List iconJulius Caesar:
Act 4, scene 3
List icon

Julius Caesar
Act 4, scene 3



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Caesar’s assassination is just the halfway point of Julius Caesar. The first part of the play leads to his death; the…

Act 1, scene 1

In Rome the people are taking a holiday to celebrate the triumphant return of Julius Caesar. The tribunes Marullus and…

Act 1, scene 2

A soothsayer advises Caesar that the fifteenth of March will be a dangerous day for him. When Caesar and others…

Act 1, scene 3

Casca, meeting Cicero, describes the marvels visible in the streets that night and suggests that the marvels foretell important events…

Act 2, scene 1

Brutus anxiously ponders joining the conspiracy against Caesar. When he is brought one of the unsigned letters that Cassius has…

Act 2, scene 2

It is now the fifteenth of March. Calphurnia, Caesar’s wife, persuades him to stay home because she fears for his…

Act 2, scene 3

Artemidorus waits in the street for Caesar in order to give him a letter warning him of the conspiracy.

Act 2, scene 4

Portia, who has been told of the conspirators’ plan to kill Caesar, waits anxiously for news of their success. She…

Act 3, scene 1

In the street Caesar brushes aside Artemidorus’s attempt to warn him of the conspiracy. Once inside the Capitol, the conspirators…

Act 3, scene 2

Brutus explains to the people that the cause of Caesar’s assassination was the preservation of the Roman Republic from Caesar’s…

Act 3, scene 3

Cinna the poet is attacked and killed by the Roman mob because his name is the same as that of…

Act 4, scene 1

Antony, Lepidus, and Octavius meet to condemn to death those who may oppose them. Sending Lepidus for Caesar’s will, Antony…

Act 4, scene 2

Brutus and Cassius each feel wronged by the other. They prepare to withdraw from the view of their armies to…

Act 4, scene 3

Brutus and Cassius exchange accusations in Brutus’s tent. They grow angry with each other but are quickly reconciled, and Brutus…

Act 5, scene 1

The opposing armies confront each other at Philippi. Before the battle, Brutus and Cassius exchange insults with Antony and Octavius….

Act 5, scene 2

Brutus sends Messala to throw all Brutus’s legions into the battle.

Act 5, scene 3

Cassius, mistakenly believing that the battle has been lost and that Titinius has been taken captive, orders Pindarus to kill…

Act 5, scene 4

Brutus’s forces are defeated in the second battle. Lucilius calls attention to himself and away from Brutus by announcing himself…

Act 5, scene 5

Brutus begs four of his followers to assist him in his suicide. All but the fourth decline. Brutus kills himself….

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Scene 3
 That you have wronged me doth appear in this:
 You have condemned and noted Lucius Pella
 For taking bribes here of the Sardians,
 Wherein my letters, praying on his side
5 Because I knew the man, was slighted off.
 You wronged 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
10 Are much condemned 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,
15 Or, by the gods, this speech were else your last.
 The name of Cassius honors this corruption,
 And chastisement doth therefore hide his head.

Julius Caesar
ACT 4. SC. 3

CASSIUS Chastisement?
 Remember March; the ides of March remember.
20 Did not great Julius bleed for justice’ sake?
 What villain touched 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
25 Contaminate our fingers with base bribes
 And sell the mighty space of our large honors
 For so much trash as may be graspèd thus?
 I had rather be a dog and bay the moon
 Than such a Roman.
CASSIUS 30 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 35 Go to! You are not, Cassius.
BRUTUS I say you are not.
 Urge me no more. I shall forget myself.
 Have mind upon your health. Tempt me no farther.
BRUTUS 40Away, slight man!
 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?
45 O you gods, you 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?

Julius Caesar
ACT 4. SC. 3

 Must I observe you? Must I stand and crouch
50 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 55 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 noble men.
60 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.
 When Caesar lived he durst not thus have moved
65 me.
 Peace, peace! You durst not so have tempted him.
CASSIUS I durst not?
 What? Durst not tempt him?
BRUTUS 70 For your life you durst
 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.
75 There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats,
 For I am armed so strong in honesty
 That they pass by me as the idle wind,

Julius Caesar
ACT 4. SC. 3

 Which I respect not. I did send to you
 For certain sums of gold, which you denied me,
80 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
85 To you for gold to pay my legions,
 Which you denied me. Was that done like Cassius?
 Should I have answered Caius Cassius so?
 When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous
 To lock such rascal counters from his friends,
90 Be ready, gods, with all your thunderbolts;
 Dash him to pieces!
CASSIUS  I denied you not.
BRUTUS You did.
 I did not. He was but a fool that brought
95 My answer back. Brutus hath rived my heart.
 A friend should bear his friend’s infirmities,
 But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
 I do not, till you practice them on me.
 You love me not.
BRUTUS 100 I do not like your faults.
 A friendly eye could never see such faults.
 A flatterer’s would not, though they do appear
 As huge as high Olympus.
 Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come!
105 Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius,
 For Cassius is aweary of the world—
 Hated by one he loves, braved by his brother,

Julius Caesar
ACT 4. SC. 3

 Checked like a bondman, all his faults observed,
 Set in a notebook, learned and conned by rote
110 To cast into my teeth. O, I could weep
 My spirit from mine eyes! There is my dagger,
Offering his dagger to Brutus.
 And here my naked breast; within, a heart
 Dearer than Pluto’s mine, richer than gold.
 If that thou be’st a Roman, take it forth.
115 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
 Than ever thou lovedst Cassius.
BRUTUS 120 Sheathe your
 Be angry when you will, it shall have scope.
 Do what you will, dishonor shall be humor.
 O Cassius, you are yokèd with a lamb
125 That carries anger as the flint bears fire,
 Who, much enforcèd, shows a hasty spark
 And straight is cold again.
CASSIUS  Hath Cassius lived
 To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus
130 When grief and blood ill-tempered vexeth him?
 When I spoke that, I was ill-tempered too.
 Do you confess so much? Give me your hand.
 And my heart too.They clasp hands.
CASSIUS  O Brutus!
BRUTUS 135 What’s the matter?
 Have not you love enough to bear with me
 When that rash humor which my mother gave me
 Makes me forgetful?

Julius Caesar
ACT 4. SC. 3

BRUTUS  Yes, Cassius, and from
140 henceforth
 When you are over-earnest with your Brutus,
 He’ll think your mother chides, and leave you so.

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

 Let me go in to see the Generals.
 There is some grudge between ’em; ’tis not meet
145 They be alone.
LUCILIUS  You shall not come to them.
POET Nothing but death shall stay me.
CASSIUS How now, what’s the matter?
 For shame, you generals, what do you mean?
150 Love and be friends as two such men should be,
 For I have seen more years, I’m sure, than ye.
 Ha, ha, how vilely doth this cynic rhyme!
 Get you hence, sirrah! Saucy fellow, hence!
 Bear with him, Brutus. ’Tis his fashion.
155 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!Poet exits.
 Lucilius and Titinius, bid the commanders
160 Prepare to lodge their companies tonight.
 And come yourselves, and bring Messala with you
 Immediately to us.Lucilius and Titinius exit.
BRUTUS Lucius, a bowl of wine.Lucius exits.

Julius Caesar
ACT 4. SC. 3

 I did not think you could have been so angry.
165 O Cassius, I am sick of many griefs.
 Of your philosophy you make no use
 If you give place to accidental evils.
 No man bears sorrow better. Portia is dead.
CASSIUS Ha? Portia?
BRUTUS 170She is dead.
 How ’scaped I killing when I crossed you so?
 O insupportable and touching loss!
 Upon what sickness?
BRUTUS  Impatient of my absence,
175 And grief that young Octavius with Mark Antony
 Have made themselves so strong—for with her
 That tidings came—with this she fell distract
 And, her attendants absent, swallowed fire.
CASSIUS 180And died so?
BRUTUS Even so.
CASSIUS O you immortal gods!

Enter Lucius with wine and tapers.

 Speak no more of her.—Give me a bowl of wine.—
 In this I bury all unkindness, Cassius.He drinks.
185 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.He drinks.
Lucius exits.

Enter Titinius and Messala.

Julius Caesar
ACT 4. SC. 3

 Come in, Titinius. Welcome, good Messala.
 Now sit we close about this taper here,
190 And call in question our necessities.They sit.
 Portia, art thou gone?
BRUTUS  No more, I pray you.—
 Messala, I have here receivèd letters
 That young Octavius and Mark Antony
195 Come down upon us with a mighty power,
 Bending their expedition toward Philippi.
 Myself have letters of the selfsame tenor.
BRUTUS With what addition?
 That by proscription and bills of outlawry,
200 Octavius, Antony, and Lepidus
 Have put to death an hundred senators.
 Therein our letters do not well agree.
 Mine speak of seventy senators that died
 By their proscriptions, Cicero being one.
205 Cicero one?
MESSALA  Cicero is dead,
 And by that order of proscription.
 Had you your letters from your wife, my lord?
BRUTUS No, Messala.
210 Nor nothing in your letters writ of her?
BRUTUS  Nothing, Messala.
MESSALA  That methinks is strange.
 Why ask you? Hear you aught of her in yours?
MESSALA No, my lord.

Julius Caesar
ACT 4. SC. 3

215 Now, as you are a Roman, tell me true.
 Then like a Roman bear the truth I tell,
 For certain she is dead, and by strange manner.
 Why, farewell, Portia. We must die, Messala.
 With meditating that she must die once,
220 I have the patience to endure it now.
 Even so great men great losses should endure.
 I have as much of this in art as you,
 But yet my nature could not bear it so.
 Well, to our work alive. What do you think
225 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;
230 So shall he waste his means, weary his soldiers,
 Doing himself offense, whilst we, lying still,
 Are full of rest, defense, and nimbleness.
 Good reasons must of force give place to better.
 The people ’twixt Philippi and this ground
235 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 refreshed, new-added, and encouraged,
240 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—

Julius Caesar
ACT 4. SC. 3

 Under your pardon. You must note besides
245 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
250 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
255 Or lose our ventures.
CASSIUS  Then, with your will, go on;
 We’ll along ourselves and meet them at Philippi.
 The deep of night is crept upon our talk,
 And nature must obey necessity,
260 Which we will niggard with a little rest.
 There is no more to say.
CASSIUS  No more. Good night.
They stand.
 Early tomorrow will we rise and hence.

Enter Lucius.

265 My gown.Lucius exits.
 Farewell, good Messala.—
 Good night, Titinius.—Noble, noble Cassius,
 Good night and good repose.
CASSIUS  O my dear brother,
270 This was an ill beginning of the night.
 Never come such division ’tween our souls!
 Let it not, Brutus.

Enter Lucius with the gown.

Julius Caesar
ACT 4. SC. 3

BRUTUS  Everything is well.
CASSIUS Good night, my lord.
BRUTUS 275Good night, good brother.
 Good night, Lord Brutus.
BRUTUS  Farewell, everyone.
All but Brutus and Lucius exit.
 Give me the gown. Where is thy instrument?
 Here in the tent.
BRUTUS 280 What, thou speak’st drowsily?
 Poor knave, I blame thee not; thou art o’erwatched.
 Call Claudius and some other of my men;
 I’ll have them sleep on cushions in my tent.
LUCIUS Varro and Claudius.

Enter Varro and Claudius.

VARRO 285Calls my lord?
 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.
 So please you, we will stand and watch your
290 pleasure.
 I will not have it so. Lie down, good sirs.
 It may be I shall otherwise bethink me.
They lie down.
 Look, Lucius, here’s the book I sought for so.
 I put it in the pocket of my gown.
295 I was sure your Lordship did not give it me.
 Bear with me, good boy, I am much forgetful.

Julius Caesar
ACT 4. SC. 3

 Canst thou hold up thy heavy eyes awhile
 And touch thy instrument a strain or two?
 Ay, my lord, an ’t please you.
BRUTUS 300 It does, my boy.
 I trouble thee too much, but thou art willing.
LUCIUS It is my duty, sir.
 I should not urge thy duty past thy might.
 I know young bloods look for a time of rest.
LUCIUS 305I have slept, my lord, already.
 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. Lucius then falls asleep.
 This is a sleepy tune. O murd’rous slumber,
310 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.
He moves the instrument.
315 Let me see, let me see; is not the leaf turned down
 Where I left reading? Here it is, I think.
 How ill this taper burns.

Enter the Ghost of Caesar.

 Ha, who comes here?—
 I think it is the weakness of mine eyes
320 That shapes this monstrous apparition.
 It comes upon me.—Art thou any thing?
 Art thou some god, some angel, or some devil,
 That mak’st my blood cold and my hair to stare?
 Speak to me what thou art.

Julius Caesar
ACT 4. SC. 3

325 Thy evil spirit, Brutus.
BRUTUS  Why com’st thou?
 To tell thee thou shalt see me at Philippi.
BRUTUS Well, then I shall see thee again?
GHOST Ay, at Philippi.
330 Why, I will see thee at Philippi, then.Ghost exits.
 Now I have taken heart, thou vanishest.
 Ill spirit, I would hold more talk with thee.—
 Boy, Lucius!—Varro, Claudius, sirs, awake!
LUCIUS 335 The strings, my lord, are false.
 He thinks he still is at his instrument.
 Lucius, awake!
LUCIUS My lord?
 Didst thou dream, Lucius, that thou so criedst out?
340 My lord, I do not know that I did cry.
 Yes, that thou didst. Didst thou see anything?
LUCIUS Nothing, my lord.
 Sleep again, Lucius.—Sirrah Claudius!
 To Varro. Fellow thou, awake!They rise up.
VARRO 345My lord?
 Why did you so cry out, sirs, in your sleep?
 Did we, my lord?
BRUTUS  Ay. Saw you anything?
VARRO 350No, my lord, I saw nothing.

Julius Caesar
ACT 4. SC. 3

CLAUDIUS Nor I, my lord.
 Go and commend me to my brother Cassius.
 Bid him set on his powers betimes before,
 And we will follow.
BOTH 355 It shall be done, my lord.
They exit.