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Marcus Brutus   


him, for with them they were captives and slaves, but with him freemen
and citizens of Rome. But he was forced to hide and help them to
escape privately, perceiving that his friends and officers were bent
upon revenge against them. Among the captives there was one Volumnius,
a player, and Sacculio, a buffoon; of these Brutus took no manner of
notice, but his friends brought them before him and accused them
that even then in that condition they did not refrain from their jests
and scurrilous language. Brutus, having his mind taken up with other
affairs, said nothing to their accusation; but the judgment of Messala
Corvinus was, that they should be whipped publicly upon a stage, and
so sent naked to the captains of the enemy, to show them what sort
of fellow-drinkers and companions they took with them on their
campaigns. At this some that were present laughed; and Publius
Casca, he that gave the first wound to Caesar, said, "We do ill to
jest and make merry at the funeral of Cassius. But you, O Brutus,"
he added, "will show what esteem you have for the memory of that
general, according as you punish or preserve alive those who will
scoff and speak shamefully of him." To this Brutus, in great
discomposure, replied, "Why then, Casca, do you ask me about it, and
not do yourselves what you think fitting?" This answer of Brutus was
taken for his consent to the death of these wretched men; so they were
carried away and slain.
After this he gave the soldiers the reward that he had promised
them; and having slightly reproved them for having fallen upon the
enemy in disorder without the word of battle or command, he promised
them, that if they behaved themselves bravely in the next
engagement, he would give them up two cities to spoil and plunder,
Thessalonica and Lacedaemon. This is the one indefensible thing of all
that is found fault with in the life of Brutus; though true it may
be that Antony and Caesar were much more cruel in the rewards that
they gave their soldiers after victory; for they drove out, one
might almost say, all the old inhabitants of Italy, to put their
soldiers in possession of other men's lands and cities. But indeed
their only design and end in undertaking the war was to obtain
dominion and empire, whereas Brutus, for the reputation of his virtue,
could not be permitted either to overcome or save himself but with
justice and honour, especially after the death of Cassius, who was
generally accused of having been his adviser to some things that he
had done with less clemency. But now, as in a ship, when the rubber is
broken by a storm, the mariners fit and nail on some other piece of
wood instead of it, striving against the danger not well, but as
well as in that necessity they can, so Brutus, being at the head of so
great an army, in a time of such uncertainty, having no commander
equal to his need, was forced to make use of those that he had, and to
do and to say many things according to their advice; which was, in
effect, whatever might conduce to the bringing of Cassius's soldiers
into better order. For they were very headstrong and intractable, bold
and insolent in the camp for want of their general, but in the field
cowardly and fearful, remembering that they had been beaten.
Neither were the affairs of Caesar and Antony in any better posture;
for they were straitened for provision, and, the camp being in a low
ground, they expected to pass a very hard winter. For being driven
close upon the marshes, and a great quantity of rain, as is usual in
autumn, having fallen after the battle, their tents were all filled
with mire and water, which through the coldness of the weather
immediately froze. And while they were in this condition, there was
news brought to them of their loss at sea. For Brutus's fleet fell
upon their ships, which were bringing a great supply of soldiers out
of Italy, and so entirely defeated them, that but very few of the
men escaped being slain, and they too were forced by famine to feed
upon the sails and tackle of the ship. As soon as they heard this,
they made what haste they could to come to the decision of a battle,
before Brutus should have notice of his good success. For it had so
happened that the fight both by sea and land was on the same day,

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