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Julius Caesar - Act 5, scene 1
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Navigate this workJulius Caesar - Act 5, scene 1
Act 5, scene 1
The opposing armies confront each other at Philippi. Before the battle, Brutus and Cassius exchange insults with Antony and Octavius. Cassius is troubled by an omen of defeat, and he and Brutus say farewell in case they die as a result of the upcoming battle.Enter Octavius, Antony, and their army.
2273 Now, Antony, our hopes are answerèd.
2274 You said the enemy would not come down
2275 But keep the hills and upper regions.
2276 It proves not so; their battles are at hand.
2277 5 They mean to warn us at Philippi here,
2278 Answering before we do demand of them.
2279 Tut, I am in their bosoms, and I know
2280 Wherefore they do it. They could be content
2281 To visit other places, and come down
2282 10 With fearful bravery, thinking by this face
2283 To fasten in our thoughts that they have courage.
2284 But ’tis not so.
Enter a Messenger.
MESSENGER 2285 Prepare you, generals.
2286 The enemy comes on in gallant show.
2287 15 Their bloody sign of battle is hung out,
2288 And something to be done immediately.
2289 Octavius, lead your battle softly on
2290 Upon the left hand of the even field.
2291 Upon the right hand, I; keep thou the left.
2292 20 Why do you cross me in this exigent?
2293 I do not cross you, but I will do so.March.
Drum. Enter Brutus, Cassius, and their army ⌜including
Lucilius, Titinius, and Messala.⌝
BRUTUS 2294 They stand and would have parley.
2295 Stand fast, Titinius. We must out and talk.
2296 Mark Antony, shall we give sign of battle?
2297 25 No, Caesar, we will answer on their charge.
2298 Make forth. The Generals would have some words.
OCTAVIUS, ⌜to his Officers⌝ 2299 Stir not until the signal.
⌜The Generals step forward.⌝
2300 Words before blows; is it so, countrymen?
2301 Not that we love words better, as you do.
2302 30 Good words are better than bad strokes, Octavius.
2303 In your bad strokes, Brutus, you give good words.
2304 Witness the hole you made in Caesar’s heart,
2305 Crying “Long live, hail, Caesar!”
CASSIUS 2306 Antony,
2307 35 The posture of your blows are yet unknown,
2308 But, for your words, they rob the Hybla bees
2309 And leave them honeyless.
ANTONY 2310 Not stingless too.
BRUTUS 2311 O yes, and soundless too,
p. 1832312 40 For you have stolen their buzzing, Antony,
2313 And very wisely threat before you sting.
2314 Villains, you did not so when your vile daggers
2315 Hacked one another in the sides of Caesar.
2316 You showed your ⌜teeth⌝ like apes and fawned like
2317 45 hounds
2318 And bowed like bondmen, kissing Caesar’s feet,
2319 Whilst damnèd Casca, like a cur, behind
2320 Struck Caesar on the neck. O you flatterers!
2321 Flatterers?—Now, Brutus, thank yourself!
2322 50 This tongue had not offended so today
2323 If Cassius might have ruled.
2324 Come, come, the cause. If arguing make us sweat,
2325 The proof of it will turn to redder drops.
2326 Look, I draw a sword against conspirators;
2327 55 When think you that the sword goes up again?
2328 Never, till Caesar’s three and thirty wounds
2329 Be well avenged, or till another Caesar
2330 Have added slaughter to the sword of traitors.
2331 Caesar, thou canst not die by traitors’ hands
2332 60 Unless thou bring’st them with thee.
OCTAVIUS 2333 So I hope.
2334 I was not born to die on Brutus’ sword.
2335 O, if thou wert the noblest of thy strain,
2336 Young man, thou couldst not die more honorable.
2337 65 A peevish schoolboy, worthless of such honor,
2338 Joined with a masker and a reveler!
2339 Old Cassius still.
OCTAVIUS 2340 Come, Antony, away!—
p. 1852341 Defiance, traitors, hurl we in your teeth.
2342 70 If you dare fight today, come to the field;
2343 If not, when you have stomachs.
Octavius, Antony, and ⌜their⌝ army exit.
2344 Why now, blow wind, swell billow, and swim bark!
2345 The storm is up, and all is on the hazard.
2346 Ho, Lucilius, hark, a word with you.
Lucilius and Messala stand forth.
LUCILIUS 2347 75My lord?
⌜Brutus and Lucilius step aside together.⌝
MESSALA 2349 What says my general?
CASSIUS 2350 Messala,
2351 This is my birthday, as this very day
2352 80 Was Cassius born. Give me thy hand, Messala.
2353 Be thou my witness that against my will
2354 (As Pompey was) am I compelled to set
2355 Upon one battle all our liberties.
2356 You know that I held Epicurus strong
2357 85 And his opinion. Now I change my mind
2358 And partly credit things that do presage.
2359 Coming from Sardis, on our former ensign
2360 Two mighty eagles fell, and there they perched,
2361 Gorging and feeding from our soldiers’ hands,
2362 90 Who to Philippi here consorted us.
2363 This morning are they fled away and gone,
2364 And in their steads do ravens, crows, and kites
2365 Fly o’er our heads and downward look on us
2366 As we were sickly prey. Their shadows seem
2367 95 A canopy most fatal, under which
2368 Our army lies, ready to give up the ghost.
2369 Believe not so.
p. 187CASSIUS 2370 I but believe it partly,
2371 For I am fresh of spirit and resolved
2372 100 To meet all perils very constantly.
2373 Even so, Lucilius.⌜Brutus returns to Cassius.⌝
CASSIUS 2374 Now, most noble Brutus,
2375 The gods today stand friendly that we may,
2376 Lovers in peace, lead on our days to age.
2377 105 But since the affairs of men rests still incertain,
2378 Let’s reason with the worst that may befall.
2379 If we do lose this battle, then is this
2380 The very last time we shall speak together.
2381 What are you then determinèd to do?
2382 110 Even by the rule of that philosophy
2383 By which I did blame Cato for the death
2384 Which he did give himself (I know not how,
2385 But I do find it cowardly and vile,
2386 For fear of what might fall, so to prevent
2387 115 The time of life), arming myself with patience
2388 To stay the providence of some high powers
2389 That govern us below.
CASSIUS 2390 Then, if we lose this battle,
2391 You are contented to be led in triumph
2392 120 Thorough the streets of Rome?
2393 No, Cassius, no. Think not, thou noble Roman,
2394 That ever Brutus will go bound to Rome.
2395 He bears too great a mind. But this same day
2396 Must end that work the ides of March begun.
2397 125 And whether we shall meet again, I know not.
2398 Therefore our everlasting farewell take.
2399 Forever and forever farewell, Cassius.
2400 If we do meet again, why we shall smile;
2401 If not, why then this parting was well made.
2402 130 Forever and forever farewell, Brutus.
2403 If we do meet again, we’ll smile indeed;
2404 If not, ’tis true this parting was well made.
2405 Why then, lead on.—O, that a man might know
2406 The end of this day’s business ere it come!
2407 135 But it sufficeth that the day will end,
2408 And then the end is known.—Come ho, away!