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Bru. You say, you are a better soldier :
Let it appear so; make your vaunting true,
And it shall please me well. For my own part
I shall be glad to learn of noble men.
Cas. You wrong me every way,—you wrong me,
I said an elder soldier, not a better.
Did I say better?
BRU. If you did, I care not.
Cas. When Cæsar lived, he durst not thus have moved
me. Bru. Peace, peace; you durst not so have tempted
Cas. I durst not?
Cas. What! durst not tempt him ?
BRU. For your life you durst not.
Cas. Do not presume too much upon my love,
I may do that I shall be sorry for.
Bru. 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 vile 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 answered 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.
CAs. I denied you not.
Bru. You did.
Cas. I did not : he was but a fool That brought my answer back. Brutus hath rived my
A friend should bear his friend's infirmities;
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
BRU. I do not till you practise them on me.
Cas. You love me not.
Bru. I do not like your faults.
Cas. A friendly eye could never see such faults.
Bru. A flatterer's would not, tho' they did appear As huge as high Olympus.
Cas. Come, Antony! and young Octavius, come ! Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius ! For Cassius is a-weary of the world ; Hated by one he loves ; braved by his brother ; Check'd like a bondman ; all his faults observed; Set in a note-book, learn'd, and conn'd by rote, To cast into my teeth. Oh, I could weep My spirit from mine eyes! There is my dagger, And here my naked breast, within, a heart Dearer than Plutus' mine, richer than gold ; If that thou need'st a Roman's, take it forth. I, that denied thee gold, will give my heart. Strike as thou didst at Cæsar, for I know, When thou didst hate him worst, thou loved'st him
Than ever thou loved'st Cassius.
Bru. Sheathe your dagger.
Be angry when you will, it shall have scope
Do what you will, dishonor shall be humour.
O Cassius! you are yoked with a lamb
That carries anger as the flint bears fire,
Which much enforced, shows a hasty spark,
And straight is cold again.
Cas. Has Cassius lived
To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus,
When grief and blood ill-temper'd vexeth him ?
Bru. When I spoke that, I was ill-temper'd too.
Cas. Do you confess so much ? Give me your hand.
Bru. And my heart too.
[Embracing. Cas. O Brutus ! Bru. What's the matter?
Cas, Have you not love enough to bear with me,
When that rash humour which my mother gave me
Makes me forgetful ?
Bru. Yes, Cassius : and from henceforth,
When you are over-earnest with your Brutus,
He'll think your mother chides, and leave you so.
LESSON II. KING HENRY IV., NORTHUMBERLAND AND HOTSPUR. K. HENRY. My blood hath been too cold and tem
Unapt to stir at these indignities;
And you have found me : for accordingly,
You tread upon my patience; but, be sure,
I will from henceforth rather be myself,
Mighty and to be feared, than my condition,
Which hath been smooth as oil, soft as young down,
And therefore lost that title of respect,
Which the proud soul ne'er pays, but to the proud.
North. You, my good lord,
Those prisoners in your highness' name demanded,
Which Harry Percy here at Holmedon took,
Were, as he says, not with such strength denied
As was deliver'd to your majesty.
Hot. My liege I did deny no prisoners,
But I remember, when the fight was done,
When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,
Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword,
Came there a certain lord, neat, trimly dress’d,
Fresh as a bridegroom ; and his chin new reap'd,
Show'd like a stubble land at harvest home.
He was perfum'd like a milliner :
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
A pouncet box, which ever and anon
He gave his nose ; and still he smiled, and talk'd ;
And, as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,
He call’d them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
To bring a slovenly, unhandsome corse
Betwixt the wind and his nobility !
With many holiday and lady terms
He question’d me : amongst the rest demanded
My prisoners, in your majesty's behalf.
I, then, all smarting with my wounds, being cold,
To be so pester'd with a popinjay,
Out of my grief and my impatience,
Answer'd, neglectingly, I know not what ;
He should or should not ; for he made me mad,
To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,
And talk so like a waiting gentlewoman,
Of guns, and drums, and wounds, (God save the mark !)
And telling me the sovereign'st thing on earth
Was spermaceti for an inward bruise ;
And that it was great pity, so it was,
That villanous saltpetre should be dug
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good tall fellow has destroy'd
So cowardly ; and, but for these vile guns,
He would himself have been a soldier !
This bald, unjointed chat of his, my lord,
I answer’d, indirectly, as I said ;
And, I beseech you, let not this report
Come current for an accusation,
Betwixt my love and your high majesty.
North. The circumstance consider'd, good my lord,
Whatever Harry Percy then had said
To such a person, and in such a place,
At such a time, with all the rest re-told ;
May reasonably die; and never rise
To do him wrong, or any way impeach
What then he said, so he unsay it now.
K. Henry. Why yet he doth deny his prisoners ;
But with proviso and exception,
That we, at our own charge, shall ransom straight
His brother-in-law, the foolish Mortimer;
Who, on my soul, hath wilfully betrayed
The lives of those that he did lead to fight
Against the great magician, wild Glendower ;
Whose daughter, as we hear, the Earl of March
Hath lately married. Shall our coffers, then,
Be emptied, to redeem a traitor home?
Shall we buy treason, and indent with fears,
When they have lost and forfeited themselves ?
No; on the barren mountains let him starve ;
For I shall never hold that man my friend
Whose tongue shall ask me for one penny cost
To ransom home revolted Mortimer.
Hor. Revolted Mortimer ! He never did fall off, my sovereign liege, But by the chance of war; to prove that true, Needs but one tongue; for all those wounds, Those mouthed wounds, which valiantly he took, When on the gentle Severn's sedgy bank, In single opposition, hand to hand, He did confound the best part of an hour In changing hardiment with great Glendower ; Three times they breathed, and three times did they drink Upon agreement, of sweet Severn's flood; Who then affrighted with their bloody looks Ran fearfully among the trembling reeds, And hid his crisp head in the hollow bank, Blood-stained with these valiant combatants. Never did bare and rotten policy Color her working with such deadly wounds ; Nor ever could the noble Mortimer Receive so many, and all willingly ; Then let him not be slander'd with revolt.