The Works of William Shakespeare
Julius Caesar

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JULIUS CAESAR ACT IV SCENE III

Brutus' tent.

 

Enter Brutus and Cassius.

CASSIUS

That you have wrong'd me doth appear in this:

You have condemn'd and noted Lucius Pella

For taking bribes here of the Sardians,

Wherein my letters, praying on his side,

Because I knew the man, were slighted off.

BRUTUS

You wrong'd yourself to write in such a case.

CASSIUS

In such a time as this it is not meet

That every nice offense should bear his comment.

BRUTUS

Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself

Are much condemn'd to have an itching palm,

To sell and mart your offices for gold

To undeservers.

CASSIUS

I an itching palm?

You know that you are Brutus that speaks this,

Or, by the gods, this speech were else your last.

BRUTUS

The name of Cassius honors this corruption,

And chastisement doth therefore hide his head.

CASSIUS

Chastisement?

BRUTUS

Remember March, the ides of March remember.

Did not great Julius bleed for justice' sake?

What villain touch'd his body, that did stab,

And not for justice? What, shall one of us,

That struck the foremost man of all this world

But for supporting robbers, shall we now

Contaminate our fingers with base bribes

And sell the mighty space of our large honors

For so much trash as may be grasped thus?

I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,

Than such a Roman.

CASSIUS

Brutus, bait not me,

I'll not endure it. You forget yourself

To hedge me in. I am a soldier, I,

Older in practice, abler than yourself

To make conditions.

BRUTUS

Go to, you are not, Cassius.

CASSIUS

I am.

BRUTUS

I say you are not.

CASSIUS

Urge me no more, I shall forget myself;

Have mind upon your health, tempt me no farther.

BRUTUS

Away, slight man!

CASSIUS

Is't possible?

BRUTUS

Hear me, for I will speak.

Must I give way and room to your rash choler?

Shall I be frighted when a madman stares?

CASSIUS

O gods, ye gods! Must I endure all this?

BRUTUS

All this? Ay, more. Fret till your proud heart break.

Go show your slaves how choleric you are,

And make your bondmen tremble. Must I bouge?

Must I observe you? Must I stand and crouch

Under your testy humor? By the gods,

You shall digest the venom of your spleen,

Though it do split you, for, from this day forth,

I'll use you for my mirth, yea, for my laughter,

When you are waspish.

CASSIUS

Is it come to this?

BRUTUS

You say you are a better soldier:

Let it appear so, make your vaunting true,

And it shall please me well. For mine own part,

I shall be glad to learn of noble men.

CASSIUS

You wrong me every way, you wrong me, Brutus.

I said, an elder soldier, not a better.

Did I say "better"?

BRUTUS

If you did, I care not.

CASSIUS

When Caesar lived, he durst not thus have moved me.

BRUTUS

Peace, peace! You durst not so have tempted him.

CASSIUS

I durst not?

BRUTUS

No.

CASSIUS

What, durst not tempt him?

BRUTUS

For your life you durst not.

CASSIUS

Do not presume too much upon my love;

I may do that I shall be sorry for.

BRUTUS

You have done that you should be sorry for.

There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats,

For I am arm'd so strong in honesty,

That they pass by me as the idle wind

Which I respect not. I did send to you

For certain sums of gold, which you denied me,

For I can raise no money by vile means.

By heaven, I had rather coin my heart

And drop my blood for drachmas than to wring

From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash

By any indirection. I did send

To you for gold to pay my legions,

Which you denied me. Was that done like Cassius?

Should I have answer'd Caius Cassius so?

When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous

To lock such rascal counters from his friends,

Be ready, gods, with all your thunderbolts,

Dash him to pieces!

CASSIUS

I denied you not.

BRUTUS

You did.

CASSIUS

I did not. He was but a fool

That brought my answer back. Brutus hath rived my heart.

A friend should bear his friend's infirmities,

But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.

BRUTUS

I do not, till you practise them on me.

CASSIUS

You love me not.

BRUTUS

I do not like your faults.

CASSIUS

A friendly eye could never see such faults.

BRUTUS

A flatterer's would not, though they do appear

As huge as high Olympus.

CASSIUS

Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come,

Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius,

For Cassius is aweary of the world:

Hated by one he loves; braved by his brother;

Check'd like a bondman; all his faults observed,

Set in a notebook, learn'd and conn'd by rote,

To cast into my teeth. O, I could weep

My spirit from mine eyes! There is my dagger,

And here my naked breast; within, a heart

Dearer than Pluto's mine, richer than gold.

If that thou best a Roman, take it forth;

I, that denied thee gold, will give my heart.

Strike, as thou didst at Caesar, for I know,

When thou didst hate him worst, thou lovedst him better

Than ever thou lovedst Cassius.

BRUTUS

Sheathe your dagger.

Be angry when you will, it shall have scope;

Do what you will, dishonor shall be humor.

O Cassius, you are yoked with a lamb,

That carries anger as the flint bears fire,

Who, much enforced, shows a hasty spark

And straight is cold again.

CASSIUS

Hath Cassius lived

To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus,

When grief and blood ill-temper'd vexeth him?

BRUTUS

When I spoke that, I was ill-temper'd too.

CASSIUS

Do you confess so much? Give me your hand.

BRUTUS

And my heart too.

CASSIUS

O Brutus!

BRUTUS

What's the matter?

CASSIUS

Have not you love enough to bear with me

When that rash humor which my mother gave me

Makes me forgetful?

BRUTUS

Yes, Cassius, and from henceforth,

When you are overearnest with your Brutus,

He'll think your mother chides, and leave you so.

POET

[Within.] Let me go in to see the generals.

There is some grudge between 'em, 'tis not meet

They be alone.

LUCILIUS

[Within.] You shall not come to them.

POET

[Within.] Nothing but death shall stay me.

Enter Poet, followed by Lucilius, Titinius, and Lucius.

CASSIUS

How now, what's the matter?

POET

For shame, you generals! What do you mean?

Love, and be friends, as two such men should be;

For I have seen more years, I'm sure, than ye.

CASSIUS

Ha, ha! How vilely doth this cynic rhyme!

BRUTUS

Get you hence, sirrah; saucy fellow, hence!

CASSIUS

Bear with him, Brutus; 'tis his fashion.

BRUTUS

I'll know his humor when he knows his time.

What should the wars do with these jigging fools?

Companion, hence!

CASSIUS

Away, away, be gone!

Exit Poet.

BRUTUS

Lucilius and Titinius, bid the commanders

Prepare to lodge their companies tonight.

CASSIUS

And come yourselves and bring Messala with you

Immediately to us.

Exeunt Lucilius and Titinius.

BRUTUS

Lucius, a bowl of wine!

Exit Lucius.

CASSIUS

I did not think you could have been so angry.

BRUTUS

O Cassius, I am sick of many griefs.

CASSIUS

Of your philosophy you make no use,

If you give place to accidental evils.

BRUTUS

No man bears sorrow better. Portia is dead.

CASSIUS

Ha? Portia?

BRUTUS

She is dead.

CASSIUS

How 'scaped killing when I cross'd you so?

O insupportable and touching loss!

Upon what sickness?

BRUTUS

Impatient of my absence,

And grief that young Octavius with Mark Antony

Have made themselves so strong- for with her death

That tidings came- with this she fell distract,

And (her attendants absent) swallow'd fire.

CASSIUS

And died so?

BRUTUS

Even so.

CASSIUS

O ye immortal gods!

Re-enter Lucius, with wine and taper.

BRUTUS

Speak no more of her. Give me a bowl of wine.

In this I bury all unkindness, Cassius.

Drinks.

CASSIUS

My heart is thirsty for that noble pledge.

Fill, Lucius, till the wine o'erswell the cup;

I cannot drink too much of Brutus' love.

Drinks.

BRUTUS

Come in, Titinius!

Exit Lucius.

Re-enter Titinius, with Messala.

Welcome, good Messala.

Now sit we close about this taper here,

And call in question our necessities.

CASSIUS

Portia, art thou gone?

BRUTUS

No more, I pray you.

Messala, I have here received letters

That young Octavius and Mark Antony

Come down upon us with a mighty power,

Bending their expedition toward Philippi.

MESSALA

Myself have letters of the selfsame tenure.

BRUTUS

With what addition?

MESSALA

That by proscription and bills of outlawry

Octavius, Antony, and Lepidus

Have put to death an hundred senators.

BRUTUS

There in our letters do not well agree;

Mine speak of seventy senators that died

By their proscriptions, Cicero being one.

CASSIUS

Cicero one!

MESSALA

Cicero is dead,

And by that order of proscription.

Had you your letters from your wife, my lord?

BRUTUS

No, Messala.

MESSALA

Nor nothing in your letters writ of her?

BRUTUS

Nothing, Messala.

MESSALA

That, methinks, is strange.

BRUTUS

Why ask you? Hear you aught of her in yours?

MESSALA

No, my lord.

BRUTUS

Now, as you are a Roman, tell me true.

MESSALA

Then like a Roman bear the truth I tell:

For certain she is dead, and by strange manner.

BRUTUS

Why, farewell, Portia. We must die, Messala.

With meditating that she must die once

I have the patience to endure it now.

MESSALA

Even so great men great losses should endure.

CASSIUS

I have as much of this in art as you,

But yet my nature could not bear it so.

BRUTUS

Well, to our work alive. What do you think

Of marching to Philippi presently?

CASSIUS

I do not think it good.

BRUTUS

Your reason?

CASSIUS

This it is:

'Tis better that the enemy seek us;

So shall he waste his means, weary his soldiers,

Doing himself offense, whilst we lying still

Are full of rest, defense, and nimbleness.

BRUTUS

Good reasons must of force give place to better.

The people 'twixt Philippi and this ground

Do stand but in a forced affection,

For they have grudged us contribution.

The enemy, marching along by them,

By them shall make a fuller number up,

Come on refresh'd, new-added, and encouraged;

From which advantage shall we cut him off

If at Philippi we do face him there,

These people at our back.

CASSIUS

Hear me, good brother.

BRUTUS

Under your pardon. You must note beside

That we have tried the utmost of our friends,

Our legions are brim-full, our cause is ripe:

The enemy increaseth every day;

We, at the height, are ready to decline.

There is a tide in the affairs of men

Which taken at the flood leads on to fortune;

Omitted, all the voyage of their life

Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

On such a full sea are we now afloat,

And we must take the current when it serves,

Or lose our ventures.

CASSIUS

Then, with your will, go on;

We'll along ourselves and meet them at Philippi.

BRUTUS

The deep of night is crept upon our talk,

And nature must obey necessity,

Which we will niggard with a little rest.

There is no more to say?

CASSIUS

No more. Good night.

Early tomorrow will we rise and hence.

BRUTUS

Lucius!

Re-enter Lucius.

My gown.

Exit Lucius.

Farewell, good Messala;

Good night, Titinius; noble, noble Cassius,

Good night and good repose.

CASSIUS

O my dear brother!

This was an ill beginning of the night.

Never come such division 'tween our souls!

Let it not, Brutus.

BRUTUS

Everything is well.

CASSIUS

Good night, my lord.

BRUTUS

Good night, good brother.

TITINIUS. MESSALA.

Good night, Lord Brutus.

BRUTUS

Farewell, everyone.

Exeunt all but Brutus.

Re-enter Lucius, with the gown.

Give me the gown. Where is thy instrument?

LUCIUS

Here in the tent.

BRUTUS

What, thou speak'st drowsily?

Poor knave, I blame thee not, thou art o'erwatch'd.

Call Claudio and some other of my men,

I'll have them sleep on cushions in my tent.

LUCIUS

Varro and Claudio!

Enter Varro and Claudio.

VARRO

Calls my lord?

BRUTUS

I pray you, sirs, lie in my tent and sleep;

It may be I shall raise you by and by

On business to my brother Cassius.

VARRO

So please you, we will stand and watch your pleasure.

BRUTUS

I would not have it so. Lie down, good sirs.

It may be I shall otherwise bethink me.

Look Lucius, here's the book I sought for so;

I put it in the pocket of my gown.

Varro and Claudio lie down.

LUCIUS

I was sure your lordship did not give it me.

BRUTUS

Bear with me, good boy, I am much forgetful.

Canst thou hold up thy heavy eyes awhile,

And touch thy instrument a strain or two?

LUCIUS

Ay, my lord, an't please you.

BRUTUS

It does, my boy.

I trouble thee too much, but thou art willing.

LUCIUS

It is my duty, sir.

BRUTUS

I should not urge thy duty past thy might;

I know young bloods look for a time of rest.

LUCIUS

I have slept, my lord, already.

BRUTUS

It was well done, and thou shalt sleep again;

I will not hold thee long. If I do live,

I will be good to thee.

Music, and a song.

This is a sleepy tune. O murtherous slumber,

Layest thou thy leaden mace upon my boy

That plays thee music? Gentle knave, good night.

I will not do thee so much wrong to wake thee.

If thou dost nod, thou break'st thy instrument;

I'll take it from thee; and, good boy, good night.

Let me see, let me see; is not the leaf turn'd down

Where I left reading? Here it is, I think.

Sits down.

Enter the Ghost of Caesar.

How ill this taper burns! Ha, who comes here?

I think it is the weakness of mine eyes

That shapes this monstrous apparition.

It comes upon me. Art thou anything?

Art thou some god, some angel, or some devil

That makest my blood cold and my hair to stare?

Speak to me what thou art.

GHOST

Thy evil spirit, Brutus.

BRUTUS

Why comest thou?

GHOST

To tell thee thou shalt see me at Philippi.

BRUTUS

Well, then I shall see thee again?

GHOST

Ay, at Philippi.

BRUTUS

Why, I will see thee at Philippi then.

Exit Ghost.

Now I have taken heart thou vanishest.

Ill spirit, I would hold more talk with thee.

Boy! Lucius! Varro! Claudio! Sirs, awake!

Claudio!

LUCIUS

The strings, my lord, are false.

BRUTUS

He thinks he still is at his instrument.

Lucius, awake!

LUCIUS

My lord?

BRUTUS

Didst thou dream, Lucius, that thou so criedst out?

LUCIUS

My lord, I do not know that I did cry.

BRUTUS

Yes, that thou didst. Didst thou see anything?

LUCIUS

Nothing, my lord.

BRUTUS

Sleep again, Lucius. Sirrah Claudio!

[To Varro.] Fellow thou, awake!

VARRO

My lord?

CLAUDIO

My lord?

BRUTUS

Why did you so cry out, sirs, in your sleep?

VARRO

CLAUDIO. Did we, my lord?

BRUTUS

Ay, saw you anything?

VARRO

No, my lord, I saw nothing.

CLAUDIO

Nor I, my lord.

BRUTUS

Go and commend me to my brother Cassius;

Bid him set on his powers betimes before,

And we will follow.

VARRO

CLAUDIO. It shall be done, my lord.

Exeunt.

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