SCENE I. The plains of Philippi.
[Enter Octavius, Antony, and their Army.]
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:
They mean to warn us at Philippi here,
Answering before we do demand of them.
Tut, I am in their bosoms, and I know
Wherefore they do it: they could be content
To visit other places; and come down
With fearful bravery, thinking by this face
To fasten in our thoughts that they have courage;
But 'tis not so.
[Enter a Messenger.]
Prepare you, generals:
The enemy comes on in gallant show;
Their bloody sign of battle is hung out,
And something to be done immediately.
Octavius, lead your battle softly on,
Upon the left hand of the even field.
Upon the right hand I; keep thou the left.
Why do you cross me in this exigent?
I do not cross you; but I will do so.
[March. Drum. Enter Brutus, Cassius, and their Army;
Lucilius, Titinius, Messala, and Others.]
They stand, and would have parley.
Stand fast, Titinius: we must out and talk.
Mark Antony, shall we give sign of battle?
No, Caesar, we will answer on their charge.
Make forth; the generals would have some words.
Stir not until the signal.
Words before blows: is it so, countrymen?
Not that we love words better, as you do.
Good words are better than bad strokes, Octavius.
In your bad strokes, Brutus, you give good words:
Witness the hole you made in Caesar's heart,
Crying, "Long live! Hail, Caesar!"
The posture of your blows are yet unknown;
But for your words, they rob the Hybla bees,
And leave them honeyless.
Not stingless too.
O, yes, and soundless too,
For you have stol'n their buzzing, Antony,
And very wisely threat before you sting.
Villains, you did not so when your vile daggers
Hack'd one another in the sides of Caesar:
You show'd your teeth like apes, and fawn'd like hounds,
And bow'd like bondmen, kissing Caesar's feet;
Whilst damned Casca, like a cur, behind
Struck Caesar on the neck. O flatterers!
Flatterers! — Now, Brutus, thank yourself:
This tongue had not offended so to-day,
If Cassius might have ruled.
Come, come, the cause: if arguing makes us sweat,
The proof of it will turn to redder drops.
I draw a sword against conspirators:
When think you that the sword goes up again?
Never, till Caesar's three and thirty wounds
Be well avenged; or till another Caesar
Have added slaughter to the sword of traitors.
Caesar, thou canst not die by traitors' hands,
Unless thou bring'st them with thee.
So I hope;
I was not born to die on Brutus' sword.
O, if thou wert the noblest of thy strain,
Young man, thou couldst not die more honourably.
A peevish school boy, worthless of such honour,
Join'd with a masker and a reveller!
Old Cassius still!
Come, Antony; away! —
Defiance, traitors, hurl we in your teeth:
If you dare fight today, come to the field;
If not, when you have stomachs.
[Exeunt Octavius, Antony, and their Army.]
Why, now, blow wind, swell billow, and swim bark!
The storm is up, and all is on the hazard.
Ho, Lucilius! Hark, a word with you.
[Brutus and Lucilius talk apart.]
What says my General?