[Sidenote: Effect on Brutus.] [Sidenote: Brutus engages in the conspiracy.]
Men of a very calm exterior are often susceptible of the profoundest agitations within, the emotions seeming to be sometimes all the more permanent and uncontrollable from the absence of outward display. Brutus said little, but his soul was excited and fired by Cassius’s words. There was a struggle in his soul between his grateful sense of his political obligations to Caesar and his personal attachment to him on the one hand, and, on the other, a certain stern Roman conviction that every thing should be sacrificed, even friendship and gratitude, as well as fortune and life, to the welfare of his country. He acceded to the plan, and began forthwith to enter upon the necessary measures for putting it into execution.
There was a certain general, named Ligurius, who had been in Pompey’s army, and whose hostility to Caesar had never been really subdued. He was now sick. Brutus went to see him. He found him in his bed. The excitement in Rome was so intense, though the expressions of it were suppressed and restrained, that every one was expecting continually some great event, and every motion and look was interpreted to have some deep meaning. Ligurius read in the countenance of Brutus, as he approached his bedside, that he had not come on any trifling errand. “Ligurius,” said Brutus, “this is not a time for you to be sick.” “Brutus,” replied Ligurius, rising at once from his couch, “if you have any enterprise in mind that is worthy of you, I am well.” Brutus explained to the sick man their design, and he entered into it with ardor.
[Sidenote: Consultations of the conspirators.] [Sidenote: Their bold plan.] [Sidenote: Final arrangements.]
The plan was divulged to one after another of such men as the conspirators supposed most worthy of confidence in such a desperate undertaking, and meetings for consultation were held to determine what plan to adopt for finally accomplishing their end. It was agreed that Caesar must be slain; but the time, the place, and the manner in which the deed should be performed were all yet undecided. Various plans were proposed in the consultations which the conspirators held; but there was one thing peculiar to them all, which was, that they did not any of them contemplate or provide for any thing like secrecy in the commission of the deed. It was to be performed in the most open and public manner. With a stern and undaunted boldness, which has always been considered by mankind as truly sublime, they determined that, in respect to the actual execution itself of the solemn judgment which they had pronounced, there should be nothing private or concealed. They thought over the various public situations in which they might find Caesar, and where they might strike him down, only to select the one which would be most public of all. They kept, of course, their preliminary counsels private,