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Wherein my letters, praying on his side
Because I knew the man, were slighted off.
BRU. You wrong'd yourself to write in such a case.
CASS. In such a time as this it is not meet

That every nice1 offence should bear his comment.
BRU. Then, let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Are much condemn'd to have an itching palm;
To sell and mart your offices for gold

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You know that you are Brutus that speaks this, Or, by the Gods, this speech were else your last. BRU. The name of Cassius honours this corruption, And Chastisement doth therefore hide his head. CASS. Chastisement!

BRU. Remember March, the Ides of March

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 honours
For so much trash as may be grasped thus?
I had rather be a dog, and bay the Moon,
Than such a Roman.

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CASS. Urge me no more, I shall forget myself;

Have mind upon your health, tempt me no farther.

BRU. Away, slight Man!

CASS. Is 't possible?


Hear me, for I will speak.

1 = trifling.



Must I give way and room to your rash choler?
Shall I be frighted when a madman stares?
CASS. O ye Gods, ye Gods! must I endure all this?


BRU. All this! ay, more: fret till your proud heart break;
Go shew your slaves how choleric you are,

And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge?
Must I observe you? must I stand and crouch
Under your testy humour? 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.


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 nobler men.


CASS. You wrong me every way; you wrong me, Brutus ;
I said, an elder soldier, not a better:

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CASS. When Cæsar liv'd he durst not thus have mov'd me.

BRU. Peace, peace! you durst not so have tempted him.
CASS. I durst not!


CASS. What, durst not tempt him?



For your life you durst not. CASS. Do not presume too much upon my love;

I 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 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 deny'd 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




you for gold to pay my legions,

Which you deny'd 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!

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CASS. I did not: he was but a fool that brought
My answer back. Brutus hath riv'd my heart:
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.
CASS. You love me not.


I do not like your faults.

CASS. A friendly eye could never see such faults.
BRU. A flatterer's would not, though they did appear

As huge as high Olympus.

CASS. Come, Antony and young Octavius, come,

Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius,

For Cassius is a-weary of the world;

Hated by one he loves; brav'd by his brother;
Check'd like a bondman; all his faults observ'd,
Set in a note-book, 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 Plutus' mine, richer than gold:
If that thou be'st a Roman, take it forth;
I, that deny'd thee gold, will give my heart:
Strike, as thou didst at Cæsar; for I know,


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When thou didst hate him worst, thou lov'dst him better

Than ever thou lov'dst Cassius.


Sheathe your dagger:

Be angry when you will, it shall have scope;1
Do what you will, dishonour shall be honour.
O Cassius, you are yoked with a lamb
That carries anger as the flint bears fire;


1 room and verge, in which to work itself out.


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Who, much enforced, shews a hasty spark,
And straight is cold again.


Hath Cassius liv'd
To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus,
When grief and blood ill-temper'd vexeth him?
BRU. When I spoke that, I was ill-temper'd too.
CASS. Do you confess so much? Give me your hand.
BRU. And my heart too.



O Brutus

What's the matter?

my mother gave me

CASS. Have not you love enough to bear with me,

When that rash humour which
Makes me forgetful?


Yes, Cassius; and, henceforth,

When you are over-earnest 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.

LUCIL. [within.] You shall not come to them.
POET [within.] Nothing but death shall stay me.


Enter Poet, followed by LUCILIUS, TITINIUS, and Lucius.
CASS. 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; 130
For I have seen more years, I'm sure, than ye.

CASS. Ha, ha! how vilely doth this Cynic rhyme!
BRU. Get you hence, sirrah; saucy Fellow, hence!
CASS. Bear with him, Brutus; 'tis his fashion.
BRU. I'll know his humour, 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.


CASS. And come yourselves, and bring Messala with you
Immediately to us. [Exeunt LUCILIUS and TITINIUS.
Lucius, a bowl of wine! [Exit LUCIUS.
CASS. I did not think you could have been so angry.

BRU. O Cassius, I am sick of many griefs.
CASS. Of your philosophy you make no use,

If you give place to accidental evils.

BRU. No man bears sorrow better. Portia is dead.

CASS. Ha! Portia !

BRU. She is dead.

CASS. How 'scap'd I killing when I cross'd you so!

O insupportable and touching loss!

Upon what sickness?


Impatience of my absence,

And grief that young Octavius with Mark Antony

Have made themselves so strong (for with her


That tidings came) with this she fell distract,

And, her attendants absent, swallow'd fire.

CASS. And died so?





Even so.

O ye immortal Gods!

Re-enter LUCIUS, with wine and taper.

BRU. Speak no more of her. Give me a bowl of wine.
In this I bury all unkindness, Cassius.

CASS. 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.
BRU. Come in, Titinius!



Re-enter TITINIUS, with MESSALA.

Welcome, good Messala.

Now sit we close about this taper here,

And call in question our necessities.
CASS. Portia, O, art thou gone?

No more,


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 selfsame tenour.
BRU. With what addition?


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