Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: John D. Cox
Peer Reviewed

Julius Caesar (Modern)

That you have wronged me doth appear in this:
You have condemned and noted Lucius Pella
For taking bribes here of the Sardians,
Wherein my letters, praying on his side,
Because I knew the man, was slighted off
You wronged yourself to write in such a case.
In such a time as this, it is not meet
That every nice offense should bear his comment.
Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Are much condemned to have an itching palm,
1980To sell and mart your offices for gold
To undeservers.
I, an itching palm?
You know that you are Brutus that speaks this,
Or by the gods, this speech were else your last!
The name of Cassius honors this corruption,
And chastisement doth therefore hide his head.
Remember March, the ides of March remember.
Did not great Julius bleed for justice' sake?
1990What villain touched 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,
1995And sell the mighty space of our large honors
For so much trash as may be graspèd thus?
I had rather be a dog and bay the moon
Than such a Roman.
Brutus, bait not me!
2000I'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.
Go to. You are not Cassius.
I am.
I say, you are not.
Urge me no more! I shall forget myself.
Have mind upon your health. Tempt me no farther.
Away, slight man.
Is't possible?
Hear me, for I will speak.
Must I give way and room to your rash choler?
Shall I be frighted when a madman stares?
O ye gods! Ye gods! Must I endure all this?
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 budge?
Must I observe you? Must I stand and crouch
Under your testy humor? By the gods,
2020You 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?
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.
You wrong me every way. 2030You wrong me, Brutus.
I said an elder soldier, not a better.
Did I say "better"?
If you did, I care not.
When Caesar lived, he durst not thus have moved me.
Peace, peace! You durst not so have tempted him.
I durst not?
What? durst not tempt him?
For your life you durst not.
Do not presume too much upon my love;
I may do that I shall be sorry for.
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
2045That 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
2050And 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?
2055Should 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.
I denied you not.
You did.
I did not. He was but a fool
That brought my answer back. Brutus hath rived my hart.
A friend should bear his friend's infirmities,
2065But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
I do not, till you practice them on me.
You love me not.
I do not like your faults.
A friendly eye could never see such faults.
A flatterer's would not, though they do appear
As huge as high Olympus.
Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come,
Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius,
For Cassius is aweary of the world,
2075Hated by one he loves, braved by his brother,
Checked like a bondman, all his faults observed,
Set in a notebook, learned, and conned by rote
To cast into my teeth. Oh, I could weep
My spirit from mine eyes. There is my dagger,
2080And here my naked breast; within, a heart
Dearer than Pluto's mine, richer than gold.
If that thou be'est a Roman, take it forth.
I that denied the gold will give my heart.
Strike as thou did'st at Caesar, for I know,
2085When thou did'st hate him worst, thou loved'st him better
Than ever thou loved'st Cassius.
Sheath your dagger.
Be angry when you will, it shall have scope;
Do what you will, dishonor shall be humor.
2090O Cassius, you are yokèd with a lamb
That carries anger as the flint bears fire,
Who much enforcèd, shows a hasty spark,
And straight is cold again.
Hath Cassius lived
2095To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus,
When grief and blood ill-tempered vexeth him?
When I spoke that, I was ill-tempered too.
Do you confess so much? Give me your hand.
And my heart too.
O Brutus!
What's the matter?
Have not you 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.
Enter a Poet, [Lucilius, and Titinius].
Let me go in to see the generals!
2110There is some grudge between 'em. 'Tis not meet
They be alone.
You shall not come to them!
Nothing but death shall stay me.
How now? What's the matter?
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.
Ha, ha! How vilely doth this cynic rhyme!
Get you hence, sirrah! Saucy fellow, hence!
Bear with him, Brutus; 'tis his fashion.
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
Lucilius and Titinius, bid the commanders
Prepare to lodge their companies tonight.
And come yourselves, and bring Messala with you
Immediately to us.
[Exeunt Lucilius and Titinius]
Lucius, a bowl of wine.
I did not think you could have been so angry.
O Cassius, I am sick of many griefs.
Of your philosophy you make no use,
If you give place to accidental evils.
No man bears sorrow better. Portia is dead.
Ha? Portia?
She is dead.
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.
And died so?
Even so.
O ye immortal gods!
Enter Boy with wine and tapers.
Speak no more of her. Give me a bowl of wine.
2150In this I bury all unkindness, 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. Exit Lucius.]
Enter Titinius and Messala.
Come in, Titinius. Welcome, good Messala.
Now sit we close about this taper here,
And call in question our necessities.
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.
Myself have letters of the self-same tenor.
With what addition?
That by proscription and bills of outlawry
Octavius, Antony, and Lepidus
Have put to death an hundred senators.
Therein our letters do not well agree:
Mine speak of seventy senators that died
By their proscriptions, Cicero being one.
Cicero one?
Cicero is dead,
And by that order of proscription.
2175Had you your letters from your wife, my Lord?
No, Messala.
Nor nothing in your letters writ of her?
Nothing, Messala.
That methinks is strange.
Why ask you? Hear you ought of her in yours?
No, my lord.
Now as you are a Roman, tell me true.
Then like a Roman, bear the truth I tell.
2185For certain she is dead, and by strange manner.
Why farewell Portia. We must die, Messala.
With meditating that she must die once,
I have the patience to endure it now.
Even so great men great losses should endure.
I have as much of this in art as you,
But yet my nature could not bear it so.
Well, to our work alive. What do you think
Of marching to Philippi presently?
I do not think it good.
Your reason?
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,
2200Are full of rest, defense, and nimbleness.
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.
2205The enemy, marching along by them,
By them shall make a fuller number up,
Come on refreshed, new-added, and encouraged,
From which advantage shall we cut him off,
If at Philippi we do face him there,
2210These people at our back.
Hear me, good brother--
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.
2215The 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
2220Is 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.
Then with your will go on.
We'll along 2225ourselves and meet them at Philippi.
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.
No more, good night,
Early tomorrow will we rise, and hence.
Enter Lucius.
My gown.
[Exit Lucius.]
Farewell, good Messala.
Good night Titinius. Noble, noble Cassius,
2235Good night, and good repose.
O my dear brother!
This was an ill beginning of the night.
Never come such division 'tween our souls;
Let it not, Brutus.
2240Enter Lucius with the gown.
Everything is well.
Good night, my lord.
Good night, good brother.
Titinius, Messala
Good night, Lord Brutus.
Farewell, everyone.
Exeunt [Cassius, Titinius, Messala].
Give me the gown. Where is thy instrument?
Here in the tent.
What? Thou speak'st drowsily!
Poor knave, I blame thee not; thou art o'er-watched.
2250Call Claudio and some other of my men.
I'll have them sleep on cushions in my tent.
Varrus and Claudio!
Enter Varrus and Claudio.
Calls my Lord?
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.
So please you, we will stand and watch your pleasure.
I will 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.
I was sure your lordship did not give it me.
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?
Ay, my lord, an't please you.
It does, my boy:
2270I trouble thee too much, but thou art willing.
It is my duty, sir.
I should not urge thy duty past thy might;
I know young bloods look for a time of rest.
I have slept, my lord, already.
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 murd'rous slumber,
2280Layest thou thy leaden mace upon my boy
That plays the 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.
2285Let me see, let me see. Is not the leaf turned down
Where I left reading? Here it is I think.
Enter the Ghost of Caesar.
How ill this taper burns. Ha! Who comes here?
I think it is the weakness of mine eyes
2290That shapes this monstrous apparition.
It comes upon me! Art thou anything?
Art thou some god, some angel, or some devil
That mak'st my blood cold and my hair to stare?
Speak to me what thou art!
Thy evil spirit, Brutus.
Why com'st thou?
To tell thee thou shalt see me at Philippi.
Well; then I shall see thee again?
Ay, at Philippi.
Why, I will see thee at Philippi, then.
Now I have taken heart, thou vanishest.
[Exit Ghost.]
Ill spirit, I would hold more talk with thee.
Boy! Lucius! Varrus! Claudio! Sirs! Awake!
The strings, my lord, are false.
He thinks he still is at his instrument.
Lucius, awake!
My lord?
Did'st thou dream, Lucius, that thou so criedst 2310out?
My Lord, I do not know that I did cry.
Yes that thou did'st. Did'st thou see anything?
Nothing my Lord.
Sleep again, Lucius. Sirrah Claudio!
Fellow! 2315Thou! Awake!
My lord?
My lord?
Why did you so cry out, sirs, in your sleep?
Varrus; Claudio
Did we my Lord?
Ay. Saw you anything?
No, my lord. I saw nothing.
Nor I my Lord.
Go, and commend me to my brother Cassius.
Bid him set on his powers betimes before,
2325And we will follow.
Varrus; Claudio
It shall be done, my lord.