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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Part 30 out of 63

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Here is a mourning Rome, a dangerous Rome,
No Rome of safety for Octavius yet;
Hie hence, and tell him so. Yet stay awhile,
Thou shalt not back till I have borne this corse
Into the marketplace. There shall I try,
In my oration, how the people take
The cruel issue of these bloody men,
According to the which thou shalt discourse
To young Octavius of the state of things.
Lend me your hand. Exeunt with Caesar's body.

SCENE II.
The Forum.

Enter Brutus and Cassius, and a throng of Citizens.

CITIZENS. We will be satisfied! Let us be satisfied!
BRUTUS. Then follow me and give me audience, friends.
Cassius, go you into the other street
And part the numbers.
Those that will hear me speak, let 'em stay here;
Those that will follow Cassius, go with him;
And public reasons shall be rendered
Of Caesar's death.
FIRST CITIZEN. I will hear Brutus speak.
SECOND CITIZEN. I will hear Cassius and compare their reasons,
When severally we hear them rendered.
Exit Cassius, with some Citizens.
Brutus goes into the pulpit.
THIRD CITIZEN. The noble Brutus is ascended. Silence!
BRUTUS. Be patient till the last.
Romans, countrymen, and lovers! Hear me for my cause, and be
silent, that you may hear. Believe me for mine honor, and have
respect to mine honor, that you may believe. Censure me in your
wisdom, and awake your senses, that you may the better judge. If
there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar's, to
him I say that Brutus' love to Caesar was no less than his. If
then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is
my answer: Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome
more. Had you rather Caesar were living and die all slaves, than
that Caesar were dead to live all freemen? As Caesar loved me, I
weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was
valiant, I honor him; but as he was ambitious, I slew him. There
is tears for his love, joy for his fortune, honor for his valor,
and death for his ambition. Who is here so base that would be a
bondman? If any, speak, for him have I offended. Who is here so
rude that would not be a Roman? If any, speak, for him have I
offended. Who is here so vile that will not love his country? If
any, speak, for him have I offended. I pause for a reply.
ALL. None, Brutus, none.
BRUTUS. Then none have I offended. I have done no more to Caesar
than you shall do to Brutus. The question of his death is
enrolled in the Capitol, his glory not extenuated, wherein he was
worthy, nor his offenses enforced, for which he suffered death.

Enter Antony and others, with Caesar's body.

Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony, who, though he had
no hand in his death, shall receive the benefit of his dying, a
place in the commonwealth, as which of you shall not? With this I
depart- that, as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I
have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country
to need my death.
ALL. Live, Brutus, live, live!
FIRST CITIZEN. Bring him with triumph home unto his house.
SECOND CITIZEN. Give him a statue with his ancestors.
THIRD CITIZEN. Let him be Caesar.
FOURTH CITIZEN. Caesar's better parts
Shall be crown'd in Brutus.
FIRST CITIZEN. We'll bring him to his house with shouts and
clamors.
BRUTUS. My countrymen-
SECOND CITIZEN. Peace! Silence! Brutus speaks.
FIRST CITIZEN. Peace, ho!
BRUTUS. Good countrymen, let me depart alone,
And, for my sake, stay here with Antony.
Do grace to Caesar's corse, and grace his speech
Tending to Caesar's glories, which Mark Antony,
By our permission, is allow'd to make.
I do entreat you, not a man depart,
Save I alone, till Antony have spoke. Exit.
FIRST CITIZEN. Stay, ho, and let us hear Mark Antony.
THIRD CITIZEN. Let him go up into the public chair;
We'll hear him. Noble Antony, go up.
ANTONY. For Brutus' sake, I am beholding to you.
Goes into the pulpit.
FOURTH CITIZEN. What does he say of Brutus?
THIRD CITIZEN. He says, for Brutus' sake,
He finds himself beholding to us all.
FOURTH CITIZEN. 'Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus here.
FIRST CITIZEN. This Caesar was a tyrant.
THIRD CITIZEN. Nay, that's certain.
We are blest that Rome is rid of him.
SECOND CITIZEN. Peace! Let us hear what Antony can say.
ANTONY. You gentle Romans-
ALL. Peace, ho! Let us hear him.
ANTONY. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious;
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest-
For Brutus is an honorable man;
So are they all, all honorable men-
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me;
But Brutus says he was ambitious,
And Brutus is an honorable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill.
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept;
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious,
And Brutus is an honorable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious,
And sure he is an honorable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause;
What cause withholds you then to mourn for him?
O judgement, thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.
FIRST CITIZEN. Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.
SECOND CITIZEN. If thou consider rightly of the matter,
Caesar has had great wrong.
THIRD CITIZEN. Has he, masters?
I fear there will a worse come in his place.
FOURTH CITIZEN. Mark'd ye his words? He would not take the crown;
Therefore 'tis certain he was not ambitious.
FIRST CITIZEN. If it be found so, some will dear abide it.
SECOND CITIZEN. Poor soul, his eyes are red as fire with weeping.
THIRD CITIZEN. There's not a nobler man in Rome than Antony.
FOURTH CITIZEN. Now mark him, he begins again to speak.
ANTONY. But yesterday the word of Caesar might
Have stood against the world. Now lies he there,
And none so poor to do him reverence.
O masters! If I were disposed to stir
Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
I should do Brutus wrong and Cassius wrong,
Who, you all know, are honorable men.
I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
Than I will wrong such honorable men.
But here's a parchment with the seal of Caesar;
I found it in his closet, 'tis his will.
Let but the commons hear this testament-
Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read-
And they would go and kiss dead Caesar's wounds
And dip their napkins in his sacred blood,
Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
And, dying, mention it within their wills,
Bequeathing it as a rich legacy
Unto their issue.
FOURTH CITIZEN. We'll hear the will. Read it, Mark Antony.
ALL. The will, the will! We will hear Caesar's will.
ANTONY. Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it;
It is not meet you know how Caesar loved you.
You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;
And, being men, hearing the will of Caesar,
It will inflame you, it will make you mad.
'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs,
For if you should, O, what would come of it!
FOURTH CITIZEN. Read the will; we'll hear it, Antony.
You shall read us the will, Caesar's will.
ANTONY. Will you be patient? Will you stay awhile?
I have o'ershot myself to tell you of it.
I fear I wrong the honorable men
Whose daggers have stabb'd Caesar; I do fear it.
FOURTH CITIZEN. They were traitors. Honorable men!
ALL. The will! The testament!
SECOND CITIZEN. They were villains, murtherers. The will!
Read the will!
ANTONY. You will compel me then to read the will?
Then make a ring about the corse of Caesar,
And let me show you him that made the will.
Shall I descend? And will you give me leave?
ALL. Come down.
SECOND CITIZEN. Descend.
He comes down from the pulpit.
THIRD CITIZEN. You shall have leave.
FOURTH CITIZEN. A ring, stand round.
FIRST CITIZEN. Stand from the hearse, stand from the body.
SECOND CITIZEN. Room for Antony, most noble Antony.
ANTONY. Nay, press not so upon me, stand far off.
ALL. Stand back; room, bear back!
ANTONY. If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
You all do know this mantle. I remember
The first time ever Caesar put it on;
'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent,
That day he overcame the Nervii.
Look, in this place ran Cassius' dagger through;
See what a rent the envious Casca made;
Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb'd;
And as he pluck'd his cursed steel away,
Mark how the blood of Caesar follow'd it,
As rushing out of doors, to be resolved
If Brutus so unkindly knock'd, or no;
For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel.
Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
Quite vanquish'd him. Then burst his mighty heart,
And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Pompey's statue,
Which all the while ran blood, great Caesar fell.
O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us.
O, now you weep, and I perceive you feel
The dint of pity. These are gracious drops.
Kind souls, what weep you when you but behold
Our Caesar's vesture wounded? Look you here,
Here is himself, marr'd, as you see, with traitors.
FIRST CITIZEN. O piteous spectacle!
SECOND CITIZEN. O noble Caesar!
THIRD CITIZEN. O woeful day!
FOURTH CITIZEN. O traitors villains!
FIRST CITIZEN. O most bloody sight!
SECOND CITIZEN. We will be revenged.
ALL. Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill!
Slay! Let not a traitor live!
ANTONY. Stay, countrymen.
FIRST CITIZEN. Peace there! Hear the noble Antony.
SECOND CITIZEN. We'll hear him, we'll follow him, we'll die with
him.
ANTONY. Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
To such a sudden flood of mutiny.
They that have done this deed are honorable.
What private griefs they have, alas, I know not,
That made them do it. They are wise and honorable,
And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you.
I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts.
I am no orator, as Brutus is;
But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man,
That love my friend, and that they know full well
That gave me public leave to speak of him.
For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,
Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,
To stir men's blood. I only speak right on;
I tell you that which you yourselves do know;
Show you sweet Caesar's wounds, poor dumb mouths,
And bid them speak for me. But were I Brutus,
And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
Would ruffle up your spirits and put a tongue
In every wound of Caesar that should move
The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.
ALL. We'll mutiny.
FIRST CITIZEN. We'll burn the house of Brutus.
THIRD CITIZEN. Away, then! Come, seek the conspirators.
ANTONY. Yet hear me, countrymen; yet hear me speak.
ALL. Peace, ho! Hear Antony, most noble Antony!
ANTONY. Why, friends, you go to do you know not what.
Wherein hath Caesar thus deserved your loves?
Alas, you know not; I must tell you then.
You have forgot the will I told you of.
ALL. Most true, the will! Let's stay and hear the will.
ANTONY. Here is the will, and under Caesar's seal.
To every Roman citizen he gives,
To every several man, seventy-five drachmas.
SECOND CITIZEN. Most noble Caesar! We'll revenge his death.
THIRD CITIZEN. O royal Caesar!
ANTONY. Hear me with patience.
ALL. Peace, ho!
ANTONY. Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
His private arbors, and new-planted orchards,
On this side Tiber; he hath left them you,
And to your heirs forever- common pleasures,
To walk abroad and recreate yourselves.
Here was a Caesar! When comes such another?
FIRST CITIZEN. Never, never. Come, away, away!
We'll burn his body in the holy place
And with the brands fire the traitors' houses.
Take up the body.
SECOND CITIZEN. Go fetch fire.
THIRD CITIZEN. Pluck down benches.
FOURTH CITIZEN. Pluck down forms, windows, anything.
Exeunt Citizens with the body.
ANTONY. Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot,
Take thou what course thou wilt.

Enter a Servant.

How now, fellow?
SERVANT. Sir, Octavius is already come to Rome.
ANTONY. Where is he?
SERVANT. He and Lepidus are at Caesar's house.
ANTONY. And thither will I straight to visit him.
He comes upon a wish. Fortune is merry,
And in this mood will give us anything.
SERVANT. I heard him say Brutus and Cassius
Are rid like madmen through the gates of Rome.
ANTONY. Be like they had some notice of the people,
How I had moved them. Bring me to Octavius. Exeunt.

SCENE III.
A street.

Enter Cinna the poet.

CINNA. I dreamt tonight that I did feast with Caesar,
And things unluckily charge my fantasy.
I have no will to wander forth of doors,
Yet something leads me forth.

Enter Citizens.

FIRST CITIZEN. What is your name?
SECOND CITIZEN. Whither are you going?
THIRD CITIZEN. Where do you dwell?
FOURTH CITIZEN. Are you a married man or a bachelor?
SECOND CITIZEN. Answer every man directly.
FIRST CITIZEN. Ay, and briefly.
FOURTH CITIZEN. Ay, and wisely.
THIRD CITIZEN. Ay, and truly, you were best.
CINNA. What is my name? Whither am I going? Where do I dwell? Am I
a married man or a bachelor? Then, to answer every man directly
and briefly, wisely and truly: wisely I say, I am a bachelor.
SECOND CITIZEN. That's as much as to say they are fools that marry.
You'll bear me a bang for that, I fear. Proceed directly.
CINNA. Directly, I am going to Caesar's funeral.
FIRST CITIZEN. As a friend or an enemy?
CINNA. As a friend.
SECOND CITIZEN. That matter is answered directly.
FOURTH CITIZEN. For your dwelling, briefly.
CINNA. Briefly, I dwell by the Capitol.
THIRD CITIZEN. Your name, sir, truly.
CINNA. Truly, my name is Cinna.
FIRST CITIZEN. Tear him to pieces, he's a conspirator.
CINNA. I am Cinna the poet, I am Cinna the poet.
FOURTH CITIZEN. Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad
verses.
CINNA. I am not Cinna the conspirator.
FOURTH CITIZEN. It is no matter, his name's Cinna. Pluck but his
name out of his heart, and turn him going.
THIRD CITIZEN. Tear him, tear him! Come, brands, ho, firebrands. To
Brutus', to Cassius'; burn all. Some to Decius' house, and some
to Casca's, some to Ligarius'. Away, go! Exeunt.

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ACT IV. SCENE I.
A house in Rome. Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus, seated at a table.

ANTONY. These many then shall die, their names are prick'd.
OCTAVIUS. Your brother too must die; consent you, Lepidus?
LEPIDUS. I do consent-
OCTAVIUS. Prick him down, Antony.
LEPIDUS. Upon condition Publius shall not live,
Who is your sister's son, Mark Antony.
ANTONY. He shall not live; look, with a spot I damn him.
But, Lepidus, go you to Caesar's house,
Fetch the will hither, and we shall determine
How to cut off some charge in legacies.
LEPIDUS. What, shall I find you here?
OCTAVIUS. Or here, or at the Capitol. Exit Lepidus.
ANTONY. This is a slight unmeritable man,
Meet to be sent on errands. Is it fit,
The three-fold world divided, he should stand
One of the three to share it?
OCTAVIUS. So you thought him,
And took his voice who should be prick'd to die
In our black sentence and proscription.
ANTONY. Octavius, I have seen more days than you,
And though we lay these honors on this man
To ease ourselves of divers slanderous loads,
He shall but bear them as the ass bears gold,
To groan and sweat under the business,
Either led or driven, as we point the way;
And having brought our treasure where we will,
Then take we down his load and turn him off,
Like to the empty ass, to shake his ears
And graze in commons.
OCTAVIUS. You may do your will,
But he's a tried and valiant soldier.
ANTONY. So is my horse, Octavius, and for that
I do appoint him store of provender.
It is a creature that I teach to fight,
To wind, to stop, to run directly on,
His corporal motion govern'd by my spirit.
And, in some taste, is Lepidus but so:
He must be taught, and train'd, and bid go forth;
A barren-spirited fellow, one that feeds
On objects, arts, and imitations,
Which, out of use and staled by other men,
Begin his fashion. Do not talk of him
But as a property. And now, Octavius,
Listen great things. Brutus and Cassius
Are levying powers; we must straight make head;
Therefore let our alliance be combined,
Our best friends made, our means stretch'd;
And let us presently go sit in council,
How covert matters may be best disclosed,
And open perils surest answered.
OCTAVIUS. 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. Exeunt.

SCENE II.
Camp near Sardis. Before Brutus' tent. Drum.

Enter Brutus, Lucilius, Lucius, and Soldiers; Titinius and Pindarus meet them.

BRUTUS. Stand, ho!
LUCILIUS. Give the word, ho, and stand.
BRUTUS. What now, Lucilius, is Cassius near?
LUCILIUS. He is at hand, and Pindarus is come
To do you salutation from his master.
BRUTUS. 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.
PINDARUS. I do not doubt
But that my noble master will appear
Such as he is, full of regard and honor.
BRUTUS. He is not doubted. A word, Lucilius,
How he received you. Let me be resolved.
LUCILIUS. With courtesy and with respect enough,
But not with such familiar instances,
Nor with such free and friendly conference,
As he hath used of old.
BRUTUS. Thou hast described
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?
LUCILIUS. They meant his night in Sard is to be quarter'd;
The greater part, the horse in general,
Are come with Cassius. Low march within.
BRUTUS. Hark, he is arrived.
March gently on to meet him.

Enter Cassius and his Powers.

CASSIUS. Stand, ho!
BRUTUS. Stand, ho! Speak the word along.
FIRST SOLDIER. Stand!
SECOND SOLDIER. Stand!
THIRD SOLDIER. Stand!
CASSIUS. Most noble brother, you have done me wrong.
BRUTUS. Judge me, you gods! Wrong I mine enemies?
And, if not so, how should I wrong a brother?
CASSIUS. Brutus, this sober form of yours hides wrongs,
And when you do them-
BRUTUS. 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.
CASSIUS. Pindarus,
Bid our commanders lead their charges off
A little from this ground.
BRUTUS. 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. Exeunt.

SCENE III.
Brutus' tent.

Enter Brutus and Cassius.

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,
Wherein my letters, praying on his side,
Because I knew the man, were slighted off.
BRUTUS. You wrong'd yourself to write in such a case.
CASSIUS. In such a time as this it is not meet
That every nice offense should bear his comment.
BRUTUS. 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.
CASSIUS. I an itching palm?
You know that you are Brutus that speaks this,
Or, by the gods, this speech were else your last.
BRUTUS. The name of Cassius honors this corruption,
And chastisement doth therefore hide his head.
CASSIUS. Chastisement?
BRUTUS. 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 honors
For so much trash as may be grasped thus?
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman.
CASSIUS. Brutus, bait 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.
BRUTUS. Go to, you are not, Cassius.
CASSIUS. I am.
BRUTUS. I say you are not.
CASSIUS. Urge me no more, I shall forget myself;
Have mind upon your health, tempt me no farther.
BRUTUS. Away, slight man!
CASSIUS. Is't possible?
BRUTUS. Hear me, for I will speak.
Must I give way and room to your rash choler?
Shall I be frighted when a madman stares?
CASSIUS. O gods, ye gods! Must I endure all this?
BRUTUS. 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 bouge?
Must I observe you? Must I stand and crouch
Under your testy humor? 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.
CASSIUS. Is it come to this?
BRUTUS. 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.
CASSIUS. You wrong me every way, you wrong me, Brutus.
I said, an elder soldier, not a better.
Did I say "better"?
BRUTUS. If you did, I care not.
CASSIUS. When Caesar lived, he durst not thus have moved me.
BRUTUS. Peace, peace! You durst not so have tempted him.
CASSIUS. I durst not?
BRUTUS. No.
CASSIUS. What, durst not tempt him?
BRUTUS. For your life you durst not.
CASSIUS. Do not presume too much upon my love;
I may do that I shall be sorry for.
BRUTUS. 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!
CASSIUS. I denied you not.
BRUTUS. You did.
CASSIUS. I did not. He was but a fool
That brought my answer back. Brutus hath rived my heart.
A friend should bear his friend's infirmities,
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
BRUTUS. I do not, till you practise them on me.
CASSIUS. You love me not.
BRUTUS. I do not like your faults.
CASSIUS. A friendly eye could never see such faults.
BRUTUS. A flatterer's would not, though they do appear
As huge as high Olympus.
CASSIUS. Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come,
Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius,
For Cassius is aweary of the world:
Hated by one he loves; braved by his brother;
Check'd like a bondman; all his faults observed,
Set in a notebook, learn'd and conn'd by rote,
To cast into my teeth. O, I could weep
My spirit from mine eyes! There is my dagger,
And here my naked breast; within, a heart
Dearer than Pluto's mine, richer than gold.
If that thou best a Roman, take it forth;
I, that denied thee gold, will give my heart.
Strike, as thou didst at Caesar, for I know,
When thou didst hate him worst, thou lovedst him better
Than ever thou lovedst Cassius.
BRUTUS. Sheathe your dagger.
Be angry when you will, it shall have scope;
Do what you will, dishonor shall be humor.
O Cassius, you are yoked with a lamb,
That carries anger as the flint bears fire,
Who, much enforced, shows a hasty spark
And straight is cold again.
CASSIUS. Hath Cassius lived
To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus,
When grief and blood ill-temper'd vexeth him?
BRUTUS. When I spoke that, I was ill-temper'd too.
CASSIUS. Do you confess so much? Give me your hand.
BRUTUS. And my heart too.
CASSIUS. O Brutus!
BRUTUS. What's the matter?
CASSIUS. Have not you love enough to bear with me
When that rash humor which my mother gave me
Makes me forgetful?
BRUTUS. Yes, Cassius, and from henceforth,
When you are overearnest with your Brutus,
He'll think your mother chides, and leave you so.
POET. [Within.] Let me go in to see the generals.
There is some grudge between 'em, 'tis not meet
They be alone.
LUCILIUS. [Within.] You shall not come to them.
POET. [Within.] Nothing but death shall stay me.

Enter Poet, followed by Lucilius, Titinius, and Lucius.

CASSIUS. How now, what's the matter?
POET. For shame, you generals! What do you mean?
Love, and be friends, as two such men should be;
For I have seen more years, I'm sure, than ye.
CASSIUS. Ha, ha! How vilely doth this cynic rhyme!
BRUTUS. Get you hence, sirrah; saucy fellow, hence!
CASSIUS. Bear with him, Brutus; 'tis his fashion.
BRUTUS. I'll know his humor when he knows his time.
What should the wars do with these jigging fools?
Companion, hence!
CASSIUS. Away, away, be gone! Exit Poet.
BRUTUS. Lucilius and Titinius, bid the commanders
Prepare to lodge their companies tonight.
CASSIUS. And come yourselves and bring Messala with you
Immediately to us. Exeunt Lucilius and Titinius.
BRUTUS. Lucius, a bowl of wine! Exit Lucius.
CASSIUS. I did not think you could have been so angry.
BRUTUS. O Cassius, I am sick of many griefs.
CASSIUS. Of your philosophy you make no use,
If you give place to accidental evils.
BRUTUS. No man bears sorrow better. Portia is dead.
CASSIUS. Ha? Portia?
BRUTUS. She is dead.
CASSIUS. How 'scaped killing when I cross'd you so?
O insupportable and touching loss!
Upon what sickness?
BRUTUS. Impatient of my absence,
And grief that young Octavius with Mark Antony
Have made themselves so strong- for with her death
That tidings came- with this she fell distract,
And (her attendants absent) swallow'd fire.
CASSIUS. And died so?
BRUTUS. Even so.
CASSIUS. O ye immortal gods!

Re-enter Lucius, with wine and taper.

BRUTUS. Speak no more of her. Give me a bowl of wine.
In this I bury all unkindness, Cassius. Drinks.
CASSIUS. My heart is thirsty for that noble pledge.
Fill, Lucius, till the wine o'erswell the cup;
I cannot drink too much of Brutus' love. Drinks.
BRUTUS. Come in, Titinius! Exit Lucius.

Re-enter Titinius, with Messala.

Welcome, good Messala.
Now sit we close about this taper here,
And call in question our necessities.
CASSIUS. Portia, art thou gone?
BRUTUS. No more, I pray you.
Messala, I have here received letters
That young Octavius and Mark Antony
Come down upon us with a mighty power,
Bending their expedition toward Philippi.
MESSALA. Myself have letters of the selfsame tenure.
BRUTUS. With what addition?
MESSALA. That by proscription and bills of outlawry
Octavius, Antony, and Lepidus
Have put to death an hundred senators.
BRUTUS. There in our letters do not well agree;
Mine speak of seventy senators that died
By their proscriptions, Cicero being one.
CASSIUS. Cicero one!
MESSALA. Cicero is dead,
And by that order of proscription.
Had you your letters from your wife, my lord?
BRUTUS. No, Messala.
MESSALA. Nor nothing in your letters writ of her?
BRUTUS. Nothing, Messala.
MESSALA. That, methinks, is strange.
BRUTUS. Why ask you? Hear you aught of her in yours?
MESSALA. No, my lord.
BRUTUS. Now, as you are a Roman, tell me true.
MESSALA. Then like a Roman bear the truth I tell:
For certain she is dead, and by strange manner.
BRUTUS. Why, farewell, Portia. We must die, Messala.
With meditating that she must die once
I have the patience to endure it now.
MESSALA. Even so great men great losses should endure.
CASSIUS. I have as much of this in art as you,
But yet my nature could not bear it so.
BRUTUS. Well, to our work alive. What do you think
Of marching to Philippi presently?
CASSIUS. I do not think it good.
BRUTUS. Your reason?
CASSIUS. This it is:
'Tis better that the enemy seek us;
So shall he waste his means, weary his soldiers,
Doing himself offense, whilst we lying still
Are full of rest, defense, and nimbleness.
BRUTUS. Good reasons must of force give place to better.
The people 'twixt Philippi and this ground
Do stand but in a forced affection,
For they have grudged us contribution.
The enemy, marching along by them,
By them shall make a fuller number up,
Come on refresh'd, new-added, and encouraged;
From which advantage shall we cut him off
If at Philippi we do face him there,
These people at our back.
CASSIUS. Hear me, good brother.
BRUTUS. Under your pardon. You must note beside
That we have tried the utmost of our friends,
Our legions are brim-full, our cause is ripe:
The enemy increaseth every day;
We, at the height, are ready to decline.
There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which taken at the flood leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
CASSIUS. Then, with your will, go on;
We'll along ourselves and meet them at Philippi.
BRUTUS. The deep of night is crept upon our talk,
And nature must obey necessity,
Which we will niggard with a little rest.
There is no more to say?
CASSIUS. No more. Good night.
Early tomorrow will we rise and hence.
BRUTUS. Lucius!

Re-enter Lucius.

My gown. Exit Lucius.
Farewell, good Messala;
Good night, Titinius; noble, noble Cassius,
Good night and good repose.
CASSIUS. O my dear brother!
This was an ill beginning of the night.
Never come such division 'tween our souls!
Let it not, Brutus.
BRUTUS. Everything is well.
CASSIUS. Good night, my lord.
BRUTUS. Good night, good brother.
TITINIUS. MESSALA. Good night, Lord Brutus.
BRUTUS. Farewell, everyone.
Exeunt all but Brutus.

Re-enter Lucius, with the gown.

Give me the gown. Where is thy instrument?
LUCIUS. Here in the tent.
BRUTUS. What, thou speak'st drowsily?
Poor knave, I blame thee not, thou art o'erwatch'd.
Call Claudio and some other of my men,
I'll have them sleep on cushions in my tent.
LUCIUS. Varro and Claudio!

Enter Varro and Claudio.

VARRO. Calls my lord?
BRUTUS. I pray you, sirs, lie in my tent and sleep;
It may be I shall raise you by and by
On business to my brother Cassius.
VARRO. So please you, we will stand and watch your pleasure.
BRUTUS. I would not have it so. Lie down, good sirs.
It may be I shall otherwise bethink me.
Look Lucius, here's the book I sought for so;
I put it in the pocket of my gown.
Varro and Claudio lie down.
LUCIUS. I was sure your lordship did not give it me.
BRUTUS. Bear with me, good boy, I am much forgetful.
Canst thou hold up thy heavy eyes awhile,
And touch thy instrument a strain or two?
LUCIUS. Ay, my lord, an't please you.
BRUTUS. It does, my boy.
I trouble thee too much, but thou art willing.
LUCIUS. It is my duty, sir.
BRUTUS. I should not urge thy duty past thy might;
I know young bloods look for a time of rest.
LUCIUS. I have slept, my lord, already.
BRUTUS. It was well done, and thou shalt sleep again;
I will not hold thee long. If I do live,
I will be good to thee. Music, and a song.
This is a sleepy tune. O murtherous slumber,
Layest thou thy leaden mace upon my boy
That plays thee music? Gentle knave, good night.
I will not do thee so much wrong to wake thee.
If thou dost nod, thou break'st thy instrument;
I'll take it from thee; and, good boy, good night.
Let me see, let me see; is not the leaf turn'd down
Where I left reading? Here it is, I think. Sits down.

Enter the Ghost of Caesar.

How ill this taper burns! Ha, who comes here?
I think it is the weakness of mine eyes
That shapes this monstrous apparition.
It comes upon me. Art thou anything?
Art thou some god, some angel, or some devil
That makest my blood cold and my hair to stare?
Speak to me what thou art.
GHOST. Thy evil spirit, Brutus.
BRUTUS. Why comest thou?
GHOST. To tell thee thou shalt see me at Philippi.
BRUTUS. Well, then I shall see thee again?
GHOST. Ay, at Philippi.
BRUTUS. Why, I will see thee at Philippi then. Exit Ghost.
Now I have taken heart thou vanishest.
Ill spirit, I would hold more talk with thee.
Boy! Lucius! Varro! Claudio! Sirs, awake!
Claudio!
LUCIUS. The strings, my lord, are false.
BRUTUS. He thinks he still is at his instrument.
Lucius, awake!
LUCIUS. My lord?
BRUTUS. Didst thou dream, Lucius, that thou so criedst out?
LUCIUS. My lord, I do not know that I did cry.
BRUTUS. Yes, that thou didst. Didst thou see anything?
LUCIUS. Nothing, my lord.
BRUTUS. Sleep again, Lucius. Sirrah Claudio!
[To Varro.] Fellow thou, awake!
VARRO. My lord?
CLAUDIO. My lord?
BRUTUS. Why did you so cry out, sirs, in your sleep?
VARRO. CLAUDIO. Did we, my lord?
BRUTUS. Ay, saw you anything?
VARRO. No, my lord, I saw nothing.
CLAUDIO. Nor I, my lord.
BRUTUS. Go and commend me to my brother Cassius;
Bid him set on his powers betimes before,
And we will follow.
VARRO. CLAUDIO. It shall be done, my lord. Exeunt.

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ACT V. SCENE I.
The plains of Philippi.

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;
They mean to warn us at Philippi here,
Answering before we do demand of them.
ANTONY. 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.

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.
ANTONY. Octavius, lead your battle softly on,
Upon the left hand of the even field.
OCTAVIUS. Upon the right hand I, keep thou the left.
ANTONY. Why do you cross me in this exigent?
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.
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.
Make forth, the generals would have some words.
OCTAVIUS. Stir not until the signal 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;
But for your words, they rob the Hybla bees,
And leave them honeyless.
ANTONY. Not stingless too.
BRUTUS. O, yes, and soundless too,
For you have stol'n their buzzing, Antony,
And very wisely threat before you sting.
ANTONY. 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
Strooke 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,
The proof of it will turn to redder drops.
Look,
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.
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,
Young man, thou couldst not die more honorable.
CASSIUS. A peevish school boy, worthless of such honor,
Join'd with a masker and a reveler!
ANTONY. Old Cassius still!
OCTAVIUS. 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.
CASSIUS. Why, now, blow and, swell billow, and swim bark!
The storm is up, and all is on the hazard.
BRUTUS. Ho, Lucilius! Hark, a word with you.
LUCILIUS. [Stands forth.] My lord?
Brutus and Lucilius converse apart.
CASSIUS. Messala!
MESSALA. [Stands forth.] What says my general?
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 compell'd to set
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.
Coming from Sardis, on our former ensign
Two mighty eagles fell, and there they perch'd,
Gorging and feeding from our soldiers' hands,
Who to Philippi here consorted us.
This morning are they fled away and gone,
And in their steads do ravens, crows, and kites
Fly o'er our heads and downward look on us,
As we were sickly prey. Their shadows seem
A canopy most fatal, under which
Our army lies, ready to give up the ghost.
MESSALA. Believe not so.
CASSIUS. I but believe it partly,
For I am fresh of spirit and resolved
To meet all perils very constantly.
BRUTUS. Even so, Lucilius.
CASSIUS. Now, most noble Brutus,
The gods today stand friendly that we may,
Lovers in peace, lead on our days to age!
But, since the affairs of men rest still incertain,
Let's reason with the worst that may befall.
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
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
The time of life- arming myself with patience
To stay the providence of some high powers
That govern us below.
CASSIUS. Then, if we lose this battle,
You are contented to be led in triumph
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.
And whether we shall meet again I know not.
Therefore our everlasting farewell take.
Forever, and forever, farewell, Cassius!
If we do meet again, why, we shall smile;
If not, why then this parting was well made.
CASSIUS. Forever and forever 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.

SCENE II.
The field of battle.

Alarum. Enter Brutus and Messala.

BRUTUS. Ride, ride, Messala, ride, and give these bills
Unto the legions on the other side. Loud alarum.
Let them set on at once, for I perceive
But cold demeanor in Octavia's wing,
And sudden push gives them the overthrow.
Ride, ride, Messala. Let them all come down. Exeunt.

SCENE III.
Another part of the field.

Alarums. Enter Cassius and Titinius.

CASSIUS. O, look, Titinius, look, the villains fly!
Myself have to mine own turn'd enemy.
This ensign here of mine was turning back;
I slew the coward, and did take it from him.
TITINIUS. O Cassius, Brutus gave the word too early,
Who, having some advantage on Octavius,
Took it too eagerly. His soldiers fell to spoil,
Whilst we by Antony are all enclosed.

Enter Pindarus.

PINDARUS. Fly further off, my lord, fly further off;
Mark Antony is in your tents, my lord;
Fly, therefore, noble Cassius, fly far off.
CASSIUS. This hill is far enough. Look, look, Titinius:
Are those my tents where I perceive the fire?
TITINIUS. They are, my lord.
CASSIUS. Titinius, if thou lovest me,
Mount thou my horse and hide thy spurs in him,
Till he have brought thee up to yonder troops
And here again, that I may rest assured
Whether yond troops are friend or enemy.
TITINIUS. I will be here again, even with a thought. Exit.
CASSIUS. Go, Pindarus, get higher on that hill;
My sight was ever thick; regard Titinius,
And tell me what thou notest about the field.
Pindarus ascends the hill.
This day I breathed first: time is come round,
And where I did begin, there shall I end;
My life is run his compass. Sirrah, what news?
PINDARUS. [Above.] O my lord!
CASSIUS. What news?
PINDARUS. [Above.] Titinius is enclosed round about
With horsemen, that make to him on the spur;
Yet he spurs on. Now they are almost on him.
Now, Titinius! Now some light. O, he lights too.
He's ta'en [Shout.] And, hark! They shout for joy.
CASSIUS. Come down; behold no more.
O, coward that I am, to live so long,
To see my best friend ta'en before my face!
Pindarus descends.
Come hither, sirrah.
In Parthia did I take thee prisoner,
And then I swore thee, saving of thy life,
That whatsoever I did bid thee do,
Thou shouldst attempt it. Come now, keep thine oath;
Now be a freeman, and with this good sword,
That ran through Caesar's bowels, search this bosom.
Stand not to answer: here, take thou the hilts;
And when my face is cover'd, as 'tis now,
Guide thou the sword. [Pindarus stabs him.] Caesar, thou art
revenged,
Even with the sword that kill'd thee. Dies.
PINDARUS. So, I am free, yet would not so have been,
Durst I have done my will. O Cassius!
Far from this country Pindarus shall run,
Where never Roman shall take note of him. Exit.

Re-enter Titinius with Messala.

MESSALA. It is but change, Titinius, for Octavius
Is overthrown by noble Brutus' power,
As Cassius' legions are by Antony.
TITINIUS. These tidings would well comfort Cassius.
MESSALA. Where did you leave him?
TITINIUS. All disconsolate,
With Pindarus his bondman, on this hill.
MESSALA. Is not that he that lies upon the ground?
TITINIUS. He lies not like the living. O my heart!
MESSALA. Is not that he?
TITINIUS. No, this was he, Messala,
But Cassius is no more. O setting sun,
As in thy red rays thou dost sink to night,
So in his red blood Cassius' day is set,
The sun of Rome is set! Our day is gone;
Clouds, dews, and dangers come; our deeds are done!
Mistrust of my success hath done this deed.
MESSALA. Mistrust of good success hath done this deed.
O hateful error, melancholy's child,
Why dost thou show to the apt thoughts of men
The things that are not? O error, soon conceived,
Thou never comest unto a happy birth,
But kill'st the mother that engender'd thee!
TITINIUS. What, Pindarus! Where art thou, Pindarus?
MESSALA. Seek him, Titinius, whilst I go to meet
The noble Brutus, thrusting this report
Into his ears. I may say "thrusting" it,
For piercing steel and darts envenomed
Shall be as welcome to the ears of Brutus
As tidings of this sight.
TITINIUS. Hie you, Messala,
And I will seek for Pindarus the while. Exit Messala.
Why didst thou send me forth, brave Cassius?
Did I not meet thy friends? And did not they
Put on my brows this wreath of victory,
And bid me give it thee? Didst thou not hear their shouts?
Alas, thou hast misconstrued everything!
But, hold thee, take this garland on thy brow;
Thy Brutus bid me give it thee, and I
Will do his bidding. Brutus, come apace,
And see how I regarded Caius Cassius.
By your leave, gods, this is a Roman's part.
Come, Cassius' sword, and find Titinius' heart.
Kills himself.

Alarum. Re-enter Messala, with Brutus, young Cato,
and others.

BRUTUS. Where, where, Messala, doth his body lie?
MESSALA. Lo, yonder, and Titinius mourning it.
BRUTUS. Titinius' face is upward.
CATO. He is slain.
BRUTUS. O Julius Caesar, thou art mighty yet!
Thy spirit walks abroad, and turns our swords
In our own proper entrails. Low alarums.
CATO. Brave Titinius!
Look whe'er he have not crown'd dead Cassius!
BRUTUS. Are yet two Romans living such as these?
The last of all the Romans, fare thee well!
It is impossible that ever Rome
Should breed thy fellow. Friends, I owe moe tears
To this dead man than you shall see me pay.
I shall find time, Cassius, I shall find time.
Come therefore, and to Thasos send his body;
His funerals shall not be in our camp,
Lest it discomfort us. Lucilius, come,
And come, young Cato; let us to the field.
Labio and Flavio, set our battles on.
'Tis three o'clock, and Romans, yet ere night
We shall try fortune in a second fight. Exeunt.

SCENE IV.
Another part of the field.

Alarum. Enter, fighting, Soldiers of both armies; then Brutus, young Cato,
Lucilius, and others.

BRUTUS. Yet, countrymen, O, yet hold up your heads!
CATO. What bastard doth not? Who will go with me?
I will proclaim my name about the field.
I am the son of Marcus Cato, ho!
A foe to tyrants, and my country's friend.
I am the son of Marcus Cato, ho!
BRUTUS. And I am Brutus, Marcus Brutus, I;
Brutus, my country's friend; know me for Brutus! Exit.
LUCILIUS. O young and noble Cato, art thou down?
Why, now thou diest as bravely as Titinius,
And mayst be honor'd, being Cato's son.
FIRST SOLDIER. Yield, or thou diest.
LUCILIUS. Only I yield to die.
[Offers money.] There is so much that thou wilt kill me straight:
Kill Brutus, and be honor'd in his death.
FIRST SOLDIER. We must not. A noble prisoner!
SECOND SOLDIER. Room, ho! Tell Antony, Brutus is ta'en.
FIRST SOLDIER. I'll tell the news. Here comes the general.

Enter Antony.

Brutus is ta'en, Brutus is ta'en, my lord.
ANTONY. Where is he?
LUCILIUS. Safe, Antony, Brutus is safe enough.
I dare assure thee that no enemy
Shall ever take alive the noble Brutus;
The gods defend him from so great a shame!
When you do find him, or alive or dead,
He will be found like Brutus, like himself.
ANTONY. This is not Brutus, friend, but, I assure you,
A prize no less in worth. Keep this man safe,
Give him all kindness; I had rather have
Such men my friends than enemies. Go on,
And see wheer Brutus be alive or dead,
And bring us word unto Octavius' tent
How everything is chanced. Exeunt.

SCENE V.
Another part of the field.

Enter Brutus, Dardanius, Clitus, Strato, and Volumnius.

BRUTUS. Come, poor remains of friends, rest on this rock.
CLITUS. Statilius show'd the torchlight, but, my lord,
He came not back. He is or ta'en or slain.
BRUTUS. Sit thee down, Clitus. Slaying is the word:
It is a deed in fashion. Hark thee, Clitus. Whispers.
CLITUS. What, I, my lord? No, not for all the world.
BRUTUS. Peace then, no words.
CLITUS. I'll rather kill myself.
BRUTUS. Hark thee, Dardanius. Whispers.
DARDANIUS. Shall I do such a deed?
CLITUS. O Dardanius!
DARDANIUS. O Clitus!
CLITUS. What ill request did Brutus make to thee?
DARDANIUS. To kill him, Clitus. Look, he meditates.
CLITUS. Now is that noble vessel full of grief,
That it runs over even at his eyes.
BRUTUS. Come hither, good Volumnius, list a word.
VOLUMNIUS. What says my lord?
BRUTUS. Why, this, Volumnius:
The ghost of Caesar hath appear'd to me
Two several times by night; at Sardis once,
And this last night here in Philippi fields.
I know my hour is come.
VOLUMNIUS. Not so, my lord.
BRUTUS. Nay I am sure it is, Volumnius.
Thou seest the world, Volumnius, how it goes;
Our enemies have beat us to the pit; Low alarums.
It is more worthy to leap in ourselves
Than tarry till they push us. Good Volumnius,
Thou know'st that we two went to school together;
Even for that our love of old, I prithee,
Hold thou my sword-hilts, whilst I run on it.
VOLUMNIUS. That's not an office for a friend, my lord.
Alarum still.
CLITUS. Fly, fly, my lord, there is no tarrying here.
BRUTUS. Farewell to you, and you, and you, Volumnius.
Strato, thou hast been all this while asleep;
Farewell to thee too, Strato. Countrymen,
My heart doth joy that yet in all my life
I found no man but he was true to me.
I shall have glory by this losing day,
More than Octavius and Mark Antony
By this vile conquest shall attain unto.
So, fare you well at once, for Brutus' tongue
Hath almost ended his life's history.
Night hangs upon mine eyes, my bones would rest
That have but labor'd to attain this hour.
Alarum. Cry within, "Fly, fly, fly!"
CLITUS. Fly, my lord, fly.
BRUTUS. Hence! I will follow.
Exeunt Clitus, Dardanius, and Volumnius.
I prithee, Strato, stay thou by thy lord.
Thou art a fellow of a good respect;
Thy life hath had some smatch of honor in it.
Hold then my sword, and turn away thy face,
While I do run upon it. Wilt thou, Strato?
STRATO. Give me your hand first. Fare you well, my lord.
BRUTUS. Farewell, good Strato. Runs on his sword.
Caesar, now be still;
I kill'd not thee with half so good a will. Dies.

Alarum. Retreat. Enter Octavius, Antony, Messala,
Lucilius, and the Army.

OCTAVIUS. What man is that?
MESSALA. My master's man. Strato, where is thy master?
STRATO. Free from the bondage you are in, Messala:
The conquerors can but make a fire of him;
For Brutus only overcame himself,
And no man else hath honor by his death.
LUCILIUS. So Brutus should be found. I thank thee, Brutus,
That thou hast proved Lucilius' saying true.
OCTAVIUS. All that served Brutus, I will entertain them.
Fellow, wilt thou bestow thy time with me?
STRATO. Ay, if Messala will prefer me to you.
OCTAVIUS. Do so, good Messala.
MESSALA. How died my master, Strato?
STRATO. I held the sword, and he did run on it.
MESSALA. Octavius, then take him to follow thee
That did the latest service to my master.
ANTONY. This was the noblest Roman of them all.
All the conspirators, save only he,
Did that they did in envy of great Caesar;
He only, in a general honest thought
And common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, "This was a man!"
OCTAVIUS. According to his virtue let us use him
With all respect and rites of burial.
Within my tent his bones tonight shall lie,
Most like a soldier, ordered honorably.
So call the field to rest, and let's away,
To part the glories of this happy day. Exeunt.

THE END

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1606

THE TRAGEDY OF KING LEAR

by William Shakespeare

Dramatis Personae

Lear, King of Britain.
King of France.
Duke of Burgundy.
Duke of Cornwall.
Duke of Albany.
Earl of Kent.
Earl of Gloucester.
Edgar, son of Gloucester.
Edmund, bastard son to Gloucester.
Curan, a courtier.
Old Man, tenant to Gloucester.
Doctor.
Lear's Fool.
Oswald, steward to Goneril.
A Captain under Edmund's command.
Gentlemen.
A Herald.
Servants to Cornwall.

Goneril, daughter to Lear.
Regan, daughter to Lear.
Cordelia, daughter to Lear.

Knights attending on Lear, Officers, Messengers, Soldiers,
Attendants.

<SHAKESPEARE IS COPYRIGHT 1990-1993 BY WORLD LIBRARY, INC., AND IS
PROVIDED BY PROJECT GUTENBERG ETEXT OF ILLINOIS BENEDICTINE COLLEGE
WITH PERMISSION. ELECTRONIC AND MACHINE READABLE COPIES MAY BE
DISTRIBUTED SO LONG AS SUCH COPIES (1) ARE FOR YOUR OR OTHERS
PERSONAL USE ONLY, AND (2) ARE NOT DISTRIBUTED OR USED
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Scene: - Britain.

ACT I. Scene I.
[King Lear's Palace.]

Enter Kent, Gloucester, and Edmund. [Kent and Glouceste converse.
Edmund stands back.]

Kent. I thought the King had more affected the Duke of Albany than
Cornwall.
Glou. It did always seem so to us; but now, in the division of the
kingdom, it appears not which of the Dukes he values most, for
equalities are so weigh'd that curiosity in neither can make
choice of either's moiety.
Kent. Is not this your son, my lord?
Glou. His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge. I have so often
blush'd to acknowledge him that now I am braz'd to't.
Kent. I cannot conceive you.
Glou. Sir, this young fellow's mother could; whereupon she grew
round-womb'd, and had indeed, sir, a son for her cradle ere she
had a husband for her bed. Do you smell a fault?
Kent. I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it being so
proper.
Glou. But I have, sir, a son by order of law, some year elder than
this, who yet is no dearer in my account. Though this knave came
something saucily into the world before he was sent for, yet was
his mother fair, there was good sport at his making, and the
whoreson must be acknowledged.- Do you know this noble gentleman,
Edmund?
Edm. [comes forward] No, my lord.
Glou. My Lord of Kent. Remember him hereafter as my honourable
friend.
Edm. My services to your lordship.
Kent. I must love you, and sue to know you better.
Edm. Sir, I shall study deserving.
Glou. He hath been out nine years, and away he shall again.
Sound a sennet.
The King is coming.

Enter one bearing a coronet; then Lear; then the Dukes of
Albany and Cornwall; next, Goneril, Regan, Cordelia, with
Followers.

Lear. Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloucester.
Glou. I shall, my liege.
Exeunt [Gloucester and Edmund].
Lear. Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.
Give me the map there. Know we have divided
In three our kingdom; and 'tis our fast intent
To shake all cares and business from our age,
Conferring them on younger strengths while we
Unburthen'd crawl toward death. Our son of Cornwall,
And you, our no less loving son of Albany,
We have this hour a constant will to publish
Our daughters' several dowers, that future strife
May be prevented now. The princes, France and Burgundy,
Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love,
Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn,
And here are to be answer'd. Tell me, my daughters
(Since now we will divest us both of rule,
Interest of territory, cares of state),
Which of you shall we say doth love us most?
That we our largest bounty may extend
Where nature doth with merit challenge. Goneril,
Our eldest-born, speak first.
Gon. Sir, I love you more than words can wield the matter;
Dearer than eyesight, space, and liberty;
Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare;
No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour;
As much as child e'er lov'd, or father found;
A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable.
Beyond all manner of so much I love you.
Cor. [aside] What shall Cordelia speak? Love, and be silent.
Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this line to this,
With shadowy forests and with champains rich'd,
With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads,
We make thee lady. To thine and Albany's issue
Be this perpetual.- What says our second daughter,
Our dearest Regan, wife to Cornwall? Speak.
Reg. Sir, I am made
Of the selfsame metal that my sister is,
And prize me at her worth. In my true heart
I find she names my very deed of love;
Only she comes too short, that I profess
Myself an enemy to all other joys
Which the most precious square of sense possesses,
And find I am alone felicitate
In your dear Highness' love.
Cor. [aside] Then poor Cordelia!
And yet not so; since I am sure my love's
More richer than my tongue.
Lear. To thee and thine hereditary ever
Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom,
No less in space, validity, and pleasure
Than that conferr'd on Goneril.- Now, our joy,
Although the last, not least; to whose young love
The vines of France and milk of Burgundy
Strive to be interest; what can you say to draw
A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.
Cor. Nothing, my lord.
Lear. Nothing?
Cor. Nothing.
Lear. Nothing can come of nothing. Speak again.
Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth. I love your Majesty
According to my bond; no more nor less.
Lear. How, how, Cordelia? Mend your speech a little,
Lest it may mar your fortunes.
Cor. Good my lord,
You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me; I
Return those duties back as are right fit,
Obey you, love you, and most honour you.
Why have my sisters husbands, if they say
They love you all? Haply, when I shall wed,
That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry
Half my love with him, half my care and duty.
Sure I shall never marry like my sisters,
To love my father all.
Lear. But goes thy heart with this?
Cor. Ay, good my lord.
Lear. So young, and so untender?
Cor. So young, my lord, and true.
Lear. Let it be so! thy truth then be thy dower!
For, by the sacred radiance of the sun,
The mysteries of Hecate and the night;
By all the operation of the orbs
From whom we do exist and cease to be;
Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
Propinquity and property of blood,
And as a stranger to my heart and me
Hold thee from this for ever. The barbarous Scythian,
Or he that makes his generation messes
To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and reliev'd,
As thou my sometime daughter.
Kent. Good my liege-
Lear. Peace, Kent!
Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
I lov'd her most, and thought to set my rest
On her kind nursery.- Hence and avoid my sight!-
So be my grave my peace as here I give
Her father's heart from her! Call France! Who stirs?
Call Burgundy! Cornwall and Albany,
With my two daughters' dowers digest this third;
Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her.
I do invest you jointly in my power,
Preeminence, and all the large effects
That troop with majesty. Ourself, by monthly course,
With reservation of an hundred knights,
By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode
Make with you by due turns. Only we still retain
The name, and all th' additions to a king. The sway,
Revenue, execution of the rest,
Beloved sons, be yours; which to confirm,
This coronet part betwixt you.
Kent. Royal Lear,
Whom I have ever honour'd as my king,
Lov'd as my father, as my master follow'd,
As my great patron thought on in my prayers-
Lear. The bow is bent and drawn; make from the shaft.
Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade
The region of my heart! Be Kent unmannerly
When Lear is mad. What wouldst thou do, old man?
Think'st thou that duty shall have dread to speak
When power to flattery bows? To plainness honour's bound
When majesty falls to folly. Reverse thy doom;
And in thy best consideration check
This hideous rashness. Answer my life my judgment,
Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least,
Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sound
Reverbs no hollowness.
Lear. Kent, on thy life, no more!
Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn
To wage against thine enemies; nor fear to lose it,
Thy safety being the motive.
Lear. Out of my sight!
Kent. See better, Lear, and let me still remain
The true blank of thine eye.
Lear. Now by Apollo-
Kent. Now by Apollo, King,
Thou swear'st thy gods in vain.
Lear. O vassal! miscreant!
[Lays his hand on his sword.]
Alb., Corn. Dear sir, forbear!
Kent. Do!
Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow
Upon the foul disease. Revoke thy gift,
Or, whilst I can vent clamour from my throat,
I'll tell thee thou dost evil.
Lear. Hear me, recreant!
On thine allegiance, hear me!
Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow-
Which we durst never yet- and with strain'd pride
To come between our sentence and our power,-
Which nor our nature nor our place can bear,-
Our potency made good, take thy reward.
Five days we do allot thee for provision
To shield thee from diseases of the world,
And on the sixth to turn thy hated back
Upon our kingdom. If, on the tenth day following,
Thy banish'd trunk be found in our dominions,
The moment is thy death. Away! By Jupiter,
This shall not be revok'd.
Kent. Fare thee well, King. Since thus thou wilt appear,
Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here.
[To Cordelia] The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid,
That justly think'st and hast most rightly said!
[To Regan and Goneril] And your large speeches may your deeds
approve,
That good effects may spring from words of love.
Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu;
He'll shape his old course in a country new.
Exit.

Flourish. Enter Gloucester, with France and Burgundy; Attendants.

Glou. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.
Lear. My Lord of Burgundy,
We first address toward you, who with this king
Hath rivall'd for our daughter. What in the least
Will you require in present dower with her,
Or cease your quest of love?
Bur. Most royal Majesty,
I crave no more than hath your Highness offer'd,
Nor will you tender less.
Lear. Right noble Burgundy,
When she was dear to us, we did hold her so;
But now her price is fall'n. Sir, there she stands.
If aught within that little seeming substance,
Or all of it, with our displeasure piec'd,
And nothing more, may fitly like your Grace,
She's there, and she is yours.
Bur. I know no answer.
Lear. Will you, with those infirmities she owes,
Unfriended, new adopted to our hate,
Dow'r'd with our curse, and stranger'd with our oath,
Take her, or leave her?
Bur. Pardon me, royal sir.
Election makes not up on such conditions.
Lear. Then leave her, sir; for, by the pow'r that made me,
I tell you all her wealth. [To France] For you, great King,
I would not from your love make such a stray
To match you where I hate; therefore beseech you
T' avert your liking a more worthier way
Than on a wretch whom nature is asham'd
Almost t' acknowledge hers.
France. This is most strange,
That she that even but now was your best object,
The argument of your praise, balm of your age,
Most best, most dearest, should in this trice of time
Commit a thing so monstrous to dismantle
So many folds of favour. Sure her offence
Must be of such unnatural degree
That monsters it, or your fore-vouch'd affection
Fall'n into taint; which to believe of her
Must be a faith that reason without miracle
Should never plant in me.
Cor. I yet beseech your Majesty,
If for I want that glib and oily art
To speak and purpose not, since what I well intend,
I'll do't before I speak- that you make known
It is no vicious blot, murther, or foulness,
No unchaste action or dishonoured step,
That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour;
But even for want of that for which I am richer-
A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue
As I am glad I have not, though not to have it
Hath lost me in your liking.
Lear. Better thou
Hadst not been born than not t' have pleas'd me better.
France. Is it but this- a tardiness in nature
Which often leaves the history unspoke
That it intends to do? My Lord of Burgundy,
What say you to the lady? Love's not love
When it is mingled with regards that stands
Aloof from th' entire point. Will you have her?
She is herself a dowry.
Bur. Royal Lear,
Give but that portion which yourself propos'd,
And here I take Cordelia by the hand,
Duchess of Burgundy.
Lear. Nothing! I have sworn; I am firm.
Bur. I am sorry then you have so lost a father
That you must lose a husband.
Cor. Peace be with Burgundy!
Since that respects of fortune are his love,
I shall not be his wife.
France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich, being poor;
Most choice, forsaken; and most lov'd, despis'd!
Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon.
Be it lawful I take up what's cast away.
Gods, gods! 'tis strange that from their cold'st neglect
My love should kindle to inflam'd respect.
Thy dow'rless daughter, King, thrown to my chance,
Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France.
Not all the dukes in wat'rish Burgundy
Can buy this unpriz'd precious maid of me.
Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind.
Thou losest here, a better where to find.
Lear. Thou hast her, France; let her be thine; for we
Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
That face of hers again. Therefore be gone
Without our grace, our love, our benison.
Come, noble Burgundy.
Flourish. Exeunt Lear, Burgundy, [Cornwall, Albany,
Gloucester, and Attendants].
France. Bid farewell to your sisters.
Cor. The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
Cordelia leaves you. I know you what you are;
And, like a sister, am most loath to call
Your faults as they are nam'd. Use well our father.
To your professed bosoms I commit him;
But yet, alas, stood I within his grace,
I would prefer him to a better place!
So farewell to you both.
Gon. Prescribe not us our duties.
Reg. Let your study
Be to content your lord, who hath receiv'd you
At fortune's alms. You have obedience scanted,
And well are worth the want that you have wanted.
Cor. Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides.
Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
Well may you prosper!
France. Come, my fair Cordelia.
Exeunt France and Cordelia.
Gon. Sister, it is not little I have to say of what most nearly
appertains to us both. I think our father will hence to-night.
Reg. That's most certain, and with you; next month with us.
Gon. You see how full of changes his age is. The observation we
have made of it hath not been little. He always lov'd our
sister most, and with what poor judgment he hath now cast her
off appears too grossly.
Reg. 'Tis the infirmity of his age; yet he hath ever but slenderly
known himself.
Gon. The best and soundest of his time hath been but rash; then
must we look to receive from his age, not alone the
imperfections of long-ingraffed condition, but therewithal
the unruly waywardness that infirm and choleric years bring with
them.
Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to have from him as this
of Kent's banishment.
Gon. There is further compliment of leave-taking between France and
him. Pray you let's hit together. If our father carry authority
with such dispositions as he bears, this last surrender of his
will but offend us.
Reg. We shall further think on't.
Gon. We must do something, and i' th' heat.
Exeunt.

Scene II.
The Earl of Gloucester's Castle.

Enter [Edmund the] Bastard solus, [with a letter].

Edm. Thou, Nature, art my goddess; to thy law
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines
Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us
With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to th' creating a whole tribe of fops
Got 'tween asleep and wake? Well then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land.
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund
As to th' legitimate. Fine word- 'legitimate'!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top th' legitimate. I grow; I prosper.
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!

Enter Gloucester.

Glou. Kent banish'd thus? and France in choler parted?
And the King gone to-night? subscrib'd his pow'r?
Confin'd to exhibition? All this done
Upon the gad? Edmund, how now? What news?
Edm. So please your lordship, none.
[Puts up the letter.]
Glou. Why so earnestly seek you to put up that letter?
Edm. I know no news, my lord.
Glou. What paper were you reading?
Edm. Nothing, my lord.
Glou. No? What needed then that terrible dispatch of it into your
pocket? The quality of nothing hath not such need to hide
itself. Let's see. Come, if it be nothing, I shall not need
spectacles.
Edm. I beseech you, sir, pardon me. It is a letter from my brother
that I have not all o'er-read; and for so much as I have
perus'd, I find it not fit for your o'erlooking.
Glou. Give me the letter, sir.
Edm. I shall offend, either to detain or give it. The contents, as
in part I understand them, are to blame.
Glou. Let's see, let's see!
Edm. I hope, for my brother's justification, he wrote this but as
an essay or taste of my virtue.

Glou. (reads) 'This policy and reverence of age makes the world
bitter to the best of our times; keeps our fortunes from us
till our oldness cannot relish them. I begin to find an idle
and fond bondage in the oppression of aged tyranny, who sways,
not as it hath power, but as it is suffer'd. Come to me, that
of this I may speak more. If our father would sleep till I
wak'd him, you should enjoy half his revenue for ever, and live
the beloved of your brother,
'EDGAR.'

Hum! Conspiracy? 'Sleep till I wak'd him, you should enjoy half
his revenue.' My son Edgar! Had he a hand to write this? a heart
and brain to breed it in? When came this to you? Who brought it?
Edm. It was not brought me, my lord: there's the cunning of it. I
found it thrown in at the casement of my closet.
Glou. You know the character to be your brother's?
Edm. If the matter were good, my lord, I durst swear it were his;
but in respect of that, I would fain think it were not.
Glou. It is his.
Edm. It is his hand, my lord; but I hope his heart is not in the
contents.
Glou. Hath he never before sounded you in this business?
Edm. Never, my lord. But I have heard him oft maintain it to be fit
that, sons at perfect age, and fathers declining, the father
should be as ward to the son, and the son manage his revenue.
Glou. O villain, villain! His very opinion in the letter! Abhorred
villain! Unnatural, detested, brutish villain! worse than
brutish! Go, sirrah, seek him. I'll apprehend him. Abominable
villain! Where is he?
Edm. I do not well know, my lord. If it shall please you to suspend
your indignation against my brother till you can derive from him
better testimony of his intent, you should run a certain course;
where, if you violently proceed against him, mistaking his
purpose, it would make a great gap in your own honour and shake
in pieces the heart of his obedience. I dare pawn down my life
for him that he hath writ this to feel my affection to your
honour, and to no other pretence of danger.
Glou. Think you so?
Edm. If your honour judge it meet, I will place you where you shall
hear us confer of this and by an auricular assurance have your
satisfaction, and that without any further delay than this very
evening.
Glou. He cannot be such a monster.
Edm. Nor is not, sure.
Glou. To his father, that so tenderly and entirely loves him.
Heaven and earth! Edmund, seek him out; wind me into him, I pray
you; frame the business after your own wisdom. I would unstate
myself to be in a due resolution.
Edm. I will seek him, sir, presently; convey the business as I
shall find means, and acquaint you withal.
Glou. These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to
us. Though the wisdom of nature can reason it thus and thus, yet
nature finds itself scourg'd by the sequent effects. Love cools,
friendship falls off, brothers divide. In cities, mutinies; in
countries, discord; in palaces, treason; and the bond crack'd
'twixt son and father. This villain of mine comes under the
prediction; there's son against father: the King falls from bias
of nature; there's father against child. We have seen the best
of our time. Machinations, hollowness, treachery, and all
ruinous disorders follow us disquietly to our graves. Find out
this villain, Edmund; it shall lose thee nothing; do it
carefully. And the noble and true-hearted Kent banish'd! his
offence, honesty! 'Tis strange. Exit.
Edm. This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are
sick in fortune, often the surfeit of our own behaviour, we make
guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if
we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion;
knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical pre-dominance;
drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforc'd obedience of
planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine
thrusting on. An admirable evasion of whore-master man, to lay
his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! My father
compounded with my mother under the Dragon's Tail, and my
nativity was under Ursa Major, so that it follows I am rough and
lecherous. Fut! I should have been that I am, had the
maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing.
Edgar-

Enter Edgar.

and pat! he comes, like the catastrophe of the old comedy. My
cue is villainous melancholy, with a sigh like Tom o' Bedlam.
O, these eclipses do portend these divisions! Fa, sol, la, mi.
Edg. How now, brother Edmund? What serious contemplation are you
in?
Edm. I am thinking, brother, of a prediction I read this other day,
what should follow these eclipses.
Edg. Do you busy yourself with that?
Edm. I promise you, the effects he writes of succeed unhappily: as
of unnaturalness between the child and the parent; death,
dearth, dissolutions of ancient amities; divisions in state,
menaces and maledictions against king and nobles; needless
diffidences, banishment of friends, dissipation of cohorts,
nuptial breaches, and I know not what.
Edg. How long have you been a sectary astronomical?
Edm. Come, come! When saw you my father last?
Edg. The night gone by.
Edm. Spake you with him?
Edg. Ay, two hours together.
Edm. Parted you in good terms? Found you no displeasure in him by
word or countenance
Edg. None at all.
Edm. Bethink yourself wherein you may have offended him; and at my
entreaty forbear his presence until some little time hath
qualified the heat of his displeasure, which at this instant so
rageth in him that with the mischief of your person it would
scarcely allay.
Edg. Some villain hath done me wrong.
Edm. That's my fear. I pray you have a continent forbearance till
the speed of his rage goes slower; and, as I say, retire with me
to my lodging, from whence I will fitly bring you to hear my
lord speak. Pray ye, go! There's my key. If you do stir abroad,
go arm'd.
Edg. Arm'd, brother?
Edm. Brother, I advise you to the best. Go arm'd. I am no honest man
if there be any good meaning toward you. I have told you what I
have seen and heard; but faintly, nothing like the image and
horror of it. Pray you, away!
Edg. Shall I hear from you anon?
Edm. I do serve you in this business.
Exit Edgar.
A credulous father! and a brother noble,
Whose nature is so far from doing harms
That he suspects none; on whose foolish honesty
My practices ride easy! I see the business.
Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit;
All with me's meet that I can fashion fit.
Exit.

Scene III.
The Duke of Albany's Palace.

Enter Goneril and [her] Steward [Oswald].

Gon. Did my father strike my gentleman for chiding of his fool?
Osw. Ay, madam.
Gon. By day and night, he wrongs me! Every hour
He flashes into one gross crime or other
That sets us all at odds. I'll not endure it.
His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us
On every trifle. When he returns from hunting,
I will not speak with him. Say I am sick.
If you come slack of former services,
You shall do well; the fault of it I'll answer.
[Horns within.]
Osw. He's coming, madam; I hear him.
Gon. Put on what weary negligence you please,
You and your fellows. I'd have it come to question.
If he distaste it, let him to our sister,
Whose mind and mine I know in that are one,
Not to be overrul'd. Idle old man,
That still would manage those authorities
That he hath given away! Now, by my life,
Old fools are babes again, and must be us'd
With checks as flatteries, when they are seen abus'd.
Remember what I have said.
Osw. Very well, madam.
Gon. And let his knights have colder looks among you.
What grows of it, no matter. Advise your fellows so.
I would breed from hence occasions, and I shall,
That I may speak. I'll write straight to my sister
To hold my very course. Prepare for dinner.
Exeunt.

Scene IV.
The Duke of Albany's Palace.

Enter Kent, [disguised].

Kent. If but as well I other accents borrow,
That can my speech defuse, my good intent
May carry through itself to that full issue
For which I raz'd my likeness. Now, banish'd Kent,

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