[Enter Octavius, Antony, and their army.]
[Enter a messenger.]
- Now, Antony, our hopes are answered.
You said the enemy would not come down,
But instead would stay on the hills and high places.
That turns out not to be the case: their forces are here;
They intend to challenge us at Philippi here,
Answering before we even demand of them.
- Tut, I know their secrets, and I know
Why they are doing this. They would be happy
To be somewhere else, and they come down to Philippi
With fearful bravery, thinking that with this show
They will make us think that they have courage;
But that's not the case.
- Prepare yourselves, generals.
The enemy approaches with a brave show;
Their bloody flag of battle is hung out,
And something will happen right away.
- Octavius, lead your force slowly on
Up to the left side of the battlefield.
- Up to the right side for me, you stay to the left.
- Why do you oppose me in the middle of this crisis?
- I do not oppose you; but I will do so.
[Drum. Enter Brutus, Cassius, and their army.]
[Exit Octavius, Antony, and army.]
- They are waiting, and want to talk.
- Stay here, Titinius; we must go out and talk.
- Mark Antony, should we give the signal for battle?
- No, Caesar, we will respond to their attack.
Go out, the generals want to talk.
- Don't move until the signal.
- Words before blows; is that right, countrymen?
- Not because we love words better, like you do.
- Good words are better than bad blows, Octavius.
- In your bad blows, Brutus, you give good words;
Witness the hole you made in Caesar's heart,
Shouting, "Long live! hail, Caesar!"
The quality of your blows is still unknown;
But your words rob the Hybla bees,
And leave them honeyless.
- Not stingless too?
- Oh yes, and soundless too;
Because you have stolen their buzzing, Antony,
And you very wisely threaten before you sting.
- Villains! you did not do that, when your vile daggers
Hacked each other in the sides of Caesar.
You grinned like apes, and fawned like dogs,
And bowed like slaves, kissing Caesar's feet;
While damned Casca, like a worthless dog, from behind
Struck Caesar on the neck. Oh you flatterers!
- Flatterers? Now, Brutus, thank yourself;
This tongue would not have been offensive like this today,
If Cassius had gotten his way.
- Come, come, the business at hand. If arguing makes us sweat,
The proving of it will turn to redder drops.
I draw a sword against conspirators;
When do you think that the sword will be put away again?
Never, until Caesar's thirty-three wounds
Are completely avenged; or until another Caesar
Has been slaughtered by the sword of traitors.
- Caesar, you cannot die by traitors' hands,
Unless you bring them with you.
- That's what I hope;
I was not born to die on Brutus' sword.
- Oh, even if you were the most noble of your family,
Young man, you could not die more honorably.
- A peevish schoolboy, worthless of such honor,
Partnered with a faker and a party-goer!
- Same old Cassius still!
- Come, Antony; away!
We throw defiance in your face, traitors.
If you dare to fight today, come to the battlefield;
If not, then come when you have the stomach for it.
[Lucilius and then Messala step forward.]
- Well now, let the wind blow, the waves swell, and the ship sail!
The storm is here, and everything is at stake.
- Ho, Lucilius, listen, a word with you.
[Brutus and Lucilius talk separately.]
- My lord.
- What does my general say?
This is my birthday; on this very day
Cassius was born. Give me your hand, Messala.
Be my witness that against my will
(Like Pompey was) I am compelled to risk
All our liberties on one battle.
You know that I believed strongly in Epicurus,
And in his opinions; now I change my mind,
And give some credit to things that foretell.
Coming from Sardis, on our banner out front
Two mighty eagles swooped down, and there they perched,
Gorging and feeding from our soldiers' hands,
Accompanying us here to Philippi.
This morning they have fled away and are gone,
And in their place ravens, crows, and kites
Fly over our heads, and look down on us
As if we were sickly prey. Their shadows seem like
A deadly canopy, under which
Our army lies, ready to give up the ghost.
- Don't believe that.
- I only partly believe it,
Because I am fresh of spirit, and resolved
To meet all our perils very steadfastly.
- Just like that, Lucilius.
- Now, most noble Brutus,
May the gods today be friendly, so we may,
Friends in peace, live on to old age!
But since the business of men is still uncertain,
Let's consider the worst that may happen.
If we do lose this battle, then this is
The very last time we shall speak together:
What have you decided to do if that happens?
- Even by the rules of that philosophy
Which I used to blame Cato for the death
He gave himself--I don't know how,
But I do think it is cowardly and vile,
Because of fear of what might happen, to shorten
The time of your life--arming myself with patience
To wait for the providence of some higher powers
That govern us down below.
- Then, if we lose this battle,
You are content to be led in triumph
Through the streets of Rome?
- No, Cassius, no. Don't think, you noble Roman,
That Brutus will ever go to Rome in chains.
He has too great a mind. But this very day
Must end the work that the ides of March began.
And I don't know whether we will meet again;
For that reason accept this final farewell:
Forever, and forever, farewell, Cassius!
If we do meet again, why, we will smile;
If not, why then this parting was well made.
- Forever, and forever, farewell, Brutus!
If we do meet again, why, we will smile;
If not, it's true that this parting was well made.
- Why then lead on. Oh that a man might know
The end of this day's business before it comes!
But it's enough that the day will end,
And then the end will be known. Come ho, away!