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They mean to warn us at Philippi here,
Answering before we do demand of them.
Ant. Tut, I am in their bosoms, and I know
Wherefore they do it. They could be content
To visit other places; and come down
With fearful bravery,2 thinking, by this face,
To fasten in our thoughts that they have courage;
But 'tis not so.

Enter a Messenger.

Prepare you, generals.
The enemy comes on in gallant show;
Their bloody sign of battle is hung out,
And something to be done immediately.

Ant. Octavius, lead your battle softly on,
Upon the left hand of the even field.

Oct. Upon the right hand I, keep thou the left.
Ant. Why do you cross me in this exigent?
Oct. I do not cross you; but I will do so. [March.

Drum. Enter BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and their Army; LUCILIUS, TITINIUS, MESSALA, and others.

Bru. They stand, and would have parley. Cas. Stand fast, Titinius. We must out and talk. Oct. Mark Antony, shall we give sign of battle? Ant. No, Cæsar, we will answer on their charge. Make forth, the general would have some words.

Oct. Stir not until the signal.

Bru. Words before blows; is it so, countrymen ?
Oct. Not that we love words better, as you do.
Bru. Good words are better than bad strokes,

Ant. In your bad strokes, Brutus, you give good words.

Witness the hole you made in Cæsar's heart,
Crying, Long live! hail, Cæsar!

1 To warn is to summon.

2 "Fearful bravery." Fearful may in this instance bear its usual acceptation of timorous.


Antony, The posture of your blows are yet unknown;' But for your words, they rob the Hybla bees, And leave them honeyless.


Not stingless too.
Bru. O yes, and soundless, too;
For you have stolen their buzzing, Antony,
And very wisely, threat before you sting.

Ant. Villains, you did not so, when your vile dag


Hacked one another in the sides of Cæsar.

You showed your teeth like apes, and fawned like hounds,

And bowed like bondmen, kissing Cæsar's feet;
Whilst damned Casca, like a cur, behind,
Struck Cæsar on the neck. O you flatterers!

Cas. Flatterers!-Now, Brutus, thank yourself;
This tongue had not offended so to-day,
If Cassius might have ruled.

Oct. Come, come, the cause. If arguing make us


The proof of it will turn to redder drops.


I draw a sword against conspirators;
When think you that the sword goes up again.—
Never, till Cæsar's three-and-twenty wounds
Be well avenged; or till another Cæsar
Have added slaughter to the sword of traitors.
Bru. Cæsar, thou canst not die by traitors,
Unless thou bring'st them with thee.

So I hope;


I was not born to die on Brutus' sword.

Bru. O, if thou wert the noblest of thy strain, Young man, thou couldst not die more honorable.

Cas. A peevish schoolboy, worthless of such honor, Joined with a masker and a reveller.

Ant. Old Cassius still!

1 It should be," is yet unknown;" but the error was probably the Poet's. 2 The old copy reads, two-and-thirty wounds. Theobald corrected the


Come, Antony; away.


Defiance, traitors, hurl we in your teeth.
If you dare fight to-day, come to the field;
If not, when you have stomachs.

[Exeunt OCTAVIUS, ANTONY, and their Army. Cas. Why now, blow, wind; swell, billow; and swim, bark!

The storm is up, and all is on the hazard.

Bru. Ho!

Lucilius; hark, a word with you.


My lord.

[BRUTUS and LUCILIUS converse apart.

Cas. Messala,-

What says my general?


This is my birth-day; as this very day
Was Cassius born. Give me thy hand, Messala ;
Be thou my witness, that against my will,
As Pompey was, am I compelled to set
Upon one battle all our liberties.

You know that I held Epicurus strong,
And his opinion; now I change my mind,
And partly credit things that do presage.
Coming from Sardis, on our former1 ensign
Two mighty eagles fell, and there they perched,
Gorging and feeding from our soldiers' hands;
Who to Philippi here consorted us.

This morning are they fled away and gone;
And in their steads, do ravens, crows, and kites,
Fly o'er our heads, and downward look on us,
As we were sickly prey; their shadows seem
A canopy most faithful, under which

Our army lies, ready to give up the ghost.

Mess. Believe not so.
For I am fresh of spirit, and resolved
To meet all perils very constantly.


I but believe it partly;

1 i. e. fore ensign; it probably means the chief ensign. Baret has "the former teeth [i. e. fore teeth], dentes primores.'

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Bru. Even so, Lucilius.
Now, most noble Brutus,
The gods to-day stand friendly; that we may,
Lovers in peace, lead on our days to age!
But, since the affairs of men rest still uncertain,
Let's reason with the worst that may befall.
If we do lose this battle, then is this
The very last time we shall speak together.
What are you then determined to do?1

Bru. Even by the rule of that philosophy,
By which I did blame Cato for the death
Which he did give himself.—I know not how,
But I do find it cowardly and vile,
For fear of what might fall, so to prevent 2
The time of life ;-arming myself with patience,
To stay the providence of some high powers,
That govern us below.

Cas. Then, if we lose this battle, You are contented to be led in triumph Thorough the streets of Rome?

Bru. No, Cassius, no.

Think not, thou noble Ro



That ever Brutus will go bound to Rome;
He bears too great a mind. But this same day
Must end that work, the ides of March begun;
And whether we shall meet again, I know not.
Therefore our everlasting farewell take.—
Forever, and forever, farewell, Cassius!
If we do meet again, why we shall smile;
If not, why, then, this parting was well made.

Cas. Forever, and forever, farewell, Brutus!
If we do meet again, we'll smile indeed;

If not, 'tis true, this parting was well made.

1 i. e. I am resolved in such a case to kill myself.-What are you determined of?

2 "To prevent" is here used for to anticipate. By time is meant the full and complete time; the natural period.

3 This, though censured as ungrammatical, was the phraseology of the Poet's day, as might be shown by numerous examples. But Dryden and Pope have used it, and Johnson has sanctioned it in his Dictionary :"Begin, v. n. I began, or begun." The fact is, that the past tense was, in our old language, written begon or begonne.



Bru. Why, then, lead on.-O that a man might


The end of this day's business, ere it come!
But it sufficeth, that the day will end,
And then the end is known.-Come, ho! away!


SCENE II. The same. The Field of Battle.




Bru. Ride, ride, Messala, ride, and give these bills 1 Unto the legions on the other side. [Loud alarum. Let them set on at once; for I perceive But cold demeanor in Octavius' wing, And sudden push gives them the overthrow. Ride, ride, Messala: let them all come down.


SCENE III. The same. Another Part of the Field.



Cas. O, look, Titinius, look, the villains fly!
Myself have to mine own turned enemy.
This ensign here of mine was turning back;
I slew the coward, and did take it from him.

Tit. O Cassius, Brutus gave the word too early; Who having some advantage on Octavius, Took it too eagerly; his soldiers fell to spoil, Whilst we by Antony are all inclosed.


Pin. Fly farther off, my lord, fly farther off;
Mark Antony is in your tents, my lord!
Fly, therefore, noble Cassius, fly far off.

1 This and much of the subsequent scene is from the old translation of Plutarch:-"In the meane tyme Brutus, that led the right winge, sent little billes to the collonels and captaines of private bandes, in which he wrote the order of the battle."

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