A line-by-line translation

Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar Translation Act 5, Scene 1

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OCTAVIUS and ANTONY enter, along with their army.

OCTAVIUS

Now, Antony, our hopes are answerèd. 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.

OCTAVIUS

Now, Antony, our prayers have been answered. You said the enemy wouldn’t come down, but would keep to the hills and high ground instead. They have not. Their forces are nearby. They mean to attack us here on the plains of Philippi, fighting us before we’ve forced them to.

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.

ANTONY

No, I know their secret thoughts, and I understand why they’re doing this. They’d be happier if they were somewhere else. They come here with a false show of bravery, to convince us that they have courage. But they don’t.

A MESSENGER enters.

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.

MESSENGER

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ANTONY

Octavius, lead your battle softly on,Upon the left hand of the even field.

ANTONY

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OCTAVIUS

Upon the right hand I. Keep thou the left.

OCTAVIUS

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ANTONY

Why do you cross me in this exigent?

ANTONY

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OCTAVIUS

I do not cross you. But I will do so.

OCTAVIUS

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The sound of drums and soldiers. BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and their army enter, including LUCILLIUS, TITINIUS, and MESSALA.

BRUTUS

They stand and would have parley.

BRUTUS

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CASSIUS

Stand fast, Titinius. We must out and talk.

CASSIUS

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OCTAVIUS

Mark Antony, shall we give sign of battle?

OCTAVIUS

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ANTONY

No, Caesar, we will answer on their charge. Make forth. The generals would have some words.

ANTONY

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OCTAVIUS

[to his army] Stir not until the signal.

OCTAVIUS

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BRUTUS

Words before blows. Is it so, countrymen?

BRUTUS

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OCTAVIUS

Not that we love words better, as you do.

OCTAVIUS

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BRUTUS

Good words are better than bad strokes, Octavius.

BRUTUS

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ANTONY

In your bad strokes, Brutus, you give good words.Witness the hole you made in Caesar’s heart,Crying “Long live, hail, Caesar!”

ANTONY

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CASSIUS

Antony,The posture of your blows are yet unknown.But for your words, they rob the Hybla beesAnd leave them honeyless.

CASSIUS

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ANTONY

Not stingless too?

ANTONY

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BRUTUS

Oh, yes, and soundless too.For you have stol'n their buzzing, Antony,And very wisely threat before you sting.

BRUTUS

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ANTONY

Villains, you did not so when your vile daggers Hacked one another in the sides of Caesar. You showed your teeth like apes, and fawned like hounds, And bowed like bondmen, kissing Caesar’s feet, Whilst damnèd Casca, like a cur, behind Struck Caesar on the neck. O you flatterers!

ANTONY

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CASSIUS

Flatterers?—Now, Brutus, thank yourself.This tongue had not offended so todayIf Cassius might have ruled.

CASSIUS

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OCTAVIUS

Come, come, the cause. If arguing make us sweat, The proof of it will turn to redder drops. [draws his sword] 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.

OCTAVIUS

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BRUTUS

Caesar, thou canst not die by traitors' handsUnless thou bring’st them with thee.

BRUTUS

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OCTAVIUS

So I hope.I was not born to die on Brutus' sword.

OCTAVIUS

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BRUTUS

O, if thou wert the noblest of thy strain,Young man, thou couldst not die more honorable.

BRUTUS

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CASSIUS

A peevish schoolboy, worthless of such honor,Joined with a masker and a reveler!

CASSIUS

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ANTONY

Old Cassius still.

ANTONY

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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.

OCTAVIUS

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OCTAVIUS, ANTONY, and their army exit.

CASSIUS

Why, now, blow wind, swell billow, and swim bark!The storm is up and all is on the hazard.

CASSIUS

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BRUTUS

Ho, Lucillius, hark, a word with you.

BRUTUS

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LUCILLIUS

[stands forth] My lord?

LUCILLIUS

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BRUTUS and LUCILLIUS converse to the side.

CASSIUS

Messala!

CASSIUS

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MESSALA

[stands forth] What says my general?

MESSALA

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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 compelled 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 perched, 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.

CASSIUS

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MESSALA

Believe not so.

MESSALA

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CASSIUS

I but believe it partly,For I am fresh of spirit and resolvedTo meet all perils very constantly.

CASSIUS

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BRUTUS

[returning with LUCILLIUS] Even so, Lucillius.

BRUTUS

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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 determinèd to do?

CASSIUS

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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.

BRUTUS

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CASSIUS

Then if we lose this battleYou are contented to be led in triumphThorough the streets of Rome?

CASSIUS

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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.

BRUTUS

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CASSIUS

Forever and forever farewell, Brutus.If we do meet again, we’ll smile indeed.If not, ’tis true this parting was well made.

CASSIUS

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BRUTUS

Why then, lead on. Oh, 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!

BRUTUS

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They all exit.

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