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then with both hands pulled down his gown from his neck, which was the signal for the attack.
5. Casca inflicted the first blow. It was a stroke upon the neck, but the wound was not dangerous. Cæsar turned
At the same time they both cried out, the one in Latin,
“ Villain! Casca! what dost thou mean?” and the other in Greek called on his brother for help. All the conspirators now drew their swords and surrounded him in such a manner, that whichever way he turned, he saw nothing but steel gleaming in his face and met nothing but wounds.
6. Like some savage beast attacked by the hunters, he found every hand lifted against him, for all had agreed to share in the sacrifice and to taste his blood. At last, as Brutus, whose life he had spared and on whose head he had heaped countless favours, was seen lifting his sword against him, Cæsar drew his robe over his face and uttering the memorable words, “You too, Brutus!” he yielded to his fate. Either by accident or pushed thither by the conspirators, he expired on the pedestal of Pompey's statue and dyed it with his blood, so that his former foe seemed to preside over the work of vengeance, to tread his enemy under his feet and to enjoy his agonies. He had received no fewer than three-andtwenty wounds.—Plutarch (about A.D. 50–120).
What strange question was discussed in Cæsar's presence on the evening before his death? What opinion did Cæsar himself express? What unfavourable omens led Cæsar to resolve not to go to the senate-house? How was he constrained to go? What further intimations did he receive of approaching danger? How was he received by the senate? On what pretext did the conspirators gather round him? What was the signal of attack?
Caius Julius Cæsar, usually called the dictator, was born B.C. 100. He invaded Britain B.c. 55, and again B.c. 54.
Senate, the word originally meant a council of elders. In Rome it included all the noblest men of the state, and resembled partly our House of Lords and partly our House of Commons. The senate had a share in the government but its powers were very limited.
Antony, usually known as Mark Antony, was born about 83 B.C. After serving under Cæsar in Gaul, Antony was employed by him to aid him in resisting the attempts of the aristocracy to crush him. He was consul or chief-magistrate along with Cæsar when the latter was assassinated. He afterwards contended with Augustus for supremacy in the empire. He was worsted in the battle of Actium and in the following year (30) took away his own life. Cleopatra, who had proved his evil genius, also committed suicide.
Brutus, M. Junius, born B.C. 85, died by falling on his own sword after the second battle of Philippi in B.C. 42. He had for. merly fought against Cæsar, who, however, ordered his life to be spared. He was pardoned and served under Cæsar in several offices. He was gained over by Cassius to the number of the conspirators.
Pompey was born in B.c. 106, and died B.C. 48 by the hand of an assassin when about to land in Egypt. He headed the aristocratic party in its conflict with Cæsar. The conflict was decided in the battle of Pharsalia, B.C. 48, in which Pompey was defeated.
AFTER THE MURDER.
1. Brutus. But here comes Antony.—Welcome, Mark An
tony. Antony. Oh mighty Cæsar! Dost thou lie so low?
[Kneeling over the body. Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,
[Rising. Shrunk to this little measure? Fare thee well.I know not, gentlemen, what you intend, Who else must be let blood, who else is rank: If I myself, there is no hour so fit As Cæsar's death's hour; nor no instrument Of half that worth, as those your swords, made rich With the most noble blood of all this world. I do beseech ye, if you bear me hard, Now, whilst your purpled hands do reek and smoke, Fulfil your pleasure. Live a thousand years, I shall not find myself so apt to die: No place will please me so, no mean of death, As here by Cæsar, and by you cut off, The choice and master spirits of this age.
2. Bru. Oh Antony! beg not your death of us.
Though now we must appear bloody and cruel,
For your part,
3. Casca. Your voice shall be as strong as any man's,
In the disposing of new dignities.
Only be patient, till we have appeas'd
I doubt not of your wisdom. Let each man render me his bloody hand:
[Taking them one after other.
[Turning to the body and bending over it.
It would become me better, than to close
5. [Cæsar's body is being carried into the forum or market-place. Brutus ascends the rostra or platform from which orators addressed the people.] Bru.
If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Cæsar's, to him I say, that Brutus' love to Cæsar was no less than his. If then that friend demand, why Brutus rose against Cæsar, this is my answer,-not that I loved Cæsar less, but that I loved Rome more. Had you rather Cæsar were living, and die all slaves, than that Cæsar were dead, to live all free men?
6. As Cæsar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honour him; but as he was ambitious, I slew him: There is tears for his love; joy for his fortune; honour for his valour; and death for his ambition. Who is here so base that would be a bondman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so rude, that would not be a Roman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so vile, that will not love his country? If any, speak; for him have I offended. I I pause for a reply.
7. Citizens. None, Brutus, none.
Bru. Then, none have I offended. I have done no more to Cæsar, than you should do to Brutus. The question