Bru. 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.


SCENE III. Within the Tent of Brutus. Lucius

and TITINIUS at some distance from it.

Enter BRUTUS and Cassius.
Cas. That you have wronged me, doth appear in

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, were slighted off.

Bru. You wronged yourself to write in such a case.

Cas. In such a time as this, it is not meet
That every nice offence should bear his comment.

Bru. 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.

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

Bru. The name of Cassius honors this corruption, And chastisement doth therefore hide his head.

Cas. Chastisement !
Bru. Remember March, the ides of March remem-

Did not great Julius bleed for justice sake ?
What 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,

1 Nice here means silly, simple.

2 This question is far from implying that any of those who touched Cæsar's body were villains. On the contrary, it is an indirect way of asserting that there was not one man among them who was base enough to stab him for any cause but that of justice.

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.

Brutus, bay' 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.

Go to; you're 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 further.

Bru. Away, slight man !
Cas. 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 ?

Cas. O ye gods! ye gods! must I endure all this? Bru. 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, 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.

1 The old copy reads, “ Brutus, bait not me.” Theobald made the alteration, which has been adopted by all subsequent editors except Malone. Bay and bait are both frequently used by Shakspeare in the

2 i. e. to limit my authority by your direction or censure. 3 To know on what terms it is fit to confer the offices at my disposal. 4 “This passage (says Steevens) may be easily reduced to metre if we read:

Cas. Brutus, I am.

Cassius, I say you are not.”

same sense.


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,

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


durst not. Cas. 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 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? Wben 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 denied you not. Bru. You did.


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 appear 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.

Sheath 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


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.

[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.
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 ? 2 Companion, hence. Cas.

Away, away,


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

i 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 !

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