world would not suffer him neither to overcome nor to save himself otherwise than justly and honestly, and specially after Cassius' death; whom men burdened, that oftentimes he moved Brutus to great cruelty. But now, like as the mariners on the sea, after the rudder of their ship is broken by tempest, do seek to nail on some other piece of wood in lieu thereof, and do help themselves to keep them from hurt, as much as may be, upon that instant danger: even so Brutus, having such a great army to govern, and his affairs standing very tickle, and having no other captain coequal uith him in dignity and authority, he was forced to employ them he had; and likewise to be ruled by them in many things, and was of mind himself also to grant them any thing that he thought might make them serve like noble soldiers at time of need. For Cassius' soldiers were very evil to be ruled, and did shew themselves very stubborn and lusty in the camp, because they had no chieftain that did command them: but yet rank cowards to their enemies, because they had once overcome them.

    XLVII.On the other side, Octavius Caesar and Antonius were not in much better state; for first of all they lacked victuals. And because they were lodged in low places, they looked to abide a hard and sharp winter, being camped as they were by the marish. side: and also for that, after the battle, there had fallen plenty of rain about the autumn, wherethrough. all their tents were full of mire and dirt, the which by reason of the cold did freeze incontinently.

    Brutus' victory by sea.

    But beside all these discommodities, there came news unto them of the great loss they had of their men by sea.

    Wonderful famine among Caesar's soldiers by sea.

    For Brutus' ships met with a great aid and supply of men, which were sent them out of Italy, and they overthrew them in such sort, that there scaped but few of them: and yet they were so famished, that they were compelled to eat the tackle and sails of their ships. Thereupon they were very desirous to fight a battle again, before Brutus should have intelligence of this good news for him: for it chanced so, that the battle was fought by sea, on the selfsame day it was fought by land.

    the ignorance of Brutus' victory by sea was his utter destruction.

    But by ill fortune, rather than through the malice or negligence of the captains, this victory came not to Brutus' ear till twenty days after. For had he known of it before, he would not have been brought to have fought a second battle, considering that he had excellent good provision for his army for a long time; and besides lay in a place of great strength, so as his camp could not greatly be hurt by the winter, nor also distressed by his enemies: and further, he had been a quiet lord, being a conqueror by sea, as he was also by land. This would have marvelously encouraged him. Howbeit the state of Rome (in my opinion) being now brought to that pass, that it could no more abide to be governed by many lords, but required one only absolute governor: God, to prevent Brutus that it should not come to his government, kept this victory from his knowledge, though indeed it came but a little too late. For the day before the last battle was given, very late in the night, came Clodius, one of his enemies, into his camp, who told that Caesar, hearing of the overthrow of his army by sea, desired nothing more than to fight a battle before Brutus understood it. Howbeit they gave no credit to his words, but despised him so much, that they would not vouchsafe to bring him unto Brutus, because they thought it but a lie devised, to be the better welcome for this good news.


    The evil spirit appeared again unto Brutus.

    The selfsame night, it is reported that the monstrous spirit which had appeared before unto Brutus in the city of Sardis, did now appear again unto him in the selfsame shape and form, and so vanished away, and said never a word.

    Strange sights before Brutus' second battle.

    Now Publius Volumnius, a grave and wise philosopher, that had been with Brutus from the beginning of this war, doth make no mention of this spirit; but saith that the greatest eagle and ensign was covered over with a swarm of bees; and that there was one of the captains, whose arm suddenly fell a sweating, that it dropped oil of roses from him, and that they oftentimes went about to dry him, but all would do no good. And that, before the battle was fought, there were two eagles fought between both armies, and all the time they fought there was a marvelous great silence all the valley over, both the armies being one before the other, marking this fight between, them; and that in the end, the eagle towards Brutus gave over and fled away. But this is certain, and a true tale, that when the gate of the camp was open, the first man the standardbearer met that carried the eagle, was an Aethiopian, whom the soldiers, for ill luck, mangled with their swords.


    Brutus' second battle.

    Now after that Brutus had brought his army into the field, and had set them in battle ray, directly against the voward. of his enemy, he paused a long time before he gave the signal of battle. For Brutus riding up and down to view the bands and companies, it canme in his head to mistrust some of them, besides that some came to tell him so much as he thought. Moreover, he saw his horsemen set forward but faintly, and did not go lustily to give charge, but still stayed to see what the footmen would do. Then suddenly, one of the chiefest knights he had in all his army, called Camulatius, and that was alway marvelously esteemed of for his valiantness, until that time: he came hard by Brutus on horseback, and rode before his face to yield himself unto his enemies. Brutus was marvelous sorry for it: wherefore, partly for anger, and partly for fear of greater treason and rebellion, he suddenly caused his army to march, being past three of the clock in the afternoon. So in that place where he himself fought in person, he had the better, and brake into the left wing of his enemies; which gave him way, through the help of his horsemen that gave charge with his footmen, when they saw the enemies in a maze. and afraid. Howbeit, the other also on the right wing, when the captains would have had them to have marched, they were afraid to have been compassed in behind, because they were fewer in number than their enemies, and therefore did spread themselves, and leave the middest. of the battle.

    Brutus' valiantness and geat skill in war.

    Whereby they having weakened themselves, they could not withstand the force of their enemies, but turned tail straight and fled. And those that had put them to flight, came in straight upon it to compass Brutus behind, who, in the middest. of the conflict, did all that was possible for a skilful captain and valiant soldier, both for his wisdom, as also his hardiness, for the obtaining of victory. But that which wan. him the victory at the first battle, did now lose it him at the second. For at the first time, the enemies that were broken and fled were straight cut in pieces: but at the second battle, of Cassius' men that were put to flight, there were few slain: and they that saved themselves by speed, being afraid because they had been overcome, did discourage the rest of the army when they came to join with them, and filled all the army with fear and disorder.

    The death of the valiant young man Cato, the son of Marcus Cato.

    There was the son of Marcus Cato slain, valiantly fighting among the lusty youths. For notwithstanding that he was very weary and over-harried, yet would he not therefore fly, but manfully fighting and laying about him, telling aloud his name, and also his father's name, at length he was beaten down amongst many other dead bodies of his enemies, which he had slain round about him.

    The fidelity of Lucilius unto Brutus.

    So there were slain in the field all the chiefest gentlemen and nobility that were in his army, who valiantly ran into any danger to save Brutus' life.

    50L. amongst whom there was one of Brutus' friends called Lucilius, who seeing a troupe of barbarous men making no reckoning of all men else they met in their way, but going all together right against Brutus, he determined to stay them with the hazard of his life; and being left behind, told them that he was Brutus: and because they should believe him, he prayed them to bring him to Antonius, for he said he was afraid of Caesar, and that he did trust Antonius better. These barbarous men, being very glad of this good hap, and thinking themselves happy men, they carried him in the night, and sent some before unto Antonius, to tell him of their coming. He was marvelous glad of it, and went out to meet them that brought him. Others also understanding of it, that they had brought Brutus prisoner, they came out of all parts of the camp to see him, some pitying his hard fortune, and others saying that it was not done like himself, so cowardly to be taken alive of the barbarous people for fear of death. When they came near together, Antonius stayed a while bethinking himself how he should use Brutus. In the meantime Lucilius was brought to him, who stoutly with a bold countenance said: "Antonius, I dare assure thee, that no enemy hath taken nor shall take Marcus Brutus alive, and I beseech God keep him from that fortune: for wheresoever he be found, alive or dead, he will be found like himself. And now for myself, I am come unto thee, having deceived these men of arms here, bearing them down that I was Brutus, and do not refuse to suffer any torment thou wilt put me to." Lucilius' words made them all amazed that heard him. Antonius on the other side, looking upon all them that had brought him, said unto them: "My companions, I think ye are sorry you have failed of your purpose, and that you think this man hath done you great wrong: but I assure you, you have taken a better booty than that you followed. For instead of an enemy you have brought me a friend: and for my part, if you had brought me Brutus alive, truly I cannot tell what I should have done to him. For I had rather have such men my friends, as this man here, than mine enemies." Then he embraced Lucilius, and at that time delivered him to one of his friends in custody; and Lucilius ever after served him faithfully, even to his death.


    Brutus flying.

    Now Brutus having passed a little river, walled in on every side with high rocks and shadowed with great trees, being then dark night, he went no further, but stayed at the foot of a rock with certain of his captains and friends that followed him: and looking up to the firmament that was full of stars, sighing, he rehearsed two verses, of the which Volumnius wrote the one, to this effect:

    Let not the wight from whom this mischief vent, O Jove, escape without due punishment:--

    and saith that he had forgotten the other. Within a little while after, naming his friends that he had seen slain in battle before his eyes, he fetched a greater sigh than before, specially when he came to name Labio and Flavius, of whom the one was his lieutenant, and the other captain of the pioners of his camp. In the meantime one of the company being athirst, and seeing Brutus athirst also, he ran to the river for water, and brought it in his 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 torchlight was lift up as he had promised, for Statilius went thither.

    The death of Statilius.

    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.

    LII. 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.

    Brutus' saying of flying with hands and not with feet.

    Then Brutus, rising up, "We must fly indeed," said he, "but it must be with our hands, not with our feet." Then taking every man 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, dagger; 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 head aside, and that Brutus fell down upon it, and so ran himself through, and died presently.

    LIII.Messala, that had been Brutus' great friend, became afterwards Octavius Caesar's friend: so, shortly after, Caesar being at good leisure, he brought Strato, Brutus' friend, unto him, and weeping said: "Caesar, behold, here is he that did the last service to my Brutus."

    Strato received into Caesar's friendship.

    Caesar 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.

    Messala Corvinus, Brutus' friend.

    It is reported also that this Messala himself answered Caesar one day, when he gave him great praise before his face, that he had fought valiantly and with great affection for him at the battle of Actium (notwithstanding that he had been his cruel enemy before, at the battle of Philippes, for Brutus' sake): "I ever loved," said he, "to take the best and justest part." Now Antonius having found Brutus' body, he caused it to be wrapped up in one of the richest coat-armors. he had. Afterwards also, Antonius understanding that this coat-armor was stolen, he put the thief to death that had stolen it, and sent the ashes of his body unto Servilia his mother.

    Porcia, Brutus' wife, killed herself with burning coals.

    And for Porcia, Brutus' wife, 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 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.