[Enter a Poet (speaking to Lucilius and Titinius as they stand guard).]
- Here is the evidence that you have done something wrong to me:
You have condemned and disgraced Lucius Pella
For taking bribes from the Sardians here;
But the letter I sent, arguing his side,
Because I knew him, was ignored.
- You did something wrong to yourself by writing in circumstances like that.
- At a time like this it is not appropriate
For every trivial offense to be looked at closely.
- Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Are severely criticized for having an itching palm,
Selling and marketing your positions for money
To people who don't deserve the position.
- Me, an itching palm?
You know that you are Brutus saying this,
Because if you were anyone else
I swear by the gods that this speech would be your last.
- The name Cassius makes this corruption seem honorable,
And as a result punishment hides his head.
- Remember March, remember the Ides of March:
Didn't great Julius bleed for the sake of justice?
What villain touched his body, who stabbed him
For a reason other than justice? What? should one of us,
Who struck the most powerful man in the whole world
Only because he supported robbers, should we now
Contaminate our fingers with dishonorable bribes?
And sell the vastness of our good reputations
For just the amount of trash that can be gained this way?
I would rather be a dog, and howl at the moon,
Than be a Roman like that.
- Brutus, do not provoke me,
I will not put up with it. You forget who you are
When you try to put restrictions on me. I am a soldier, I,
More experienced, better able than you
To make decisions about how things should be managed.
- Give it up; you are not, Cassius.
- I am.
- I say that you are not.
- Don't push me, or I shall forget myself;
Think about your health; don't provoke me anymore.
- Get away, little man!
- Is it possible?
- Listen to me, for I have something to say.
Must I give leeway to your sudden anger?
Should I be frightened when a madman glares?
- O you gods, you gods, must I put up with all this?
- All this? yes, more. Rant and rave until your proud heart breaks;
Go show your slaves how temperamental you are,
And make your servants tremble. Do I have to budge?
Do I have to defer to you? Do I have to stand and duck
Under your testy moods? By the gods,
You will swallow the poison of your bad temper
Even if it makes you split; because, from now on,
I will make you a joke, yes, a subject of laughter,
When you are irritable.
- Has it come to this?
- You say that you are a better soldier than I am:
Let it appear to be true; make your boasting true,
And that would make me happy. For my part,
I will be glad to learn of noble men.
- You do me wrong in every way; you do me wrong, Brutus:
I said an older soldier, not a better one.
Did I say "better"?
- If you did, I don't care.
- When Caesar lived, he did not dare to make me angry like this.
- Be calm, be calm, you did not dare to have tempted him like this.
- I did not dare?
- What? Dare not tempt him?
- For fear of your life you did not dare.
- Do not presume too much on my good will,
I may do something that I will be sorry for.
- You have done something you should be sorry for.
There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats;
For I am so strongly protected by honesty
That they pass by me like a gentle breeze,
Which I do not notice. I sent a message to you asking
For certain amounts of gold, which you denied me;
For I cannot raise any money through evil means.
By heaven, I would rather make coins out of my heart
And give my blood for money than to wring
From the hard hands of peasants their pittance
Through dishonest means. I sent
To you for gold to pay my soldiers,
Which you denied me. Was that done like Cassius?
Would I have answered Caius Cassius like that?
When Marcus Brutus becomes so covetous
That he locks such worthless disks away from his friends,
Be ready, gods, with all your thunderbolts,
Dash him to pieces!
- I did not deny you.
- You did.
- I did not. The man was a fool who brought
My answer back. Brutus has broken my heart.
A friend should tolerate his friend's weaknesses;
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
- I do not, until you inflict them on me.
- You do not love me.
- I do not like your faults.
- A friendly eye could never see such faults.
- A flatterer's eye would not see them, even though they appear
As huge as high Olympus.
- Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come,
Take revenge only on Cassius,
For Cassius is tired of the world;
Hated by someone he loves, defied by his brother,
Criticized like a criminal, all his faults observed,
Written in a notebook, learned, and memorized,
To throw into my face. O, I could weep
My spirit from my eyes! There is my dagger,
And here is my bare chest; inside, a heart
More precious than Pluto's mine, more valuable than gold:
If you are really a Roman, take it.
I, who denied you gold, will give my heart:
Strike like you struck Caesar; for I know,
When you hated him the most, you loved him better
Than you ever loved Cassius.
- Sheathe your dagger.
Be angry whenever you want, it will have free reign;
Do what you want, your insults will be disregarded as caused by your bad temper.
Oh Cassius, you are partnered with a lamb
That withstands anger like a flint withstands fire,
Which, under stress, shows a quick spark,
And immediately is cold again.
- Has Cassius lived
To be nothing but a joke to his Brutus,
When unhappiness and a bad mood bothers him?
- When I said that, I was in a bad mood too.
- You will admit that much? Give me your hand.
- And my heart too.
- Oh Brutus!
- What's the matter?
- Do you have enough love to bear with me,
When that irritable temper which my mother gave me
Makes me forgetful?
- Yes, Cassius, and from now on,
When you are too serious with your Brutus,
He'll think that your mother is scolding you, and leave it at that.
[Brutus and Cassius step out of the tent.]
- Let me go in to see the generals.
There is some disagreement between them; it is not good for them to be alone.
- You will not go in to see them.
- Nothing but death will stop me.
- What's going on? What's the matter?
- Shame on you, you generals! What are you trying to do?
Get along and be friends, the way two men like you should be,
For I'm sure I am older than you.
- Ha, ha! This cynic rhymes very badly!
- I'll pay attention to his whims, when he recognizes the appropriate time for them.
What should the wars do with these poetic fools?
Fellow, get away!
- Away, away, be gone!
[Exit Lucilius and Titinius.]
- Lucilius and Titinius, instruct the commanders
To get ready to make camp with their men tonight.
- And come back to us, and bring Messala with you.
[Brutus and Cassius go back into the tent.]
- Brutus. [To Lucius within.]
- Lucius, bring a bowl of wine!
[Enter Lucius with wine and candles.]
- I did not think that you would be so angry.
- Oh Cassius, I have many reasons to be upset.
- You do not make use of your philosophy,
If you allow yourself to be bothered by bad luck.
- No man handles sorrow better. Portia is dead.
- What? Portia?
- She is dead.
- How did I escape being killed when I angered you so much?
Oh insupportable and touching loss!
From what sickness did she die?
- Impatience that I was away,
And grief that young Octavius and Mark Antony
Have made themselves so strong--for along with the news of her death
That news came. With this she became distracted,
And while her attendants were away she swallowed coals.
- And died that way?
- Just like that.
- Oh you immortal gods!
- Don't talk about her anymore. Give me a bowl of wine.
In this I bury all unhappiness, Cassius.
[Cassius drinks. Exit Lucius. Enter Titinius and Messala.]
- My heart is thirsty for that noble promise.
Fill, Lucius, until the wine overfills the cup;
I cannot drink too much of Brutus' love.
- Come in, Titinius. Welcome, good Messala.
Now we sit close together around this candle here,
And discuss our vital needs.
- Portia, are you gone?
- No more, I ask you.
Messala, I have received letters
Saying that young Octavius and Mark Antony
Are coming down on us with a mighty army,
Turning their path quickly toward Philippi.
- I also have letters that say basically the same thing.
- With what additional information?
- That with lists of the condemned and sentences of criminal status
Octavius, Antony, and Lepidus
Have killed one hundred senators.
- In that area our letters do not agree;
Mine mention seventy senators that died
With their lists of the condemned, one of them being Cicero.
- Cicero was one?
- Cicero is dead,
And it's because of that list of the condemned.
Did you receive your letters from your wife, my lord?
- No, Messala.
- And none of your letters wrote about her?
- None, Messala.
- That, I think, is strange.
- Why do you ask? Have you heard anything about her in yours?
- No, my lord.
- Now because you are a Roman tell me the truth.
- Then like a Roman take the truth I tell:
For it is certain that she is dead, and she died in a strange way.
- Why, farewell, Portia. We must die, Messala.
Because I've thought about the fact that she would die someday,
I have the strength to endure her death now.
- That is how great men should handle great losses.
- I have as much of this in theory as you,
But still my nature could not take it so well.
- Well, back to our current work. What do you think
Of marching to Philippi immediately?
- I do not think it's a good idea.
- Your reason?
- It is this:
It is better that the enemy look for us;
That way he will waste his supplies, wear out his soldiers,
Harming himself, while we, staying put,
Are full of rest, defense, and nimbleness.
- Good reasons must necessarily give way to better ones:
The people between Philippi and this place
Have only a forced friendliness,
Because they have been unwilling to contribute to us.
The enemy, marching past them,
Will add reinforcements with them,
And come at us refreshed, newly reinforced, and encouraged;
We will cut him off from this advantage
If we face him at Philippi,
With these people behind us.
- Listen to me, good friend.
- Please forgive me. You must also notice
That we have used up all of our favors from friends,
Our armies are full, our cause is ready:
The enemy grows every day;
We, at the top, are ready to decline.
There is a tide in the business of men,
Which if it's jumped into at the high point, leads on to success;
If it is missed, the whole journey of their life
Is stuck in shallows and in unhappiness.
We are now floating on a high tide like that,
And we must take the current when it is ready,
Or lose our investments.
- Then as you wish go ahead;
We'll go along also, and meet them at Philippi.
- The middle of the night has crept up while we were talking,
And nature must obey necessity,
Which we will satisfy with a little rest.
There is nothing else to say?
- Nothing else. Good night.
Early tomorrow we will get up, and leave.
- My gown.
[Enter Lucius with the gown.]
- Farewell, good Messala.
Goodnight, Titinius. Noble, noble Cassius,
Goodnight, and pleasant sleep.
- Oh my dear brother!
Tonight had a bad beginning.
Never again let us be divided like that!
Let us not, Brutus.
[Exit all but Brutus and Lucius.]
- Everything is fine now.
- Goodnight, my lord.
- Goodnight, good brother.
- Titinius, Messala.
- Goodnight, Lord Brutus.
- Farewell each of you.
[Enter Varrus and Claudio.]
- Give me the gown. Where is your musical instrument?
- Here in the tent.
- What, you sound sleepy?
Poor boy. I don't blame you, you've been kept up too long.
Call Claudio and another one of my men,
I'll have them sleep here on cushions in my tent.
- Varrus and Claudio!
[Varrus and Claudio lie down.]
- Does my lord call us?
- I ask you, gentlemen, lie in my tent and sleep.
I may wake you after awhile
To send you on an errand to my brother Cassius.
- If you want us to, we will stand and wait until you need us.
- I will not permit that. Lie down, good gentlemen,
I might change my mind.
[Music, and a song.]
- Look, Lucius, here's the book I looked so hard for;
I put it in the pocket of my gown.
- I was sure that you did not give it to me, your lordship.
- Bear with me, good boy, I am very forgetful.
Can you keep your sleepy eyes open for awhile,
And play a strain or two on your musical instrument?
- Yes, my lord, if you would like that.
- I would, my boy.
I bother you too much, but you are willing.
- It is my duty, sir.
- I should not force you out of duty to do more than you have strength for;
I know young people need a time of rest.
- I have already slept, my lord.
- It is good that you did, and you will sleep again;
I won't keep you long. If I live,
I will be good to you.
[Enter the Ghost of Caesar.]
- This is a sleepy tune. Oh murderous sleep!
Do you use your heavy rod on my boy,
Who plays you music? Good boy, goodnight;
I will not go so far as to wake you.
If you nod, you'll break your musical instrument.
I'll take it from you; and, good boy, goodnight.
Let me see, let me see; isn't the page folded
Where I stopped reading? Here it is, I think.
- How poorly this candle burns! Ha! Who is it?
I think it is the weakness of my eyes
That creates this terrible apparition.
It is coming up to me. Are you any thing?
Are you a god, an angel, or a devil,
You who makes my blood cold, and my hair stand on end?
Tell me what you are.
- Your evil spirit, Brutus.
- Why have you come?
- To tell you that you will see me at Philippi.
- Well; then I will see you again?
- Yes, at Philippi.
- Then I will see you at Philippi.
- Now that I have found my courage you disappear.
Evil spirit, I want to have more conversation with you.
Boy, Lucius! Varrus! Claudio! Gentlemen, wake up!
- The strings are out of tune, my lord.
- He thinks he is still playing his musical instrument.
Lucius, wake up!
- My lord?
- Lucius, did you have a dream that made you shout like that?
- My lord, I didn't know that I shouted.
- Yes, you certainly did. Did you see anything?
- Nothing, my lord.
- Go back to sleep, Lucius. Mister Claudio!
[To Varrus.] You man, wake up!
- My lord?
- My lord?
- Gentlemen, why did you shout in your sleep?
- Did we, my lord?
- Yes. Did you see anything?
- No, my lord. I did not see anything.
- Neither did I, my lord.
- Go and bring a message from me to my brother Cassius;
Ask him to set out with his troops before I do,
And we will follow.
- It will be done, my lord.