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Marcus Brutus   


wait for him, and by small parties at a time had stolen into the city,
would not venture to come himself; however, in his absence there
were most magnificent and costly shows exhibited to the people; for,
having brought up a great number of all sorts of wild beasts, he
gave order that not any of them should be returned or saved, but
that all should be spent freely at the public spectacles. He himself
made a journey to Naples to procure considerable number of players,
and hearing of one Canutius that was very much praised for his
acting upon the stage, he wrote to his friends to use all their
entreaties to bring him to Rome (for, being a Grecian, he could not be
compelled); he wrote also to Cicero, begging him by no means to omit
being present at the shows.
This was the posture of affairs when another sudden alteration was
made upon the young Caesar's coming to Rome. He was son to the niece
of Caesar, who adopted him, and left him his heir by his will. At
the time when Caesar was killed, he was following his studies at
Apollonia, where he was expecting also to meet Caesar on his way to
the expedition which he had determined on against the Parthians;
but, hearing of his death, he immediately came to Rome, and to
ingratiate himself with the people, taking upon himself the name of
Caesar, and punctually distributing among the citizens the money
that was left them by the will, he soon got the better of Antony;
and by money and largesses, which he liberally dispersed amongst the
soldiers, he gathered together and brought over to his party a great
number of those that had served under Caesar. Cicero himself, out of
the hatred which he bore to Antony, sided with young Caesar; which
Brutus took so ill that he treated with him very sharply in his
letters, telling him that he perceived Cicero could well enough endure
a tyrant, but was afraid that he who hated him should be the man; that
in writing and speaking so well of Caesar, he showed that his aim
was to have an easy slavery. "But our forefathers," said Brutus,
"could not brook even gentle masters." Further he added, that for
his own part he had not as yet fully resolved whether he should make
war or peace; but that as to one point he was fixed and settled, which
was, never to be a slave; that he wondered Cicero should fear the
dangers of a civil war, and not be much more afraid of a dishonourable
and infamous peace; that the very reward that was to be given him
for subverting Antony's tyranny was the privilege of establishing
Caesar as tyrant in his place. This is the tone of Brutus's first
letters to Cicero.
The city being now divided into two factions, some betaking
themselves to Caesar and others to Antony, the soldiers selling
themselves, as it were, by public outcry, and going over to him that
would give them most, Brutus began to despair of any good event of
such proceedings, and, resolving to leave Italy, passed by land
through Lucania and came to Elea by the seaside. From hence it was
thought convenient that Porcia should return to Rome. She was overcome
with grief to part from Brutus, but strove as much as was possible
to conceal it; but, in spite of all her constancy, a picture which she
found there accidentally betrayed it. It was a Greek subject, Hector
parting from Andromache when he went to engage the Greeks, giving
his young son Astyanax into her arms, and she fixing her eyes upon
him. When she looked at this piece, the resemblance it bore to her own
condition made her burst into tears, and several times a day she
went to see the picture, and wept before it. Upon this occasion,
when Acilius, one of Brutus's friends, repeated out of Homer the
verses, where Andromache speaks to Hector:-

"But Hector, you
To me are father and are mother too,
My brother, and my loving husband true."

Brutus, smiling, replied, "But I must not answer Porcia, as Hector did
Andromache:-

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