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I had as lief not be, as live to be In awe of such a thing as I myself.

I was born free as Cesar; so were you:
We both have fed as well; and we can both
Endure the winter's cold, as well as he.
For once, upon a raw and gusty* day,
The troubled Tyber chafing with her shores,
Cesar said to me, Dar'st thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood,
And swim to yonder point? Upon the word,
Accouter'd as I was, I plunged in,
And bade him follow: so, indeed, he did.
The torrent roar'd; and we did buffet it
With lusty sinews; throwing it aside
And stemming it with hearts of controversy.
But ere we could arrive the point propos'd,
Cesar cried, Help me, Cassius, or I sink.
I, as Æneas, our great ancestor,

Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
The old Anchises bear, so, from the waves of

Did I the tired Cesar: And this man
Is now become a god; and Cassius is

A wretched creature, and must bend his body,
If Cesar carelessly but nod on him.
He had a fever when he was in Spain,
And, when the fit was on him, I did mark
How he did shake: 'tis true, this god did

His coward lips did from their colour fly; And that same eye, whose bend doth awe the world,


Did lose his lustre: I did hear him groan:
Ay, and that tongue of his, that bade the Ro-
Mark him, and write his speeches in their
Alas! it cried, Give me some drink, Titinius,
As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me,
A man of such a feeble tempert should
So get the start of the majestic world,
And bear the palm alone. [Shout. Flourish.
Bru. Another general shout!

I do believe, that these applauses are
For some new honours that are heap'd on Cesar.
Cus. Why, man, he doth bestride the nar-
row world,

Like a Colossus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus, and Cesar: What should be in that

Why should that name be sounded more than yours?

Write them together, yours is as fair a name; Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well; Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure them, Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Cesar.


Now in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Cesar feed,
That he is grown so great? Age, thou art

Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
When went there by an age, since the great
But it was fam'd with more than with one
When could they say, till now, that talk'd of

That her wide walks encompass'd but one
Now is it Rome indeed, and room enough,
When there is in it but one only man.
O! you and I have heard our fathers say,

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I shall recount hereafter; for this present,
I would not, so with love I might entreat you,
Be any further mov'd. What you have said,
I will consider; what you have to say,
I will with patience hear: and find a time
Both meet to hear, and answer, such high

Till then, my noble friend, chew‡ upon this;
Brutus had rather be a villager,
Than to repute himself a son of Rome
Under these hard conditions as this time,
Is like to lay upon us.

Cas. I am glad, that my weak words
Have struck but this much show of fire from

Re-enter CESAR, and his Train.

Bru. The games are done, and Cesar is returning.

Cas. As they pass by, pluck Casca, by the sleeve;

And he will after his sour fashion, tell you What hath proceeded, worthy note, to-day.

Bru. I will do so:-But, look you, Cassius, The angry spot doth glow on Cesar's brow, And all the rest look like a chidden train: Calphurnia's cheek is pale; and Cicero Looks with such ferrets and such fiery eyes, As we have seen him in the Capitol, Being cross'd in conference by some senators. Cas. Casca will tell us what the matter is. Ces. Antonius.

Ant. Cesar.

Ces. Let me have men about me that are fat;

Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o'nights:
Yond' Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.
Ant. Fear him not, Cesar, he's not danger-
He is a noble Roman, and well given.
Ces. 'Would he were fatter:-But I fear
him not:


Yet if my name were liable to fear,
I do not know the man I should avoid
So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads
He is a great observer, and he looks [much;
Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no

As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music:
Seldom he smiles; and smiles in such a sort,
As if he mock'd himself, and scorn'd his spirit
That could be mov'd to smile at any thing.
Such men as he be never at heart's ease,
Whiles they behold a greater than themselves;
And therefore are they very dangerous.
I rather tell thee what is to be fear'd,
Than what I fear, for always I am Cesar.
Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
And tell me truly what thou think'st of him.
[Exeunt CESAR and his Train. CASCA
stays behind.
Cusca. Yon pull'd me by the cloak; Would
you speak with me?

Bru. Ay, Casca; tell us what hath chanc'd

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That Cesar looks so sad.


Casca. Why you were with him, were you


Bru. I should not then ask Casca what hath

Casca. Why, there was a crown offer'd him: and being offer'd him, he put it by with the back of his hand, thus; and then the people fell a' shouting.

Bru. What was the second noise for?
Casca. Why, for that too.

Casca. Ay.

Cas. Did Cicero say any thing?
Casca. Ay, he spoke Greek.
Cas. To what effect?


look you i'the face again: But those, that unCasca. Nay, an I tell you that, I'll ne'er derstood him, smiled at one another, and shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more news too: Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs off Cesar's images, are put to silence. Fare you remember it.

Cas. They shouted thrice; What was the well. There was more foolery yet, if I could

last cry for?

Casca. Why, for that too.

Bru. Was the crown offer'd him thrice?

Casca. Ay, marry, was't, and he put it by thrice, every time gentler than other; and at every putting by, mine honest neighbours shouted.

Cas. Who offered him the crown?
Casca. Why, Antony.

Bru. Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca. Casca. I can as well be hanged, as tell the manner of it: it was mere foolery. I did not mark it. I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown; yet 'twas not a crown neither, 'twas one of these coronets;-and, as I told you, he put it by once; but, for all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it. Then he offered it to him again; then he put it by again: but, to my thinking, he was very loath to lay his fingers off it. And then he offered it the third time; he put it the third time by: and still as he refused it, the rabblement hooted, and clapped their chopped hands, and threw up their sweaty night-caps, and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because Cesar refused the crown, that it had almost choked Cesar; for he swooned, and fell down at it: And for mine own part I durst not laugh, for fear of opening my lips, and receiving the bad air.

Cas. But, soft, I pray you: What? did
Cesar swoon?

Casca. He fell down in the market-place,
and foamed at mouth, and was speechless.
Bru. 'Tis very like: he hath the falling-sick-


Cas. No, Cesar hath it not; but you, and I, And honest Casca, we have the falling-sick


Casca. I know nor what you mean by that; but, I am sure, Cesar fell down. If the tagrag people did not clap him, and hiss him, according as he pleased, and displeased them, as they use to do the players in the theatre, I

am no true man.

Bru. What said he, when he came unto himself?

Casca. Marry, before he fell down, when he perceiv'd the common herd was glad he refused the crown, he plucked me ope his doublet, and offered them his throat to cut.-An I had been a man of any occupation,† if I would not have taken him at a word, I would I might go to hell among the rogues:-and so he fell. When he came to himself again, he said, If he had done, or said, any thing amiss, he desired their worships to think it was his infirmity. Three or four wenches, where I stood, cried, Alas, good soul!-and forgave him with all their hearts: But there's no heed to be taken of them; if Cesar had stabbed their mothers, they would have done no less. Bru. And after that, he came, thus sad, away?

* Honest.

† A mechanic.

Cas. Will you sup with me to-night, Casca?
Casca. No, I am promised forth.

Cas. Will you dine with me to-morrow?
Casca. Ay, if I be alive, and your mind hold,

and your dinner worth eating.
Cas. Good: I will expect you.
Casca. Do so: Farewell, both.

Bru. What a blunt fellow is this grown to
[Exit CASCA.
He was quick mettle, when he went to school.
Of any bold or noble enterprise,
Cas. So is he now, in execution
However he puts on this tardy form.
This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit,
Which gives men stomach to digest his words
With better appetite.

Bru. And so it is. For this time I will leave

To-morrow if you please to speak with me,
I will come home to you; or, if you will,
Come home with me, and I will wait for you.
Cas. I will do so:-till then, think of the
Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see,
Thy honourable metal may be wrought
From that it is dispos'd: Therefore 'tis meet
For who so firm, that cannot be seduc'd?
That noble minds keep ever with their likes:
Cesar doth bear me hard; but he loves Bru-


He should not humourt me. I will this night,
If I were Brutus now, and he were Cassius,
As if they came from several citizens,
In several hands, in at the windows throw,
Writings all tending to the great opinion
That Rome holds of his name; wherein ob-
Cesar's ambition shall be glanced at:
And, after this, let Cesar seat him sure;
For we will shake him, or worse days endure.

SCENE III.-The same.-A Street.

Thunder and Lightning, Enter, from opposite sides, CASCA, with his sword drawn, and CICERO.

Cic. Good even, Casca: Brought you Cesar
home ?

Why are you breathless? and why stare you so?
Casca. Are you not mov'd, when all the sway

Shakes, like a thing unfirm? O Cicero,
of earth
I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds
Have riv'd the knotty oaks; and I have seen
The ambitious ocean swell, and rage, and foam,
To be exalted with the threat'ning clouds:
But never till to-night, never till now,
Either there is a civil strife in heaven;
Did I go through a tempest dropping fire.

* Disposed to. Has an unfavourable opinion of me.
+ Cajole.
Did you attend Cesar home t

Or else the world, oo saucy with the gods, Incenses them to send destruction.

Cic. Why, saw you any thing more wonderful?

Casca. A common slave (you know him well by sight,) [burn Held up his left hand, which did flame, and Like twenty torches join'd; and yet his hand, Not sensible of fire, remain'd unscorch'd. Besides, (I have not since put up my sword,) Against the Capitol I met à lion,

Who glar'd upon me, and went surly by, Without annoying me: And there were drawn Upon a heap a hundred ghastly women, Transformed with their fear; who swore they


Men, all in fire, walk up and down the streets.
And, yesterday, the bird of night did sit,
Even at noon-day, upon the market-place,
Hooting, and shrieking. When these prodigies
Do so conjointly meet, let not men say,
These are their reasons,-They are natural;
For, I believe, they are portentous things
Upon the climate that they point upon.

Cic. Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time: But men may construe things after their fashion, Clean from the purpose of the things them


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The breast of heaven, I did present myself
Even in the aim and very flash of it.

Casca. But wherefore did you so much tempt
the heavens?

It is the part of men to fear and tremble, When the most mighty gods, by tokens, send Such dreadful heralds to astonish us.

Cas. You are dull, Casca; and those sparks
of life

That should be in a Roman, you do want,
Or else you use not: You look pale, and gaze,
And put on fear, and cast yourself in wonder,
To see the strange impatience of the heavens:
But if you would consider the true cause,
Why all these fires, why all these gliding

Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind;
Why old men fools, and children calculate;
Why all these things change, from their ordi-

Their natures and pre-formed faculties,

* Entirely.
+ Bolt.
Why they deviate from quality and nature.

To monstrous quality; why, you shall find,
That heaven hath infus'd them with these
To make them instruments of fear, and warn-
Unto some monstrous state. Now could I,
Name to thee a man most like this dreadful
That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and
As doth the lion in the Capitol : [roars
A man no mightier than thyself, or me,
In personal action; yet prodigious grown,
And fearful, as these strange eruptions are.
Casca. 'Tis Cesar that you mean: Is it not,

Cas. Let it be who it is: for Romans now Have thewest and limbs like to their ancestors; But, woe the while! our fathers' minds are dead,

And we are govern'd with our mothers' spirits; Our yoke and sufferance show us womanish.

Casca. Indeed, they say, the senators to-mor Mean to establish Cesar as a king: [row And he shall wear his crown by sea, and land, In every place, save here in Italy.

Cas. I know where I will wear this dagger


Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius: Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong;

Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat:
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
Can be retentive to the strength of spirit;
But life, being weary of these worldly bars,
Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
If I know this, know all the world besides,
That part of tyranny, that I do bear,
I can shake off at pleasure.

Casca. So can I:

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Before a willing bondman; then I know My answer must be made: But I am arm'd, And dangers are to me indifferent.

Casca. You speak to Casca; and to such a


That is no fleering tell-tale. Holds my hand:
Be factious for redress of all these griefs;
And I will set this foot of mine as far,
As who goes farthest.

Cas. There's a bargain made.
Now know you, Casca, I have mov'd already
Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans,
To undergo, with me, an enterprise
Of honourable-dangerous consequence;
And I do know, by this, they stay for me
In Pompey's porch: for now, this fearful night,
There is no stir, or walking in the streets;
And the complexion of the element,
Is favour'd, like the work we have in hand,
Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.

#Portentous. + Muscles.
Here's my hand. | Active.

↑ Deer. ¶lesembles.

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find us.


Is Decius Brutus, and Trebonius, there?
Cin. All but Metellus Cimber; and he's
To seek you at your house. Well, I will hie,
And so bestow these papers as you bade me.
Cas. That done, repair to Pompey's theatre.
[Exit CINNA.
Come, Casca, you and I will, yet, ere day,
See Brutus at his house: three parts of him
Is ours already; and the man entire,
Upon the next encounter, yields him ours.
Casca. O, he sits high, in all the people's


And that, which would appear offence in us,
His countenance, like richest alchymy,
Will change to virtue, and to worthiness.

Cas. Him, and his worth, and our great need
of him,

You have right well conceited. Let us go,
For it is after midnight; and, ere day,
We will awake him, and be sure of him.



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Remorse from power: And, to speak truth of
I have not known when his affections sway'd
More than his reason. But 'tis a common
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face:
That lowliness is young ambition's ladder,
But when he once attains the upmost round,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degreesŢ
He then unto the ladder turns his back,
By which he did ascend: So Cesar may;
Then, lest he may, prevent. And, since the

Will bear no colour for the thing he is,
Fashion it thus; that what he is, augmented,
Would run to these, and these extremities:
Which, hatch'd, would, as his kind, grow
And therefore think him as a serpent's egg,

And kill him in the shell.

Re-enter LUCIUS.

Searching the window for a flint, I found
Luc. The taper burneth in your closet, Sir.
This paper, thus seal'd up; and, I am sure,
It did not lie there, when I went to bed.

Is not to-morrow, boy, the ides of March?
Bru. Get you to bed again, it is not day.
Lue. I know not, Sir.

Bru. Look in the calendar, and bring me

word. Luc. I will, Sir.

Bru. The exhalations, whizzing in the air,
Give so much light, that I may read by them.
Brutus, thou sleep'st; awake, and see thyself.
[Opens the Letter, and reads.
Shall Rome, &c. Speak, strike, redress!
Brutus, thou sleep'st; awake.

Such instigations have been often dropp'd
Shall Rome, &c. Thus, must I piece it out;
Where I have took them up.
Shall Rome stand under one man's awe? What!

My ancestors did from the streets of Rome
The Tarquin drive, when he was call'd a king.
Speak, strike, redress!-Am I entreated then
To speak, and strike? O Rome! I make thee

If the redress will follow, thou receivest
Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus!

Re-enter LUCIUS.

Luc. Sir, March is wasted fourteen days.
[Knock within.

Bru. 'Tis good. Go to the gate; somebody
Since Cassius first did whet me against Cesar,
I have not slept.

Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma,|| or a hideous dream:
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The genius, and the mortal instruments,
Are then in council; and the state of man,

The nature of an insurrection.

Re-enter LUCIUS.

Luc. Sir, 'tis your brother Cassius at the door, Who doth desire to see you.

Bru. Is he alone?

Luc. No, Sir, there are more with him.
Bru. Do you know them?

Luc. No, Sir; their hats are pluck'd about
their ears,

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And half their faces buried in their cloaks,
That by no means I may discover them
By any mark of favour.*
Bru. Let them enter.

They are the faction. O conspiracy! [night,
Sham'st thou to show thy dangerous brow by
When evils are most free! O, then, by day,
Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough
To mask thy monstrous visage? Seek none,
Hide in it smiles, and affability: [conspiracy;
For if thou path thy native semblancet on,
Not Erebust itself were dim enough
To hide thee from prevention.


Cas. I think we are too bold upon your rest: Good morrow, Brutus; Do we trouble you? Bru. I have been up this hour; awake, all night.

Know I these men, that come along with you? Cas. Yes, every man of them; and no man here,

But honours you: and every one doth wish, You had but that opinion of yourself, Which every noble Roman bears of you. This is Trebonius.

Bru. He is welcome hither.

Cas. This Decius Brutus.

Bru. He is welcome too.

Cus. This, Casca; this, Cinna; And this, Metellus Cimber.

Bru. They are all welcome.

What watchful cares do interpose themselves Betwixt your eyes and night?

Cas. Shall I entreat a word? [They whisper. Dec. Here lies the east: Doth not the day

break here?

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Swear priests, and cowards, and men cautelous,*

Old feeble carrions, and such suffering souls That welcome wrongs; unto bad causes swear Such creatures as men doubt: but do not stain The even virtue of our enterprise,

Nor the insuppressive mettle of our spirits, To think, that, or our cause, or our performance,

Did need an oath; when every drop of blood,
That every Roman bears, and nobly bears,
Is guilty of a several bastardy.

If he do break the smallest particle
Of any promise that hath pass'd from him.
Cas. But what of Cicero? Shall we sound

I think, he will stand very strong with us.
Casca. Let us not leave him out.

Cin. No, by no means.

Met. O let us have him; for his silver hairs Will purchase us a good opinion,† It shall be said, his judgement rul'd our hands; And buy men's voices to commend our deeds: Our youths, and wildness, shall no whit ap But all be buried in his gravity. [pear,

Bru. O, name him not; let us not break‡ with him;

For he will never follow any thing
That other men begin.

Cas. Then leave him out.

Casca. Indeed, he is not fit.

Dec. Shall no inan else be touch'd but only


Cas. Decius, well urg'd:-I think it is not


Mark Antony, so well belov'd of Cesar,
Should outlive Cesar: We shall find of him
If he improves them, may well stretch so far,
A shrewd contriver; and, you know, his means,
As to annoy us all: which to prevent,
Let Antony, and Cesar, fall together.

Bru. Our course will seem too bloody, Caius

To cut the head off, and then hack the limbs;
Like wrath in death, and envy afterwards:
For Antony is but a limb of Cesar.

Let us be sacrificers, but no butchers, Caius.
We all stand up against the spirit of Cesar;
And in the spirit of men there is no blood:
O, that we then could come by Cesar's spirit,
And not dismember Cesar! But, alas,
Cesar must bleed for it! And, gentle friends,
Let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods,
Let's kill him boldly, but not wrathfully;

Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds:

And let our hearts, as subtle masters do,
Stir up their servants to an act of rage,
And after seem to chide them. This shall


Our purpose necessary, and not envious:
Which so appearing to the common eyes,
We shall be call'd purgers, not murderers.
And for Mark Antony, think not of him;
For he can do no more than Cesar's arm,
When Cesar's head is off.

Cas. Yet I do fear him:

For in the ingrafted love he bears to Cesar,-
Bru. Alas, good Cassius, do not think of
If he love Cesar, all that he can do
Is to himself; take thought, and die for

And that were much he should; for he is given
To sports, to wildness, and much company.
Treb. There is no fear in him; let him not die;

* Cautious.
+ Character.
Let us not break the matter to him.


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