Julius Caesar


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Octavius, Antony, and their army


OCTAVIUS

Now, Antony, our hopes are answered.

You said the enemy would not come down,

But keep the hills and upper regions.

It proves not so; their battles are at hand;
battle (n.) 1 army, fighting force, battalion
prove (v.) 4 prove to be true, turn out to be the truth

They mean to warn us at Philippi here,
warn (v.) 2 challenge, confront, defy

Answering before we do demand of them.
answer (v.) 9 respond, react


ANTONY

Tut, I am in their bosoms, and I know
bosom (n.) 2 inward thoughts, personal counsel

Wherefore they do it. They could be content

To visit other places, and come down
content (adj.) 1 agreeable, willing, ready See Topics: Frequency count

With fearful bravery, thinking by this face
face (n.) 1 appearance, outward show, look

To fasten in our thoughts that they have courage;
fasten (v.) fix the idea, establish, inculcate

But 'tis not so.

Enter a Messenger


MESSENGER

                         Prepare you, Generals;

The enemy comes on in gallant show.
gallant (adj.) 1 fine, splendid, grand

Their bloody sign of battle is hung out,
bloody (adj.) 4 portending bloodshed; or: blood-red, scarlet
sign (n.) 4 banner, standard, ensign

And something to be done immediately.


ANTONY

Octavius, lead your battle softly on
battle (n.) 1 army, fighting force, battalion
softly (adv.) slowly, gently

Upon the left hand of the even field.
even (adj.) 4 level, horizontal, flat
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count


OCTAVIUS

Upon the right hand I. Keep thou the left.


ANTONY

Why do you cross me in this exigent?
cross (v.) 2 contradict, challenge, go against
exigent (n.) 2 time of necessity, critical moment


OCTAVIUS

I do not cross you; but I will do so.

March

Drum

Enter Brutus, Cassius, and their army; Lucilius,

Titinius, Messala, and others


BRUTUS

They stand, and would have parley.
parle, parley (n.) 1 negotiation, meeting [between enemies under a truce, to discuss terms] See Topics: Frequency count


CASSIUS

Stand fast, Titinius; we must out and talk.


OCTAVIUS

Mark Antony, shall we give sign of battle?


ANTONY

No, Caesar, we will answer on their charge.
answer (v.) 9 respond, react

Make forth; the Generals would have some words.
make forth (v.) advance, come forward


OCTAVIUS

Stir not until the signal.


BRUTUS

Words before blows: is it so, countrymen?


OCTAVIUS

Not that we love words better, as you do.


BRUTUS

Good words are better than bad strokes, Octavius.


ANTONY

In your bad strokes, Brutus, you give good words;

Witness the hole you made in Caesar's heart,

Crying, ‘ Long live! Hail, Caesar!’


CASSIUS

                         Antony,

The posture of your blows are yet unknown;
posture (n.) 2 position, condition, nature

But for your words, they rob the Hybla bees,

And leave them honeyless.


ANTONY

                         Not stingless too.


BRUTUS

O yes, and soundless too;
soundless (adj.) 1 noiseless, without sound

For you have stolen their buzzing, Antony,

And very wisely threat before you sting.
threat (v.) threaten


ANTONY

Villains! You did not so, when your vile daggers

Hacked one another in the sides of Caesar:

You showed your teeth like apes, and fawned like hounds,

And bowed like bondmen, kissing Caesar's feet;
bondman (n.) bondsman, serf, slave

Whilst damned Casca, like a cur, behind

Struck Caesar on the neck. O you flatterers!


CASSIUS

Flatterers? Now, Brutus, thank yourself:

This tongue had not offended so today,

If Cassius might have ruled.


OCTAVIUS

Come, come, the cause. If arguing make us sweat,
cause (n.) 4 affair, business, subject

The proof of it will turn to redder drops.
proof (n.) 3 test, trial

Look,

I draw a sword against conspirators.

When think you that the sword goes up again?
go up (v.) be sheathed, be put away

Never till Caesar's three and thirty wounds

Be well avenged; or till another Caesar

Have added slaughter to the sword of traitors.


BRUTUS

Caesar, thou canst not die by traitors' hands,

Unless thou bring'st them with thee.


OCTAVIUS

                         So I hope.

I was not born to die on Brutus' sword.


BRUTUS

O, if thou wert the noblest of thy strain,
strain (n.) 1 quality, character, disposition

Young man, thou couldst not die more honourable.


CASSIUS

A peevish schoolboy, worthless of such honour,
peevish (adj.) 1 silly, foolish; or: headstrong, impulsive
worthless (adj.) unworthy, contemptible, ignoble

Joined with a masquer and a reveller.


ANTONY

Old Cassius, still!
still (adj.) 1 silent, quiet


OCTAVIUS

                         Come, Antony; away!

Defiance, traitors, hurl we in your teeth.

If you dare fight today, come to the field;
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count

If not, when you have stomachs.
stomach (n.) 2 wish, inclination, desire

Exeunt Octavius, Antony, and army
bark, barque (n.) ship, vessel
swim (v.) 1 float, sail


CASSIUS

Why now, blow wind, swell billow, and swim bark!

The storm is up, and all is on the hazard.
hazard (n.) 2 [gambling] chance, fortune; throw [of dice]


BRUTUS

Ho, Lucilius, hark, a word with you.


LUCILIUS

                         My lord?

Lucilius stands forth, and talks with Brutus apart


CASSIUS

Messala.


MESSALA

                         What says my General?

Messala stands forth


CASSIUS

                                                         Messala,

This is my birthday; 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 compelled to set
set (v.) 2 rate, stake, gamble

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.
presage (v.) 2 predict, forecast

Coming from Sardis, on our former ensign
ensign (n.) 1 standard, banner, flag
former (adj.) forward, advance, foremost

Two mighty eagles fell, and there they perched,

Gorging and feeding from our soldiers' hands,

Who to Philippi here consorted us.
consort (v.) accompany, attend, go with

This morning are they fled away and gone,

And in their steads do ravens, crows, and kites
kite (n.) bird of prey; thieving bird [of ill omen; also, strong term of abuse]

Fly o'er our heads and downward look on us,

As we were sickly prey; their shadows seem
sickly (adj.) 1 weak, feeble, dying

A canopy most fatal, under which
fatal (adj.) 1 ominous, full of foreboding, doom-laden

Our army lies, ready to give up the ghost.


MESSALA

Believe not so.
partly (adv.) slightly, in some measure, a little


CASSIUS

                         I but believe it partly,

For I am fresh of spirit, and resolved

To meet all perils very constantly.
constantly (adv.) 2 resolutely, steadfastly, steadily


BRUTUS

Even so, Lucilius.

Brutus rejoins Cassius


CASSIUS

                         Now, most noble Brutus,

The gods today stand friendly, that we may,
stand (v.) 2 continue, remain, wait, stay put

Lovers in peace, lead on our days to age!
lover (n.) companion, comrade, dear friend

But since the affairs of men rest still incertain,
incertain (adj.) 1 uncertain, doubtful, dubious
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

Let's reason with the worst that may befall.
befall (v.), past forms befallen, befell 1 happen, occur, take place, turn out See Topics: Frequency count
reason (v.) 2 argue rationally [about], debate the pros and cons [of]

If we do lose this battle, then is this

The very last time we shall speak together;

What are you then determined to do?


BRUTUS

Even by the rule of that philosophy
rule (n.) 1 principle, order, regulation

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
fall (v.) 3 happen, occur, come to pass
prevent (v.) 1 forestall, anticipate

The time of life – arming myself with patience
time (n.) 12 allotted limit, prescribed term

To stay the providence of some high powers
power (n.) 9 (usually plural) gods, deities, divinities
providence (n.) 2 direction, fate, destiny
stay (v.) 1 wait (for), await

That govern us below.


CASSIUS

                         Then, if we lose this battle,

You are contented to be led in triumph
triumph (n.) 2 triumphal procession into Rome

Thorough the streets of Rome?


BRUTUS

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;
ides (n.) [Roman calendar] half-way point in a month

And whether we shall meet again I know not.

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.


CASSIUS

For ever, and for ever, farewell, Brutus.

If we do meet again, we'll smile indeed;

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


BRUTUS

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,

And then the end is known. Come, ho! Away!

Exeunt

 
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