“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 was, the most conspicuous woman, in the world.
CLEOPATRA AND ANTONY.
Cleopatra espouses Antony’s cause.—Her motives.—Antony’s early life.—His character.—Personal habits of Antony.—His dress and manners.—Vicious indulgences of Antony.—Public condemnation.—Vices of the great.—Candidates for office.—Antony’s excesses.—His luxury and extravagance.—Antony’s energy.—His powers of endurance.—Antony’s vicissitudes.—He inveighs away the troops of Lepidus.—Antony’s marriage.—Fulvia’s character.—Fulvia’s influence over Antony.—The sudden return.—Change in Antony’s character.—His generosity.—Funeral ceremonies of Brutus.—Antony’s movements.—Antony’s summons to Cleopatra.—The messenger Dellius.—Cleopatra resolves to go to Antony.—Her preparations.—Cleopatra enters the Cydnus.—Her splendid barge.—A scene of enchantment.—Antony’s invitation refused. —Cleopatra’s reception of Antony.—Antony outdone.—Murder of Arsinoe.—Cleopatra’s manner of life at Tarsus.—Cleopatra’s munificence.—Story of the pearls.—Position of Fulvia.—Her anxiety and distress.—Antony proposes to go to Rome.—His plans frustrated by Cleopatra.—Antony’s infatuation.—Feasting and revelry.—Philotas.—The story of the eight boats.—Antony’s son.—The garrulous guest.—The puzzle.—The gold and silver plate returned.—Debasing pleasures. —Antony and Cleopatra in disguise.—Fishing excursions.—Stratagems. —Fulvia’s plans for compelling Antony to return.—Departure of Antony.—Chagrin of Cleopatra.