Is it come to this?

Bru. 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.

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

Brutus ;

I said an elder soldier, not a better.

Did I say, better?



If you did, I care not.

Cas. When Cæsar lived, he durst not thus have

moved me.

Bru. Peace, peace; you durst not so have tempted


Cas. I durst not?

Bru. No.

Cas. What? durst not tempt him?


For your life you durst not.

Cas. Do not presume too much upon my love;

may do that I shall be sorry for.

Bru. You have done that you should be sorry for. There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats;

For I am armed 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 answered 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!


Bru. You did.

I denied you not


I did not; he was but a fool

That brought my answer back.-Brutus hath rived my


A friend should bear his friend's infirmities,
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
Bru. I do not, till you practise them on me.'
Cas. You love me not.


I do not like your faults.

Cas. A friendly eye could never see such faults.
Bru. A flatterer's would not, though they do
As huge as high Olympus.


Cas. 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;
Checked like a bondman; all his faults observed,
Set in a note-book, learned, and conned 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 Plutus' mine, richer than gold.
If that thou be'st a Roman, take it forth;
I, that denied thee gold, will give my heart.
Strike as thou didst at Cæsar; for, I know,

When thou didst hate him worst, thou lov'dst him better
Than ever thou lov'dst Cassius.


Bru. 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.

Cas. Hath Cassius lived To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus, When grief, and blood ill-tempered, vexeth him? Bru. When I spoke that, I was ill-tempered too.

1 The meaning is this:-"I do not look for your faults, I only see them, and mention them with vehemence, when you force them into my notice, by practising them on me."

Cas. Do you confess so much? Give me your hand Bru. And my heart too.



O Brutus !

What's the matter?

Cas. Have you not love enough to bear with me, When that rash humor, which my mother gave me, Makes me forgetful?

Yes, Cassius; and, from henceforth,
When you are over-earnest with your Brutus,
He'll think your mother chides, and leave you so.
[Noise within.
Poet. [Within.] Let me go in to see the generals;
There is some grudge between them; 'tis not meet
They be alone.

Luc. [Within.] You shall not come to them.
Poet. [Within.] Nothing but death shall stay me.

Enter Poet.1

Cas. 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 am sure, than ye. Cas. Ha, ha! how vilely doth this cynic rhyme! Bru. Get you hence, sirrah; saucy fellow, hence. Cas. Bear with him, Brutus; 'tis his fashion. Bru. I'll know his humor when he knows his time. What should the wars do with these jigging fools ?? Companion, hence.


Away, away, be gone.


[Exit Poet.

Bru. Lucilius and Titinius, bid the commanders Prepare to lodge their companies to-night.

1 Shakspeare found the present incident in Plutarch. The intruder, however, was Marcus Phaonius, not a poet, but one who assumed the character of a cynic philosopher.

2 i. e. these silly poets. A jig signified a ballad or ditty, as well as a dance. See note on Hamlet, Act ii. Sc. 2.

3 Companion is used as a term of contempt in many of the old plays; as we say at present, fellow !

Cas. And come yourselves, and bring Messala with


Immediately to us.


[Exeunt LUCILIUS and TITINIUS. Lucius, a bowl of wine.

Cas. I did not think you could have been so angry. Bru. O Cassius, I am sick of many griefs.

Cas. Of your philosophy you make no use,

If you give place to accidental evils.

Bru. No man bears sorrow better. Portia is dead. Cas. Ha! Portia ?

Bru. She is dead.

Cas. How scaped I killing, when I crossed you so O, insupportable and touching loss!

Upon what sickness?


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, swallowed fire.1

Cas. And died so?

Bru. Even so.

Cas. O ye immortal gods!

Enter LUCIUS, with wine and tapers.

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


In this I bury all unkindness, Cassius.


Cas. 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.

Re-enter TITINIUS, with MESSALA.

Bru. Come in, Titinius;-welcome, good Messala.Now sit we close about this taper here,

And call in question our necessities.

1 This circumstance is taken from Plutarch. It is also mentioned by Valerius Maximus, iv. 6. Portia is, however, reported by Pliny to have died at Rome of a lingering illness while Brutus was abroad.

Cas. Portia, art thou gone?

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.

Mes. Myself have letters of the self-same tenor.
Bru. With what addition?

Mes. That by proscription, and bills of outlawry, Octavius, Antony, and Lepidus,

Have put to death an hundred senators.

Bru. Therein our letters do not well agree;
Mine speak of seventy senators that died
By their proscriptions, Cicero being one.
Cas. Cicero one?


Ay, Cicero is dead,

And by that order of proscription.

Had you your letters from your wife, my lord?
Bru. No, Messala.

Mes. Nor nothing in your letters writ of her?
Bru. Nothing, Messala.


Bru. Why ask you? yours?

Mes. No, my lord.

That, methinks, is strange. Hear you aught of her in

Bru. Now, as you are a Roman, tell me true. Mes. Then like a Roman bear the truth I tell ; For certain she is dead, and by strange manner. Bru. Why, farewell, Portia.-We must die, Messala; With meditating that she must die once,'

I have the patience to endure it now.

Mes. Even so great men great losses should endure. Cas. I have as much of this in art2 as you,

But yet my nature could not bear it so.

Bru. Well, to our work alive. What do you
Of marching to Philippi presently?

Cas. I do not think it good.

[blocks in formation]

Your reason?


2 In art, that is, in theory.

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