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To ftale with ordinary oaths my love
To every new protefter; if you know
That I do fawn on men, and hug them hard,
And after scandal them; or if you know
That I profefs myself in banqueting
To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.
[Flourish and fhout. Bra. What means this fhouting? I do fear, the [people Choose Cæfar for their king.
Caf. Ay, do you fear it?
Then must I think you would not have it fo.
Bru. I would not, Caffius; yet I love him well:-
But wherefore do you hold me here fo long?
What is it that you would impart to me?
If it be aught toward the general good,
Set honour in one eye, and death i' the other,
And I will look on both indifferently:
For, let the gods fo speed me, as I love
The name of honour more than I fear death.
Caf. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
As well as I do know your outward favour.
Well, honour is the subject of my story.--
I cannot tell, what you and other men
Think of this life; but, for my fingle felf,
I had as lief not be, as live to be
In awe of such a thing as I myself.
I was born free as Cæfar; fo 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 gufty day,
The troubled Tyber chafing with his shores,
Cæfar faid to me, Dar ft thou, Caffius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood,
And favim to yonder point ?-Upon the word,
Accoutred as I was, I plunged in,
And bade him follow: fo, indeed, he did.
The torrent roar'd; and we did buffet it
With lufty finews; throwing it aside,
And stemming it with hearts of controversy.
But ere we could arrive the point propos'd,
Cæfar cry'd, Help me, Caffius, or I fink.
Bru. Another general shout!
I do believe, that these applauses are
For fome new honours that are heap'd on Cæfar. Caf. Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world,
Like a Coloffus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourselves difhonourable graves.
Men at fome time are mafters of their fates: 10 The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus, and Cæfar: What fhould be in that Cæfar? Why should that name be founded more than yours? Write them together, yours is as fair a name; 15 Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well : Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with them, Brutus will start a spirit as foon as Cæfar. Now in the names of all the gods at once, Upon what meat doth this our Cæfar feed, 20 That he is grown fo great? Age, thou art sham'd: Rome, thou haft loft the breed of noble bloods! When went there by an age, fince the great flood, But it was fam'd with more than with one man? When could they fay, '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.
I, as Æneas, our great ancestor,
Did from the flames of Troy upon his fhoulder
The old Anchifes bear, fo, from the waves of Tyber
Did I the tired Cæfar: And this man
If Cæfar 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 colour fly;
And that fame eye, whofe bend doth awe the world,
Did lofe his luftre: I did hear him groan:
Ay, and that tongue of his, that bade the Romans 55
Mark him, and write his fpeeches in their books,
Alas! it cry'd, Give me fome drink, Titinius,
As a fick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me,
A man of fuch a feeble temper fhould
So get the start of the majestick world,
And bear the palm alone. [Sbout. Flourish.
O! you and I have heard our fathers fay, [brook'd
There was a Brutus 2 once, that would have
The eternal devil to keep his ftate in Rome,
As eafily as a king.
Bru. That you do love me, I am nothing jealous; What you would work me to, I have fome aim: How I have thought of this, and of these times, shall recount hereafter; for this prefent,
I would not, fo with love I might intreat you,
Be any further mov'd. What you have faid,
I will confider; what you have to say,
I will with patience hear; and find a time
Both meet to hear, and answer, fuch high things.
Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this 3;
Brutus had rather be a villager,
Than to repute himself a fon of Rome
Under fuch hard conditions as this time
Is like to lay upon us.
Caf. I am glad, that my weak words
Have ftruck but thus much fhew of fire from
Re-enter Cæfar and bis train.
Bru. The games are done, and Cæfar is re-
Caf. As they pass by, pluck Cafca by the fleeve: And he will, after his four fashion, tell you What hath proceeded, worthy note, to-day.
Bru. I will do fo:-But, look you, Caffius, The angry fpot doth glow on Cæfar's brow, And all the reft look like a chidden train: Calphurnia's cheek is pale; and Cicero Looks with fuch ferret 4 and fuch fiery eyes, 6c As we have seen him in the Capitol, Being crofs'd in conference by fome fenators.
! That is, to invite every new protefter to my affection by the ftale or allurement of customary «ins. 2 i. e. Lucius Junius Brutus. 3 i. e. ruminate on this. 3B4
Caf. But, foft, I pray you: What? did Cæfar
Cafca. He fell down in the market-place, and foam'd at mouth, and was fpeechless.
Bru. "Tis very like; he hath the falling-fick
Caj. No, Cæfar hath it not; but you, and I, And honeft Cafca, we have the falling-fickness. Casca. I know not what you mean by that; but, I am fure, Cæfar fell down. If the tag-rag people did not clap him, and hifs him, according as he 20 pleas'd, and difpleas'd them, as they ufe to do the players in the theatre, I am no true man.
So foon as that spare Caffius. He reads much;
He is a great obferver, and he looks
Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no plays,
As thou doft, Antony; he hears no mufick:
Seldom he fmiles; and fmiles in fuch a fort,
As if he mock'd himself, and scorn'd his spirit
That could be mov'd to fimile 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 Cæfar.
Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
And tell me truly what thou think'st of him.
[Exeunt Cæfar, and his train.
Manent Brutus and Caffius: Cafea to them.
Cafea. You pull'd me by the cloak; Would 30
you speak with me?
Bru. Ay, Cafca; tell us what hath chanc'd to-day,
That Cæfar looks fo fad.
Cafca. Why you were with him, were you not? Bru. I fhould not then ask Cafca what had chanc'd.
Cafca. 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 fecond noise for?
Cafca. Why for that too.
Caf. They shouted thrice; What was the laft cry for?
Cafea. Why for that too.
Bru. Was the crown offer'd him thrice?
Cafea. Ay, marry, was't, and he put it by thrice, every time gentler than other; and at every putting by, mine honeft neighbours shouted.
Caf. Who offer'd him the crown?
Cajca. Why, Antony.
Bru. Tell us the manner of it, gentle Cafca.
Cafea. I can as well be hang'd, as tell the man-
ner of it: it was meer foolery, I did not mark it.
I faw Mark Antony offer him a crown;
Bru. What faid he, when he came unto himself?
Cafca. Marry, before he fell down, when he
perceiv'd the common herd was glad he refus'd
25 the crown, he pluck'd me ope his doublet, and
offer'd 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 fo he fell. When he
came to himself again, he faid, If he had done, or
said, any thing amifs, he defir'd their worships to
think it was his infirmity. Three or four wenches,
where I ftood, cry`d, Alas, good foul!—and for-
gave him with all their hearts: But there's no
35 heed to be taken of them: if Cæfar had stabb'd
their mothers, they would have done no lefs.
Bru. And after that, he came, thus fad, away?
Caj. Did Cicero say any thing?
Cajca. Ay, he spoke Greek.
Caf. To what effect?
Cafea. Nay, an I tell you that, I'll ne'er look you i' the face again: But thofe, that understood him fmil'd at one another, and fhook their heads: 45 but for mine own part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more news too: Marullus and Flavius, for pulling fcarfs off Cæfar's images, are put to filence. Fare you well. There was more foolery yet, if I could remember it.
50 Caf. Will you fup with me to-night, Cafca? Cafea. No, I am promis'd forth.
twas not a crown neither, 'twas one of these coro-
nets; 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 offer'd it to him again; then he
put it by again, but, to my thinking, he was very 60
loth to lay his fingers off it. And then he offer'd
it the third time; he put it the third time by:
1 i. e. Had I been a mechanick, one of the Plebeians, to whom he offered his throat.
Which gives men ftomach to digest his words
With better appetite.
Bru. And fo it is. For this time I will leave you:
To-morrow, 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.
Caf. I will do fo:-till then, think of the world:
Well, Brutus, thou art noble: yet, I fee,
Thy honourable metal may be wrought
From that it is difpos'd: Therefore 'tis meet
That noble minds keep ever with their likes:
For who fo firm, that cannot be feduc'd?
Cafar doth bear me hard; but he loves Brutus :
If I were Brutus now, and he were Caffius,
He should not humour me 2. I will this night,
In feveral hands, in at his windows throw,
As if they came from several citizens,
Writings, all tending to the great opinion
Cafea. Your ear is good. Caffius, what night is
Caf. A very pleating night to honest men.
That Rome holds of his name; wherein obfcurely 20 Casca. Who ever knew the heavens menace fo?
Thunder and Lightning. Enter Casca, bis fword drawn; and Cicero, meeting bim.
Cic. Good even, Cafca: Brought you Cæfar home?
Why are you breathlefs? and why ftare you fo?
Cafca. Are you not mov'd, when all the fway
of earth 3
Shakes, like a thing unfirm? O Cicero,
I have seen tempefts, when the fcolding winds
Have riv'd the knotty oaks; and I have seen
The ambitious ocean fwell, and rage, and foam,
To be exalted with the threatning clouds:
But never 'till to-night, never 'till now,
Did I go through a tempeft dropping fire.
Either there is a civil ftrife in heaven;
Or elfe the world, too faucy with the gods,
Incenses them to send destruction.
Cic. Why, faw you any thing more wonderful?
Cafca. A common slave (you know him well by
Held up his left hand, which did flame, and burn
Like twenty torches join'd; and yet his hand,
Not fenfible of fire, remain'd unfcorch'd.
Befides, (I have not fince put up my sword)
Against the Capitol I met a lion,
Who glar'd upon me, and went furly by,
Without annoying me:, and there were drawn
Upon a heap a hundred ghaftly women,
Transformed with their fear; who fwore, they faw
Men, all in fire, walk up and down the streets.
And, yesterday, the bird of night did fit,"
Even at noon-day, upon the market-place,
Hooting, and fhrieking. When thefe prodigies
Caf. Thofe, that have known the earth fo full of
For my part, I have walk'd about the streets,
Submitting me unto the perilous night;
25 And, thus unbraced, Cafca, as you fee,
Have bar'd my bofom to the thunder-ftone :
And, when the crofs blue lightning feem'd to open
The breaft of heaven, I did prefent myself
Even in the aim and very flash of it.
Cafca. But wherefore did you fo much tempt
It is the part of men to fear and tremble,
When the most mighty gods, by tokens, fend
Such dreadful heralds to aftonish us.
Caf. You are dull, Cafea; and thofe fparks of
That fhould be in a Roman, you do want,
Or elfe you ufe not: You look pale, and gaze,
And put on fear, and caft yourself in wonder,
To fee the ftrange impatience of the heavens:
40 But if you would confider the true caufe,
Why all thefe fires, why all these gliding ghofts,
Why birds, and beafts, from quality and kind 4;
Why old men fools, and children calculate 5;
Why all these things change, from their ordinance,
45 Their natures, and pre-formed faculties,
To monftrous quality; why, you shall find,
That heaven hath infus'd them with these spirits,
To make them inftruments of fear, and warning,
Unto fome monstrous ftate.
50Now could I, Cafca, name to thee a man
Moft like this dreadful night;
That thunders, lightens, opens grayes, and roars
As doth the lion in the Capitol:
A man no mightier than thyself, or me,
55 In perfonal action; yet prodigious grown,
And fearful, as thefe ftrange eruptions are.
Cafca. 'Tis Cæfar that you mean: Is it not, Caffius?
Caf. Let it be who it is: for Romans now
Have theys 7 and limbs like to their ancestors;
60 But, woethe while! our fathers' minds are dead,
And we are govern'd with our mothers' fpirits;
i.e. The best metal or temper may be worked into qualities contrary to its original conftitution. The meaning is, Cæfar loves Brutus, but if Brutus and I were to change places, bis love fhould not bumour me, fhould not take hold of my affection, fo as to make me forget my principles. "weight or momentum of this globe. 4 i. e. why they deviate from quality and nature. si. e. foretel or propbely. 7 Thewes is an obfolete word implying nerves or muscular firength.
6 Prodigious is portentous.
Our yoke and fufferance fhew us womanish.
Cafca. Indeed, they say, the senators to-morrow
Mean to establish Cæfar as a king:
And he shall wear his crown by fea, and land,
In every place, save here in Italy.
Caf. I know where I will wear this dagger then;
Caffius from bondage will deliver Caffius:
Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong;
Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat:
Nor ftony 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 difmifs itself.
If I know this, know all the world befides,
That part of tyranny, that I do bear,
I can shake off at pleasure.
Cafca. So can I:
So every bondman in his own hand bears
The power to cancel his captivity.
Caf. And why should Cæfar be a tyrant then?
Poor man! I know, he would not be a wolf,
But that he fees, the Romans are but sheep;
He were no lion, were not Romans hinds.
Those that with hafte will make a mighty fire,
Begin it with weak straws: What trash is Rome,
What rubbish, and what offal, when it ferves
For the base matter to illuminate
So vile a thing as Cæfar? But, O, grief!
Where haft thou led me? I, perhaps, speak this
Before a willing bondman: then I know
My answer must be made: But I am arm'd,
And dangers are to me indifferent.
Cafea. You fpeak to Cafca: and to such a man,
That is no flearing tell-tale. Hold my hand':
Be factious for redress of all these griefs;
And I will fet this foot of mine as far,
As who goes fartheft.
Caf. There's a bargain made.
Now know you, Casca, I have mov'd already
Some certain of the nobleft-minded Romans,
To undergo, with me, an enterprize
Of honourable-dangerous confequence;
And I do know, by this, they stay for me
You are. O, Caffius, if you could but win 20 The noble Brutus to our party
[per, Caf. Be you content: Good Cinna, take this paAnd look you lay it in the prætor's chair, Where Brutus may but find it; and throw this In at his window; fet this up with wax 25 Upon old Brutus' statue: all this done, Repair to Pompey's porch, where you fhall find us. Is Decius Brutus, and Trebonius, there?
Cin. All but Metellus Cimber; and he's gone To feek you at your house. Well, I will hie, 30 And fo bestow thefe papers as you bade me. Caf. That done, repair to Pompey's theatre. [Exit Cinna. Come, Cafca, you and I will, yet, ere day, See Brutus at his houfe: three parts of him Is ours already; and the man entire, Upon the next encounter, yields him ours.
Cafca. O, he fits high in all the people's hearts: And that, which would appear offence in us, His countenance, like richest alchymy,
And then, I grant, we put a fting in him,
That at his will he may do danger with.
The abuse of greatness is, when it disjoins
Remorfe1 from power: And, to speak truthof Cæfar,
I have not known when his affections sway'd
More than his reason. But 'tis a common proof 2,
That lowlinefs is young ambition's ladder,
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face :
But when he once attains the upmost round,
He then unto the ladder turns his back;
Looks in the clouds, scorning the bate degrees 3
By which he did afcend: So Cæfar may;
Then, left he may, prevent. And, fince the quarrel
Will bear no colour for the thing he is,
Fashion it thus; that what he is, augmented,
Would run to these, and these extremities:
And therefore think him as a ferpent's egg,
Which, hatch'd, would, as his kind, grow mif-
And kill him in the shell.
They are the faction. O confpiracy!
Sham'st thou to fhew thy dangerous brow by night,
When evils are most free? O, then, by day,
Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough [racy;
To mark thy monstrous vifage? Seek none, confpi-
Hide it in fmiles, and affability:
20 For if thou path, thy native semblance on ",
Not Erebus itfelf were dim enough
To hide thee from prevention.
Enter Caffius, Cafca, Decius, Cinna, Metellus, and
Caf. I think, we are too bold upon your reft:
Good morrow, Brutus; Do we trouble you?
Bru. I have been up this hour; awake, all night.
Know I thefe men, that come along with you?
Caf. Yes, every man of them; and no man here,
3c 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.
Here, as I point my fword, the fun arifes;
[Exit Lucius. 50 Which is a great way growing on the fouth,
Weighing the youthful feafon of the year.
Some two months hence, up higher toward the north
He first prefents his fire; and the high caft
Stands, as the Capitol, directly here.
Bru. Give me your hands all over, one by one.
Caf. And let us fwear our refolution.
Bru. No, not an oath; If not the face of men,
3 i. e. low steps. 4 Shakspeare here
1 i. e. pity. 2. e. common obfervation, or experience. defcribes what paffes in a single bofom, the infurrection which a confpirator feels agitating the little kingdom of his own mind; when the genius, or power that watches for his protection, and the mortal infiruments, the paffions which excite him to a deed of honour and danger, are in council and debate; when the defire of action, and the care of safety, keep the mind in continual fluctuation and disturbance. 5 Caffius married Junia, Brutus' fifter. 6. e, if thou walk in thy true form.