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reason of Cæsar's death, and also inform the people that Antony spoke by their free permission: but / Cassius was still discontented; he thought Mark Antony, pleading the cause of Cæsar dead, was little less dangerous than Cæsar living. It was a cause to inspire eloquence; and Antony was eloquent but Brutus's word was law, and with a reluctant spirit he was compelled to submit. The conspirators now departed, leaving Antony to mourn over the body of his friend and master, whose spirit he invoked to pardon him that he, though for the more effectual purpose of revenge, had dissembled with his murderers.
The citizens of Rome were so confounded by the late occurrences, that they appeared stupified, and totally incapable either of acting or thinking. At the sight of the conspirators, they however, demanded satisfaction; and Brutus promised they should be ́ satisfied by the explanation which would be given. They followed to the forum, where Brutus mounted the pulpit, and addressed them. He avowed his love for Cæsar; but that his love for Rome was greater: and in the cause of freedom he had struck the bosom of a friend. He appealed to them to know whether they wished to be bondmen ?-Whether they did not love their country ?—and whether he had offended in wishing to preserve them and their country from the bonds of slavery? Then drawing his dagger forth, told them, that as he had slain his best friend for the good of Rome, he had the same dagger ready for himself whenever it should please his country to need his death.
So great was the respect in which Brutus was held by the Romans, that all resentment was lost sight of, in veneration for his character; and they were about to carry him in triumph to his own house, bat he forbade them.
Good countrymen, let me depart alone,
Brutus departed; and now the body of Cæsar, in slow and solemn procession, advanced, preceded by the weeping Antony. At sight of this horrid spectacle, the indignation, which respect for Brutus had suppressed, now broke forth again; and when Antony addressed them, they listened in mute attention. He forbore to speak against the conspirators; to that forbearance he was bound, when Brutus gave him permission to speak: but he spoke of Cæsar with tender affliction, pointed out his wounds, calling them poor dumb mouths, and bidding them speak for him. He then displayed his mantle, showed every stab, and marked the name of him who struck; but most he dwelt on the rent which Brutus's dagger made-Brutus, whose ingratitude quite vanquished the noble Cæsar; and his mighty heart had burst with anguish, even before the wounds had opened the gates of life.
So eloquently did Antony plead the cause of Cæsar murdered-so horribly the mangled form of murdered Cæsar looked, that tears and lamentations were succeeded by rage and fury; while the people swore to tear the limbs of every conspirator, and Antony burn the house of Brutus to the ground. detained them yet a while longer, to hear the testament of Cæsar; wherein he had bequeathed to every citizen of Rome seventy-five drachmas, with free liberty also to use all his walks, private arbours, and new-planted orchards, as a privilege to them and their heirs for ever.
This striking instance of Cæsar's kindness to them, even after his death, added the force of grat
itude to their previous indignation; and nothing could now restrain their rage. They tore up the benches, tables, and doors of the forum-making a funeral pile; and, having collected his ashes, and paid all honour to his memory, they began the work of vengeance. Their first fury was vented on an innocent victim. Cinna, a poet, had dreamed that he was at supper with Cæsar, who took him by the hand and led him away. The poor man was so powerfully affected by this dream, that it threw him into a fever; yet his love for Cæsar's memory overpowered his bodily sufferings, he went to join the procession, and do honour to his funeral. The citizens questioned him as to who he was; and he saying his name was Cinna, they mistook him for Cinna the conspirator. In vain he appealed: the name was enough; and the hapless poet fell a victim to the infuriated mob. This caused such alarm to the conspirators, that they fled different ways, fearful of the popular indignation excited against them.
At this eventful period Octavius, Cæsar's nephew, arrived in Rome, and united with Mark Antony and Lipidus, forming a triumvirate, to revenge Cæsar's murder. They accordingly met at the house of Antony, and arranged their plans, examined the will
of Cæsar, and took upon themselves the chief management of the commonwealth.
Short was the triumph of the conspirators. Brutus and Cassius, indeed, made war on Octavius and Antony; but sorrow and disappointment seemed to await them dissensions rose between them, which disturbed their quiet; and Brutus, in the midst of his cares, learned the sad news of his wife's death, who, unable to endure his disgrace and absence from Rome, took an opportunity, when left alone, to destroy herself; and, not possessing any easier mode of suicide, she swallowed fire, and soon after expired in agony.
Sleep seldom visited the couch of Brutus. He passed a weary life, not comforted in any thing, but in the reflection, that in his ingratitude to Cæsar, he meant well for his country, though his hopes had proved fallacious. Encamped near Sardis, one night, when more than usually restless, he beheld standing near him, a monstrous form, which looked terribly upon him. He spoke, and inquired whether it was an angel, god, or devil, stood before him? "Thy evil genius, Brutus, (replied the spirit.) We shall meet again. Thou wilt see me at Philippi! !?? So saying, the spirit vanished; and, as it passed from the fixed look of Brutus, assumed the form and features of the murdered Cæsar, a sight at which the brave and fearless Brutus shuddered.
The day of battle arrived: it was on the birthday of Cassius; and depression hung on the warriors' minds. The vision, which had appeared, warned Brutus, that either death or affliction hovered near ; and Cassius was enfeebled by gloomy presages. Coming from Sardis, two mighty eagles had perched upon their foremost ensign, had fed out of the soldiers' hands, and travelled familiarly with them as far as Philippi but on this morning they fled away— and, in their place, ravens, crows, and kites hovered
over the heads of the army, and looked down upon them, as though they were marked for prey. The spirits of the soldiers were sunk, and scarce a dawn of hope seemed to cheer them; whilst Brutus and Cassius took a tender leave of each other, not daring to expect ever to meet again.
The armies met on the plains of Philippi; and, ere Brutus left his tent, again the vision stood before him, and warned him that "HIS HOUR WAS COME." In the very first attack they were routed, and many of Brutus's army fied. Cassius and Titinius were at a distance from the field, when Pindarus entreated them to fly farther still; Mark Antony was in his tent; and Cassius, looking round, beheld them all in flames. He requested Titinius to take horse, and learn whether the troops he saw in one particular part of the field were friend or enemy Titinius departed, whilst Pindarus mounted a lofty hill, to mark the issue, when, overpowered by his own
apprehensions, he imagined he saw Titinius surrounded by the enemy and slain, and a loud shout at that moment confirmed it. Cassius was unable to bear up against this stroke of fate. Titinius was his best and dearest friend; he would not outlive his Loss, or suffer Mark Antony and young Octavius to