by William Shakespeare


A house in Rome. Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus, seated at a

ANTONY. These many then shall die, their names are prick'd.

OCTAVIUS. Your brother too must die; consent you, Lepidus?

LEPIDUS. I do consent-

OCTAVIUS. Prick him down, Antony.

LEPIDUS. Upon condition Publius shall not live,
Who is your sister's son, Mark Antony.

ANTONY. He shall not live; look, with a spot I damn him.
But, Lepidus, go you to Caesar's house,
Fetch the will hither, and we shall determine
How to cut off some charge in legacies.

LEPIDUS. What, shall I find you here?

OCTAVIUS. Or here, or at the Capitol. Exit Lepidus.

ANTONY. This is a slight unmeritable man,
Meet to be sent on errands. Is it fit,
The three-fold world divided, he should stand
One of the three to share it?

OCTAVIUS. So you thought him,
And took his voice who should be prick'd to die
In our black sentence and proscription.

ANTONY. Octavius, I have seen more days than you,
And though we lay these honors on this man
To ease ourselves of divers slanderous loads,
He shall but bear them as the ass bears gold,
To groan and sweat under the business,
Either led or driven, as we point the way;
And having brought our treasure where we will,
Then take we down his load and turn him off,
Like to the empty ass, to shake his ears
And graze in commons.

OCTAVIUS. You may do your will,
But he's a tried and valiant soldier.

ANTONY. So is my horse, Octavius, and for that
I do appoint him store of provender.
It is a creature that I teach to fight,
To wind, to stop, to run directly on,
His corporal motion govern'd by my spirit.
And, in some taste, is Lepidus but so:
He must be taught, and train'd, and bid go forth;
A barren-spirited fellow, one that feeds
On objects, arts, and imitations,
Which, out of use and staled by other men,
Begin his fashion. Do not talk of him
But as a property. And now, Octavius,
Listen great things. Brutus and Cassius
Are levying powers; we must straight make head;
Therefore let our alliance be combined,
Our best friends made, our means stretch'd;
And let us presently go sit in council,
How covert matters may be best disclosed,
And open perils surest answered.

OCTAVIUS. Let us do so, for we are at the stake,
And bay'd about with many enemies;
And some that smile have in their hearts, I fear,
Millions of mischiefs. Exeunt.

Camp near Sardis. Before Brutus' tent. Drum.

Enter Brutus, Lucilius, Lucius, and Soldiers; Titinius and
Pindarus meet them.

BRUTUS. Stand, ho!

LUCILIUS. Give the word, ho, and stand.

BRUTUS. What now, Lucilius, is Cassius near?

LUCILIUS. He is at hand, and Pindarus is come
To do you salutation from his master.

BRUTUS. He greets me well. Your master, Pindarus,
In his own change, or by ill officers,
Hath given me some worthy cause to wish
Things done undone; but if he be at hand,
I shall be satisfied.
PINDARUS. I do not doubt
But that my noble master will appear
Such as he is, full of regard and honor.

BRUTUS. He is not doubted. A word, Lucilius,
How he received you. Let me be resolved.

LUCILIUS. With courtesy and with respect enough,
But not with such familiar instances,
Nor with such free and friendly conference,
As he hath used of old.

BRUTUS. Thou hast described
A hot friend cooling. Ever note, Lucilius,
When love begins to sicken and decay
It useth an enforced ceremony.
There are no tricks in plain and simple faith;
But hollow men, like horses hot at hand,
Make gallant show and promise of their mettle;
But when they should endure the bloody spur,
They fall their crests and like deceitful jades
Sink in the trial. Comes his army on?

LUCILIUS. They meant his night in Sard is to be quarter'd;
The greater part, the horse in general,
Are come with Cassius. Low march within.

BRUTUS. Hark, he is arrived.
March gently on to meet him.

Enter Cassius and his Powers.

CASSIUS. Stand, ho!

BRUTUS. Stand, ho! Speak the word along.

CASSIUS. Most noble brother, you have done me wrong.

BRUTUS. Judge me, you gods! Wrong I mine enemies?
And, if not so, how should I wrong a brother?

CASSIUS. Brutus, this sober form of yours hides wrongs,
And when you do them-

BRUTUS. Cassius, be content,
Speak your griefs softly, I do know you well.
Before the eyes of both our armies here,
Which should perceive nothing but love from us,
Let us not wrangle. Bid them move away;
Then in my tent, Cassius, enlarge your griefs,
And I will give you audience.

CASSIUS. Pindarus,
Bid our commanders lead their charges off
A little from this ground.

BRUTUS. Lucilius, do you the like, and let no man
Come to our tent till we have done our conference.
Let Lucius and Titinius guard our door. Exeunt.

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.


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?


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!

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.



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