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Oct. Mark Antony, shall we give sign of battle?
Ant. No, Cæsar, we will answer on their charge.
25 Make forth; the generals 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, Octavius. 30 Ant. In your bad strokes, Brutus, you give good words: Witness the hole you made in Cæsar's heart,

Crying, "Long live! hail, Cæsar!"

Cas.

Antony,

The posture of your blows are yet unknown; But for your words, they rob the Hybla bees, 35 And leave them honeyless.

Ant.

Not stingless too.

Bru. O, yes, and soundless too;

For you have stol'n their buzzing, Antony,
And very wisely threat before you sting.

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

40 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!

45 Cas. Flatterers! Now, Brutus, thank yourself:
This tongue had not offended so to-day,

If Cassius might have rul'd.

Oct. Come, come, the cause: if arguing make us sweat, The proof of it will turn to redder drops.

50 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

55 Have added slaughter to the sword of traitors.

Bru. Cæsar, thou canst not die by traitors' hands, Unless thou bring'st them with thee.

Oct.

I was not born to die on Brutus' sword.

So I hope;

Bru. O, if thou wert the noblest of thy strain,
60 Young man, thou couldst not die more honourable.
Cas. A peevish schoolboy, worthless of such honour,
Join'd with a masker and a reveller!

Ant. Old Cassius still!

Oct.

Come, Antony; away!

Defiance, traitors, hurl we in your teeth:

65 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.

Lucil.

70

Cas. Messala!

[Standing forth] My lord? [BRUTUS and LUCILIUS converse apart.

Mes. [Standing forth] What says my general?

Cas.

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 compell'd to set

75 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
80 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;

Messala,

And in their steads do ravens, crows, and kites
85 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.

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The gods to-day stand friendly, that we may,
Lovers in peace, lead on our days to age!
95 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?

100

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

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105 The time of life, arming myself with patience To stay the providence of some high powers

110

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 Roman, 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.

115 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.
Cas. For ever, and for ever, farewell, Brutus!
120 If we do meet again, we'll smile indeed;

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

Bru. Why then, lead on. O, that a man might know The end of this day's business ere it come!

But it sufficeth that the day will end,

125 And then the end is known. Come, ho! away!

SCENE II. The field of battle

Alarum. Enter BRUTUS and MESSALA.

[Exeunt.

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

Unto the legions on the other side.

Let them set on at once; for I perceive
But cold demeanour in Octavius' wing,

5 And sudden push gives them the overthrow.
Ride, ride, Messala: let them all come down.

[Loud alarum.

SCENE III. Another part of the field

Alarums. Enter CASSIUS and TITINIUS

Cas. 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.
5 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 enclos'd.

Enter PINDARUS.

Pin. Fly further off, my lord, fly further off!

10 Mark Antony is in your tents, my lord!

[Exeunt.

Fly, therefore, noble Cassius, fly far off!

Cas. This hill is far enough. Look, look, Titinius; Are those my tents where I perceive the fire?

Tit. They are, my lord.

Cas.

Titinius, if thou lov'st me,

15 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.

20

Tit. I will be here again, even with a thought.
Cas. Go, Pindarus, get higher on that hill;
My sight was ever thick; regard Titinius,
And tell me what thou not'st about the field.

[Exit.

[PINDARUS ascends the hill. This day I breathed first: time is come round, And where I did begin, there shall I end;

25 My life is run his compass.

Pin. [Above] O my lord!

Cas. What news?

Sirrah, what news?

Pin. [Above] Titinius is enclosed round about
With horsemen, that make to him on the spur;
30 Yet he spurs on. Now they are almost on him.
Now, Titinius! Now some light. O, he lights too.
He's ta'en. [Shout.] And, hark! they shout for joy.
Cas. Come down; behold no more.

O, coward that I am, to live so long,

35 To see my best friend ta'en before my face!

Come hither, sirrah:

PINDARUS descends.

In Parthia did I take thee prisoner;

And then I swore thee, saving of thy life,

That whatsoever I did bid thee do,

40 Thou shouldst attempt it. Come now, keep thine oath; Now be a freeman; and with this good sword,

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