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Julius Caesar

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JULIUS CAESAR ACT I SCENE II

SCENE

A public place.

 

Flourish. Enter Caesar; Antony, for the course; Calpurnia, Portia, Decius, Cicero, Brutus, Cassius, and Casca; a great crowd follows, among them a Soothsayer.

CAESAR

Calpurnia!

CASCA

Peace, ho! Caesar speaks.

Music ceases.

CAESAR

Calpurnia!

CALPURNIA

Here, my lord.

CAESAR

Stand you directly in Antonio's way,

When he doth run his course. Antonio!

ANTONY

Caesar, my lord?

CAESAR

Forget not in your speed, Antonio,

To touch Calpurnia, for our elders say

The barren, touched in this holy chase,

Shake off their sterile curse.

ANTONY

I shall remember.

When Caesar says "Do this," it is perform'd.

CAESAR

Set on, and leave no ceremony out.

Flourish.

SOOTHSAYER

Caesar!

CAESAR

Ha! Who calls?

CASCA

Bid every noise be still. Peace yet again!

CAESAR

Who is it in the press that calls on me?

I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,

Cry "Caesar." Speak, Caesar is turn'd to hear.

SOOTHSAYER

Beware the ides of March.

CAESAR

What man is that?

BRUTUS

A soothsayer you beware the ides of March.

CAESAR

Set him before me let me see his face.

CASSIUS

Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.

CAESAR

What say'st thou to me now? Speak once again.

SOOTHSAYER

Beware the ides of March.

CAESAR

He is a dreamer; let us leave him. Pass.

Sennet. Exeunt all but Brutus and Cassius.

CASSIUS

Will you go see the order of the course?

BRUTUS

Not I.

CASSIUS

I pray you, do.

BRUTUS

I am not gamesome; I do lack some part

Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.

Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires;

I'll leave you.

CASSIUS

Brutus, I do observe you now of late;

I have not from your eyes that gentleness

And show of love as I was wont to have;

You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand

Over your friend that loves you.

BRUTUS

Cassius,

Be not deceived; if I have veil'd my look,

I turn the trouble of my countenance

Merely upon myself. Vexed I am

Of late with passions of some difference,

Conceptions only proper to myself,

Which give some soil perhaps to my behaviors;

But let not therefore my good friends be grieved-

Among which number, Cassius, be you one-

Nor construe any further my neglect

Than that poor Brutus with himself at war

Forgets the shows of love to other men.

CASSIUS

Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion,

By means whereof this breast of mine hath buried

Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.

Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?

BRUTUS

No, Cassius, for the eye sees not itself

But by reflection, by some other things.

CASSIUS

'Tis just,

And it is very much lamented, Brutus,

That you have no such mirrors as will turn

Your hidden worthiness into your eye

That you might see your shadow. I have heard

Where many of the best respect in Rome,

Except immortal Caesar, speaking of Brutus

And groaning underneath this age's yoke,

Have wish'd that noble Brutus had his eyes.

BRUTUS

Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,

That you would have me seek into myself

For that which is not in me?

CASSIUS

Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear,

And since you know you cannot see yourself

So well as by reflection, I your glass

Will modestly discover to yourself

That of yourself which you yet know not of.

And be not jealous on me, gentle Brutus;

Were I a common laugher, or did use

To stale with ordinary oaths my love

To every new protester, if you know

That I do fawn on men and hug them hard

And after scandal them, or if you know

That I profess myself in banqueting

To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.

Flourish and shout.

BRUTUS

What means this shouting? I do fear the people

Choose Caesar for their king.

CASSIUS

Ay, do you fear it?

Then must I think you would not have it so.

BRUTUS

I would not, Cassius, yet I love him well.

But wherefore do you hold me here so long?

What is it that you would impart to me?

If it be aught toward the general good,

Set honor in one eye and death i' the other

And I will look on both indifferently.

For let the gods so speed me as I love

The name of honor more than I fear death.

CASSIUS

I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,

As well as I do know your outward favor.

Well, honor is the subject of my story.

I cannot tell what you and other men

Think of this life, but, for my single self,

I had as lief not be as live to be

In awe of such a thing as I myself.

I was born free as Caesar, 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 Tiber chafing with her shores,

Caesar said to me, "Darest thou, Cassius, now

Leap in with me into this angry flood

And swim to yonder point?" Upon the word,

Accoutred 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 proposed,

Caesar cried, "Help me, Cassius, or I sink!

I, as Aeneas our great ancestor

Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder

The old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tiber

Did I the tired Caesar. And this man

Is now become a god, and Cassius is

A wretched creature and must bend his body

If Caesar 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 shake;

His coward lips did from their color fly,

And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world

Did lose his luster. I did hear him groan.

Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans

Mark him and write his speeches in their books,

Alas, it cried, "Give me some drink, Titinius,"

As a sick girl. Ye gods! It doth amaze me

A man of such a feeble temper should

So get the start of the majestic world

And bear the palm alone. Shout.

Flourish.

BRUTUS

Another general shout!

I do believe that these applauses are

For some new honors that are heap'd on Caesar.

CASSIUS

Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world

Like a Colossus, and we petty men

Walk under his huge legs and peep about

To find ourselves dishonorable 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 Caesar: what should be in that "Caesar"?

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 with 'em,

"Brutus" will start a spirit as soon as "Caesar."

Now, in the names of all the gods at once,

Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed

That he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed!

Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!

When went there by an age since the great flood

But it was famed with more than with one man?

When could they say till now that talk'd of Rome

That her wide walls encompass'd but one man?

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

There was a Brutus once that would have brook'd

The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome

As easily as a king.

BRUTUS

That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;

What you would work me to, I have some aim.

How I have thought of this and of these times,

I shall recount hereafter; for this present,

I would not, so with love I might entreat you,

Be any further moved. 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 things.

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.

CASSIUS

I am glad that my weak words

Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.

Re-enter Caesar and his Train.

 

BRUTUS

The games are done, and Caesar is returning.

CASSIUS

As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve,

And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you

What hath proceeded worthy note today.

BRUTUS

I will do so. But, look you, Cassius,

The angry spot doth glow on Caesar's brow,

And all the rest look like a chidden train:

Calpurnia's cheek is pale, and Cicero

Looks with such ferret and such fiery eyes

As we have seen him in the Capitol,

Being cross'd in conference by some senators.

CASSIUS

Casca will tell us what the matter is.

CAESAR

Antonio!

ANTONY

Caesar?

CAESAR

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.

ANTONY

Fear him not, Caesar; he's not dangerous;

He is a noble Roman and well given.

CAESAR

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 much,

He is a great observer, and he looks

Quite through the deeds of men. He loves no plays,

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 moved to smile at anything.

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 Caesar.

Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,

And tell me truly what thou think'st of him.

Sennet. Exeunt Caesar and all his Train but Casca.

CASCA

You pull'd me by the cloak; would you speak with me?

BRUTUS

Ay, Casca, tell us what hath chanced today

That Caesar looks so sad.

CASCA

Why, you were with him, were you not?

BRUTUS

I should not then ask Casca what had chanced.

CASCA

Why, there was a crown offered him, and being offered him,

he put it by with the back of his hand, thus, and then the

people fell ashouting.

BRUTUS

What was the second noise for?

CASCA

Why, for that too.

CASSIUS

They shouted thrice. What was the last cry for?

CASCA

Why, for that too.

BRUTUS

Was the crown offered him thrice?

CASCA

Ay, marry, wast, and he put it by thrice, every time gentler

than other, and at every putting by mine honest neighbors

shouted.

CASSIUS

Who offered him the crown?

CASCA

Why, Antony.

BRUTUS

Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.

CASCA

I can as well be hang'd 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 nightcaps and uttered such a deal of

stinking breath because Caesar refused the crown that it had

almost choked Caesar, for he swounded 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.

CASSIUS

But, soft, I pray you, what, did Caesars wound?

CASCA

He fell down in the marketplace and foamed at mouth and was

speechless.

BRUTUS

'Tis very like. He hath the falling sickness.

CASSIUS

No, Caesar hath it not, but you, and I,

And honest Casca, we have the falling sickness.

CASCA

I know not what you mean by that, but I am sure Caesar 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.

BRUTUS

What said he when he came unto himself?

CASCA

Marry, before he fell down, when he perceived the common

herd was glad he refused the crown, he plucked me ope his doublet

and offered them his throat to cut. An 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 anything 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 Caesar had stabbed their mothers, they would have done

no less.

BRUTUS

And after that he came, thus sad, away?

CASCA

Ay.

CASSIUS

Did Cicero say anything?

CASCA

Ay, he spoke Greek.

CASSIUS

To what effect?

CASCA

Nay, an I tell you that, I'll ne'er look you i' the face

again; but those that understood 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 Caesar's images, are put to silence. Fare you well.

There was more foolery yet, if could remember it.

CASSIUS

Will you sup with me tonight, Casca?

CASCA

No, I am promised forth.

CASSIUS

Will you dine with me tomorrow?

CASCA

Ay, if I be alive, and your mind hold, and your dinner worth

the eating.

CASSIUS

Good, I will expect you.

CASCA

Do so, farewell, both.

Exit.

BRUTUS

What a blunt fellow is this grown to be!

He was quick mettle when he went to school.

CASSIUS

So is he now in execution

Of any bold or noble enterprise,

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.

BRUTUS

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

Tomorrow, if you please to speak with me,

I will come home to you, or, if you will,

Come home to me and I will wait for you.

CASSIUS

I will do so. Till then, think of the world.

Exit Brutus.

Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see

Thy honorable mettle may be wrought

From that it is disposed; therefore it is meet

That noble minds keep ever with their likes;

For who so firm that cannot be seduced?

Caesar doth bear me hard, but he loves Brutus.

If I were Brutus now and he were Cassius,

He should not humor me. I will this night,

In several hands, in at his windows throw,

As if they came from several citizens,

Writings, all tending to the great opinion

That Rome holds of his name, wherein obscurely

Caesar's ambition shall be glanced at.

And after this let Caesar seat him sure;

For we will shake him, or worse days endure.

Exit.

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