Page images
[ocr errors]

Quite vanquish'd him; then burst his mighty heart :
And, in his maxitle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Pompy's statue,
Which all the while ran blood, great Cæsar fell.
Oh! what a fall was there, my countrymen!
Then I and you, and all of us fell down.
Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us.
O, now you weep; and I perceive you feel
The dint of pity; these are gracious crops.
Kind souls; what, weep you when you but behold
Our Cæsar's vesture wounded ? look


here! Here is himself, marr'd, as you see, by traitors.

Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
To any sudden flood of mutiny.
They that have done this deed are honourable.
What private griefs they have, alas, I know not,
That made them do it; they are wise and honourable ;
And will, no doubt, with reason answer you.
I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts ;
I am no orator, as Brutus is :
But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man,
That loves my friend : and that they know full well
That gave me public leave to speak of him :
For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,
Action nor utirance, nor the power of speech,
To stir men's blood; I only speak right on :
I tell you that which you yourselves do know;
Show you sweet Cæsar's wounds, poor, poor dumb mouths
And bid them speak for me. But were I Brutas,
And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue
In every wound of Cæsar, that should move
The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.




CAS. 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 letter (praying on his side, Because I knew the man) was slighted of.

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

CAS. In sueh a time as this, it is not meet
That ev'ry nice offence should bear its comment,

BRU. Yet let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Are much condemned to have an itching palm,
To sell and mart your offices for gold,
To undeservers.

CAS. I an itching palm?
You know, that you are Brutus that spake this,
Or, by the gods, this speech were else your last.

BRU. The name of Cassius honours this corruption. And chastisement doth therefore hide its head.

CAS. Chastisement !

BRU. Remember March, the ides of March remember!
Did not great Julius bleed for justice sake ?
What villain touchd his body, that did stab,
And not for justice? Whát, 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 meed 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.

CAS. Brutus, bay not me,
J'll not endure it; you forgot yourself,
To hedge me in; I am a soldier, 1,


Older in practice, abler than yourself
To make conditions.

BRU. Go to ; you are not, Cassius.
CAS, I am.
Bru. I say, you are not.

CAS. Urge me no more, I shall forget myself--
Have mind upon your health-tempt me no farther.

BRU. Away slight man!
CAS. Is't possible ?.

BRU. Hear me, for I will speak.
Must I give way and room to your rash choler?
Shall I be frighted when a madam stares ?

CAS. O gods! ye gods! must I endure all this?
BRU. All this? ay more. Fret till your proud

heart break;
Go, tell your slaves how choleric you are,
And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge?
Must I observe you? must I stand and crouch
Undtr your testy humour ? By the gods,
You shall digest the venom of your spleen,
Tho'it do split you : for from this day forth,
I'll use you for my mirth, yea for my laughter,
When you are waspish.

Cas. 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 wayo

-you wrong me,
Brutus ;
I said, an elder soldier, nor a better ;
Did I say better?

Bru. If you did, I care not.
Cas. When Cæsar liv'd, he durst not thus have mov'd


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

Cas. I durst not?
Bru. No.
Cas. What ? durst not teinpt him ?
Bru. For
your life


durst not.
Cas. Do not presume too much upon my love ;
I may do what I shall be sorry for.

Bru. You have done that you should be sorry fot
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 heav'n, 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,

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.

Cas. I deny'd you not.
Bru. You did.

Cas. I did not-he was but a fool
That brought my answer back. Brutus hath rir'd my

A friend should bear a friend's infirmities,
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.

Bru. I do not. Still you practise them on me.
Cas. You love me not.
Bru. I do not like


Cas. A friendly eye could never see such faults.

Bru. A flatt'rer's would not, though they do appear As huge as high Olympus.

Which you


Cas. 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 by a bondman; all his faults observ'd :
Set in a notebook, learn'd, and conn'd by rote,
To cast into my teeth: 0, 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 need'st a Roman's, take it forth,
I, that deny'd thee gold, will give my heart :
Strike as thou didst at Cæsar ; For I know,
When thou didst hate him worst, thou lov'd'st him better
Than ever thou lov'd'st Cassius.

Bru. Sheathe your dagger;
Be angry when you will, it shall have scope ;
Do what you will, dishonour shall be humour.
O Cassius, you are yoked with a lamb,
That carries anger as the flint bears fire ;
Which much enforced, shews a hasty spark,
And straight is cold again.

Cas. 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.
Cas. Do you confess so much ? Give me your hand.
Bru. And my heart tou.
Cas, 0) Brutus !
Bru. What's the matter ?

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

Bru. Yes, Cassius, and from henceforth
When you are over-earnest with your Brutus,
He'll think your mother chides, and leave you so.


« PreviousContinue »