SCENE III. within the tent of Brutus.
[Enter Brutus and Cassius.]
That you have wrong'd me doth appear in this:
You have condemn'd and noted Lucius Pella
For taking bribes here of the Sardians;
Whereas my letters, praying on his side
Because I knew the man, were slighted off.
You wrong'd yourself to write in such a case.
In such a time as this it is not meet
That every nice offense should bear his comment.
Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Are much condemn'd to have an itching palm,
To sell and mart your offices for gold
I an itching palm!
You know that you are Brutus that speak this,
Or, by the gods, this speech were else your last.
The name of Cassius honors this corruption,
And chastisement doth therefore hide his head.
Remember March, the Ides of March remember:
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.
Brutus, bay not me,
I'll not endure it: you forget yourself,
To hedge me in; I am a soldier, ay,
Older in practice, abler than yourself
To make conditions.
Go to; you are not, Cassius.
I say you are not.
Urge me no more, I shall forget myself;
Have mind upon your health, tempt me no farther.
Away, slight man!
Hear me, for I will speak.
Must I give way and room to your rash choler?
Shall I be frighted when a madman stares?
O gods, ye gods! must I endure all this?
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?
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,
I'll use you for my mirth, yea, for my laughter,
When you are waspish.
Is it come to this?
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 abler men.
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.
When Caesar lived, he durst not thus have moved me.
Peace, peace! you durst not so have tempted him.
I durst not?
What, durst not tempt him?
For your life you durst not.
Do not presume too much upon my love;
I may do that I shall be sorry for.
You have done that you should be sorry for.
There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats,
For I am arm'd so strong in honesty,
That they pass by me as the idle wind
Which I respect not. I did send to you
For certain sums of gold, which you denied me; —
For I can raise no money by vile means:
By Heaven, I had rather coin my heart,
And drop my blood for drachmas, than to wring
From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash
By any indirection: — I did send
To you for gold to pay my legions,
Which you denied me: was that done like Cassius?
Should I have answer'd Caius Cassius so?
When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous
To lock such rascal counters from his friends,
Be ready, gods, with all your thunderbolts,
Dash him to pieces!
I denied you not.