Brutus has precisely the qualities which in every age have rendered the conscientious liberal ineffectual in public life. His convictions required him to take the lead in a political conspiracy which, for its success, called for great agility of mind, a deft and callous adjustment of means to ends, acceptance of the brutal consequences which attend an act of violence, and insight into the motives of men less scrupulous and disinterested than himself. In all these respects he was deficient. Brutus, plotting the assassination of Caesar, did violence to his character, entered into association with men whom he did not understand and involved himself in events which he was unable to control. He committed himself to a course of action which could only be justified by principles which had ceased to be valid for the society in which he lived and which entangled him in unforeseen consequences with which he was unable to cope.


Political Character Full Career Roman Citizen Musical Symphony Master Spirit 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1946

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  • John Palmer

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