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[131] On the following day Brutus, seeing the enemy still lying in wait for him, and having less than four full legions, which had ascended the mountain with him, thought it best not to address himself to his troops, but to their officers, who were ashamed and repentant of their fault. To them he sent to put them to the test and to learn whether they were willing to break through the enemy's lines and regain their own camp, which was still held by their troops who had been left there. These officers, though they had rushed to battle unadvisedly, had been of good courage for the most part, but now, misled by a god, gave to their general the undeserved answer that he should look out for himself, that they had tempted fortune many times, and that they would not throw away the last remaining hope of accommodation. Then Brutus said to his friends, "I am no longer useful to my country if such is the temper of these men," and calling Strato, the Epirote, who was one of his friends, gave him the order to stab him. While Strato was still willing to deliberate, Brutus called one of his servants. Then Strato said, "Your friend shall not come short of your servants in executing your last commands, if the decision is actually reached." With these words he thrust his sword into the side of Brutus, who did not shrink or turn away.1

1 Dion Cassius (xlvii. 49) says that before killing himself Brutus repeated the words of Hercules: "Delusive virtue, thou art but a name. I cultivated thee as a reality, but thou art the slave of fortune." Florus (iv. 7) puts in the mouth of Brutus nearly the same words: "Non in re, sed in verbo tantum esse virtutem." Brutus' dying speech given by Plutarch is much longer, as well as more appropriate and dignified, and better entitled to credence.

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