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And let us presently go sit in council,
How covert matters may be best disclos'd,
And open perils surest answered.

Oct. Let us do so: for we are at the stake,
And bay'd about with many enemies;
And some that smile have in their hearts, I fear,
Millions of mischiefs.


Scene Two

[Camp near Sardis. Before Brutus' Tent] Drum. Enter Brutus, Lucilius, [Lucius,] and the Army. Titinius and Pindarus meet them.

Bru. Stand, ho!

Lucil. Give the word, ho! and stand!

Bru. What now, Lucilius! is Cassius near?
Lucil. He is at hand; and Pindarus is come


To do you salutation from his master.

Bru. He greets me well. Your master, Pindarus,

In his own change, or by ill officers,

Hath given me some worthy cause to wish
Things done, undone; but, if he be at hand,
I shall be satisfied.


I do not doubt But that my noble master will appear Such as he is, full of regard and honour.

Bru. He is not doubted. A word, Lucilius; How he receiv'd you, let me be resolv'd.

Lucil. With courtesy and with respect enough;

46 covert: hidden
47 answered: faced, met
1 Stand: halt


disclos'd: discovered

48, 49 Cf. n.

2 Give the word: pass along the command 7 Owing to a change in himself, or through misconduct of subordi nates 12 full... honour: worthy of honorable regard

But not with such familiar instances,
Nor with such free and friendly conference,
As he hath us'd of old.

Thou hast describ'd
A hot friend cooling. Ever note, Lucilius,
When love begins to sicken and decay,
It useth an enforced ceremony.

There are no tricks in plain and simple faith;
But hollow men, like horses hot at hand,

Make gallant show and promise of their mettle;
But when they should endure the bloody spur,
They fall their crests, and, like deceitful jades,
Sink in the trial. Comes his army on?

Lucil. They mean this night in Sardis to be



The greater part, the horse in general,
Are come with Cassius.


Hark! he is arriv'd.

March gently on to meet him.

Enter Cassius and his Powers.

Cas. Stand, ho!

Bru. Stand, ho! Speak the word along. [First Officer.] Stand!

[Sec. Officer.] Stand!

[Third Officer.] Stand!

16 familiar instances: marks of familiarity

23 hollow: insincere

hot at hand: fiery at the start, only
jades: worthless nags

26 fall: let fall, lower


27 Sink trial: fail in the pinch
29 the horse in general: all the cavalry
31 gently: slowly


Low march within.




Cas. Most noble brother, you have done me wrong. Bru. Judge me, you gods! Wrong I mine enemies? And, if not so, how should I wrong a brother?




Cas. Brutus, this sober form of yours


And when you do them—

Cassius, be content;
Speak your griefs softly: I do know you well.
Before the eyes of both our armies here,
Which should perceive nothing but love from us,
Let us not wrangle: bid them move away;
Then in my tent, Cassius, enlarge your griefs,
And I will give you audience.


Pindarus, Bid our commanders lead their charges off A little from this ground.

Bru. Lucilius, do you the like; and let no man Come to our tent till we have done our conference. Let Lucius and Titinius guard our door.


40 sober form: calm behavior

46 enlarge: set forth fully 2 noted: stigmatized

4 praying 5 slighted off: tossed slightingly aside




Scene Three

[Within the Tent of Brutus]

[Enter] Brutus and Cassius.

Cas. That you have wrong'd me doth appear in


You have condemn'd and noted Lucius Pella
For taking bribes here of the Sardians;
Wherein my letters, praying on his side,
Because I knew the man, were slighted off.

Bru. You wrong'd yourself to write in such a case.
Cas. In such a time as this it is not meet

42 softly: gently Scene Three S. d.; cf. n. side: interceding for him

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That every nice offence should bear his comment.
Bru. Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Are much condemn'd to have an itching palm;
To sell and mart your offices for gold
To undeservers.


I an itching palm!

You know that you are Brutus that speaks this,
Or, by the gods, this speech were else your last.
Bru. The name of Cassius honours this corruption,
And chastisement doth therefore hide his head.

Brutus, bay not me;
I'll not endure it: you forget yourself,
To hedge me in. I am a soldier, I,
Older in practice, abler than yourself
To make conditions.



8 nice: trivial
10 condemn'd to have: blamed for having
15 honours..

Go to; you are not, Cassius.

comment: be censured

Cas. Chastisement!

Bru. Remember March, the ides of March remem-

Did not great Julius bleed for justice' sake?
What villain touch'd his body, that did stab,
And not for justice? What! shall one of us,
That struck the foremost man of all this world
But for supporting robbers, shall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes,
And sell the mighty space of our large honours
For so much trash as may be grasped thus?
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman.


corruption: sanctions this corrupt practice
justice; cf. n.

20, 21 What
23 robbers: his dishonest favorites







11 mart: market

25, 26 Cf. n. 28 Cf. n.

27 bay: bark at 31 practice: experience

32 make conditions: determine the proper treatment of subordinates (referring to lines 1-5) Go to: Nonsense!


Cas. I am.

Bru. I say you are not.

Cas. Urge me no more, I shall forget myself; Have mind upon your health; tempt me no fur



Bru. Away, slight man!
Cas. Is 't possible?


Hear me, for I will speak. Must I give way and room to your rash choler? Shall I be frighted when a madman stares?


Cas. O ye gods, ye gods! Must I endure all this? Bru. All this! ay, more: fret till your proud heart break;

Go show your slaves how choleric you are,

And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge? 44
Must I observe you? Must I stand and crouch
Under your testy humour? By the gods,
You shall digest the venom of your spleen,

Though it do split you; for, from this day forth, 48 I'll use you for my mirth, yea, for my laughter, When you are waspish.

Is it come to this?
Bru. You say you are a better soldier:
Let it appear so; make your vaunting true,
And it shall please me well. For mine own part,

I shall be glad to learn of noble men.

Cas. You wrong me every way; you wrong me, Brutus ;

I said an elder soldier, not a better:

Did I say, 'better'?


If you did, I care not.

Cas. When Cæsar liv'd, he durst not thus have mov'd me.

36 Have. health: have regard for your safety 44 budge: flinch



45 observe: pay humble reverence to

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