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Strato, thou hast been all this while asleep;
[Alarum. Cry within; Fly, fly, fly.
Hence; I will follow thee. [Exeunt Clitus, DARDANIUS, and VOLUMNIUS. I pr’ythee, Strato, stay thou by thy lord: Thou art a fellow of a good respect; Thy life hath had some smatch of honour in it: Hold then my sword, and turn away thy face, While I do run upon it. Wilt thou, Strato?
Stra. Give me your hand first: Fare you well,
Bru. Farewell, good Strato.—Cæsar, now be still : I kill'd not thee with half so good a will.
[He runs on his Sword, and dies.
Alarum. Retreat. Enter OCTAVIUS, ANTONY,
Messala, Lucilius, and their Army. Oct. What man is that? Mes. My master's man.-Strato, where is thy
master? Stra. Free from the bondage you are in, Messala; The conquerors can but make a fire of him; For Brutus only overcame himself, And no man else hath honour by his death. Luc. So Brutus should be found.--I thank thee,
That thou hast prov'd Lucilius' saving true.
Oct. All that served Brutus, I will entertain them." Fellow, wilt thou bestow thy time with me?
Stra. Ay, if Messala will prefer me to you.
How died my master, Strato? Stra. I held the sword, and he did run on it.
Mes. Octavius, then take him to follow thee, That did the latest service to my master.
Ant. This was the noblest Roman of them all: All the conspirators, save only he, Did that they did in envy of great Cæsar; He, only, in a general honest thought, And common good to all, made one of them. His life was gentle; and the elements So mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up, And say to all the world, This was a man!
Oct. According to his virtue let us use him, With all respect, and rites of burial. Within my tent his bones to-night shall lie, Most like a soldier, order'd honourably:So, call the field to rest: and let's away, To part the glories of this happy day. [Exeunt.
+ That thou hast prov'd Lucilius' saying true.] See p. 334.
entertain them.) i. e. receive them into my service. Ay, if Messala will prefer me to you.) To prefer seems to have been the established phrase for recommending a serrant.
? Of this tragedy many particular passages deserve regard, and the contention and reconcilement of Brutus and Cassius is universally celebrated; but I have never been strongly agitated in perusing it, and think it somewhat cold and unaffecting, compared with some other of Shakspeare's plays: his adherence to the real story, and to Roman manners, seem to have impeded the natural vigour of his genius. Johnson.