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Brutus Confronts Cassius


Brutus confronts Cassius about bribery and the potential of descending into corruption and bids him to remember the Ides of March.

Great Performances: Julius Caesar premieres nationwide Friday, March 29 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) and streams the following day on and PBS apps.


- Remember March, the ides of March remember, did not great Caesar bleed for justice' sake?

What villain touched his body, and 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 at that.

I'd rather be a dog, and bay the moon than such a Roman.

- Brutus, bate not me.

I'll not endure it.

You forget yourself to hedge me in, I am a soldier, I, older in practice, and abler than yourself to make conditions.

- Go to, you are not, Cassius.

- I am.

- I say you are not.

- Urge me no more, I shall forget myself.

- Away, slight man.

- Hm, is't possible.

- Hear me, for I will speak.

Must I give way and room to your rash choler?

Shall I be frighted when a madman stares?

- O ye gods, ye gods must I endure all this?

- All this! Ay, more: fret till your proud heart break; go show your slaves how choleric you are, and make your bondmen tremble, must I budge?

Must I observe you? Must I, stand and crouch under your testy 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.

- Is it come to this.

- You say were a better soldier, let it appear so, make your vaunting true and it shall please me well, for my part, I shall be glad to learn of noble men.

- You wrong me every way, you wrong me Brutus.

I said an elder soldier, not a better did I say better?

- If you did, I care not.

- When Caesar lived he durst not thus have moved me.

- Peace peace, you durst not so have tempted him.

- I durst not?

- No.

- What, durst not tempt him?

- For your life you durst not!

- Do not presume too much upon my love, I may do that I shall be sorry for.

- You have done that you should be sorry for.

There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats, for I am armed so strong in honesty, that they pass by me, like 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'd 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 feed my legions, which you denied me.


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