Main  Contacts  
Table of contents

messenger went accordingly to the brook again, but he came back very 

soon, wounded and bleeding, and reported that the enemy was close upon 

them on that side too, and that he had narrowly escaped with his life. 

The apprehensions of Brutus's party were greatly increased by these 

tidings; it was evident that all hope of being able to remain long 

concealed where they were must fast disappear. 


One of the officers, named Statilius, then proposed to make the attempt 

to find his way out of the snare in which they had become involved. He 

would go, he said, as cautiously as possible, avoiding all parties of 

the enemy, and being favored by the darkness of the night, he hoped to 

find some way of retreat. If he succeeded, he would display a torch on a 

distant elevation which he designated, so that the party in the glen, on 

seeing the light, might be assured of his safety. He would then return 

and guide them all through the danger, by the way which he should have 



This plan was approved, and Statilius accordingly departed. In due time 

the light was seen burning at the place which had been pointed out, and 

indicating that Statilius had accomplished his undertaking. Brutus and 

his party were greatly cheered by the new hope which this result 

awakened. They began to watch and listen for their messenger's return. 

They watched and waited long, but he did not come. On the way back he 

was intercepted and slain. 


When at length all hope that he would return was finally abandoned, some 

of the party, in the course of the despairing consultations which the 

unhappy fugitives held with one another, said that they _must not_ 

remain any longer where they were, but must make their escape from that 

spot at all hazards. "Yes," said Brutus, "we must indeed make our escape 

from our present situation, but we must do it with our hands, and not 

with our feet." He meant by this that the only means now left to them to 

evade their enemies was self-destruction. When his friends understood 

that this was his meaning, and that he was resolved to put this design 

into execution in his own case, they were overwhelmed with sorrow. 

Brutus took them, one by one, by the hand and bade them farewell. He 

thanked them for their fidelity in adhering to his cause to the last, 

and said that it was a source of great comfort and satisfaction to him 

that all his friends had proved so faithful and true. "I do not complain 

of my hard fate," he added, "so far as I myself am concerned. I mourn 

only for my unhappy country. As to myself, I think that my condition 

even now is better than that of my enemies; for though I die, posterity 

will do me justice, and I shall enjoy forever the honor which virtue and 

integrity deserve; while they, though they live, live only to reap the 

bitter fruits of injustice and of tyranny. 


"After I am gone," he continued, addressing his friends, as before, 

"think no longer of me, but take care of yourselves. Antony, I am sure, 

will be satisfied with Cassius's death and mine. He will not be disposed 

to pursue you vindictively any longer. Make peace with him on the best 

terms that you can." 


Brutus then asked first one and then another of his friends to aid him 

in the last duty, as he seems to have considered it, of destroying his 

life; but one after another declared that they could not do any thing to 

assist him in carrying into effect so dreadful a determination. Finally, 

he took with him an old and long-tried friend named Strato, and went 

away a little, apart from the rest. Here he solicited once more the 

favor which had been refused him before,--begging that Strato would hold 

out his sword. Strato still refused. Brutus then called one of his 

slaves. Upon this Strato declared that he would do any thing rather than 

that Brutus should die by the hand of a slave. He took the sword, and. 

with his right hand held it extended in the air. With the left hand he 

covered his eyes, that he might not witness the horrible spectacle. 

Brutus, rushed upon the point of the weapon with such fatal force that 

he fell and immediately expired. 


Thus ended the great and famous battle of Philippi, celebrated in 

history as marking the termination of the great conflict between the 

friends and the enemies of Caesar, which agitated the world so deeply 

after the conqueror's death. This battle established the ascendency of 

Antony, and made him for a time the most conspicuous man, as Cleopatra 

Page 7 from 8:  Back   1   2   3   4   5   6  [7]  8   Forward