Brutus received word that an army was approaching his camp and he ordered his two generals to accompany him with a troop of soldiers to meet them. The two parties approached each other and it became clear that the advancing group was Cassius’ army, led by one of his captains, Titanius. Cassius’ servant, Pindaris, was with him.
‘Halt,’ said Brutus.
Lucilius held his hand up to the officer behind him. ‘Give the word. Halt, and wait.’ He galloped to the other party, spoke to its leaders and returned swiftly with Pindarus.
‘What is it, Lucilius?’ said Brutus. ‘Is Cassius coming?’
‘He’s here,’ said Lucilius, and Pindarus has come to bring you greetings from him.’
‘It’s an impressive greeting,’ said Brutus. ‘Your master, Pindarus, either because he has changed his mind or because he’s been badly advised by his officers, has given me reason to wish that some of the things he has done could be undone. But if he’s here I’m sure he’ll give me a satisfactory explanation.’
‘I’m sure that my noble master will display his usual respect for you.’
‘I don’t doubt him at all,’ said Brutus. ‘A word Lucilius.’ He rode a few paces away and Lucilius followed. ‘How did he receive you? Speak plainly.’
‘With courtesy and sufficient respect, but without his usual friendly gestures, not with such informal and friendly chat as he used to.’
‘You’re describing a warm friend cooling off,’ said Brutus. ‘Remember this, Lucius: when friendship begins to cool off it uses a formal politeness. There’s none of that in sincerity, but insincere men, like horses, burning with eagerness at first, making a show of their eagerness and quality…’ The other party was approaching to the accompaniment of a drum beat. ‘…but when they have to endure the reality of battle, they lower their arched necks and like worthless horses, fail the test. Is his army coming?’
‘They intend setting up camp at Sardis for the night. The biggest division, mainly cavalry, have come with Cassius.’
‘They’re here,’ said Brutus. March slowly forward to meet him.’
The two armies faced each other. The word went along both armies to halt.
Cassius and Brutus dismounted and shook hands.
‘Most noble brother you have done me wrong,’ said Cassius.
‘May the gods judge me,’ said Brutus. ‘Do I even wrong my enemies? If I don’t do that am I likely to wrong a brother?’
Cassius shook his head. ‘Brutus, this dignified posture of yours hides injustices, and when you do them…’
‘Cassius, be calm. Speak your grievances quietly. I understand what you’re saying. With the eyes of both our armies on us, when they should see nothing but harmony between us, let’s not quarrel. Tell them to move away, then explain your concerns to me in my tent and I will listen.’
Cassius beckoned to Pindarus. ‘Tell our commanders to lead their men away a little.’
Lucius, you do that too,’ said Brutus. And don’t let anyone come to my tent until we’ve finished our meeting. Lucilius and Titinius, come and guard the entrance.’