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And something to be done immediately.
Antony. Octavius, lead your battle softly on,
Upon the left hand of the even field.
Octavius. Upon the right hand I; keep thou the

Antony. Why do you cross me in this exigent? Octavius. I do not cross you; but I will do so. (March. Drum. Enter BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and their Army; LUCILIUS, TITINIUS, MESSALA, and others.

Brutus. They stand and would have parley. Cassius. Stand fast, Titinius; we must out and


Octavius. Mark Antony, shall we give sign of battle?

Antony. No, Cæsar, we will answer on their charge.

Make forth; the generals would have some words. Octavius. Stir not until the signal.

Brutus. Words before blows; is it so, country


Octavius. Not that we love words better, as you do.

Brutus. Good words are better than bad strokes, Octavius.

Antony. In your bad strokes, Brutus, you give good words;

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



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


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

Antony. Villains, you did not so when your vile


Hack'd one another in the sides of Cæsar:

You show'd your teeth like apes, and fawn'd like hounds,

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

*Cf. Bacon: "The first wound was given him on the neck by Casco, that stood behind his chair."-Essex Device (1592).

Cassius. Flatterers!-Now, Brutus, thank yourself;

This tongue had not offended so to-day,
If Cassius might have rul'd.

Octavius. Come, come, the cause; if arguing make us sweat,

The proof of it will turn to redder drops.
Look, I draw a sword against conspirators;
When think you that the sword goes up again?
Never, till Cæsar's three and thirty wounds
Be well aveng'd, or till another Cæsar
Have added slaughter to the sword of traitors.
Brutus. Cæsar, thou canst not die by traitor's

Unless thou bring'st them with thee.


I was not born to die on Brutus' sword.

Brutus. O, if thou wert the noblest of thy strain, Young man, thou couldst not die more honourable. Cassius. A peevish schoolboy, worthless of such

So I hope;


Join'd with a masker and a reveller.
Antony. Old Cassius still!

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. Cassius. Why now, blow wind, swell billow, and

swim bark!

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

Brutus. Ho, Lucilius! hark, a word with you.
My lord!

(Brutus and Lucilius talk apart.

Cassius. Messala!

What says my general?



This is my birthday; 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 compell'd 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 former ensign
Two mighty eagles fell, and there they perch'd,
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 fatal, under which

Our army lies, ready to give up the ghost.

*Cf. Bacon: Epicurus, accommodating and subjecting his natural to his moral philosophy (as appears from his own words), would not willingly admit any opinion that depressed or hurt the mind, and troubled, or disturbed that Enthumia of his, which he had adopted from Democritus. And so, being more fond of enjoying the sweets of thought than patient of the truth, he fairly threw off the yoke, and rejected both the necessity of Fate and the fear of the Gods." -De Augmentis (1622).

Messala. Believe not so.

I but believe it partly,
For I am fresh of spirit and resolv'd
To meet all perils very constantly.
Brutus. 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 incertain,
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?

Brutus. 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
The time of life,-arming myself with patience
To stay the providence of some high powers
That govern us below.
Then, if we lose this battle,
You are contented to be led in triumph
Through the streets of Rome?

Brutus. No, Cassius, no! think not, thou noble

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;
For ever, and for ever, farewell, Cassius!
If we do meet again, why, we shall smile;
If not, why, then this parting was well made.

Cassius. For ever, and for ever, farewell, Brutus!
If we do meet again, we 'll smile indeed;
If not, 't is true, this parting was well made.
Brutus. 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!*


*Cf. Bacon: "What shall be the end?"-Prom. 280 (1594). "To what end?"-M. Ado, II., 3. "Is this the promised end?"-Lear, V., 3.

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The Field of Battle.

Alarum. Enter BRUTUS and MESSALA.

Brutus. Ride, ride, Messala, ride, and give these bills

Unto the legions on the other side. (Loud alarum.
Let them set on at once; for I perceive
But cold demeanour in Octavius' wing,
And sudden push gives them the overthrow.
Ride, ride, Messala; let them all come down.


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Another Part of the Field.

Alarums. Enter CASSIUS and TITINIUS.

Cassius. O, look, Titinius, look, the villains fly!
Myself have to mine own turn'd enemy.
This ensign here of mine was turning back;
I slew the coward, and did take it from him.
Titinius. O Cassius, Brutus gave the word too

Who, having some advantage on Octavius,
Took it too eagerly; his soldiers fell to spoil,
Whilst we by Antony are all enclos'd.


Pindarus. Fly further off, my lord, fly further off! Mark Antony is in your tents, my lord! Fly, therefore, noble Cassius, fly far off!

Cassius. This hill is far enough.-Look, look,


Are those my tents where I perceive the fire?
Titinius. They are, my lord.


Titinius, if thou lov'st me, Mount thou my horse and hide thy spurs in him, Till he have brought thee up to yonder troops And here again, that I may rest assur'd Whether yond troops are friend or enemy.

Titinius. I will be here again even with a thought.


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