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Casca. You pull'd me by the cloak; Would you speak with me?
Bru. Ay, Casca; tell us what hath chanc'd to-day, That Cæsar looks so sad?
Casca. Why you were with him, were you not? Bru. I should not then ask Casca what hath chanc'd.
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 a' shouting.
Bru. What was the second noise for?
Casca. Why, for that too.
Cas. They shouted thrice; What was the last cry for? your dinner worth the eating. Casca. Why, for that too.
Cas. Good; I will expect you.
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 Cæsar refused the crown, that it had almost choaked Cæsar; 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 Cæsar swoon?
Casca. He fell down in the market-place, and foamed at mouth, and was speechless.
Bru. 'Tis very like he hath the falling sickness. Cas. No, Cæsar 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, Cæsar fell down. If the tag-rag 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 perceived 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 Cæsar had stabbed their mothers, they would have done no less.
Casca. Nay, an I tell you that, I'll ne'er look 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 Cæsar's images, are put to silence. Fare you well. There was more foolery yet, if I could remember it.
Cas. Will you sup with me to-night, Casca?
Cas. Will you dine with me to-morrow?
Casca. Ay, if I be alive, and your mind hold, and
Casca. Do so: Farewell, both. [Exit CASCA. Bru. What a blunt fellow is this grown to be? He was quick mettle, when he went to school. Cas. So is he now, in execution Of any bold or noble enterprize, 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 you:
To-morrow, if you please to speak with me,
Cas. I will do so: - till then, think of the world. [Exit BRUTUS.
Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see,
Like twenty torches join d; and yet his hand,
Cic. Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time: But men may construe things after their fashion, Clean from the purpose of the things themselves. Comes Cæsar to the Capitol to-morrow?
Casca. He doth; for he did bid Antonius Send word to you, he would be there to-morrow. Cic. Good night then, Casca: this disturbed sky Is not to walk in. Casca.
Farewell, Cicero. [Exit CICERO. Enter CASSIUS.
Cas. Who's there?
Cas. A very pleasing night to honest men.
For my part, I have walk'd about the streets,
Casca. But wherefore did you so much tempt the heavens?
It is the part of men to fear and tremble,
That should be in a Roman, you do want,
Casca. 'Tis Cæsar that you mean: Is it not. Cassius?
Cas. Let it be who it is: for Romans now Have thewes 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.
A man no mightier than thyself, or me,
Casca. Indeed, they say, the senators to-morrow Mean to establish Cæsar as a king: 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 then ; 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.
So can I : So every bondman in his own hand bears The power to cancel his captivity.
Cas. And why should Cæsar be a tyrant then? Poor man! I know, he would not be a wolf, But that he sees, the Romans are but sheep : He were no lion, were not Romans hinds. Those that with haste will make a mighty fire, Begin it with weak straws: What trash is Rome, What rubbish, and what offal, when it serves For the base matter to illuminate
So vile a thing as Cæsar? But, O, grief!
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 enterprize
Cas. You are dull, Casca; and those sparks of Of honourable-dangerous consequence;
Casca. You speak to Casca; and to such a man, That is no fleering tell-tale. Hold, my hand: Be factious for redress of all these griefs; And I will set this foot of mine as far, As who goes farthest.
And I do know by this, they stay for me
In Pompey's porch: For now, this fearful night,
Is favour'd, like the work we have in hand,
Luc. Call'd you, my lord?
Bru. Get me a taper in my study, Lucius: When it is lighted, come and call me here.
Luc. I will, my lord.
Bru. It must be by his death: and, for my part, I know no personal cause to spurn at him, But for the general. He would be crown'd: How that might change his nature, there's the question.
It is the bright day, that brings forth the adder; And that craves wary walking. Crown him? That;
And then, I grant, we put a sting in him,
Luc. The taper burneth in your closet, sir. Searching the window for a flint, I found This paper, thus seal'd up; and, I am sure, It did not lie there, when I went to bed.
I have not known when his affections sway'd
Come, Casca, you and I will, yet, ere day,
Casca. O, he sits high, in all the people's hearts.
Cas. Him, and his worth, and our great need of him, Let us go,
You have right well conceited.
For it is after midnight; and, ere day,
We will awake him, and be sure of him. [Exeunt.
Bru. Get you to bed again, it is not day. Is not to-morrow, boy, the ides of March? Luc. I know not, sir.
Bru. Look in the calendar, and bring me word. Luc I will, sir. [Exit.
Bru. The exhalations, whizzing in the air, Gives so much light, that I may read by them. [Opens the letter, and reads. Brutus, thou sleep'st; awake, and see thyself. Shall Rome, &c. Speak, strike, redress! Brutus, thou sleep'st; awake, Such instigations have been often dropp'd Where I have took them up.
Shall Rome, &c. Thus must I piece it out;
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 promise,
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 knocks. [Exit LUCIUS. Since Cassius first did whet me against Cæsar, I have not slept.
Between the acting of a dreadful thing
Enter CASSIUS, CASCA, DECIUS, CINNA, METELLUS CIMBER, and TREBONIUS.
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. Cas. 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? Cascu. No.
Bru. No, not an oath: If not the face of men,
So let high-sighted tyranny range on,
To think, that, or our cause, or our performance,
If he do break the smallest particle
Of any promise that hath pass'd from him.
Cas. But what of Cicero? Shall we sound him? 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, And buy men's voices to commend our deeds: It shall be said, his judgment rul'd our hands; Our youths, and wildness, shall no whit appear, But all be buried in his gravity.
Bru. O, name him not; let us not break with him;
For he will never follow any thing
Dec. Shall no man else be touch'd but only
Cas. Decius, well urg'd: - I think it is not
meet, Mark Antony, so well belov'd of Cæsar, Should outlive Cæsar: We shall find of him
shrewd contriver; and, you know his means,
Bru. Our course will seem too bloody, Caius
To cut the head off, and then hack the limbs ;
Let us be sacrificers, but no butchers, Caius.
Bru. Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him: If he love Cæsar, all that he can do
Is to himself; take thought, and die for Cæsar :
Treb. There is no fear in him; let him not die; For he will live, and laugh at this hereafter. [Clock strikes.
Bru. Peace, count the clock.
But it is doubtful yet, Whe'r Cæsar will come forth to-day, or no:
For he is superstitious grown of late;
Dec. Never fear that: If he be so resolv'd,
For I can give his humour the true bent;
Cas. Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him.
Bru. Now, good Metellus, go along by him; He loves me well, and I have given him reasons; Send him but bither, and I'll fashion him.
Cas. The morning comes upon us: We'll leave you, Brutus:
And, friends, disperse yourselves: but all remember What you have said, and show yourselves true Ro
Bru. Good gentlemen, look fresh and merrily; Let not our looks put on our purposes; But bear it as our Roman actors do, With untir'd spirits, and formal constancy : And so, good-morrow to you every one. [Exeunt all but BRUTUS. Boy! Lucius! - Fast asleep? It is no matter; Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber : Thou hast no figures, nor no fantasies, Which busy care draws in the brains of men : Therefore thou sleep'st so sound.
Stole from my bed: And yesternight, at supper,
But, with an angry wafture of your hand,
Bru. I am not well in health, and that is all. Por. Brutus is wise, and, were he not in health, He would embrace the means to come by it.
Bru. Why, so I do : - Good Portia, go to bed. Por. Is Brutus sick? and is it physical To walk unbraced, and suck up the humours Of the dank morning? What, is Brutus sick; And will he steal out of his wholesome bed, To dare the vile contagion of the night? And tempt the rheumy and unpurged air To add unto his sickness? No, my Brutus; You have some sick offence within your mind, Which, by the right and virtue of my place, I ought to know of: And, upon my knees, I charm you, by my once commended beauty, By all your vows of love, and that great vow Which did incorporate and make us one, That you unfold to me, yourself, your half, Why you are heavy; and what men to-night Have had resort to you: for here have been Some six or seven, who did hide their faces Even from darkness.
Kneel not, gentle Portia.
Por. I should not need, if you were gentle Brutus. Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus, Is it excepted, I should know no secrets That appertain to you? Am I yourself, But, as it were, in sort, or limitation; To keep with you at meals, comfort your bed, And talk to you sometimes? Dwell I but in the
Bru. Caius Ligarius, that Metellus spake of. Boy, stand aside. · Caius Ligarius! how? Lig. Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble tongue.
Bru. O, what a time have you chose out, brave Caius,
To wear a kerchief? 'Would you were not sick.