Julius Caesar

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

20What 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
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes,
25And 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.
Who among us stabbed him for any cause but justice? What—did one of us strike down the most powerful man in the world in order to support robbers? Should we now dirty our fingers with lowly bribes and sell the mighty offices that we hold for whatever money we can get our hands on? I’d rather be a dog and howl at the moon than be that kind of Roman.

CASSIUS

    Brutus, bait not me.
I’ll not endure it. You forget yourself
30To hedge me in. I am a soldier, I,
Older in practice, abler than yourself
To make conditions.

CASSIUS

Brutus, do not provoke me. I will not take it. You’re forgetting yourself when you back me into a corner. I’m a soldier, more experienced than you, and better able to give orders.

BRUTUS

Go to. You are not, Cassius.

BRUTUS

Get lost! You are not, Cassius.

CASSIUS

I am.

CASSIUS

I am.

BRUTUS

35I say you are not.

BRUTUS

I say you’re not.

CASSIUS

Urge me no more, I shall forget myself.
Have mind upon your health, tempt me no further.

CASSIUS

Don’t provoke me any further or I’ll forget to restrain myself. If you care about your health, you won’t push me any further.

BRUTUS

Away, slight man!

BRUTUS

Leave, you little man.

CASSIUS

Is ’t possible?

CASSIUS

Is this possible?

BRUTUS

40Hear me, for I will speak.
Must I give way and room to your rash choler?
Shall I be frighted when a madman stares?

BRUTUS

Listen to me, for I have something to tell you. Am I required to indulge your rash anger? Does a madman scare me when he stares at me?

CASSIUS

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

CASSIUS

Oh gods, oh gods! Must I endure all this?